Android has seen a number of updates since its original release. These updates to the base operating system typically fix bugs and add new features. Generally, each new version of the Android operating system is developed under a code name based on a dessert item. Past updates included Cupcake and Donut. The code names are in alphabetical order (Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, and the upcoming Ice Cream Sandwich).
The most recently released versions of Android are:
- 1.0/1.1 (Beta), which Released 23 September 2008. The first Android device, the HTC Dream (G1), had these Android 1.0 features. On 9 February 2009, Android 1.1 update for Android was released for T-Mobile G1 only. Included in the update were resolved issues, API changes and the System,Adds support for marquee in layouts.
- 1.5 (Cupcake), which Based on Linux kernel2.6.27. On 30 April 2009, the official 1.5 (Cupcake) update for Android was released. There were several new features and UI updates included in the 1.5 update:
- Virtual keyboard: Support for 3rd party keyboards with text prediction & user dictionary for custom words
- Widgets: Are miniature application views that can be embedded in other applications (such as the Home screen) and receive periodic updates.
- System: Animated screen transitions
- Upload videos to YouTube
- Upload photos on Picasa
- 1.6 (Donut),which based on Linux kernel 2.6.29 On 15 September 2009, the 1.6 (Donut) SDK was released.Included in the update were:
- Voice Search & text entry search enhanced to include bookmarks & history, contacts, the web, and more
- Android Market Allows easier searching, app screenshots, etc.
- Speed improvements in searching and camera applications
- Expanded Gesture framework and new GestureBuilder development tool
- 2.0/2.1 (Eclair), which revamped the user interface and introduced HTML5, W3C Geolocation API and Exchange ActiveSync 2.5 support.
- 2.3 (Gingerbread), which refined the user interface, improved the soft keyboard and copy/paste features, and added support for Near Field Communication.
- 3.0/3.1 (Honeycomb), a tablet-oriented release which supports larger screen devices and introduces many new user interface features, and supports multicore processors and hardware acceleration for graphics. The Honeycomb SDK has been released and the first device featuring this version, the Motorola Xoom tablet, went on sale in February 2011. Google has chosen to withhold the Honeycomb source code, which called into question the “open-ness” of this Android release. Google’s Andy Rubin stated that the latest Android source code would be released “when it is ready”. The reason for the delay, according to Rubin in an official Android blog post, was because Honeycomb was rushed for production of the Motorola Xoom. Google later confirmed that the Honeycomb source code would not be released until after it was merged with the Gingerbread release in Ice Cream Sandwich. The 3.1 update has been announced at the 2011 Google I/O on 10 May 2011.
The upcoming version of Android is:
- 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), a combination of Gingerbread and Honeycomb into a “cohesive whole.” It was announced on May 10, 2011 at Google I/O that it will be released in Q4 2011.