List of Android Versions and Their Software

Android Versions

The genesis of the Android mobile operating system began with the release of the Android beta on the 5th of November 2007. The first commercial software version, Android 1.0, was released on the 23rd of September 2008.

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Android is continually developed by Open Handset Alliance (OHA) & Google and has been updated several times since its initial release.

The development of Android commenced in 2003 by Android, Inc., which was later purchased by Google in 2005. There were at least 2 internal releases of the software inside the OHA and Google before the release of the beta version (5th of November 2007).

The software development kit (SDK)’s release date was on the 12th of November 2007.

NameVersion number(s)Release date
No codename1.023rd of September 2008
No code name1.19th of February 2009
Cupcake1.527th of April 2009
Donut1.615th of September 2009
Eclair2.0 – 2.126th of October 2009
Froyo2.2 – 2.2.320th of May 2010
Gingerbread2.3 – 2.3.76th of December 2010
Honeycomb3.0 – 3.2.622nd of February 2011
Ice Cream Sandwich4.0 – 4.0.418th of October 2011
Jelly bean4.1 – 4.3.19th of July 2012
KitKat4.4 – 4.4.431st of October 2013
Lollipop5.0 – 5.1.112th of November 2014
Marshmallow6.0 – 6.0.15th of October 2015
Nougat7.0 – 7.1.222nd of August 2016
Oreo8.0 – 8.121st of August 2017
Pie96th of August 2018
Android 10103rd of September 2019
Android 11118th of September 2020

Ryan Gibson (the project manager) developed a confectionery-themed naming scheme for releases, which started with the Android version 1.5 (Cupcake).

However, Google announced in August 2019 that they would discontinue the confectionery-themed naming scheme and use a numerical ordering for future releases, for example, Android 10.

Below is the list of Android versions, features, and release dates & updates.

Android 1.0 (API 1)

Android 1.0 is the first commercial version of the software. It was released on the 23rd of September 2008. The first available Android device for the public was the T-Mobile G1 (HTC Dream).

Version

1.0

Feature(s)

  • Web browser to zoom, pan, and show full XHTML and HTML web pages – multiple pages show as windows (“cards”).
  • Android Market, allowing an application to download and update through the Market application
  • Camera support – however, this android version lacked the option to change the camera’s quality, resolution, white balance, etc
  • Access to web email servers, supporting  IMAP4, POP3, and SMTP
  • Google Contacts synchronization with the People application
  • Gmail synchronization with the Gmail application
  • Google Maps with Street View to view satellite imagery and maps, as well as find local businesses and obtain driving directions using GPS
  • Google Calendar synchronization with the Calendar application
  • Google Search, allowing users to search phone applications and the Internet, Calendar, Contacts, etc
  • Google Sync – allowing management of over-the-air synchronization of Calendar, Gmail, and People
  • Text messaging, instant messaging, and MMS
  • Google Talk instant messaging
  • Media Player, enabling importing, management, and playback of media files – however, this version lacked stereo and video Bluetooth support
  • YouTube video player
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support
  • Other applications include: Calculator, Alarm Clock, Dialer (Phone), Pictures (Gallery), Home screen (Launcher), and Settings

Release date

23rd of September 2008

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Android 1.1 (API 2)

On the 9th of February 2009, the Android version 1.1 update was released but was initially only for HTC Dream. Android 1.1 was internally known as “Petit Four”; however, this name wasn’t made official. The update changed the Android API, resolved bugs, and added several features.

Version

1.1

Feature(s)

  • Ability to save attachments in messages
  • Support added for a marquee in system layouts
  • Reviews and details are always available when a user searches for businesses on Maps
  • Ability to hide/show the dial-pad, plus longer in-call screen timeout by default when using the speakerphone

Release date

9th of February 2009

Android 1.5 Cupcake (API 3)

On the 27th of 2009, the Android version 1.5 was released. Cupcake was based on Linux Kernel 2.6.27. This was the first android version with a confectionery-themed name called “Cupcake”. The update included several UI amendments and new features.

