Android Introduction

Here we will learn the basics of android OS like what is android, history of the android operating system, features of android OS, different versions of the android operating system with examples.

What is Android?

Android is an open-source operating system based on Linux with a Java programming interface for mobile devices such as Smartphone (Touch Screen Devices who supports Android OS) as well for Tablets too. 


Android was developed by the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), which is led by Google. The Open Handset Alliance (OHA) is a consortium of multiple companies like Samsung, Sony, Intel and many more to provide services and deploy handsets using the android platform.


In 2007, Google released a first beta version of the Android Software Development Kit (SDK) and the first commercial version of Android 1.0 (with name Alpha), was released in September 2008.


In 2012, Google released another version of android, 4.1 Jelly Bean. It’s an incremental update and it improved a lot in terms of the user interface, functionality, and performance.


In 2014, Google announced another Latest Version, 5.0 Lollipop. In Lollipop version Google completely revamped the UI by using Material Designs, which is good for the User Interface as well for the themes related. 


All the source code for Android is available free on Git-Hub, Stack overflow, and many more websites. Google publishes most of the code under the Apache License version 2.0.

Android Features

Android is a powerful open-source operating system which provides a lot of great features, those are


  • It’s open-source and we can customize the OS based on our requirements.
  • It supports connectivity for GSM, CDMA, WIFI, NFC, Bluetooth, etc. for telephony or data transfer. It will allow us to make or receive a calls / SMS messages and we can send or retrieve data across mobile networks
  • By using WIFI technology we can pair with other devices using apps
  • Android has multiple APIs to support location-based services such as GPS
  • We can perform all data storage related activities by using lightweight database SQLite.
  • It has a wide range of media supports like AVI, MKV, FLV, MPEG4, etc. to play or record a variety of audio/video and having a different image format like JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, MP3, etc. 
  • It has extensive support for multimedia hardware control to perform playback or recording using camera and microphone
  • It has an integrated open-source WebKit layout based web browser to support HTML5, CSS3
  • It supports a multi-tasking, we can move from one task window to another and multiple applications can run simultaneously
  • It will give a chance to reuse the application components and the replacement of native applications.
  • We can access the hardware components like Camera, GPS, and Accelerometer
  • It has support for 2D/3D Graphics

Android History

Initially, Google launched the first version of Android platform on Nov 5, 2007, from that onwards Google released a lot of android versions under a codename based on desserts, such as Apple Pie, Banana Bread, Cupcake, Donut, Éclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Jellybeans, Kitkat, Lollipop, marshmallow, etc. and made a lot of changes and additions to the android platform.


The following table lists the different version details of android which is released by Google from 2007 to till date.


Release DateVersionAPI LevelVersion Name
September 23, 2008 Android 1.0 1 Apple Pie
February 9, 2009 Android 1.1 2 Banana Bread
April 30, 2009 Android 1.5 3 Cupcake
September 15, 2009 Android 1.6 4 Donut
October 26, 2009 Android 2.0 5 Eclair
December 3, 2009 Android 2.0.1 6
January 12, 2009 Android 2.1 7
May 20, 2010 Android 2.2 8 Froyo
January 18, 2011 Android 2.2.1 8
January 22, 2011 Android 2.2.2 8
November 21, 2011 Android 2.2.3 8
December 6, 2010 Android 2.3 9 Gingerbread
February 9, 2011 Android 2.3.1 9
July 25, 2011 Android 2.3.3 10
September 2, 2011 Android 2.3.4 10
February 22, 2011 Android 3.0.x 11 Honeycomb
May 10, 2011 Android 3.1.x 12
July 15, 2011 Android 3.2.x 13
October 18,2011 Android 4.0 14 Ice Cream Sandwich
October 19, 2011 Android 4.0.1 14
November 28, 2011 Android 4.0.2 14
December 16, 2011 Android 4.0.3 15
February 4, 2012 Android 4.0.4 15
July 9, 2012 Android 4.1 16 Jelly Bean
July 23, 2012 Android 4.1.1 16
October 9, 2012 Android 4.1.2 16
November 13, 2012 Android 4.2 17
November 27, 2012 Android 4.2.1 17
February 11, 2013 Android 4.2.2 17
July 24, 2013 Android 4.3 18
October 31, 2013 Android 4.4 19 Kitkat
June 23, 2014 Android 4.4.1, 4.4.2, 4.4.3, 4.4.4 19
October 17, 2014 Android 5.0 21 Lollipop
March 09, 2015 Android 5.1 22
October 5, 2015 Android 6.0 23 Marshmallow
December 7, 2015 Android 6.0.1 23
August 22, 2016 Android 7.0 24 Nougat
October 4, 2016 Android 7.1 25
  Android 8.0 26 O

For each version, Google has made a lot of changes and introduced a lot of new features due to the usage of android in the mobile market increased drastically.

Android OS Market Value

Following is the pictorial representation of using an android in the mobile phone market with different versions.


Android Market Value with Different Versions


This is how Google released multiple versions of the android operating system and acquired a huge mobile phone market share with different versions. 

Topics Covered