Android, first released in 2008, is still a relatively young operating system. However, after seeing more than one update in a few years, there are many Android versions to look at. Some were better than others, so let’s list the top 10.
In the end, any “best” list will fall into the author’s choice, and this list will be no different.
As an Android user for a long time – back to Android 1.5 – I have experience with almost every version of Android. But Android makes things difficult. My experience with Android on the Pixel can be very different from someone else’s experience with the same version on a Samsung phone.
I’m not just going to list the versions that have the best features, because it will bend a lot to the latest versions. Instead, I will look at the impact of each release on the platform as a whole.
Will you completely agree with my list? No! Let’s start.
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# 10: Android 5.0 Lollipop
Let’s start at the end of the list with the controversial Android version. Released in 2014, Android 5.0 Lollipop gave us our first taste of Material Design. It marked another major design update for Android, but arguably put the best.
In addition to the aesthetic changes, there were some great things happening under the surface. Switched from Dalvik to ART (Android Runtime), which improves the performance of Android applications. That’s why most Android apps today support Android 5.0 and higher.
Although the lollipop looked great on the surface, it suffered from insects. Memory management has caused confusion on many devices, causing apps to close too often in the background. There were also many concerns about the new notification system.
Lollipop was important for the future of Android, but it had a lot of sobs.
# 9: Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Speaking of mistakes, let’s talk about the version that solves many problems of Lollipop. Released in 2015, Android 6.0 Marshmallow did not have the fanfare of other releases, but it was secretly very important.
Marshmallow has introduced a major change to Android’s application permissions management style. Instead of asking you for all the permissions when installing the program, you can give them if necessary. This means that if you do something that specifically requires this permission, such as giving your files access to the program.
№8: Android 7.0-7.1 Nougat
Android 7.0 Nougat was released in 2016, and it was the next upgrade. By this time, the Material Design had been further polished and polished. Android had a nice, consistent look.
Nougat has finally brought a “stock” split screen mode to Android. Earlier, phone manufacturers used their own methods for split screen mode, but Nougat made it a standard feature. This release also made the Doze function a little better, designed to save battery life.
Perhaps the biggest thing Nougat brought was Google Assistant. It was the Android version of Google’s first Pixel phone, and it was tightly integrated with the operating system. Google Assistant now comes by default on all Android devices.
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# 7: Android 9 Pie
When Android 9 Pie was released in 2018, its setting was mixed. For the first time, Android didn’t have an End / View button. The navigation consisted of a pill-shaped home button for gestures and a small contextual back button.
Although the half-baked gestures were soon replaced by Android 10, some other features made a more lasting impact. Digital Wellbeing was first introduced as a set of tools to help people develop better use habits. Battery-saving and screen brightness with machine learning was also introduced.
A big part of Android Pie was privacy. Android gives you better control over when apps can access your camera and microphone. There were many small things that significantly improved the overall privacy and security of the operating system.
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# 6: Android 2.0-2.1 Eclair
The oldest entry in this list, Android 2.0 Eclair, was released in 2009. six weeks After Android 1.6. It was a monumental update to the operating system at the time.
Eclair has introduced many of the things we take for granted today: voice-controlled navigation on Google Maps, live wallpapers, text from speech, and even zoom in with a pinch. (Yes, Android didn’t have a tweak to zoom in at first.)
If you were an Android user at the time, it was Eclair the update. I still remember that HTC Eris received an update and I was able to use navigation on Google Maps. It legally changed his life. And can you imagine using a phone without a pinch to zoom in?
# 5: Android 4.1-4.3 Jelly Bean
Android Jelly Bean consisted of three updates from 2012 to 2013. After a major overhaul of the basic design on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean was all about elegance.
One of the most notable features of Jelly Bean was the introduction of the Quick Settings panel. This is a feature that has become standard on almost all smartphones. A few switches buried in the settings brought it to a more convenient location.