Version

1.5

Feature(s)

  • Ability to check phone usage history
  • Auto-rotation option
  • Ability to upload videos to YouTube
  • Ability to upload photos to Picasa
  • Copy and paste features in the web browser
  • Animated screen transitions
  • User pictures shown for Favorites in Contacts
  • New stock boot animation
  • Support a user dictionary for custom words and third-party virtual keyboards with text prediction
  • Video recording and playback in 3GP and MPEG-4 formats

Release date

27th of April 2009

Android 1.6 Donut (API 4)

On the 15th of 2009, the Android version 1.6, nicknamed Donut was released. Donut was based on Linux kernel 2.6.29.

Version

1.6

Feature(s)

  • Support for WVGA screen resolutions
  • Camera, camcorder, and Gallery more fully integrated, with faster camera access
  • Ability for developers to add their content in search results
  • Ability for users to select multiple images for deletion
  • Speed improvements camera applications and in searching
  • A new GestureBuilder development tool and expanded Gesture framework
  • Updated technology support for 802.1x, CDMA/EVDO, VPNs, and a text-to-speech engine
  • Voice and text search enhanced to include contacts, bookmark history, and the web

Release date

15th of September 2009

Android 2.0 Eclair (API 5)

On the 26th of October 2009, the Android version 2.0, nicknamed Eclair was commercially released. Eclair was based on Linux kernel 2.6.29.

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Version

2.0

Feature(s)

  • Bluetooth 2.1 support
  • Improved Google Maps 3.1.2
  • Revamped UI and optimized hardware
  • Ability to tap/select Contacts to send SMS, email and call
  • MotionEvent class enhanced to track multi-touch events
  • Refreshed browser UI with double-tap zoom, bookmark thumbnails, and support for HTML5
  • Addition of live wallpaper
  • Ability to search saved MMS and SMS messages
  • Improved typing speed on a virtual keyboard
  • Numerous new camera features, including digital zoom, flash support, white balance, scene mode, macro focus, and colour effect.

Release date

29th of October 2009

Update(s)

  • Android 2.0.1 Eclair (API 6) – 3rd of December 2009
  • Android 2.1 Eclair (API 7) – 12th of January 2010

Android 2.2 Froyo (API 8)

On the 20th of May 2010, the SDK for Android version 2.2, nicknamed Froyo, which is short for frozen yoghurt, was released. It was based on Linux kernel 2.6.32.

Version

2.2

Feature(s)

  • Wi-Fi hotspot and USB tethering functionality
  • Memory, Speed, performance optimizations
  • Support for Bluetooth-enabled desk docks and cars
  • Improved application launcher with shortcuts to Browser and Phone applications
  • Adobe Flash support
  • Support for alphanumeric and numeric passwords
  • Support for installing applications to expand the memory
  • Improved Microsoft Exchange support, including GAL look-up, auto-discovery, security policies, calendar synchronization and remote wipe
  • Support for the file upload fields in the Browser application
  • Implementation of Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine into the Browser application

Release date

20th of May 2010

Update(s)

  • Android 2.2.1 – 18th of January 2011
  • Android 2.2.2 – 22nd of January 2011
  • Android 2.2.3 – 21st of November 2011

Android 2.3 Gingerbread (API 9)

On the 6th of December 2010, the Android version 2.3, nicknamed Gingerbread was released. It is based on Linux kernel 2.6.35.

Version

2.3

Feature(s)

  • Native support for SIP VoIP internet telephones
  • New audio effects such as equalization, reverb, virtualization, headphone, and bass boost
  • Updated user interface design with increased speed and simplicity
  • Enhanced copy and paste functionality
  • Support for extra-large resolutions and screen sizes (WXGA and higher)
  • Support for multiple cameras on the device
  • Support VP8/WebM video playback, and AAC audio encoding
  • Enhanced support for native code development
  • Graphical, audio, input enhancements for game developers
  • Native support for more sensors(such as barometers and gyroscopes)

Release date

6th of December 2010

Update(s)

  • Android 2.3.1 – December 2010
  • Android 2.3.2 – January 2011
  • Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread (API 10) – 9th of February 2011
  • Android 2.3.4 – 28th of April 2011
  • Android 2.3.5 – 25th of July 2011
  • Android 2.3.6 – 2nd of September 2011
  • Android 2.3.7 – 21st of September 2011

Android 3.0 Honeycomb (API 11)

On the 22nd of February 2011, the Android 3.0, nicknamed Honeycomb was released. It was the first tablet-only Android update. It based on Linux kernel 2.6.36. The first device to use this Android version is the Motorola Xoom tablet. The Motorola Xoom tablet was released 24th of February 2011.

