Interesting X Series – Android Version History

By Ravi
Jun 7th, 2012

Android OS has a very interesting history of development, starting from the v1.0 release to the latest Ice Cream Sandwich version update. Today Idlebrains brings to you the release and feature update history of Android OS as a part of Interesting X series. Android version logos, their alphabetical code name series based on “Dessert”  items and incremental updates in different feature zones are part of this well compiled journey of Android OS. Let’s have a look :

Version Name: v1.0 || Release Date: 23 September 2008 || First Device: T Mobile G1

Android Version 1.0

Android v1.0 Logo


Browser to show, zoom and pan full HTML and XHTML web pages.
Browser support to show multiple pages as windows.

Native Apps:
Gmail, Google Contacts, Google Maps, Google Sync, Google Search support for native apps.
Alarm, Calculator, Dialer, Home Screen Launcher, Picture Gallery and Settings included.

Market Apps:
Android Market application download and updates supported.

Camera support, but only basic functionality.

Media Player, importing, managing and playback of media files supported but video and stereo Bluetooth not supported.
YouTube video player supported.

User Interface:
Voice Dialer supported.
Notifications appearing in the status bar with options to set different alerts.
Folders supported to group a number of app icons in one folder icon only.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Supported.

Mail & Messenger:
Access for web mail servers, support for POP3, IMAP4 and SMTP.
Google Talk instant messaging, MMS supported.

Update Version: v1.1
Fixed some bugs, enhanced API.
Enabled attachments in messages.
Supported marquee in system layouts.
Longer in call screen timeout and show/hide dial pad feature support.


Version Name: v1.5 || Release Date: 30 April 2009 || First Device:T-Mobile MyTouch

CodeName – CupCake

Android v1.5 CupCake

Android v1.5 - CupCake Logo


Copy-Paste feature added for web browsers.

Native Apps:
Support for Widgets.

Video recording and playback in MPEG-4 and 3GP formats supported.
Ability to upload videos to YouTube.
Ability to upload photos to Picasa.

User Interface:
User pictures enabled for Favorites in Contacts.
Animated screen transitions.
Auto rotation option added.
Added the current stock boot animation.
Specific date/time stamp shown for events.

Added auto pairing and stereo support for Bluetooth.

Input/Output/HW Support:
Supported 3rd party virtual keyboard with text prediction and user dictionary.


Version Name: v1.6 || Release Date: 15 September 2009 || First Device: HTC Magic

CodeName – Donut

Android v1.6

Android v1.6 - Donut Logo


Voice and text search enhanced to include bookmark history and the web.

Market Apps:
Ability for developer to include their content in search results.
Easier searching and ability to view app screenshot in Android Market.
Multi-lingual speech synthesis engine to allow any Android application to speak a string of text.

Camera and Camcorder more fully integrated, faster camera access.
Multiple photo selection enabled for deletion.
Expanded Gesture framework, new GestureBuilder development tool.

Input/Output/HW Support:
Support for WVGA screen resolutions.

Technology Support:
Support for CDMA/EVDO, 802.1x, VPNs and text-to-speech engine.


Version Name: v2.0 || Release Date: 26 October 2009 || First Device: Motorola Droid

CodeName – Eclair

Android v2.0

Android v2.0 - Eclair Logo


Refreshed browser UI having bookmark thumbnails, double tap zoom and HTML5 support.

Native Apps:
Improved Google Maps 3.1.2 for native app usage.

Flash support, digital zoom, scene mode, white balance, colour effect and macro focus added.

User Interface:
Calendar agenda view enhanced.
Usage of contacts photo to call, SMS or email a person.
Addition of live wallpapers.

Bluetooth 2.1 supported.

Mail & Messenger:
Expanded account sync, allowing multiple accounts to a device for email synchronization.
Exchange email support, enabling combined inbox for multiple accounts.
Ability to search all saved SMS and MMS, auto deletion of oldest messages implemented.

