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Android Versions List and Names
Android is a mobile operating system based on a forked version of Linux. Unlike iOS, Android is open-source software, allowing developers and manufacturers to use the software without paying any royalty and they can tweak around the overall user-experience.
Android OS was launched in November 2007 and the first commercial smartphone based on the same came a year later by HTC -- the HTC Dream, which was released in select markets.
The OS that started with just a single device in 2007 now powers billions of smartphones, tablets, and other smart devices and is currently the most used mobile operating system across the world. The very first version of Android was called as Android 1.0, which was also known as Android Alpha, then came its successor Android 1.1 or Android Beta.
From then on up until the Android 10 release, every Android version was launched in a dessert name as the Android versions were a bit confusing. Here is the complete detail on every Android version launched to date.
Android 1.0 is the very first iteration of Android with an application programming interface 1 or API 1. It was released on September 23, 2008, and officially there was no code name for this version but according to some reports, it was known as Android Alpha.
Android 1.1 also didn't get any official code name and as per reports, it was known as Android Beta, released on February 9, 2009, with API 2. Android 1.1 introduced features like support for third-party keyboards, video recording, video playback, and copy-paste feature for the web browser.
Android 1.5 Cupcake
Android 1.5 was released on April 27, 2009, and it is the first Android version to officially get a dessert nickname. Android 1.5 was known as Android Cupcake and it was developed by Google with API 3.
Android 1.6 Donut
Android 1.6 Donut was released on September 15, 2009, just a few months after the launch of the Android 1.5 Cupcake and it came with the API 4. This was also called the fourth version of the Android and it introduced some distinctive features such as support for CDMA technology, support for different screen sizes, and a battery usage indicator that was also first introduced on this version.
Android 2.0 Eclair
Android 2.0 Eclairs came with an API level of 5 to 7 and it was released on October 26, 2009, again, a fourth major Android update to get released in 2009. The fifth version of Android aka the Android 2.0 Eclair offered features like an improved UI with a Google search bar on the top and it also supported HTML 5.
Android 2.2 Froyo
Android 2.2 Froyo was made available to the public on May 20, 2010, and it came with API 8. This version was unveiled during Google I/O 2010 conference and it offered several optimizations when compared to Android 2.0 Eclairs.
Android 2.3 Gingerbread
Android 2.3 Gingerbread was also launched in 2010, to be exact on December 6, 2010, with API 9 to 10. This version introduced features like NFC support and VoIP calls. The Nexus S smartphone from Samsung was the first device to launch with this OS, which was also the first Nexus smartphone from Google that represented stock Android OS.
Android 3.0 Honeycomb
Android 3.0 Honeycomb was released on February 22, 2011, and it came with API 11 to 13. This version of Android was designed for large screen devices like tablets and the Motorola Xoom was the first product to ship with Android 3.0 Honeycomb.
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich was released on October 18, 2011, and it came with an API version from 14 to 15. This version was designed to offer a unified experience for both smartphones and tablets. It was also the first Android version to support Face Unlock on select devices.
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean got official on July 9, 2012, and it came with an API of 16 to 18. Android Jelly Bean is also officially the 10th iteration of Android and it was developed to offer performance improvements along with smooth user experience when compared to Android 4.0.
Android 4.4 KitKat
Android 4.4 KitKat got official on October 31, 2013, and it came with an API of 19 to 20. This version of Android was developed to offer an improved user experience on devices with limited hardware capabilities.
Android 5.0 Lollipop
Android 5.0 Lillipop offered a major design overhaul when compared to Android 4.4 KitKat and it was released on November 12, 2014, and it came with an API version of 20 to 22. This version of Android offered a redesigned UI and it also replaced Dalvik with ART or Android Runtime to improve application performance and battery optimization.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Android 6.0 Marshmallow was released on October 5, 2015, based on API 23. It offered a new permission architecture to improve user-privacy and it also natively supported USB Type-C port and a physical fingerprint sensor.
Android 7.0 Nougat
Android 7.0 Nougat with an API version of 24 to 25 was released on August 22, 2016. Nougat offered support for Vulkan API for better graphics rendering along with a new app notification format.
Android 8.0 Oreo
Android 8.0 Oreo got launched on August 21, 2017, and this version was based on API 26 to 27. Oreo was the first Android version to support Bluetooth 5.0 and wide color gamut.
Android 9 Pie
Android 9 Pie got official on August 6, 2018, with API 28 and it offered a refreshed material design with a new style of navigation buttons. Till today, a lot of smartphones are still based on Android 9 Pie.
Android 10 was released on September 3, 2019, based on API 29. This version was known as Android Q at the time of development and this is the first modern Android OS that doesn't have a dessert code name. It offered a complete full-screen user-interface with a redesigned navigation system, which is a bit similar to the modern iPhones.
Android 11 was released on September 8, 2020, and this version was based on API 30. It comes with features like conversation notifications and this is also the first official Android version to offer a built-in screen recorder.