As an Android enthusiast, I am fascinated by all things android. And as I look down on my device right now, updating to Android Lollipop, I can’t help but wonder how fat it’s come. So I ran down the history of Android and compiled a short history of the great company:
Android was actually created in 2003 by some guys and was registered under the name Android Inc. This was still back in the day when we hadn’t even thought of selfies. Google then bought it in 2005 for about $50 million and began enticing developers to develop apps, as it intended the system to be very flexible.
After years of research and development, the first Android device was released, the T-mobile G1 and manufactured by HTC. It was just a simple device, with a complete keyboard (even though it also had a capacitive touchscreen) and integrated Google services like Gmail and YouTube. Basically, it offered a promise of more to come.
Improvements were made on the OS, including added features for the camera and GPS positioning. A virtual keyboard was then introduced to replace the physical keyboard and make a completely touch-based device. It was also the first OS to be named after a candy, and all subsequent versions of Android have been named after a candy or desert. You will also notice they are released in alphabetic order, this one was named Android Cupcake.
Further improvements were made, and the addition of a box for quick and voice searches. Additional text-to-speech languages were included so you could ‘hear’ Google. This was called Android Donut.
Éclair brought with it a new interface for the browser and the introduction of HTML5 support. Besides, Android could now support Bluetooth 2.1 and multiple accounts for email and contacts.
With Android Froyo, you could now create Wi-Fi hotspots from your device, and also the keyboard could support multiple languages.
Toward the end of the year, Android decided to revamp the user interface, the keyboard and general areas of the design were changed all in an effort to make Android prettier. And it worked, the keyboard and notifications functioned better, oh and it was named Gingerbread.
This was released during the ‘tablet boom’, Apple had released the iPad and Android had caught on. So they released an operating system aimed at catering to the larger screens. Named Honeycomb, it improved multitasking and customization.
Devices were getting smarter, basic functionality was okay, so Ice Cream Sandwich was brought about to really just awe the users. A new font was added, screenshots could now be taken and with the invention of NFC, Android Beam.
Android Jelly Bean made android faster and smoother by optimizing apps. Android Beam, previously introduced, was improved upon and Google Now introduced across all devices.
At this point, there wasn’t much left to improve upon, so android KitKat came about to only improve multitasking and use of memory.
At this point, I’m sure we’re all aware of Lollipop, you might be surprised though that it was actually released last year. That’s the thing with android, only nexus devices receive the updates first, and then we do. This version was just an interface makeover, with material design being introduced among other things I’ve already mentioned.
We’re still waiting to hear from Google what the official name will be, and in fact, we only guess the name Android M because Android OSes follow alphabetic order. And we also know it is going to be an improvement of the Material Design as well as some other goodies mentioned in another post.
I’m concerned as to what will happen when we reach Android Z, what will be next? And I’m also worried it will reach a point when Android will run out of ideas, seeing as devices nowadays have almost everything we need. Google will have to capitalize on ‘almost everything, which is the operative word here.
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