Input/Output/HW Support:
Support for more screen sizes and resolutions with better contrast ratio.
MotionEvent class enhanced to track multi-touch.
Improved typing speed on virtual keyboard.
Optimized hardware speed.

Update Version: v2.0.1
Minor API changes.
Bugs fixed.
Framework behavioral changes.

Update Version: v2.1
Minor API changes.
Bugs fixed.

Version Name: v2.2 || Release Date: 20 May 2010 || First Device: Nexus One

CodeName – Froyo

Android v2.2

Android v2.2 - Froyo Logo


Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine integrated for browser apps.
Support for file upload fields in browser apps.

Native Apps:
Application speed improvement through JIT compilation.
Improved application launcher.

Market Apps:
Updated Market Application with batch and automatic update features.

Adobe Flash supported.
View picture stacks using zoom gesture.

User Interface:
Support for numeric and alphanumeric passwords.

USB tethering and Wi-Fi hotspot support.
Voice Dialing and contact sharing over Bluetooth.
Bluetooth enabled car and desk docks supported.

Mail & Messenger:
Supported Android Cloud to Device Messaging (C2DM), enabled push notifications.

Input/Output/HW Support:
Quick switching between multiple keyboard languages and dictionaries.
Supported extra high- PPI screens.
Support for installing applications to the expandable memory.
Speed, memory and performance optimized.

Update Version: v2.2.1
Bugs fixed.
Security updates.
Performance improvements.

Update Version: v2.2.2
Fixed minor bugs including SMS routing issue.

Update Version: v2.2.3
Added two security patches.


Version Name: v2.3 || Release Date: 6 December 2010 || First Device: Nexus S

CodeName – Gingerbread

Android v2.3

Android v2.3 - Gingerbread Logo


Native support for SIP VoIP internet telephony.
New Download Manager.

Native Apps:
Enhanced support for native code development.

Market Apps:
Audio, graphical and input enhancements for game developers.

Support for multiple cameras, including front camera.

WebM/VP8 video playback and AAC audio encoding supported.
Reverb, equalization, headphone virtualization and bass boost effects added for audio.

User Interface:
Updated UI design, simplicity increased.

Supported Near Field Communication (NFC).

Input/Output/HW Support:
Supported extra large screen sizes and resolutions (WXGA and higher).
Faster and more intuitive text input in virtual keyboard.
Improved power management.
Concurrent garbage collection for performance increment.
Support for more sensors (such as gyroscopes and barometers).

Update Version: v2.3.3
API fixes.

Update Version: v2.3.4
Supported voice and video chat using Google Talk.

Update Version: v2.3.5
Bluetooth bug on Samsung Galaxy S fixed.
Improved Gmail App.
Improved network performance for Nexus S 4G.
Improved camera software.
Improved battery efficiency.

Update Version: v2.3.6
Fixed a voice search bug.

Update Version: v2.3.7
Introduced Google Wallet support.


Version Name: v3.0 || Release Date: 22 February 2011 || First Device: Motorola Xoom

CodeName – Honeycomb

Android v3.0

Android v3.0 - Honeycomb Logo


Support for multiple browser tabs, form auto-fill and “incognito” mode to allow anonymous browsing.

Native Apps:
Simplified multitasking enabling user to see all the tasks underway and to jump from one to the other by just one tap.

Quick access to camera exposure, focus, flash, zoom, front camera, time lapse and many more actions.

Adding full screen view for albums and other content in Gallery, also showing thumbnail of remaining stuff for easy access.
Support for video chat using Google Talk.

User Interface:
Two-pane Contacts UI along with fast scroll feature.
Optimized tablet support with a new virtual and “holographic” user interface.
System Bar for quick access to notifications, status etc.
Action Bar for access to navigation, widgets, contextual options etc.
More simplified copy/paste interface.

Mail & Messenger:
Two-pane Email UI for more efficient message view and organization.