Version

3.0

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Feature(s)

  • Ability to encrypt all user data
  • Quick access to camera exposure, flash, focus, front-facing camera, zoom, time-lapse, and other camera features
  • Addition of the Action Bar, giving access to contextual options, widgets, navigation, or other types of content at the top of the screen
  • Addition of System Bar, featuring status, quick access to notifications, and soft navigation buttons
  • Redesigned the keyboard
  • Hardware acceleration
  • Support for multi-core processors
  • Simplified, more intuitive copy/paste interface
  • Filesystem in Userspace (FUSE; kernel module)
  • Simplified multitasking

Release date

22nd of February 2011

Update(s)

  • Android 3.1 Honeycomb (API 12) – 10th of May 2011
  • Android 3.2 Honeycomb (API 13) – 15th of July 2011
  • Android 3.2.1 – 20th of September 2011
  • Android 3.2.2 – 30th of August 2011
  • Android 3.2.3 – 30th of August 2011
  • Android 3.2.4 – December 2011
  • Android 3.2.5 – January 2012
  • Android 3.2.6 – February 2012

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (API 14)

The software development kit (SDK) for Android 4.0.1 was based on Linux 3.0.1 and was nicknamed Ice Cream Sandwich. It was publicly released on the 19th of October 2011.

The Android 4.0 was said to be the last version to support Adobe Systems’ Flash player.

Version

4.0

Feature(s)

  • Improved error correction on the keyboard
  • Improved copy and paste functionality
  • In-built photo editor
  •  Easier to create a folder, with a drag and drop style
  • Pinch to zoom functionality in Calendar
  • Ability to access the application from the lock screen
  • Face Unlock (facial recognition software)
  • Integrated screenshot capture
  • Better voice integration
  • Hardware acceleration of the UI
  • A near-field communication called Android Beam that features allowing the rapid short-range exchange of contact info, web bookmarks, YouTube videos, directions and other data.
  • New gallery layout
  • Improved camera application with the ability to zoom while recording a video, time-lapse settings, zero shutter lag, and panorama mode
  • Wi-Fi Direct
  • TUN (but not TAP), and Android VPN Framework (AVF)
  • 1080p video recording

Release date

18th of October 2011

Update(s)

  • Android 4.0.1 – 21st of October 2011      
  • Android 4.0.2 – 28th of November 2011
  • Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich (API 15) – 16th of December 2011
  • Android 4.0.4 – 29th of March 2012

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (API 16)

Google announced Android version 4.1 nicknamed Jelly Bean, at the Google I/O conference on the 27th of 2012. It was based on Linux kernel 3.0.31. This version was created with the aim of improving the performance and functionality of the user interface.

The first device to run Android 4.1 was the Nexus 7 tablet, which was released on the 13th of July 2012.

Version

4.1

Feature(s)

  • Expandable notifications
  • Enhanced accessibility
  • Smoother user interface which includes CPU input boost, triple buffering in the graphical pipeline, and synchronizing touch to vsync timing
  • Improved camera application
  • User-installable keyboard maps
  • Bluetooth data transfer for Android Beam
  • Bi-directional text and other language support
  • Widgets and shortcuts can automatically be re-sized or rearranged
  • Multichannel audio
  • Audio chaining (also called gapless playback)
  • USB audio (for external sound DACs)

Release date

9th of July 2012

Update(s)

  • Android 4.1.1 – 11th of July 2012
  • Android 4.1.2 – 9th of October 2012
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean (API 17) – 13th of November 2012
  • Android 4.2.1 – 27th of November 2012
  • Android 4.2.2 – 11th of February 2013
  • Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (API 18) – 24th of July 2013
  • Android 4.3.1 – 3rd of October 2013

Android 4.4 KitKat (API 19)

Android 4.4 KitKat

Google announced Android version 4.4 nicknamed KitKat on the 3rd of September 2013. It was initially given the codename Key Lime Pie (KLP), but this was changed due to the fact that most people do not know the taste of a key lime pie.

