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Overview of all Android versions


Overview of all Android versions

Overview of all Android versions

Google's Android versions have already spelled themselves in half the alphabet: In August 2018, Google presented the final version of Android 9.0 called Pie. Google has maintained the sweet tradition of naming Android versions after various snacks and pastries since 2009.

However, this has ended since Android Q in 2019. But more important than the names are the innovations that each version brings. In this practical tip, we will show you what those were and what the latest operating system can do.

General information about the Android versions
  • Android is the mobile operating system of the tech giant Google. It is the direct competitor to Apple's iOS and the most popular smartphone OS worldwide.
  • Since Android 1.5 (mid-2009) the names of the main versions are based on sweets. 
  • The initial letter of each Android main version is in ascending order in the alphabet and at the same time the first letter of a corresponding candy that is linked to the Android version. However, since the current version Android 10 Q, the letter has been linked to the Android version for the first time, but Google no longer wanted to add a candy with Q.
  • With every major version of Android, the user interface is also revised in terms of design.

Android Version 1.0: "Base"

  • On September 23, 2008, the first Android operating system, called "Base", saw the light of day.
  • Even back then there were apps like "Google Maps", "Gmail" and "Youtube". These are still extremely popular.

Android version 1.1: "Base_1.1"

  • On February 10th, 2009 the first update of "Base" was released.
  • It was titled "Base_1.1" and came with some innovations. Among other things, it was possible to save MMS attachments for the first time.

Android version 1.5: "Cupcake"

Overview of all Android versions
Android version 1.5 cupcake
  • From now on, all future Android versions will be named after sweets. The first letter in the alphabet is ascending. Although the first two versions of Android were not given letters, the order was taken into account. So the third version of Android also receives the third letter "c".
  • On April 30th, 2009 "Cupcake" was released as Android version 1.5.
  • Known innovations at that time included the automatic change between portrait and landscape format and a dedicated on-screen keyboard.

Android version 1.6: "Donut"

  • From September 15th, 2009 the Android version 1.6 alias "Donut" was available via update.
  • One of the major changes was that VPNs can now be configured for more privacy when surfing.

Android version 2.0-2.1: "Eclair"

As of Android version 2.0, a new major version was no longer automatically released with every system update. Instead, there have been several sub-versions of each major version since October 2009, which are intended to make improvements, but continue to bear the name of the major version.
  • On October 26th, 2009 Android 2.0 alias "Éclair" was released as an update. Under this version, the digital zoom was introduced in the camera app, as well as the support of LED flash light as hardware.
  • Android version 2.0.1 was released on December 3rd, 2009, in which some bugs were corrected. The name "Éclair" remained unchanged.
  • On January 7th, 2010 another update to version 2.1 was released. This made it possible to use animated background images, the so-called "live backgrounds". Instead of a single picture, a moving picture, an animation or even a video can be set as the background. Incidentally, this still works today.

Android version 2.2: "Froyo"

Overview of all Android versions
Android 2.2: Froyo

This major Android version 2.2 was released on May 20, 2010 and made some improvements. From this version, a working memory with up to 256 MByte capacity could be installed in a cell phone.

In addition, apps can now be moved to an external micro SD card.
  • With the update to Android version 2.2.1 some bug fixes were made in September 2010.
  • The last Froyo version was released in January 2011 as Android 2.2.2 and among other things fixed an SMS bug.

Android version 2.3: "Gingerbread"

Overview of all Android versions
Android version 2.3 Gingerbread

Android 2.3 aka "Gingerbread" was released on December 6th, 2010. Starting with this version of Android, "Near Field Communication" (NFC) is supported and an in-house download manager is added.
  • Android 2.3.1 also appeared in December 2010, which made some bug fixes and updated to Google Maps 5.0.
  • Android 2.3.2 was released in January 2011 and also fixed an SMS error.
  • Android 2.3.3 was released on February 23, 2011 and among other things ensured that from now on Android devices were regularly equipped with dual-core processors for more performance.
  • On April 29, 2011, the update to 2.3.4 introduced the "Google Talk" app, which enables video and voice chat.
  • Android 2.3.5 was released on July 8th, 2011 and provided further bug fixes. With the two following Android Versoinen 2.3.6 (02.09.2011) and 2.3.7 (20.09.2011) further errors in the system were fixed.

