Google now has confirmed that Android M stands for Marshmallow, named after a sugar-based candy. It is expected that Google will unveil the final version of the OS by the end of this month. It has now been almost 12 years ( October 2003) since the world has been familiar with Andriod.
The journey of Android began on October 2003 in Palo Alto, California. Andy Rubin, Rich Miner, Nick Sears, Chris White were the founders of Android. Initially, the early intention of the company was to build an Operating System for digital cameras, soon the founders realized that the market for devices was not large enough and the decision was taken to focus on building an Operating System for Smartphones that would be a rival to Symbian and Microsoft Windows Mobile and this is how it all started. All of us are very well versed with the fact that Google chooses the codenames for Android versions alphabetically and are been dessert names. Many people prefer using these codenames instead of using the version numbers. So we decided to share the history of Android Operating System, the versions and their features.
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It’s not possible to cover all the features but we’ve selected a few. If interested, you can read the full history of Android Operating System and their features here.
1. Android 1.5 (Cupcake):
- Marks the emergence of a virtual keyboard on Android. Support for third-party keyboards.
- Five default widgets were made available – a calendar, a music player, an analog clock, a picture frame, search function.
2. Android 1.6 (Donut):
- Google made a list of app categories that would eventually help users what are they looking for (Top Paid, Top Free, Newly Released Apps).
- The camera and gallery functionality were improved in this version, now a user can select and delete multiple photos in the gallery.
3. Android 2.0 (Eclair):
- With Eclair, Google took a next step in booming the technology. Google Navigation was added in this version. Google maps proved a major change in the history of Android Operating System, it provides users directions and interactive maps.
- Support for multiple accounts. Contacts, emails, calendar synchronization were improved.
- Along with these functionalities, the browser was also improved. Now the user was able to save bookmarks with the thumbnails, can zoom by double tapping.
- The hardware keyboard was toned down as the facility to answer a call on-screen was provided.
- With Android 2.1, live wallpapers were introduced (Live wallpapers can drastically affect your battery performance.)
- News and Weather apps make a debut along with corresponding widgets.
4. Android 2.2 (Froyo (Frozen Yogurt)):
- Hotspot/Tethering started from Froyo version, it allowed you to connect other devices to the internet through one’s phone.
- Apps can now be moved from phone memory to external SD card that will help to free up the device space.
- Flash support for full desktop browser experience on mobile.
5. Android 2.3 (Gingerbread):
- The on-screen keyboard is redesigned to improve typing speed and accuracy, and suggestions are now available as you type.
- Android Market 2.0 brings another major visual change to the app. The top of the app is now dominated by a green banner with a rotating list of featured apps, followed by the familiar options of Apps and Games, but Downloads is now replaced with My Apps, and each simply appears in the banner with a representative icon rather than a delineated tab.
6. Android 3.0 (Honeycomb):
- This time Android came with redesigned widgets. Basically, Honeycomb 3.0 was build for tablets and so the focus was on big screens. New widgets that were redesigned are the search box, date/time picker, calendar.
- Home Screen was customized. Now the user can swipe between 5 different screens along with a new 3D look for the home screen.
- Android 3.1 adds extended support for a numerous variety of USB-connected peripherals Android 3.1 adds broad platform support for a variety of USB-connected peripherals and accessories. Now users can attach many types of input devices like keyboards, mouse and others.
7. Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich):
- Ice Cream Sandwich was released 8 months after Honeycomb. It retains most of the ideas of Honeycomb.
- The UI was made easy with touch gestures for notifications and recent apps.
- From this version of Android, users were able to create folders on the home screen by simply dropping on the top of another.
8. Android version 4.1 (Jellybean):
- Location accuracy features were the focus point in Jellybean. Google now increased the location accuracy of Android devices by location scanning via WiFi. It can allow apps to get location even when WiFi is turned off and not being used by for data access.
- A support for native language was provided for Hindi, Swahili, Zulu. An added support to languages such as Hebrew and Arabic was also provided.
9. Android Version 4.4 (KitKat):
- KitKat was introduced after 3 version of Jellybean. In this version, Google Now was a part of the home page. Just say “Ok Google” to start the service and Google will get the desired results you wish.
- Google Hangouts was also a part of KitKat- it dealt with SMS.
- Google Drive became a default app from Kitkat.
10. Android 5.0 (Lollipop):
- Device protection was improved, even if your phone is lost or stolen, the thief can only factory reset the device but cannot unlock unless your Google account is entered.
- Dual Sim support now officially part of Android from Lollipop.
11. Android Version 6.0 (Marshmallow):
- With Marshmallow, google says it’s going back with the basics by following more on updating the existing features and fixing thousands of bugs.
- Some of the features that are likely to be included in Marshmallow are Android pay, Google Now on tap, App permissions, standardized fingerprint support, Doze.
- Android will relaunch its mobile payment service with Marshmallow as a competition to Apple pay and Samsung pay. Android pay was launched with Gingerbread back in 2010. Android pay will let you walk in stores and let you tap on NFC terminal to pay for products.
- When you go for an installation in Google Play Store, it will let you with a long list of things that developer want to access. From Marshmallow, it will be easier to track what phone features need to accessed and permissions will now be placed in certain categories like location, sensor, camera etc.