What is Android? – Versions, Features

Android is the operating system used for Mobiles based on a modified version of Linux kernel and most other open-source software, which is designed primarily for touchscreen tele devices like smartphones and tablets. Now the Android is used in Smartphones, Wearables, Tablets, Televisions And in Automobile Industry. This Android Came to Public Use In 2008 In some Countries Like the USA. Now Many Smartphone Manufactures are Depending On Android ANd Releasing Their Smartphones In the Market. In Future 99% service Provider will use Google’s Android On their Devices. Now Android Is Continuing In The Market with a Market Share of 75.15%

History

Starting this Operating System was developed by Android Inc company, after which is brought by Google in 2005, This Operating System Named Android was released in 2007, with the first commercial Android device launched in September 2008. At Present, The current version is Android 10 which is running on the devices, which released on September 3, 2019. The Main core Android source code is popularly known as the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), which is licensed under the Apache License Company. The android operating system is developed by a set of developers named the Open Handset Alliance, with Google’s main contributor and commercial marketer being.

Versions

Android 2.3 GingerBread

What is Android? – Versions, Features Android 2
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Android 2.3 “Gingerbread” is the seventh version of Android Os and a codename of the Android mobile operating system developed by Google which was later released in December 2010. The Gingerbread has introduced some new features like NFC which are now used in mobile payment solutions, a Feature named Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) which are widely used in VoIP internet telephones for communications.

In Gingerbread the user interface was too much refined and making it easier and a lot faster to use, which is also power-efficient. A simplified color scheme with a black background gave UI more vividness and contrast to the notification bar and menus, and other users interface components a new look. 

The Nexus S smartphone which was released in December 2010, was the first smartphone from the Google Nexus line that ran Gingerbread Os, and also the first Smartphone from the line to feature built-in NFC functionality.

As of now, 0.3% of all Android devices accessing Google Play are Running Gingerbread OS. These versions will not have support from google because the support has ended to Android 2.3

Features

  1. Updated UI design Which providing an increased ease-of-use and efficiency to the device.
  2. Gingerbread got Support for extra-large screen sizes and resolutions on smartphones
  3. Gingerbread was the first Android Os to have Native support for SIP VoIP internet telephones.
  4. In Gingerbread the Improved text input using the virtual keyboard with more improved accuracy which is better than text suggestions and voice input capability.
  5. Gingerbread the Enhanced copy/paste functionality, which allows users to select a word by press-holding, copying, and pasting in another app.
  6. Gingerbread was the first android Os and first Os to Support for Near Field Communication (NFC), which allows the user to read NFC  tags embedded in posters, stickers, or advertisements.
  7. In Gingerbread the New  audio effects such as reverb, equalization, headphone virtualization, and bass boost are Included
  8. Gingerbread New designed Download Manager which giving users easy access to any file which is downloaded from the browser and email, or another application.
  9. In Gingerbread Google has enabled support for multiple cameras on the device which includes a front-facing camera, 
  10. In Gingerbread Google gave Support for WebM/VP8 video playback and AAC audio encoding which is good to listen.
  11. The more Improved power management which including more active management of power-consuming applications.
  12. Gingerbread Enhanced support for native code development for apps
  13. File transfer system 
  14. In Gingerbread Google have Audio, graphical, and input enhancements for game developers.
  15. Android 2.3 has Native support for more sensors (such as gyroscopes and barometers).

Android 4.0 “Icecream Sandwich”

What is Android? – Versions, Features Android 4
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Android “Ice Cream Sandwich” is the ninth version of the Android Os which was by developed Google. Unveiled on October 19, 2011, and Android 4.0 which builds upon the significant changes which are made by the tablet-only release Android Honeycomb, in an effort to create a single platform base for both smartphones and tablets.

Android 4.0 was focused on simplifying and modernizing the overall Android Ui experience which set was around a new set of human interface guidelines. As part of these new efforts, it introduced a new visual appearance which is codenamed “Holo”, which is built around a cleaner, and minimalist design, and a new default typeface named Roboto. It also introduced a number of other new features,  which include a refreshed home screen, and the ability to “beam” the content to another user using the same technology. 

an updated web browser, and a new contacts manager with social network integration, and the more ability to access the camera and control music playback from the lock screen in Ui. The visual voicemail support and face recognition for device unlocking named the Face Unlock the ability to monitor and limit mobile data usage by not accessing apps and other internal improvements in Android 4.0 make Ui awesome.

