Long Journey of Android
Android is a Linux-based Operating System specially designed for mobiles and tablets. Android Inc. was founded in 2003 by three engineers in Palo Alto, and in August 2005 Google acquired it. Since then, its grown to be one of the most dominant Operating System in the world. All these progress didn’t just happen overnight. Like all other OSes, whether it be Apple, Windows or Symbian, Android too went through some unpleasant years and some hard lessons before becoming the Operating System it is today.
Let’s have a look at the Journey of Android from Alpha version 1 to What it is today.
Android 1.0 (Alpha)
Initially, Android was created as a touch interface for digital cameras but it failed due to the limited market. However, Larry Page (founder of Google) saw its potential and bought it in $50 million. Since then, Android is under Larry page’s and Andy Rubin’s (Co- founder and CEO of Android) supervision. A first commercial version of Android was launched in September 2008 on G1 by T-Mobiles along with HTC Dream handsets.
The sweetly flavored names were yet to be introduced, so the current version was titled as Android Alpha version 1.0. It included some basic features but many of them still exist. There was a web browser, had Gmail, Google calendar, Google maps, YouTube and G-talk messenger app.
Android 1.1 (Beta)
An insignificant update which followed after Android 1.0, this feature upgraded some apps like showing reviews in Google maps when some searches for business.
Android 1.5 (Cupcake)
Even though Android has some Alphas and Betas for T-Mobile’s G1, Cupcake was its first sweet-named operating system. This update got some cool stuff like it included a third party virtual keyboard and got the ability to directly upload videos and photos to YouTube and Picasa and got widgets. But, these changes were just the beginning Android had loads of work to do.
Android 1.6 (Dount)
This was the update that shook the others and started to take Android more seriously. This update brought some drastic changes like universal search, text to speech feature and CDMA compatibility with the help of Verizon. The update began to dispatch to all possible handsets on October 2009.
Android 2.0 (Éclair)
This version brought some much-needed features like flash support, digital zoom and white balance and something called live wallpapers. Google made the keyboard smarter now it can select contact name as suggestions. Not the biggest update in the history android but can’t be missed also.
Android 2.2 (Froyo)
With Froyo speed came along. The speed boost in version 2.2 was fantastic, Android has evolved into a real product. It has reached a different level since its inception. Froyo 2.2 was the first version which felt and performed like it should and it got most of the feature to complete it. It’s true to say that with Froyo, Android has become something that people can use and love easily.
Then also, the design was little outdated than its more streamlined and elegant competitors, but simple things like adding a bottom dock for quick access to the dialer and app drawer started to show that how Android is slowly moving towards user friendliness.
Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
Last updates were focused on functions, but this was more focused on user interface and continued to maintain the darker theme. This update also brought support for NFC, download manager, and improved copy paste. But, during this period software skinning was in the limelight due to which stock Android started to fade away. Only a few handsets like Google Nexus s, Nexus One and G2 by T-Mobile saw these changes.
Android 3.0 (Honeycomb)
Honeycomb was released for tablets. Android needed an OS that could compete with its rival iPad which was released only a month before honeycomb in 2010. This update got Google’s self-proclaimed “Holographic” interference and a more instinctive keyboard for bigger devices like tablets.
Android 4.0 (Ice cream sandwich)
ICS released towards the mobile phones with an updated User interface and dissolved the hardware buttons. That means an action bar and recent apps button was introduced, this update was a combination of Honeycomb (tablet OS) and mobile OS (gingerbread and froyo). Apps became more powerful and multitasking was never easy before and computer class speed can be seen packed inside a smartphone. People got so impressed that they started to call it “Android’s most remarkable upgrade till date”.
The modern-day Android started to show up.
Android 4.1 (Jellybean)
GOOGLE NOW came into existence. Jellybean had a fine-tuned voice assistant for searching and notification improved a lot and much more events from the drop-down menu. The home screen also got refurbished and now widgets could be resized and placed anywhere. Android became more customizable and powerful than ever before.
Android 4.4 (KitKat)
It’s been more than a year until Android finally moved on to its next big update (till then jellybean was continuously upgraded until the summer of 2013) and launched its new KitKat update on nexus 5 in 2013. Google Now became more advanced than ever before, it got some predictive abilities that tried to guess what user wanted even before they asked, and Hangout was upgraded with new SMS capabilities.
Most importantly, KitKat reduced OS’s acquiring space, means with minimal RAM can also run the OS hassle free. This brought cheaper phones with Android one program.
Android 5.0 (Lollipop)
Lollipop was the modern Android. Lollipop’s biggest noteworthy claim was its dramatic redesigning of the Android operating system that started all the back with Ice Cream Sandwich.
Icons, animations and the multitasking menus all were redesigned with Google’s material design approach and the Android lock screen got a new outline with some notification integration feature. Google also added “silent mode” for notifications.
This was the future design and Google continuously until today.
Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)
Android marshmallow was released for maintenance purpose and not so much about the makeover. But it got some amazing add-ons like app permissions handling, Improve Google Now and finally a fingerprint sensor support. Google also improved battery life meaning now your smartphone can survive a day without recharging.
Android 7.0 (Nougat)
Nougat is android’s latest update and it brought a feature that Android users have been clamoring for a while. Out of them, the big one was multi-window support, mean now multiple apps can run simultaneously in split screen mode. Although most of the updates were the follow-up of Lollipop 2014 and were more focused on material design. Android spent the time to tune down the OS to make it more user-friendly and more functional notification system.
Android O is the code name for the upcoming Android operating system update. Google is all set to release the update in summer 2017. Although its beta version is available for Nexus and pixel devices and can try out the upcoming OS and see the new features ahead of its final release.
So, yes Android came a long way. It came out of its awkward phase and is now one of the best and finest operating systems out there and it’s still growing and trying to achieve new possibilities.