Input/Output/HW Support:
Redesigned keyboard for fast, efficient and accurate typing.
Hardware acceleration.
Support for multi-core processors.
Ability to encrypt user data.

Update Version: v3.1
Resizable Home Screen widgets and some UI refinements.
Support for USB accessories, external keyboard, pointing devices, joysticks and gamepads.
Support for FLAC audio playback.
Support for HTTP proxy for each connected Wi-Fi access point.
High performance Wi-Fi locks to maintain best performance when device screen is off.

Update Version: v3.2
Improved HW support for tablets.
Ability for apps to access SD card files.
New display control and support functions, compatibility display mode for not optimized apps.

Update Version: v3.2.1
Improved Chinese handwriting predictions.
Improved Adobe Flash support in browsers.
Update to Google Books.
Update to Android Market, enabling auto updates and updated easier to read Terms and Conditions text.
Improved Wi-Fi, stability and security.

Update Version: v3.2.2
Bug fixes and some improvements for Motorola Xoom 4G.

Update Version: v3.2.4
“Pay as You Go” supported for 3G and 4G tablets.

Update Version: v3.2.6
Fixed data connectivity issue in airplane mode on Motorola Xoom 4G US device.


Version Name: v4.0 || Release Date: 19 October 2011 || First Device: Galaxy Nexus

CodeName – Ice Cream Sandwich

Android v4.0

Android v4.0 - Ice Cream Sandwich Logo


New web browser, allowing upto 16 tabs.
Auto syncing of browser with user’s Chrome bookmarks.
Data usage limit warning settings supported.

Native Apps:
Pinch-to-zoom facility for Calendar.
Apps access allowed directly from lock screen.
Supported Face Unlock, unlocking of device using facial recognition software.
Ability to shut down apps which are using data in background.
Updated “People” app with social network integration, status updates and hi-resolution image support.

1080p video recording for stock Android devices.
Camera updated with features as zero shutter lag, time lapse settings, panorama mode and zoom while shooting a video.

Integrated screenshot capture functionality.
Better voice integration and real time speech to text dictation.
Built-in photo editor.
New Gallery layout based on location and person.

User Interface:
Virtual buttons in the UI, replacing physical or capacitive ones.
Separation of widgets in a new tab.
Customizable launcher, easier-to-create drag and drop style folders.
Improved copy/paste functionality.
A new typeface family for the UI, Roboto.

Wi-Fi Direct support.
Android Beam, a near-field communication (NFC) feature allowing fast short range exchange of user information, bookmarks, videos, directions etc.

Mail & Messenger:
Improved visual voicemail facility.
Two-line preview, action bar and offline search added at the bottom of Gmail app.
Swipe facility to switch between Gmail conversations.

Input/Output/HW Support:
Enhanced speed and performance.
Hardware acceleration of the UI.
Improved error correction on the keyboard.
Support for Web image format.

Update Version: v4.0.2
Fixed minor bugs on Galaxy Nexus.
Reduced the NFC capabilities of the Nexus phone.

Update Version: v4.0.3
Graphics, databases, spell-checking and Bluetooth functionality improved.
New APIs for developers, Calendar provider enhancements and other optimizations.
New camera apps enhancing video stabilization, QVGA resolution and accessibility refinements.

Update Version: v4.0.4
Stability improvements, better camera performance and smoother screen rotations.


Expected Version Name: v5.x || Expected Release Time: 3rd Quarter of 2012

Expected CodeName – Jelly Bean


To visit more interesting technical articles, visit our Interesting X waves. Soon we will come up with our new series based on Electronics. Keep visiting us for more…..

About the Author

- Co-Founder of IdleBrains. Software engineer by profession, a poet at heart and tech writer by passion. Loves sweet music and cricket. Admirer and follower of Sachin Tendulkar. Follows his hobbies as “TheGhost”. Visit the poet here.

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