By 2019, 0.3% of all Android devices are running on Google Play run Ice Cream Sandwich

Features

Visual design

The user interface of the Android 4.0 operating system represents an evolution of the design which is introduced by Honeycomb, although the futuristic aesthetics of the Honeycomb were removed in favor of a flatter and cleaner feel with neon blue accenting, hard edges, and drop shadows for depth. Ice Cream Sandwich os also introduced a new default system font, Roboto which is designed in-house to replace the Droid font family completely, Roboto is primarily optimized for use on the high-resolution mobile displays. The new visual appearance of the Ice Cream Sandwich is more implemented by a widget toolkit which is known as “Holo”; to ensure the access to the Holo style the across all devices even if they use the customized interface skin elsewhere, all Android devices are certified to ship with Google Play Store which is formerly Android Market must the provide the capability for the apps to use the unmodified Holo theme in the Android 4.0.

As with Honeycomb, devices that can render the navigation buttons to Back”, “Home”, and “Recent apps” on a “system bar” which is across the bottom of the screen and by removing the need for physical equivalents. The “Menu” button which is present on the previous generations of Android devices are removed with the favor of presenting buttons for the actions within the apps on the “action bars”, and the menu items which do not fit the on the bar in “action overflow” menus which are designated by three vertical dots. The Hardware “Search” buttons are also removed , in favor of search buttons within action bars. On devices without a “Menu” key, a temporary “Menu” key is displayed on-screen while running the apps that are not coded to support of the new navigation scheme. On devices that use the hardware “Menu” key which the action overflow buttons are hidden in apps and that is mapped to the “Menu” key in the Ui.

User experience

The default home screen Ui of Ice Cream Sandwich displays which used as a persistent to the Google Search bar which is across the top of the screen, a dock across the bottom of containing the app drawer button in the middle of UI, and four slots for app shortcuts which are present alongside it. The Folders of apps that can be formed by dragging an app and hovering it over than another. The app drawer which is split into two tabs one for tab apps, and the other tab latter holding widgets which is to be placed on home screen pages. The Widgets themselves which can be resizable and contain the scrolling content. Android 4.0 contains an increased use of swiping gestures; apps and notifications can now be removed from the recent apps menu and dismissed from the notifications area by sliding them away, and a number of stock and Google apps now use a new form of tabs, in which users can navigate between different panes by either tapping their name on a strip, or swiping left and right.

Android 4.0 introduced some features for managing the data usage over the mobile networks; that users can display the total amount of data if  they have used over a period of time, and display the data usage per app.the Background data usage can be disabled globally or on a per-app basis, and a cap that can be set in to automatically that disable data if the usage reaches a certain quota which is calculated by the device.

Android 4.1 – 4.2 “jellybean”

What is Android? – Versions, Features android 4
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Android “Jelly Bean” is the codename that gave to the tenth version of the Android mobile operating system which is developed by Google with spanning three major OS releases named Android 4.1, Android 4.3 & Android 4.3.1). Among the devices that first run Android 4.3 are the Asus Nexus 7 (2013).

The first of these three releases, 4.1, was released at Google’s I/O developer conference in June 2012 for public. Android 4.1 focused on performance improvements designed to give the os a smoother and more responsive feel in UI, and improvements to the notification system which allows for “expandable” notifications with the action buttons, and the other internal changes. Two more releases were made under the Jelly Bean the name in October 2012 and July 2013 with respectively, which including the 4.2—which included the further optimizations, the multi-user support for tablets, lock screen widgets, quick settings, and screen savers. and 4.3—which contained further improvements and updates to the underlying Android platform.

Jelly Bean versions will not be supported by Google. By 2019, 0.43% of Android devices are running on the Jelly Bean Os.

