Android Names & Latest Android Versions

To check your device’s Android version, read this post first.

Android Version Names

NameVersion
Cupcake 1.5
Donut 1.6
Eclair 2.0–2.1
Froyo 2.2–2.2.3
Gingerbread 2.3–2.3.7
Honeycomb 3.0–3.2.6
Ice Cream Sandwich4.0–4.0.4
Jelly Bean4.1–4.3.1
KitKat4.4–4.4.4, 4.4W–4.4W.2
Lollipop5.0–5.1.1
Marshmallow6.0–6.0.1
Nougat7
Oreo8
Pie9
Q10

Best New Features of Each Android Versions

Android Q

Android Q is expected to be available for the developer in March 2019 and for public beta in May 2019.

Top 10 Features of Android Pie

Adaptive Battery

A feature prominent in other Android system is the Doze mode, which hibernates all apps you aren’t using at the moment. An improvement of this app is the adaptive battery feature that runs on Android 9 by default.

App Timer

In Android 9, you can set a time limit on your applications. With the App Timer feature, the app’s icon will automatically grey out if you have used your time spending on that app. It hints that you should now use your time for other things besides that app.

Slices

With Android 9, you can see informative data when searching for apps using the Google Search app. It is possible through the Slices feature, which also lets you skip to performing the actions that are listed on the information you found.

Accessibility Menu

You can activate the Accessibility Menu when you go to Settings > Accessibility > Accessibility Menu > Use service. When you enable this feature, you will be able to see an icon that you can tap for actions such as recent apps, quick settings, volume, and more.

Better Screenshot Shortcut

In older Android versions, you can take a screenshot with the Power + Volume down button combination. In Android 9 Pie, there is a new screenshot shortcut that is much easier to use. All you need to do is tap the Power menu and choose the icon for a screenshot from the choices.

New Gesture Navigation

Navigation in Android Pie has improved. There are no longer the usual home and recent button icons. Instead, Android 9 has a single bar supporting gesture navigation. Compared to the typical way, it is so much easier to use.

Dashboard

Android 9 features a Dashboard where you can view the time you spent using your device as well as a usage data breakdown. What’s great about the Dashboard display is it lists everything comprehensively from the time spent on each app every day to the number of hours you use your device.

Indoor Navigation through Wi-Fi RTT

Android 9 supports RTT or Round-Trip-Time, a Wi-Fi protocol enabling users to navigate buildings. With this, you can have indoor navigation using your phone with Android pie as the Wi-Fi RTT provides turn-by-turn directions via indoor FPs-style tracking.

Enhanced DND Mode

The Do Not Disturb, or DND Mode of Android 9 is much improved. Now, it can prevent visual distractions such as background notifications as well as pop-ups. With the Shush mode, you can even silence the alerts of your phone completely.

Lockdown Mode

A new option available on the Power menu is the Lockdown Mode. If you activate this mode, you can disable your device’s fingerprint unlock. In place of it, you will have to enter a pin for unlocking your phone. It helps to protect your device from anyone trying to open it forcefully.

Top 10 Features of Android Oreo

Revamped Settings Menu

In terms of appearance, the newly redesigned Settings menu is the most obvious. It has an all-white background with subtle dark gray text. It lost the side navigation menu with the other ones having been reorganized that makes it as simple as possible.

Battery-Saving Background Restrictions

Android 8 Oreo seems to fix the standby battery drain issues it has with the Doze Mode feature. In Oreo, the restrictions on background apps are even more tightened thanks to Background Execution Limits and location restrictions that apply to all your apps.

Fingerprint Scanner Gestures

Google takes the Fingerprint Scanner Gestures feature to a whole new level. With Android 8, third-party developers can use an Accessibility service, which allows your favorite apps to use the fingerprint functionality by requesting permission.

Turning on Wi-Fi Automatically

When you are outside at work or school, you can turn off your Wi-Fi to save on battery and stay away from distractions. A nice feature that Android 8 comes with is the ability to turn on Wi-Fi automatically when you are in your home Wi-Fi spot, saving you the trouble of turning it back on.

Granular Storage Controls

Older Android phones have basic categories in the Settings when viewing where all your storage went. With Android 8, the groups are more specific by listing it as “Movies & TV App” or “Games.” With that, the apps that are taking your storage space is well-organized, which makes it easier to clear the junk files and cache away.

Snooze Individual Notifications

A favorite by Android 8 users is the ability to snooze each notification. You can swipe any message that comes through to the right then tap the clock to snooze it if you don’t have time for it. When you snooze the message, you can keep it away for 15 minutes. It also allows you to change the settings.

Rescue Party

It is an unfortunate fact that all software has bugs. However, Android 8 is fantastic because before a fatal bug causes your device to crash, it automatically tries to fix the problem through the Rescue Party feature.