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KitKat was commercially released on Google’s Nexus 5 on the 31st of October 2013. The minimum amount of RAM available to the Android 4.4 is 340 MB. However, phones below 512 MB are regarded as low RAM devices.

Version

4.4

Feature(s)

  • Wireless printing capability
  • Expanded functionality for notification listener services
  • Ability of application to trigger translucency in the status and navigational bars
  • Purging of app data directories in user storage (MicroSD and internal user storage) upon installation
  • Public API for managing and developing text messaging clients
  • New framework for UI transitions
  • Verified boot
  • Native infrared blaster API
  • Enforcing SELinux
  • Audio monitoring, audio tunnelling, and loudness enhancer
  • Step detector, sensor batching, and counter APIs
  • Bluetooth Message Access Profile (MAP) support
  • Expanded accessibility APIs
  • Mobile data activity and Wi-Fi (TX/RX) indicators are moved to quick settings

Release date

31st of October 2013

Update(s)

  • Android 4.4.1 – the 5th of December 2013
  • Android 4.4.2 – 9th of December 2013
  • Android 4.4.3 – 2nd of June 2014
  • Android 4.4.4 – 19th of June 2014
  • Android 4.4W KitKat (API 20) – 25th of June 2014 (W = wearable extensions)
  • Android 4.4W.1 – 6th of September 2014
  • Android 4.4W.2 – 21st of October 2014

Android 5.0 Lollipop (API 21)

Android 5.0 nicknamed Lollipop was announced under the codename Android L on the 25th of June 2014, during Google I/O. Its source code was made available on the 3rd of November 2014.

Version

5.0

Feature(s)

  • Support for 64-bit CPUs
  • Support for print previews
  • Vector drawables, which scale without losing definition
  • Audio input and output through USB devices
  • Smart lock feature
  • Project Volta, for battery life improvements
  • Updated emoji
  • SELinux in enforcing mode for all domains
  • Quick settings pull-down and refreshed notification tray
  • Android Extension Pack (AEP) and OpenGL ES 3.1 on supported GPU configurations
  • Material design, bringing a ripple effect for buttons and restyled user interface
  • Lock screen provides shortcuts to notification settings and application
  • Multiple user accounts and guest logins are available on more devices, such as phones
  • Addition of 15 new languages: Burmese, Basque, Bengali, Chinese (Hong Kong), Kannada, Galician, Icelandic, Kyrgyz, Malayalam, Macedonian, Sinhala, Marathi, Nepali, Tamil and Telugu
  • Block-based over-the-air (OTA) updates for new devices
  • Improved accessibility support

Release date

12th of November 2014

Update(s)

  • Android 5.0.1 – 2nd of December 2014
  • Android 5.0.2 – 19th of December 2014
  • Android 5.1 – 9th of March 2015
  • Android 5.1.1 – 21st of April 2015

Android 6.0 Marshmallow (API 23)

Android 6.0 nicknamed Marshmallow was announced under the codename Android M during Google I/O on the 28th of May 2015 for Nexus 9 tablet, Nexus 5 and Nexus 6, and Nexus Player. It was under the build number MPZ44Q.

Version

6.0

Feature(s)

  • App Standby feature
  • Post-install/run-time permission requests
  • Changed “Priority” mode to “Do Not Disturb” mode
  • USB-C support
  • Native fingerprint reader support
  • 4K display mode for apps
  • Application search bar and favourites
  • MIDI support for musical instruments
  • Miracast support dropped
  • Experimental multi-window feature
  • Larger application folders with multiple pages
  • Introduction of Doze mode

Release date

5th of October 2015

Update(s)

  • Android 6.0.1 – 7th of December 2015

Android 7.0 Nougat (API 24)

Android 7.0 nicknamed Nougat was given the codename “N”. It was initially released as a developer preview on the 9th of March 2016.