Features:

Jelly Bean’s interface reflects a good refinement to the “Holo” appearance which was introduced by Android 4.0. ] The default home screen of Jelly Bean received several new features, such as the ability for other new shortcuts and widgets on a home screen page to rearrange themselves to fit into an item which is being moved or resized. The notification system was also more improved with the addition of “expandable” and “actionable” notifications that show on notification center; the individual notifications can now display additional content or action buttons such as “Call back” or “Message” on a missed call which can be accessible by dragging open the notification with a two-finger gesture option. The Notifications can also be disabled individually per app in the Ui.

Android 4.2 added several additional features to the user interface like 1.  the lock screen can be used to swiped to the left to display widget pages, and swiped to the right to go to the camera Ui. A plane of “quick settings” was also added to the notification area which is accessible by either swiping down with two fingers on smartphones, and swiping down from the top-right edge of the screen on tablets, or pressing a button on the top-right corner of the notifications plane. The previous “Browser” application was officially removed on Android 4.2 in favor of Google Chrome. 4.2 also adds a new gesture typing on the keyboard, and also a redesigned Clock app, and a new screensaver system known as popularly “Daydreams”. On tablets, Android 4.2 will also support multiple users.

To promote the consistency between device classes, and the Android tablets now use a more expanded version of the interface layout and home screen used by smartphones by default, with centered fixed navigation keys and a status check bar on the top. These changes took effect for small tablets also like the Nexus 7 on 4.1, and more for larger tablets on 4.2. Small tablets devices on Android are optimized which primarily for use in a “portrait” (vertical) orientation, the giving apps with expanded versions of the layouts used by smartphone. When used the Home screen in a “landscape” (horizontal) orientation, apps adjust themselves into the widescreen-oriented layouts which seen on the larger screen sized tablets. On large screen sized tablets, navigation buttons were previously placed in the bottom-left of a bar along the bottom of the screen, with the clock and notification area in the bottom-right of UI.

Android 4.4 “Kitkat”

What is Android? – Versions, Features android Kitkat
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Android “Jelly Bean” is the codename that gave to the tenth version of the Android mobile operating system which is developed by Google with spanning three major OS releases named Android 4.1, Android 4.3 & Android 4.3.1). Among the devices that first run Android 4.3 are the Asus Nexus 7 (2013).

The first of these three releases, 4.1, was released at Google’s I/O developer conference in June 2012 for public. Android 4.1 focused on performance improvements designed to give the os a smoother and more responsive feel in UI, and improvements to the notification system which allows for “expandable” notifications with the action buttons, and the other internal changes. Two more releases were made under the Jelly Bean the name in October 2012 and July 2013 with respectively, which including the 4.2—which included the further optimizations, the multi-user support for tablets, lock screen widgets, quick settings, and screen savers. and 4.3—which contained further improvements and updates to the underlying Android platform.

Jelly Bean versions will not be supported by Google. By 2019, 0.43% of Android devices are running on the Jelly Bean Os.

Features:

Jelly Bean’s interface reflects a good refinement to the “Holo” appearance which was introduced by Android 4.0. The default home screen of Jelly Bean received several new features, such as the ability for other new shortcuts and widgets on a home screen page to rearrange themselves to fit into an item that is being moved or resized. The notification system was also more improved with the addition of “expandable” and “actionable” notifications that show on notification center; the individual notifications can now display additional content or action buttons such as “Call back” or “Message” on a missed call which can be accessible by dragging open the notification with a two-finger gesture option. The Notifications can also be disabled individually per app in the Ui.

Android 4.2 added several additional features to the user interface like 1.  the lock screen can be used to swiped to the left to display widget pages, and swiped to the right to go to the camera Ui. A plane of “quick settings” was also added to the notification area which is accessible by either swiping down with two fingers on smartphones, and swiping down from the top-right edge of the screen on tablets, or pressing a button on the top-right corner of the notifications plane. The previous “Browser” application was officially removed on Android 4.2 in favor of Google Chrome. 4.2 also adds a new gesture typing on the keyboard, and also a redesigned Clock app, and a new screensaver system known as popularly “Daydreams”. On tablets, Android 4.2 will also support multiple users.

