Android Versions and API Levels for Beginner Developers
Android, the operating system that powers billions of devices worldwide, has revolutionized the way we use smartphones and tablets. Whether you’re a tech enthusiast or a casual user, understanding the basics of Android OS and its different versions can help you make the most of your device.
We’ll introduce you to Android OS and take a journey through its various versions, using simple language to make it easy to grasp.
What is Android OS?
Android OS, short for Android Operating System, is an open-source platform developed by Google primarily for smartphones and tablets. It’s based on the Linux kernel, which serves as the foundation for its stability and security. One of Android’s key strengths lies in its versatility, as it can be customized and used across a wide range of devices from different manufacturers.
Android OS Versions: A Walkthrough
Over the years, Android has seen several major updates, each with new features, enhancements, and improvements. Let’s explore some of the key Android versions:
Android 1.0 (2008)
The journey began with Android 1.0, which made its debut on the T-Mobile G1 (also known as the HTC Dream). It introduced fundamental features like notifications, widgets, and the integration of Google services.
Android 2.x (Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread)
These versions brought significant improvements to the user interface, along with enhanced speed and performance. Gingerbread (Android 2.3) became widely popular for its smoothness and stability.
Android 3.x (Honeycomb)
Honeycomb was specifically designed for tablets, featuring a revamped interface with a focus on better multitasking and app navigation.
Android 4.x (Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, KitKat)
This series of updates marked a major turning point for Android, bringing a more refined user interface, better app support, and improved performance.
Android 5.x (Lollipop)
Lollipop brought the much-awaited Material Design language, introducing a fresh and visually appealing look to the OS. Additionally, it enhanced battery life and improved security.
Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)
Marshmallow focused on optimizing battery usage with the introduction of Doze mode. It also gave users more control over app permissions, enhancing security.
Android 7.x (Nougat)
Nougat introduced split-screen multitasking, allowing users to run two apps side by side. It also brought improved notifications and performance enhancements.
Android 8.x (Oreo)
Oreo offered picture-in-picture mode, notification channels, and improved battery management through background app limitations.
Android 9.x (Pie)
Pie emphasized gesture-based navigation, AI-based app recommendations, and Digital Wellbeing tools to monitor and control screen time.
This version focused on privacy and security with enhanced app permissions, location controls, and a system-wide dark mode.
This version refined the chat bubbles feature, introduced screen recording, and improved device control through the power menu.
The latest version, Android 12, boasts a refreshed Material You design, privacy dashboard, and more intuitive notification management.
The latest version Android 13, includes improved Material You Design, Enhanced UI, Personalised wallpaper. The built-in safeguard helps to product personal data.
Android 14 (Beta)
It’s an upcoming release of Android.
All Android Versions API Levels for Developers
|Android Version||API Level|
|Android 1.5 (Cupcake)||3|
|Android 1.6 (Donut)||4|
|Android 2.0 (Eclair)||5|
|Android 2.1 (Eclair)||7|
|Android 2.2 (Froyo)||8|
|Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)||9|
|Android 3.0 (Honeycomb)||11|
|Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)||14|
|Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)||16|
|Android 4.4 (KitKat)||19|
|Android 5.0 (Lollipop)||21|
|Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)||23|
|Android 7.0 (Nougat)||24|
|Android 8.0 (Oreo)||26|
|Android 9.0 (Pie)||28|
|Android 14 (Beta)||34|
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned Android user, understanding the evolution of this remarkable operating system can enrich your overall experience with smartphones and tablets.
If you are a developer, you must have an idea about the Android APIs and versions.