Android versions over time: history of the Google operating system

Android 3.0 Honeycomb: Android Now Available for Tablets

Android versions over time: history of the Google operating system

23 February 2011 Google introduced with Android 3.0 the latest version before its own mobile operating system. This had two special features: First, it was decidedly designed for tablets, on the other hand, the source code was much later, published after the release of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Honeycomb already, anticipated many design features of Android 4.0, criticisms were the lack of performance and little variable hardware support. Much of the ships with Android 3.x Honeycomb devices had a Tegra 2 chip from Nvidia, 1GB of RAM and a 10.1-inch display with a resolution of 1280 x 800 - including the Motorola XOOM, which together with Honeycomb was presented.

New features of Android 3.x:

  • New user interface (many aspects of Holo UI of Android 4.x already anticipated)
  • System Bar with quick access to notifications, the status and software buttons for navigation
  • Action menu with access to contextual options
  • simplified multi-tasking
  • Revised surface of the keyboard
  • Browser: tab-based browsing, bookmark sync via Google account, automatic form filling
  • Google Talk with video chat feature
  • GPU-based hardware acceleration
  • All user data can be encrypted

On 10 May 2011 put then immediately version 3.1 after. This included functional improvements such as the ability to customize the size of home screen widgets. In addition, both the user interface and the browser have been revised. Also joysticks, gamepads, external keyboards and pointing devices are supported for Android 3.1 with USB host support now.

Android 3.2, which was presented on 15 July 2011 then brought further improvements:

  • Support for additional hardware, such as TI CPUs
  • New compatibility mode for better representation of apps
  • Direct access to multimedia content for apps that are stored on the SD card (through media synchronization of the SD card)
  • New features for developers to better adjust their own apps for different screen resolutions

Also Android 3.2 brought in several small updates (to 3.2.6) various bug fixes and improvements to existing features.

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Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich: Everything looks different

Android versions over time: history of the Google operating system

Even if there has previously done a lot, was Android 4.0 To date probably the biggest step that Google has passed since the launch of its own mobile operating system. Deliver out above all the new design, which goes by the name Holo UI here. was introduced Android 4.0 on 19 November 2011 along with the Galaxy Nexus by Samsung. Most important innovations:

  • Software buttons were introduced with Android 3.x, can now also be used on smartphones
  • Widgets can now be found in its own tab in the App Drawer
  • App folder on the home screen can drag & Drop to create icons on other icons
  • The Launcher is customizable
  • Calendar with pinch-to-zoom
  • Voice mail messages can be played faster or slower
  • Create screenshot is now (finally) natively integrated
  • Media Player app show widgets on the lock screen
  • Unlocking device by means of face recognition: Face Unlock
  • For data consumption now limits may be set by which the data connection is automatically cut off
  • Apps that use data in the background, can be manually disabled
  • Advanced Notifications
  • Data exchange via NFC using Android Beam
  • Camera app with new features such as reduced shutter lag, fast motion, pan, zoom during recording and more
  • Integrated Photo Editor
  • New layout of the gallery
  • Hardware acceleration for the user interface
  • Wi-Fi Direct
  • Support for 1080p video recording

For Android 4.0 provided the minor updates that have been refilled on 21 October and 28 November 2011, mainly bug fixes.

Android 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 Jelly Bean: The love is in the details

Android versions over time: history of the Google operating system

announced from 27 June 2012 made soon Jelly Bean comfortable on many Android devices. The name of the popular chewy candies were three larger versions: Android 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3. The Android 4.1 update has been presented together with the first Nexus tablet, the Nexus 7 from ASUS. Here are the highlights of the new version of Android:

  • Integration of "Project Butter", and to do the operation and animations more fluid "Round"
  • Vertical synchronization enables constant refresh rate up to 60 Hz
  • Revised and improved screen keyboard
  • The new information assistant Google Now
  • Start screen can be easily adjusted
  • Bluetooth data transfer for Android Beam
  • Improved voice search
  • Improved camera app
  • Google Wallet (Nexus 7)
  • High-resolution images contact
  • Audio-chaining or continuous playback

This was followed by two updates (4.1.1 and 4.1.2, which included a few bug fixes and minor improvements in the operation added). On 13 November 2012, then Android 4.2 presented together with the Nexus 4 by LG. This version also hear more on the name Jelly Bean and brings more news:

  • For tablets now different user accounts can be set up
  • Photo Sphere (for spherical panoramas)
  • Enhancements to the lock screen (support for self-selectable Lockscreen widgets camera can be directly selected)
  • Keyboard integrated word prediction (as Swype or SwiftKey known)
  • Miracast, in order to display the screen contents of a device wirelessly on a TV or other screen
  • An interactive navigation bar
  • Quick Settings are now displayed in the notification bar
  • All devices now use (in theory) the same interface layout, regardless of the size of the display

Here, too, was then followed by two updates (4.2.1 and 4.2.2), which also implemented some improvements in the handling of the user interface in addition to bug fixes.

On July 24, 2013 followed Android 4.3 with the new Nexus 7th among the core functions:

  • User accounts with restrictions (eg for children)
  • Support the graphics interface OpenGL ES 3.0
  • Improved speed of the user interface
  • Support for Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy for peripherals such as fitness bracelets and Smart Watches
  • The functions of the camera app have been updated: Panorama and Photo Sphere function better, the volume switch can be used to trigger the surface of the app has been updated
  • Wi-Fi will turn on for position determination, even when Wi-Fi is disabled globally (can be disabled)
  • Many security vulnerabilities, some bugs fixed
  • Support for 4K resolution
  • Improved Digital Rights Management (DRM)

On the next page we come to Android 4.4 KitKat, Android 5.0 and 5.1 Lollipop 


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