To promote the consistency between device classes, and the Android tablets now use a more expanded version of the interface layout and home screen used by smartphones by default, with centered fixed navigation keys and a status check bar on the top. These changes took effect for small tablets also like the Nexus 7 on 4.1, and more for larger tablets on 4.2. Small tablets devices on Android are optimized which primarily for use in a “portrait” (vertical) orientation, the giving apps with expanded versions of the layouts used by smartphone. When used the Home screen in a “landscape” (horizontal) orientation, apps adjust themselves into the widescreen-oriented layouts which seen on the larger screen sized tablets. On large screen sized tablets, navigation buttons were previously placed in the bottom-left of a bar along the bottom of the screen, with the clock and notification area in the bottom-right of UI.

Android 5.0 “Lollipop

What is Android? – Versions, Features Android 5
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Android “Lollipop” which is codenamed as Android L during the development is the fifth major version of the Android mobile os developed by google inc and the 12th version of Android which is spanning versions between 5.0 and 5.1.1. 5.0 is Unveiled on June 25, 2014, at the Google I/O 2014 conference, it became available through the official over-the-air (OTA) updates on November 12, 2014, for the select devices that run distributions of the Android serviced by Google like Nexus and Google Play edition devices.  Its source code was made out and made available on November 3, 2014. 

One of the most prominent changes in the Lollipop that release is a redesigned user interface built around a design language known as Material Design, which was made to retain a paper-like feel to the user interface. Other changes which include the improvements to the notifications, which can be accessed from the lockscreen and displayed within the applications as top-of-the-screen banners. Google also made the internal changes to the platform, with the Android Runtime ART which officially replacing Dalvik for improved application performance, and with the changes intended to improve and optimize battery usage.

Android Lollipop was succeeded by the Android Marshmallow, which was released in October 2015. By 2019, 2.0% of Android devices are running on Lollipop 5.0, and 8.65% running on the Lollipop 5.1.

Features 

Android 5.0 introduces a refreshed notification system. The Individual notifications are now displayed on cards to adhere to the material design language, and batches of the notifications can be grouped by the app that produced them. The Notifications are now displayed on the lock screen as cards, and “heads up” notifications can also be displayed as large banners across the top of the screen, along with their respective action buttons. A do-not-disturb feature is also added for the notifications. The recent apps in menu were redesigned to use a three-dimensional stack of the cards to represent the open apps. Individual apps can also display multiple cards in the recent menu, such that as for web browsers in open tabs.

A number of system-level, enterprise-oriented features were also introduced under the banner of Android for under Work. The Samsung Knox security framework was initially planned to be used as a foundation for “Android for Work”, but instead the Google opted to use on its own technology for segregating the personal and work-oriented data on a device, along with the accompanying the APIs for managing the environment. With the “Smart Lock” feature on devices that can also be configured so users do not have to perform on-device unlocking with a PIN or pattern when the being on a trusted location, or in the proximity of the designated Bluetooth device or NFC tag.  Android Lollipop was, additionally, to have the device encryption that enabled by default on all the capable devices; however, due to the performance issues, this is change was held over to its successor named Android Marshmallow.

Android 6.0 “Marshmallow”

What is Android? – Versions, Features android 6
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Android “Marshmallow” was codenamed Android M during development is the sixth major version of the Android OS and the 13th version of Android From google. First released as a beta version on May 28, 2015, it was officially released to the public on October 5, 2015, with Nexus devices are the first devices that run on Android M.

Android Marshmallow mainly focuses on changing the overall user experience of Lollipop. Android 6.0 introduced new permissions to architecture and new APIs for contextual assistants which was first used by a new feature called “Now on Tap” to provide context-sensitive search results. a new power management system in Android 6.0 which reduces the background activity when a device is not being used. The native support for fingerprint recognition and USB-C connectors had the ability to migrate data and applications to a microSD card, and other internal changes.

As of now, 10% of Android devices are running on Android 6.0 

Features

A new feature named “Assist” API allows information from a currently opened app which is an including text and a screenshot of the current screen which to be sent to a designated as an “assistant” application for analysis and the processing. This system is used by the Google Search app feature for “Google Now on Tap”, which allows the users to perform searches within the context of information which currently being displayed on-screen. “Home” button was used in Android 5 to show the available apps, the “Home” button is used now together with the voice command to generate the on-screen cards which use as display information, “Direct Share” allows the user to Share menus to display recently used combinations of contacts.

