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A brief history of the Android OS

by Kate Winsley

The devices running on the Android OS have been so wide spread for a couple of years that many people can’t even remember the times when we used mobile gadgets based on other operating systems. Actually, there was a variety of them including Windows Phone, Symbian, webOS, BlackBerry or Palm OS. Only Apple’s iOS was able to withstand the competition with Google’s Android and these two operating systems remain to be the major rivals.

Let’s learn how the story of Android started!

The roots of the Android OS history

Android originated in Palo Alto, California in October 2003. The team of the four founders including Nick Sears, Andy Rubin, Rich Miner and Chris White created a company known at that time as Android Inc the major goal of which was developing smart portable devices focusing on the analysis of the user’s preferences and location. Note that this had been several years before Apple released their iOS as well as the first iPhone running on that system. At that time, even the term “smartphone” didn’t exist.

Google acquired Android in 2005 but all of the Android founders remained working in the company. During this year, a lot of crucial decisions about a brand-new operating system were made including the use of Linux as the basis for Android. Due to that fact, other phone manufacturers were able to use Android for their devices free of charge. At the same time, it was planned to gain profits from offering apps and other services to the Android users.

The first public data version of Android 1.0 used by the device with the code name “Sooner” was released in November 5, 2007. Sooner looked more like BlackBerry than the f8irst iPhones that were also released in 2007.

The first Android smartphone was released in September 2008. In the USA, the phone was known to consumers as T-Mobile G1, however in other countries it was available as HTC Dream. Among the most essential features of that smartphone was a QWERTY physical keyboard attached to a 3.2-inch touchscreen. Although the physical design of HTC Dream was far away from a dream of a regular technophile, the Android system included highly useful features such as a pre-Chrome browser called HTML browser, YouTube, Google Maps and of course Android Market allowing its users to access unique applications and services.

Note that the first Android version didn’t have its specific dessert name.

Further versions of Android and their tasty names

The next version of Android was Android 1.1 and it was still without an official yummy name, however, its internal company name was Petit four which refers to a popular French dessert.

Android 1.5 Cupcake

The tradition of giving the Android OS versions the names of sweet treats started officially with Android 1.5 Cupcake released in April 2009. Presumably, Ryan Gibson initiated this custom and, although his reasons are unknown, it was officially declared that Android makes the lives of its users sweet so it deserves to be called these sweet names of desserts. By the way, Android Cupcake included such new features as automatic rotation of the screen display and the possibility of uploading films to YouTube.

Android 1.6 Donut

Android Donut was released in September 2009. One of the most crucial features it included was the support for CDMA-based networks. Due to that option, Android phones were spread around the world.

Among the phones running on Donut was a so-called “smartphone/tablet” Dell Streak that offered a unique large screen so far of 5 inches.

Android 2.0-2.1 Éclair

Right after the release of Android 1.6 Donut, Android 2.0-2.1 Éclair came into the market in 2009. Now Android-powered phones started supporting multiple accounts, text-to-speech service, live wallpapers as well as Google Maps navigation. The first phone using Android 2.0-2.1 Éclair was Motorola Droid.

Android 2.2 Froyo

In May, 2010, the public got Android 2.2 Froyo or frozen yogurt. The smartphones with this version of Android had push notifications, a Wi-Fi mobile hotspot function as well as  flash support.Nexus One was the first mobile phone using Froyo.

Android 2.3 Gingerbread

A new version of Android known as Gingerbread occurred in September 2010 and this is the oldest one that has still been receiving updates from Google. Gingerbread had multiple camera support as well as video chat support available with Google Talk which started the selfie culture.

The Android versions released after 2011

The year of 2011 gave the smartphone users two Android versions which were Android 3.0 Honeycomb designed specifically for tablets and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich that was a successful combination of Gingerbread and Honeycomb.

Between 2012 and 2013, Google released three consequent versions of new Android Jelly Bean: 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3 with improved touch responsiveness.

Android 4.4 with a trademarked name KitKat was launched in 2013 and Android 5.0 Lollipop with Device Protection and dual-SIM support was released in 2014.

The newer versions of Android are Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Android 7.0 Nougat, Android 8.0 Oreo, Android 9.0 Pie and refreshed Android 10.

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