Android Introduction – History, Features and Versions

What is Android?

Android is an Operating system for mobile devices like Smartphones and Tablets and it became the fastest growing mobile OS.

Few key points to know about Android are:

  • Developed by Open Handset Alliance, led by Google
  • Android is Open Source
  • Linux based
  • It has Dalvik VM

History of Android

In 2005 Google acquired the startup company called as Android Inc. to start the development of Android platform. The key players at Android Inc. included Andy Rubin, Rich Miner, Nick Sears and Chris White.

The Android SDK was first issued as an “early look” release in November 2007 and in September 2008 T-Mobile announced the availability of T-Mobile G1 which was the first smartphone based on the Android Platform.

Features of Android

There are a lot of Features in Android and some of the key features are as follows:

  1. Messaging: – SMS, MMS and Google Cloud Messaging (GCM).
  2. Multitouch: – Android has native support for Multitouch.
  3. Multitasking: – Multitasking of applications with the unique handling of memory allocation is also available.
  4. Multiple Language Support: – Android also supports multiple languages.
  5. Connectivity: – Android supports connectivity technologies including GSM/EDGE, Bluetooth, LTE, CDMA, EV-DO, UMTS, NFC, IDEN, and WiMAX.
  6. Media support :- Android supports the following audio/video/still media formats: WebM, H.263,H.264, AAC, HE-AAC (in3GP orMP4 container), MPEG-4 SP, AMR, AMR-WB (in 3GP container), MP3, MIDI, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, WAV, JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, and WebP.
  7. Storage: – SQLite which is a lightweight relational database is used for data storage purposes.

Versions of Android

Let’s see all the version history of Android in the following table.

Code nameVersion numberInitial release dateAPI level
N/A1.023 September 20081
1.19 February 20092
Cupcake1.527 April 20093
Donut1.615 September 20094
Eclair2.0 – 2.126 October 20095–7
Froyo2.2 – 2.2.320 May 20108
Gingerbread2.3 – 2.3.76 December 20109–10
Honeycomb3.0 – 3.2.622 February 201111–13
Ice Cream Sandwich4.0 – 4.0.418 October 201114–15
Jelly Bean4.1 – 4.3.19 July 201216–18
KitKat4.4 – 4.4.431 October 201319–20
Lollipop5.0 – 5.1.112 November 201421–22
Marshmallow6.0 – 6.0.15 October 201523
Nougat7.0 – 7.1.222 August 201624 – 25

Version history table courtesy: Wikipedia

Versions 1.0 and 1.1 were not released under specific code names, but since April 2009’s Android 1.5 “Cupcake”, Android versions have had confectionery-themed code names.

Each Android version is in alphabetical order, with the most recent being Android 7.0 “Nougat”, released in August 2016.

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