The Android OS is ten years old!
On September 23, 2008, the Android operating system was unveiled by Google. Initially developed by Android Inc., Google took over the company in 2005 for just $50 million.
Since its launch, Android has grown humongous. It is now the world’s most popular mobile operating system, with over 2 billion active users.
Android has had a very impressive ride to greatness over the years. Here, I show how much the Android OS has evolved over the years.
Initially, Android version names never had code names and even the workings of the OS was pretty basic. Android 1.0 premiered on the HTC Dream phone in 2008. Like it exists today, the OS came bundled with a couple of apps, like Gmail, Google Maps, and YouTube. However, this Android version was not designed for touchscreen. It looked pretty evolutionary back then. But compared to the newly released iPhone, HTC Dream sucked and Google had to rethink the design.
Android 1.5 CupCake
Android 1.5 saw the first use of code names for Android versions. And it also introduced quite a lot of improvements to the previous model. The OS was touchscreen enabled and spotted a cool new interface based on widgets.
Android 2.0 Eclair and Motorola Droid
The release of Motorola Droid in 2009 led the way in making the Android platform a household name. Running on Android 2.0 (Eclair), the Droid was slimmer and had a better screen.
The new Android version also came with quite a few impressive features. First, it supported pinch-to-zoom, something the iPhone didn’t support at the time. Second, it also introduced voice-guided navigation and real-time traffic details powered by Google Maps. Android Eclair also supported speech-to-text.
Android 2.3 Gingerbread
The Gingerbread update was the first Android version that truly solidified the rise of the OS. Gingerbread came with several user interface changes and functions. For instance, it supported Near filed communication. Also, unlike previous versions, GingerBread was the first to support multiple cameras (front and back cameras).
But aside the features sets, the Android version made it easy for low-level manufacturers to run the OS on minimal specs. This was where Tecno sparkled and became a household name!
Android 4.3 JellyBean
The release of the Android 4.3 JellyBean, followed the path of the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. It had a new notification area, allowing users to swipe notifications once read.
And with the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note,the power of Android for work, productivity and photography became more glaring.
Android 4.4 KitKat
The KitKat update for Android completely altered the visual experience of its users. Ditching the dark themes from earlier versions, KitKat had lighter themes and was quite colourful. This was when Google introduced the Material Design theme that placed much emphasis on book-like graphical rendering and shadows.
All recent versions of the Android OS still maintain many of the design elements of the Android 4.4 KitKat.
Android 9.0 Pie
The latest addition to the Android family, the Android 9.0 Pie spots more under the hood features than graphical features. It’s most important graphical change is the replacement of the Overview, back and home buttons with a single multifunctional home button.