Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Android era: From G1 to Jelly Bean

1.0 (G1)February 2008
  • GPS and Bluetooth (but not stereo Bluetooth)
  • Multitasking
  • Tight integration with Google services like Gmail, Google Maps (with Street View), and Google Calendar
  • Apps: Amazon MP3 Store; YouTube
  • Android Market (about 35 apps at launch)
  • No Microsoft Exchange Server; no camcorder
1.5 (Cupcake)April 2009
  • Universal search box (search had been limited to the Web)
  • Revamped Android Market: Browsing categories (Apps, Games, Downloads) and filters (Top Free, Top Paid, Just In)
  • Camera: Toggle between camera and video modes; integrated photo gallery and camera with bulk photo deleting
  • SDK expands support for gestures, voice-to-text
1.6 (Donut)September 2009
  • Virtual onscreen keyboard
  • Camcorder mode for recording (and watching) video
  • Stereo Bluetooth
  • Home screen widgets and folders
  • Copy/paste and search within the browser
  • Direct upload to YouTube and Picasa
2.0 (Eclair)October 2009
  • Multiple user accounts
  • Exchange support; universal e-mail inbox
  • Quick Contact pop-up widget to launch communications with friends in the address book
  • Search saved SMS and MMS messages
  • Camera improvements include support for flash and digital zoom
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • Keyboard improvements: Adaptive dictionary that includes contact names in suggestions
2.1 (Eclair, second helping)January 2010
  • Live wallpaper; five home screens
  • Speech-to-text added to any text field; microphone icon for voice dictation in e-mails, texts, and so on
2.2 (Froyo)May 2010
  • Speedier OS
  • USB tethering and hot-spot support
  • Android Market update: Batch and automatic updates; installing apps to the SD card
  • Adobe Flash 10.1
  • File uploading in the browser
  • Improved Microsoft Exchange support: Security policies, global address lookup, calendar sync, remote wipe
  • Bluetooth support for voice dialing and contact sharing
2.3 (Gingerbread)December 2010
  • Redesigned copy/paste
  • WebM video compression support
  • NFC (near-field communication) support
  • Switch to front-facing camera from camera app
  • Virtual keyboard shortcuts
3.0 (Honeycomb)February 2011
  • 3D graphics support
  • Side-by-side browser tabs; private browsing
  • Dual-pane modes for address book, e-mail
  • Redesigned UI includes program thumbnails
  • Video chatting with Google Talk
  • Full-screen-mode photo gallery
  • Bluetooth tethering
3.1-3.2.6 (Honeycomb)May 2011-February 2012
  • Support for peripherals like keyboards and game pads
  • Resizable widgets
  • "Pay as you go" support for 3G, 4G tablets
  • Various bug fixes and enhancements
4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)October 2011
  • Support for virtual buttons in addition to touch-sensitive buttons
  • Create folders by dragging apps on top of each other
  • A new app tray tab for thumbing through widgets
  • Calendar app now supports pinch-to-zoom
  • Gmail gets offline search, swiping between conversations
  • Revamped Gmail user interface
  • New Chrome browser syncs with your bookmarks, saves pages offline, supports 16 browser tabs
  • More keyboard error correction, inline spell check
  • Customizable lock screen, launcher
  • Recent applications icon
  • Roboto typeface
  • New swipe/delete behavior
  • Improved voice integration and copy and paste
  • Face Unlock security feature
  • Data Usage tracking
  • Hide unwanted app icons
  • Shut down apps that are using background data
  • Native camera features include zero shutter lag, continuous focus, zoom while recording, taking a still photo while recording, panorama photos, time lapse settings 1080p recording
  • Face detection in the camera
  • Integrated photo editor
  • New gallery layout, organized by location and person
  • Phone app lets you swipe between favorite friends with integrated visual voice mail
  • Speed up and slow down voice mails
  • Quick message sends canned response text message when you decline a call
  • Android Beam, an NFC feature for exchanging information between two phones by tapping them
  • Wi-Fi Direct support
4.1 (Jelly Bean)July 2012
  • Faster, smoother performance with "Project Butter"
  • Expandable notifications with greater interaction
  • Voice search access by swiping up from bottom of the screen
  • Voice actions engine replies to some queries
  • Google Now
  • Offline dictation
  • Default Chrome browser
  • Resizable app widgets (for some)
  • Android Beam support for transferring larger files, like photo and video
  • New filmstrip view of recent shots in the camera app
  • Applications update in Google Play with just the changed code
  • Sound search widget for music ID
  • Higher-resolution contact photos
  • Greater accessibility options
  • Expanded language support, especially for Arabic and Hebrew
  • Interface tweaks

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