Android version 3.x: "Honeycomb"

Android 3. Honeycomb

As of February 23, 2011, "Gingerbread" was replaced by the new Android version 3.0, also known as "Honeycomb". A new, user-friendly interface has been adapted and optimization for tablets has been carried out. In addition, the Google Chrome browser has been equipped with new functions (e.g. incognito mode).
  • On May 10th 2011 the first update from "Honeycomb" to Android 3.1 followed. Among other things, a USB host mode was inserted and improvements were made to the user interface and the widgets.
  • Android 3.2 followed on July 16, 2011. Above all, display optimizations were made for different screen diagonals.
  • The last Honeycomb version 3.2.1 made further bug fixes from 09/20/2011.

Android version 4.0: "Ice Cream Sandwich"

Overview of all Android versions
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

Android 4.0 aka "Ice Cream Sandwich" (ICS) was released on October 19, 2011. Among other things, the unlocking via 2D face recognition was inserted and many detail improvements were made.
  • Version 4.0.1 was released on November 17th, 2011. In particular, a volume setting error has been fixed.
  • In version 4.0.2, further improvements (for example a new unlocking optics) were made as of December 15, 2011, and DivX support was removed.
  • The last two ICS updates 4.0.3 (16.12.2011) and 4.0.4 (04.02.2012) also brought further improvements. For example, the general volume was increased in version 4.0.4.

Android version 4.1: "Jelly Bean"

Overview of all Android versions
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Android 4.1 aka "Jelly Bean" was released on June 27th, 2012. This update brought significant improvements to the user interface. The "Google Now" service has also been integrated into the system.
  • With version 4.1.1, the Google payment service "Google Wallet" was integrated into the system on July 11, 2012.
  • As of version 4.1.2 (10/10/2012), notifications could be opened and closed with a finger gesture.
  • On November 13, 2012, version 4.2 made system-wide streaming (Miracast) possible. In addition, further security updates followed.
  • With version 4.2.1 further bugs have been fixed since November 27th, 2012.
  • Since version 4.2.2 (02/12/2013) widgets can now also be set on the lock screen.
  • Version 4.3 (07/24/2013) introduced many other innovations. So there have been limited user accounts for children as well as an improvement of the camera app.
  • The last update of "Jelly Bean" followed on October 4th, 2013 with version 4.3.1. Only a few bugs have been fixed in this version.

Android version 4.4: "KitKat"

Overview of all Android versions
Android 4.4 kitkat

On October 31, 2013 Android 4.4 aka "KitKat" was released as the successor to "Jelly Bean". A major innovation was that the restriction to five home screens was lifted. From then on, the Google+ Hangouts app could be selected as an alternative to the SMS app.
  • The first update to version 4.4.1 followed on 06.12.2013. Here the camera app was slightly revised and minor bug fixes were made.
  • Android 4.4.2 was released on December 9th, 2013. Mainly bug fixes were made again.
  • Version 4.4.3 was released on June 2nd, 2014. This fixes the known bug that frequently causes the data connection to be broken.
  • The last update for "KitKat" followed on June 19, 2014 with version 4.4.4.
Android 4.4: KitKat
Android 4.4: KitKat

Android version 4.4.W: "Wear"

Android 4.4.W was specially developed for smartwatches and other wearables and is based on Android 4.4 "KitKat". It was published in June 2014. The "W" stands for "Wear" to draw special attention to the area of ​​wearables. In the meantime, this type of operating system has been replaced by its own system, Wear OS.

Android version 5: "Lollipop"

Overview of all Android versions
android versions 5 lolipop

Android 5.0 aka "Lollipop" was released on November 3rd, 2014. Here the notification bar has been redesigned. In addition, this version is now also used for most smartwatches.
  • The Android version 5.0.1 (02.12.2014) was mainly optimized for the use of "Android Wear", the direct predecessor of Wear OS.
  • Another update was released on December 19, 2014 with Android 5.0.2, in which bugs have been fixed.
  • Android 5.1 was launched on March 9th, 2014. Stability improvements were made here.
  • The last Lollipop Android version 5.1.1 was released on April 22nd, 2015 and again fixed some bugs.

Android 6.0: "Marshmallow"

Overview of all Android versions
android marshmallow 6

At the Google event on September 29, 2015, the latest Android operating system was presented to the public and gradually rolled out. 
Google already published a developer preview of Marshmallow in August, which already gives a good impression of the new features of Android 6.0.