Jelly Bean was also the first taste of Google Now, which has since been abandoned. The concept of predictive information that can help you during the day was incredible at the time. He stayed there for a while, but was eventually replaced by Google Assistant.
Another great feature of Jelly Bean that Google has left since then was the Lock Screen Widgets. It was tidy to get quick access to the necessary widgets without unlocking your phone, but it’s probably not that easy for the average consumer to use.
# 4: Android 4.4 KitKat
In 2013, Google released the first branded version of Android, 4.4 KitKat. Earlier versions of Android were darkened with neon lights. KitKat took everything in the opposite direction with light backgrounds and muted accents.
This was the first version of Android with a transparent status bar at the top of the main screen. He also noted the transition to the single-color icons on the status bar, in which case it was white. These small aesthetic changes made the notification area cleaner.
KitKat was the first version of Android to support OK Google wake-up commands. At the moment, he was only working on the screen, but this was an important starting point for something that would eventually become Google Assistant.
Android fans may remember KitKat as the version released on the Nexus 5. To date, the Nexus 5 is undoubtedly the favorite smartphone released by Google. It was a great marriage between software and hardware.
№3: Android 10
Android 10, released in 2019, was the first version to release dessert nicknames. This showed that Google hopes to take Android in a more “mature” direction.
The most noticeable change in Android 10 was the full screen gesture navigation. The Android Pie switch began to move away from the navigation bar and buttons, but Android 10 did just that. For the first time, Android did not have Home and Back buttons.
Another great addition to Android 10 was the system-wide dark theme. By turning the button, you can control the theme of any program that supports system settings. There’s no need to choose app-based themes anymore (unless you really want to). The main color of Android slowly became quite white and bright, so it was a very popular feature.
Android 10 had many features, but another important feature was better control over permissions. Users have finally gained more control over which apps can access their space. That’s something Google has been working on a bit in recent years, and Android 10 was a big step forward.
№2: Android 8.0-8.1 Oreo
Android Oreo, which went on sale in 2017, did not make a big change in design, but it was one of the most stable and elegant versions of the operating system. Google went with a brand for the nickname dessert for the second time.
Android Oreo was not short in terms of features. Picture within image has become a native feature, Notification Channels have brought tons of personalization to notifications, and even text selection has gained new options.
Perhaps one of the most convenient features to come to Android was introduced with Oreo: AutoFill Password. As with the Chrome browser, Android can remember your login for apps, which makes it much easier to use apps and set up new devices.
Android Oreo has also introduced Project Treble, which promises to improve the update situation that has bothered Android for years. Four years later, did it make a difference? Probably not as much as Google expected.
Oh, and rip to blog emojis.
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# 1: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
Ice Cream Sandwich was released in 2011, and tough Android fans will remember it as a pretty big deal. Thanks to newly hired design manager Matias Duarte, this was the first time that Android actually looked like a modern operating system.
Introduced Android 3.0 Honeycomb neon “Holo UI” for tablets only. Ice Cream Sandwich (commonly referred to as “ICS”) improved the Holo UI and brought the phones together by combining the two device categories. Not everyone is a fan of how Google integrates tablets and phones, but it was definitely a big change for the platform.
For the first time in the history of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich has brought richer notifications that can be deleted. Honeycomb’s updated and more visual Endings menu has been brought. Face unlocking has been added as a new security method.
It is impossible to really emphasize enough how important the Holo UI is for Android. Before that, Android didn’t really have a design language. It was very simple and looked like something designed for designers. Ice Cream Sandwich finally seemed more comfortable to use.
Ice Cream Sandwich goes on sale on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Android users were confronted with a hype video released for this release. That was when he finally felt that Android was growing, and Google took it seriously as the main operating system.
This was a difficult list to put together, and could be prepared in a completely different sequence with credible arguments. Each Android release added something important, but some had greater impact overall. Hopefully the next big feature is almost in the corner.
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