Android Versions (Codenames)

Android versions (codenames) are used to describe the various updates for the open source Android mobile operating system. Android versions are developed under dessert-inspired codenames (up until the 2019 Android 10 release), with each new version arriving in alphabetical order with new enhancements and improvements to the Android SDK.

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How popular is Google’s Android operating system? According to Google there are 1.4 billion active Android devices worldwide (Sep 29, 2015).

Current List of Android Versions

Here’s a snapshot of the Android updates that have already been released as well as at least one currently in development. Click each link in the brief description below to view the full Webopedia definition.

Android Versions

No Codename (v1.0) – Debuted in Fall 2008: Google Android 1.0 officially arrived September 23rd, 2008, as the only release of Android (so far) to not include a codename

Petit Four (v1.1) – Debuted in February 2009: Android 1.1 “Petit Four” began rolling out in early 2009 as the first update for the new Google Android mobile operating system.

Cupcake (v1.5) – Debuted in April 2009: Key additions: Speech recognition tools, a virtual keyboard, video upload support for YouTube and support for live data feeds and live folders.

Donut (v1.6) – Debuted in Fall 2009: Key additions: Support for CDMA smartphones, additional screen sizes and a text-to-speech engine.

Eclair (v2.0) – Debuted in October 2009: Key additions: Support for multi-touch devices, new browser interface, Microsoft Exchange support, single interface for managing multiple online accounts, soft keys support, and an enhanced camera app (with digital zoom and flash support).

FroYo (v2.2) – Debuted in Fall 2010: Key additions: USB tethering support (for turning a smartphone into a Wi-Fi hotspot), significant speed improvements, Flash 10.1 support, voice dialing over Bluetooth, the ability to store apps on external memory cards, updated browser with Google Chrome’s V8 JavaScript.

Gingerbread (v2.3) – Debuted in December 2010: Key additions: Google Voice over Wi-Fi, enhanced gaming functionality, improved Google Apps.

Honeycomb (v3.0) – Debuted in February 2011: Key additions: A tablet-centric update that delivered a new interface optimized for devices with larger screen sizes (particularly tablets), video chat support based on Google Talk protocols, new System Bar for global status and notifications and Action Bar for application control, tabbed Web browsing, optimized soft keyboard and a new email interface.

Ice Cream Sandwich (v4.0) Debuted in October 2011: Key additions: A smartphone-centric update based on the Linux kernel v3.0.1 that brings many of Honeycomb’s features to smartphones, including Face Unlock facial recognition software, tabbed Web browsing capabilities, unified social networking contacts, 1080p video recording capabilities and video chat support based on Google Talk protocols.

Jelly Bean (v4.1, v4.2 and v4.3) Debuted in June 2012: Key additions: Advanced natural language voice command capabilities akin to Apple’s Siri, enhanced interface and overall responsiveness via “Project Butter,” Google Now support, an improved Web browser, enhanced file management capabilities and more.

KitKat (v4.4) – Debuted in November 2013. Key additions: Full-screen immersive mode, new transitions framework, and “Project Svelte,” a project initiated to reduce the memory needs of the Android OS. Originally internally referred to as Key Lime Pie, Google announced in early September 2013 that it would be using the iconic candy bar as the codename for the 4.4 Android release.

Lollipop (v5.0) – Debuted in November 2014. Key additions: Enhanced Material Design user interface, improved continuity across Android devices, multiple user support, a guest user account option, a new notification system, support for 64-bit CPUs, and more.

Marshmallow (“M Release”) (v6.0) – Debuted in November 2015. Key additions: Now on Tap functionality and other Google Now enhancements, native fingerprint authentication support, Android Pay integration, USB Type-C support, improved battery life, better app management and more.

Oreo (“O Release”) (v8.0) – Debuted in August 2017. Key additions: Android Go minimized version of Android mobile OS, picture-in-picture video support, Notification Grouping, Bluetooth 5 support, Wi-Fi Aware feature, and more.

Pie (“P Release”) (v9.0) – Debuted in August 2018. Key additions: Adaptive Battery, Digital Well-being Dashboard (monitors screen time usage), App Slices, Intuitive Gestures, Adaptive Brightness, and more.

Android 10 (“Q Release”) (v10.0) – Debuted in September 2019. Key additions: Live Captioning, Smart Reply, Dark Mode, Gesture Navigation, Focus Mode, Family Link, and automatic ongoing security patches and updates.

Forrest Stroud
Forrest Stroud
Forrest is an experienced, entrepreneurial and well-rounded professional with 15+ years covering technology, business software, website design, programming and more.

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