Android - a Brief History

Android is one of the most popular operating systems that is featured in a number of smartphones manufactured by different companies. As it is open source software, it offers you great value for money. Different versions of Android have been launched like Cupcake, Donut, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Eclair, Froyo, Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), and Jelly Bean. All of these have been very popular among users due to their superb functionality and easy usability. It is also an interesting fact that the name of each Android version is based on the name of a sweet treat.

Ice Cream Sandwich

The first name that comes to mind is Ice Cream Sandwich. It was a follow-up to Honeycomb, another Android version, and was launched in May 2011. It totally refined Honeycomb and came with lots of new features. This version was designated Android 4.0 and became very popular among the techies. Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus was the first smartphone that came on the market with the Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating system.


Honeycomb, designated as Android 3.0, came out in February 2011 with Motorola Xoom, and was the first version of Android that was specially made for the tablets. Many Google applications including Gmail app and the Talk app were updated for use with Honeycomb, making it one of the most successful Android versions.


Gingerbread or Android 2.3-2.4 was launched in December 2010. It came on the market in the Google Nexus S and brought some new enhancements to Android. There are phones today that still use Gingerbread as their operating system (OS)


The other name in the list is Android 2.2 – Froyo. Announced in May 2010, it brought support for Adobe Flash 10.1 enabling the users to enjoy Flash-based games in Android's web browser. There were many other technologies that added to its popularity.


Éclair or Android 2.0/2.01/2.1 was introduced to the world in the last quarter of 2009. It first came with Motorola Droid and brought a lot of improvement in Google Maps and GPS navigation systems. Few phones launched with Android 2.1 were Motorola's Motoblur, HTC Desire, HTC Legend and many more.


Android 1.6 or Donut was launched in the month of September in 2009. It also came up with lots of interesting features and was a big hit in its time. High resolution touchscreens, native support for phones like Sprint and Verizon were few attributes of Donut. Smartphones like Motorola Droid X and HTC Evo 4G were based on it, and were quite popular among the users. Donut was used in the phones like Motorola Devour, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 and the Garminphone.


Android 1.5 or Cupcake was the first major version of Android Operating System. Released in April 2009, this Android version brought lots of changes in User Interface. Features like Bluetooth were improved and upload services like Picasa and YouTube were introduced in many smartphones thanks to Cupcake.

The Android Operating System has definitely brought a revolutionary change in the functioning of smartphones and became the first love of millions of mobile phone users worldwide.

When Phil Turner is asked, “What is an Android phone?” his usual answer is that it is complicated.
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