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Version

7.0

Feature(s)

  • Ability to display colour calibration
  • Support for file-based encryption
  • Added an Emergency information part
  • Ability to zoom in the screen
  • Improvements to the file browser
  • Multi-window support
  • More Quick Settings options
  • New Data Saver mode
  • Improved Doze functionality
  • Picture-in-picture support for Android TV
  • Redesigned Overview screen
  • Redesigned notification shade
  • Skin tone modifier support and Unicode 9.0 emoji
  • Daydream virtual reality platform
  • Multiple Device Locales
  • Vulkan 3D rendering API
  • Settings app navigation drawer
  • Discontinuation of Android Camera V1 API

Release date

22nd of August 2016

Update(s)

  • Android 7.1 – 4th of October 2016
  • Android 7.1.1 – 5th of December 2016
  • Android 7.1.2 – 4th of April

Android 8.0 Oreo (API 26)

Android 8.0 nicknamed Oreo is the 8th major release of the Android OS. Oreo was initially released as a developer preview on the 21st of March 2017, with factory images for current Pixel and Nexus devices. The last developer preview was released on the 24th of July 2017.

Version

8.0

Feature(s)

  • Picture-in-picture support
  • Replacement of al blob-shaped emojis by round ones and support for Unicode 10.0 emoji (5.0)
  • Adaptive icons
  • Restructured Setting by regrouping sections
  • Notification icons such as Notification dots (badges), Notification channels, Notification shade multi-colours, and Notification snoozing
  • Multi-display support
  • System-wide Autofill framework
  • Downloadable fonts
  • Wi-Fi Assistant
  • Support for Sony’s LDAC, AAC, and aptX HD & Qualcomm’s aptX codecs
  • Google Play Protect
  • App-specific unknown sources
  • Colour management

Release date

21st of August 2017

Update(s)

  • Android 8.1.0 – 5th of December 2017

Android 9 Pie (API 28)

Android 9, nicknamed Pie, is the 9th major version of the Android OS. Google first unveiled it on the 7th of March 2018.

Version

9

Update(s)

  • Rounded corners across the UI
  • Support for display cutouts
  • DNS over TLS
  • Redesigned volume slider
  • Vulkan 1.1 support
  • Call recording options fully disabled
  • Battery percentage shown in Always-On Display
  • Experimental features such as automatic Bluetooth enabling while driving and a redesigned About Phone page in settings
  • A “screenshot” button added to the power options
  • A new “Lockdown” mode
  • Android Dashboard

Release date

6th of August 2018

Android 10 (API 29)

Android 10 is the 10th major version of the Android OS. The stable version of Android 10 was released on the 3rd of September 2019.

Version

10

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Feature(s)

  • Support for LHDC, aptX Adaptive, CELT, LLAC, and AAC LATM codecs
  • Scoped storage restrictions
  • Support for the HDR10+ video format, the AV1 video codec, and the Opus audio codec
  • A native MIDI API
  • Support for foldable phones
  • New system-wide dark mode/ theme
  • Support for the WPA3 Wi-Fi security protocol
  • Support for Notification Bubbles
  • Better support for biometric authentication in apps
  • Sharing shortcuts

Release date

3rd of September 2019

Android 11 (API 30)

Android 11 is the 11th major version of the Android OS. Google first unveiled it on the 19th of February 2020. The first developer preview was also released on the same day. However, Android 11 Beta’s launch was postponed from the 3rd of June 2020 to the 10th of June 2020.

Version

11

Feature(s)

  • Screen recorder
  • Chat bubbles
  • One-time permission
  • Notification history
  • Permissions auto-reset
  • New permissions controls

Release date

8th of September 2020

Adenaya Damilola
Adenaya Damilola is a content creator and an aspiring biochemist. He is interested in music, poetry, and tech. He is also an animal lover.