Hi-Fi Bluetooth Codecs

The lower audio quality is one of the disadvantages of Bluetooth compared to using wired headphones. It’s a great thing that Android 8 features higher quality Bluetooth codecs such as Sony’s LDAC. With this, Android Oreo is expected to have a much improved audio quality.

Improved Pixel Launcher App Drawers

One of the features of Android 8 that is refined is the Pixel Launcher. In Android Oreo, the launcher now lets you swipe in just about anywhere on the home screen for opening the app drawer. It makes navigation so much easier.

Wi-Fi Aware

One of the fantastic features of Android 8 is the Wi-Fi Aware. Devices that run on Android Oreo can discover one another and create a private network between each other. With that, sharing data among the devices is possible even when they aren’t on the same Wi-Fi network.

Top 10 Features of Android Nougat

Daydreams as Screen Savers

In Android 7, the Daydream is repurposed as Screen Saver. Google named its VR platform as Daydream, and with that, there’s a need for a new name for the previous Daydream feature. On that note, Android 7 introduced it as Screen Saver with the screen savers working the same way as before.

Multi-Window Support

One of Android 7’s top features is the multi-window support. You can activate the multi-window mode on any device that runs Android 7 by long-pressing the recent apps button. The app you are using goes at the top or side, then the recent apps list will be along the button. Just pick the second app and use the divider for resizing the app windows.

Split-Screen Tab

Along with Multi-Window tab, Android 7 also has the Split-Screen Tab feature. When in multi-window mode and using Chrome, tap Menu then choose the “Move to another window” option to move to another tab.

Drag and Drop Images and Text

When you use the Multi-Window mode, you can just drag and drop any text or images from one window to the other. All you need to do is highlight which text you want to move and long-press until it starts to float. Drag the text to the other window then let it go. It works the same way with images. 

Emoji Genders and Skin Tones

A standard included in Android 7 is the new Emoji with various genders and skin tones available. Before, phones only have male and female representation. Now, however, you can choose the appropriate gender and even select the skin tone perfect for you.

Quick Adjust Notification Settings

With Android 7, it is easy to adjust the notifications you receive per app. All you need to do is slide the notification a bit to the right so that the gear icon appears. Then, you can adjust it the way you wanted to be notified.

Lock Screen with its own Wallpaper

It took years, but now, you can set up different wallpaper to use on your lock screen with Android 7. The process is just as simple as setting the wallpaper for your home screen. Select the image you want to be your wallpaper, and then a prompt shows the options where you want it to live.

Clearing All of Your Recent Apps

Closing all recent apps is also an excellent feature that Android 7 has, but it’s hidden a bit. Unlike other Android phones, it isn’t located at the lowest part of the screen. You have to scroll towards the beginning of the list where you can see the ‘Clear All’ text. Just tap on the text, and it will clear all apps.

Quick App Switching

With users often hopping from one app to another then back again, Android 7 made it easier. With its Quick App Switching, you can just double-tap the recent button to show you the recent apps, and the latest app that you used. Double tap again to pop back.

Bundled Notifications

In Android 7, you can choose to have all notifications bundled in a single alert. It makes it simpler, and you won’t feel so annoyed to have so many notifications come one by one. You can slide down on the single notification to see all the other alerts for that specific app.

Top 10 Features of Android Marshmallow

New App Drawer

The new app drawer is one of the most noticeable new features of Android 6’s UI. Android 6’s new app drawer no longer uses horizontal scrolling. Instead, it scrolls vertically which helps to speed up the navigation and lets you access apps faster.

Google Now on Tap

Google Now on Tap is Android 6’s most important feature but often overlooked. This feature is crucial for Google search. You can use it find related information when you are within an app by just pressing and holding the home button then the Now on Tap does its work.

“OK Google”

You probably don’t notice this, but in Android 6, you can find the Google search bar on every home screen. It isn’t just located on the main one, which means as long as you have an active phone screen, you can use the “Ok Google” feature to search or ask a question for anything.

Lock Screen Message

Other Androids do show a lock screen message like a famous quote or something. However, don’t you think it is more useful if your lock screen if it shows your contact information instead? You can put your email address, phone number or a physical address on your lock screen for a higher chance of getting it back if it’s lost.

Customize Quick Settings and Status Bar

Android 6 comes with the System UI Tuner. It is a fantastic feature because it unlocks experimental features for customizing Android UI. You can enable the System UI by swiping down the status bar using your two fingers, which will open the Quick Settings. Tap and hold on the Settings gear icon then let go after a few seconds. A pop-up message shows, scroll down and tap the System UI Tuner to get access in making a lot of tweaks.

Smarter Volume Controls

If you didn’t like the volume controls in Lollipop, Marshmallow has so much better and smarter controls for volume. Press the volume up and down buttons to show individual gliders to adjust the size of music, alarm, time, and notifications.

Doze Feature and Battery Saver

Android 6 is much more battery efficient as it comes with a built-in Doze feature designed to improve battery life by disabling some settings and background processes. Even better, you can save battery if you turn on the Battery Saver feature, but it reduces vibrations, background data, performance, and location services.