If you own a Nexus 5, Nexus 6 or Nexus Player, you could download the final Developer Preview 3 from Marshmallow in advance. Here is a brief overview of the innovations:
  • Better rights management for apps: You will only be asked for authorization if you use the specific functions of an app. This way you do not allow access in advance that you may not use at all.
  • Longer battery runtimes: background processes are automatically ended and therefore no longer strain the battery. Above all, the performance should be much better.
  • Faster charging thanks to the use of the "Type C" USB standard, which not only charges faster, but also comes with a plug that no longer has to be turned. However, the manufacturer must also install the appropriate hardware in his devices. In a separate article you will find out all the advantages of the new charging plug .
  • Separate volume control for notifications, media and alarm tones.
  • Support for fingerprint sensors, comparable to Apple's Touch ID . However, the following also applies here: The software support now gives the manufacturer the option, but not the obligation, to install appropriate hardware. 


Android 7.0: Nougat

Overview of all Android versions
android 7 nougat

Android 7 has been officially available since August 22, 2016. In addition to the usual improvements in performance and security, there are also some major innovations.
  • Background update: On more recent smartphones, updates are completely downloaded and installed on a second partition in the background. The user hardly notices anything from the update.
  • Splitscreen: If you want to use two apps at the same time, this has no longer been a problem since Android 7. In split-screen mode, two apps run in parallel on half of the screen, provided the app supports the mode.
  • Notifications: Google has tweaked the notifications a lot. Among other things, you can now answer WhatsApp messages directly via the notification without opening the app itself.
  • Data saving mode: Data saving mode has also received a major update. In the settings you can turn off selected data apps, among other things.
Android 7 with split screen (Image: )
Android 7 with split screen (Image: )

Android 8.0: Oreo

Overview of all Android versions
Android 8 aka Oreo

Android 8 has been available for download since August 21, 2017. In addition to the generally adapted look, the Settings app in particular has become much clearer.
  • Speed ​​Boost: In addition to the usual optimizations, some fundamental changes should not only make the start of apps run faster, but above all the boot process when the mobile phone is switched on.
  • Smart Text Selection: Telephone numbers, addresses or entire URLs are not always copied easily or quickly. With the Smart Text Selection, a simple double tip should be enough to copy the desired area.
  • Picture-in-picture mode: What Apple has already introduced on the iPad is now also available for Android. If an app such as YouTube or Chrome supports the function, you can continue the video in a small picture while you use other apps.
  • App icons: The icons of apps are always static except for the clock and calendar app. Now all other app developers can animate the icons or make them dynamic.
  • Rescue Party: The new Rescue Party function is intended to help with boot loops. If the mobile phone starts up again and again due to a serious software error, the function should recognize the problem and automatically put the smartphone into recovery mode.

Android 9.0: Pie

Overview of all Android versions
Android versions 9 "Pie"

Android version 9 was released on August 6, 2018. The names Pancake and Poptart were very popular in the rumor mill. Ultimately, however, Google chose the simplest name Pie (cake).
  • Battery intelligence: Android analyzes the usage behavior of your apps and automatically assigns a higher priority to the frequently used apps. This should save battery in the first place.
  • App intelligence: Android should also help when using apps. If you only connect your headphones for phone calls, Android recognizes this behavior. In the future, the phone app will start automatically as soon as you plug in your headphones.
  • Brightness: The brightness of smartphone displays is usually automatically adjusted to the ambient light. Now you can specify in the settings whether you would like it to be a bit lighter and darker in general.
  • Little things: In addition to 157 new emojis, there are many other small changes. Here you can find all changes from Android 9 .

Android 10.0: A "Q" but not a candy

Overview of all Android versions
android 10

Android version 10 has been available since September 2019. According to tradition, the letter "Q" is now in turn. The corresponding candy should therefore also begin with a "Q".

However, Google decided to end this tradition with the round 10, partly because of the difficulty in finding a candy with Q.
  • Android 10 should give users more control over the permissions of their apps. Among other things, the location permissions for individual apps can be restricted more precisely and only granted temporarily.
  • Dark modes are not only becoming more and more popular on iOS, Mac OS and Windows, Android users have also been screaming for an official dark mode for years. Previously, this could only be achieved via detours and third-party providers, now Google is providing a system-wide dark mode.
  • No matter whether smartphone or PC, updates are always an annoying topic. Security patches and other minor updates will be installed automatically in the background in the future. It is no longer necessary to restart the device.
  • On which mobile phones the new features are already available, you will see in this overview of Android 10 Q .

Android 11.0: 

Overview of all Android versions

  • Behavior Changes: Curly brackets iconBehavior changes,System changes that may affect your app when it's running on Android 11.
  • Privacy features: Shield IconPrivacy features, New safeguards to protect user privacy that you'll need to support in your app.
  • New Features And API: Android 11 Logo New features & APIs, APIs for 5G, sharing, connectivity, media, NNAPI, biometrics, and more.


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