“Expandable storage” allows a newly-inserted SD card or other secondary storage media to act as either “portable” or “internal” storage. When designated as “Internal” storage, the storage media is reformatted and encrypted with an encrypted ext4 file system and is “adopted” by the OS as the primary storage partition In the device. Existing data which including all applications and all “private” data folders are migrated to the external storage and normal operation of the device becomes more dependent on the presence of the media. Apps and os functions will not work properly if the allotted storage device is removed. The brands like Samsung and LG had removed the ability to use an SD card as “internal” storage on their flagship devices like Galaxy S7 and G5 devices, by Samsung arguing that this feature could result in unexpected losses of important data, and prevents users from transfer data using the card.

Android 7.1 – 7.2 “Nougat”

What is Android? – Versions, Features Android 7
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Android “Nougat” Shortly named Ashley Android N is the seventh major version of Android and 14th original version of the Android os. First released as a beta version on March 9 with many bugs. 2016, it was officially released on August 22, 2016, with all optimizations in OS to Public, with a Nexus device through u updates the update. The LG V20 was the first device that was released with Nougat.

Nougat introduces some important changes to the operating system which has the ability to display multiple apps on-screen at once known as split-screen view, support for inline replies to notifications, the power-saving mode which restricts the device functionality once the screen has been switched off for a period of time. This time Android Received support from Vulkan Graphics a graphics company to develop in UI graphics.

As of now, 11% of Android devices use these unsupported are Running on nougat.

Features

  1. In Nougat Google has redesigned the notification shade in the notifications area, which now features a smaller row of icons for the settings which replaces the notification cards and inline replies for notification are started. Multiple notifications from a single app are bundled and there is greater control over notifications in all apps.
  2. A split-screen mode was introduced in Android phones so that a user can do 2 things with his phone at the same time. In this mode, the screen is divided into 2 half’s such that 2 apps can run in a smaller size with all options
  3. The power-saving mechanism introduced in Android Marshmallow to save power when the device is running and the screen has been off for a period of time but is not stationary. A new “Data Saver” mode restricts the background usage of mobile data and can restrict the internal functions in the apps that are consuming the data.

Android 8.0 – 8.1 Oreo

What is Android? – Versions, Features android oreo 1024x683
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Android “Oreo” which is shortly named as Android O which is the eighth major release and the 15th version of the Android by google. It was first released as a developer preview in March 2017 with many bugs and released to the public use on August 21, 2017.

It contains a ton of new features like notification grouping, picture-in-picture support for video, performance improvements and battery usage optimization for apps, and support for auto fillers levels, Bluetooth 5 system, system-level integrations with VoIP apps, wide color gamuts support for screens, and Wi-Fi Aware. Google Launched Android Oreo lighter version named Android Go – a lighter software for low-end devices

As of now, 20.09% of Android devices run with Oreo.

Features

  1. All notifications of the app are placed in a place on the lock screen to make it look clear after that the major important app notifications are placed on the top. 
  2. The PIP ( Picture in Picture ) mode in android 8 makes to see the YouTube app and other app videos on the smaller screens anywhere in any app.
  3. Now in Android 8.1 the devices which are connected through the Bluetooth interface to the device, their battery percentages we can see on the home screen.

Android Go

A lighter Os for low-end devices which are known as Android Go was released with Oreo edition; it is used for devices with 1 GB of RAM or less. This mode has several platform optimizations that are designed to reduce mobile data usage by enabling Data Saver mode in default and a very special suite of Google Mobile Services were designed to use fewer resources and low bandwidth.  There are also lighter apps in the Google Play Store for these devices.  This is will include all features which are available in the Android Oreo.

Android 9.0 “Pie”

What is Android? – Versions, Features Android 9
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Android Pie also is known as Android P during development is the ninth major release in Android and the 16th version Android mobile operating system. first, it was released just as only a developer preview on March 7, 2018, and totally released to the public on August 6, 2018.

As of now in 2020, 40% of Android devices are running on Pie version and making it as the most popular Android version in 2020.