Memory Manager

The memory manager is an excellent feature for those who like to know the resources used by their apps. In Android 6, you’ll find a whole new section of settings for ‘Memory’ that lets you see how much RAM an app uses.

Fingerprint Scanner

With Android 6, you will find the fingerprint scanner is a standard feature. While this feature has been seen in other Android phones before, the difference is the scanner is in the hardware natively unlike before where it’s only in the software of the phone.

Permissions on Lock Down

In Android 6, managing app permissions is a lot easier. When you don’t want an app to have access to your location or microphone, you can easily revoke access. Unlike with other Android phones, Marshmallow gives permission per app so you can specify which ones have access to the camera, location, etc.

Android Lollipop

Name OS version Release date API level
 Lollipop  5.0–5.1.1  November 12, 2014  21–22

Lollipop 5.1–5.1.1:

  • Revamped screen pinning
  • Polished Quick Settings. Wifi and Bluetooth settings included in quick settings.
  • Official support for multiple SIM cars
  • Better device protection.
  • HD voice calls
  • Native Wifi calling support

Lollipop 5.0–5.0.2:

  • Implementation of Material design
  • Android Runtime (ART) replaces Dalvik.
  • 64-bit CPU support
  • Nav Soft Keys has new design.
  • Increase WebViews security by launching it as an independant app on Google Play Store.
  • Expanded notifications
  • Notifications can be displayed on the lock screen.
  • Recent Apps display recent apps in 3D cascade of app tiles.
  • Direct links to apps from Google searches
  • OpenGL ES 3.1 and Android Extension Pack on supported GPU configurations
  • Tap and Go allows users to quickly migrate to a new Android device.
  • Battery efficiency optimisation
  • Bluetooth 4.1 support
  • Audio input and output through USB devices

Android Kitkat

Name OS version Release date API level
 Kitkat  4.4–4.4.4, 4.4W–4.4W.2  October 31, 2013  19–20
  • Some UI tweaks
  • Improved Google Now
  • Better memory management, including zRAM support and “low RAM” device API
  • Smarter Caller ID
  • Immersive Mode keeps the navigation and status bars hidden from app and game user is using.
  • Allow integration with Cloud Storage directly without downloading files to memory first
  • Support Wireless Print such as Google Cloud Print
  • Introduce Android Runtime (ART)
  • WebViews now based on Chromium engine
  • Built-in screen recording feature for developer (ADB is still required)
  • Built-In Sensors with step detector and counter API
  • Initial release of Android Wear platform for smartwatches

Jelly Bean

Name OS version Release date API level
 Jelly Bean  4.1–4.3.1  July 9, 2012  16–18

Android 4.3

  • Restricted profiles for tablets
  • Dial pad autocomplete
  • Better graphic rendering with OpenGL ES 3.0
  • Simplified setup wizard
  • Right-to-left languages support
  • Improvements to Photo Sphere app
  • 4K resolution support
  • Improvement for tap-typing recognition makes text input easier.
  • Bluetooth Smart support

Android 4.2

  • Lock screen improvements
  • New clock app with built-in world clock, stop watch and timer
  • New screensaver mode, “Daydream”
  • All devices now use the same interface layout
  • Multiple user accounts on tablets
  • Photo Sphere for 360-degree panoramuc photo capture

Android 4.1

  • Smoother user interface (Project Butter)
  • Introduce Google Now app
  • Notifications are expandable and more detailed.
  • Voice search available offline
  • Improved camera application with more gestures
  • Shortcuts and widgets are automatically re-sized to fit on home screens.

Ice Cream Sandwich

Name OS version Release date API level
 Ice Cream Sandwich  4.0–4.0.4   October 18, 2011  14–15
  • Implement of Android’s own font, “Roboto”
  • Add soft navigation buttons to phones
  • Easier-to-create folders
  • Newly-designed lock screen
  • Resizeable homescreen widgets
  • Improved copy and paste feature
  • Better voice integration
  • Add Face Unlock, a screen unlock mode
  • Wi-Fi Direct support
  • Native screenshot capture
  • Hardware acceleration of the UI
  • Android VPN Framework (AVF), and TUN (kernel module
  • New gallery layout
  • Improved error correction on the keyboard
  • All Google Apps updated
  • Mobile data usage metrics in system controls
  • 1080p video recording for stock Android devices

Old Ones: From 1 to 3

Name OS version Release date API level
  1.0 September 23, 2008 1
  1.1 February 9, 2009 2
Cupcake 1.5 April 27, 2009 3
Donut 1.6 September 15, 2009 4
Eclair 2.0–2.1 October 26, 2009 5–7
Froyo 2.2–2.2.3 May 20, 2010 8
Gingerbread 2.3–2.3.7 December 6, 2010 9–10
Honeycomb 3.0–3.2.6 February 22, 2011 11–13

 

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