Features

Android Pie uses a refresh of Google’s new “material design” language which was unofficially referred to as “Material Design 2.0”. Here in the revamp it provides more variance in aesthetics and encouraging the creation of the custom “themes” for the base guidelines and components rather than a standardized appearance

. Bottom-aligned navigation bars are also Present. Android 9  Pie Has the official support for screen cutouts known as Notches, including APIs and system behaviors which are depending on their size and position. Android certification requirements restrict devices and give to two cutouts for screen, which are the top or bottom of the screen.

The important user interface change on Android Pie is a redesigned on-screen navigation bar.

In previous versions of Android OS,  it only consists of a slim home button, and the back button rendered only when it will be available. Gesture Navigation: when we swiping up it opens the “Overview” screen, and a redesign of the existing recent apps of a menu. Swiping the handle to the right activates the application switching thing. The gesture bar is used on Recent Flagship new devices like the Pixel 3, Pixel 4 and existing devices will use the old navigation key setup or gesture navigation.

The Pixel Launcher has support to access the app drawer and most recently used apps from the overview window as well, this integration is designed only for pixel Launcher and there will be no support for third party Launchers. In this Android Pie can rotate the home screen also and can use conveniently in which way we want.

The minor changes are 1.Notification area was redesigned the drop-down panels which are attached to the Quick settings are removed. Now the Notifications are appearing in thread format. The Do Not Disturb (DND) mode has been replaced with a larger icon in settings. 2. Now we can see the screenshot option my long-press the power button. We can crop or edit the screenshot in which way we want. 3. There is an option in the power menu to LockDown the device means any Biometric Unlock will not work, we have to unlock the device with a password. 4. Volume controls are present with icons sound, vibrate and silent modes for the notifications. The Magnifier display is added to UI. A smart linkify option is used to link the contacts and addresses quickly.

Android 10

What is Android? – Versions, Features android 10 1024x480
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Android 10 is the tenth major release OS and the 17th version OS  of Android. GOOGLE released Android 10 on September 3, 2019

Features

  1. Navigation

Android 10 introduces a new developed full-screen gesture system, with some useful gestures such as 1. swiping from the left side edge of the display to go back, 2. swiping up to go to the home screen, 3. swiping up and holding to see open apps which are currently running, 4. swiping diagonally from a bottom corner of the display to activate the Google Assistant, and 5. swiping the gesture bar which is present at the bottom of the screen to switch apps. An API has to be used by apps to handling a back gesture within specific areas of the screen. Here a sensitivity control was added to adjust the size of the area which is used to activate the gesture.

As Per Google certification requirements, Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEMs ) are needed to support Android 10’s default navigation and gestures system and OEMs can also add their own gestures alongside them. The condition is they must be listed in a separate area which should be one level deeper than other navigation settings. 

User experience

A software feature named “bubbles” which is used to present the content from supported apps on the device in pop-up overlays. Apps can also spawn the bubbles via notifications.

In 2019 System-level dark mode became very popular. So, Android 10 also included a system-level dark mode and Third-party apps can automatically switch to dark mode when it’s active.

Apps will have “settings panels” for changing specific settings like internet connection and Wi-Fi settings if an app requires the internet via overlay panels so that the user can decide.

Privacy and security

Google has made several major security and privacy changes in Android 10 1.apps will have restricted by users only having access to location data when they are actively being used.

On February 11, 2019, Google Released Adiantum, which an encryption cipher, specially designed for use on devices that are not having hardware-accelerated support for the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), such as budget devices. Google said that this cipher will work five times faster than AES-256-XTS cipher which is present on an ARM Cortex-A7 CPU. At the present device, encryption is mandatory on all Android Smartphones. 

The devices which are shipping with Android 10, the security patches for OS and System components such as ANGLE, Conscript, media frameworks, networking components, and others may be updated via Google Play Store, without doing a complete system update from settings (“Project Mainline”). For licensing Google mobile services, manufacturers must support all these updates for specific modules. Selected modules within this system can use a new APEX package format and a variation of APK files that are designed for housing and servicing low-level system components in budget devices.

A major change in Android 10 is to storage access permissions which are as “Scoped storage”, and will be mandatory for all apps starting with Android 11. Apps are only allowed to access files in external storage that they had created themselves and audio files, images, and video files will be contained within the Music, Pictures, or Videos directories.

Apps must and should have a new “read privileged phone state” which is permission in order to read the non-resettable device identifiers, such as IMEI Number.

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