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The evolution of Android: Google's operating system changes

Although Apple's iOS was the first operating system for cell phones, Google's Android is by far the most popular today. Originally created for digital cameras, the evolution of Android has been significant since it came with the HTC Dream phone from T-Mobile in 2008 until it became the powerful system it is today.

Android was developed in 2003 by Andy Rubin, who soon realized that the camera market will not be so massive, so he turned his attention to the phones. But Android Inc. only rose to fame in 2005, when it was bought by Google, which was trying to enter the phone business. But he did not do it as a hardware manufacturer, but instead by marketing the popular operating system.

Android 1.0 (2008)

Android 1.0 (2008)

The first version, Android 1.0, is obviously much less developed than the operating system we know today, but still has some similarities. Most agree that it is right in the drop-down window for notifications, surprising iOS. Another innovation was Google Play Store, then called Market. While Apple had launched App Store months before, both boosted the concept of a centralized place to download applications.

With this system, the use of widgets on the home screen also began – something that iOS does not allow until today – although these were only limited to what Google developed. This first version already had a deep integration with Gmail.

Android 1.5 Cupcake (2009)

Android 1.5 Cupcake (2009)

The first major update of Android, Cupcake, was significant for many reasons, but probably its biggest milestone is to have been the first operating system with an on-screen keyboard. Before, manufacturers must include physical keyboards in the devices. With this version, Google also opened the SDK of widgets for external developers. Currently, most applications have at least one widget. Another milestone is related to videos. Before, Android does not support video recording, so users had to settle for photo capture. All that (fortunately) changed.

Android 1.6 Donut (2009)

Android 1.6 Donut (2009)

Android Donut was a major update. It took the operating system to millions of people, by adding support for CDMA networks such as Verizon, Sprint and several major companies in Asia. Although it was intended to be easy to use, some of its major updates were in the code. For example, it was the first version to support different screen sizes.

Donut was also a pioneer in including what is now considered a basic element: the quick search box. This allowed users to quickly search the web, local files or contacts from the home screen, without the need to open any application. It also introduced aesthetic changes, such as a redesigned Android Market, which offered a selection with the best free and paid applications.

Android 2.0 Eclair (2009)

Android 2.0 Eclair (2009)One of the milestones of Android's evolution was the introduction of Google Maps.

While the updates had been important, until then they were improvements to the same operating system. In 2009, Android 2.0 Eclair arrived, incorporating deep adjustments, many of which still exist.

He was the first to use Google Maps navigation, which practically buried GPS for cars. While Maps has changed a lot, some of its most relevant features appeared then, such as step-by-step navigation or voice guidance. And although there were navigation applications, these were not free.

The Internet browser was also updated. Google added HTML5 support and the ability to play videos, keeping pace with the iPhone. Finally, users can now slide the screen to unlock the device, just like Apple's phone, or change the silent mode.

Android 2.2 Froyo (2010)

Android 2.2 Froyo (2010)

Android Froyo arrived in 2010 with the Nexus One, the first Nexus phone. Froyo aimed more to refine the Android experience, offering users five home screen panels instead of three, in addition to a new application of Galera. Froyo was the first version to offer support for hotspots Mobile Users can also lock the screen with a PIN, complementing the existing pattern lock.

Android 2.3 Gingerbread (2010)

Android 2.3 Gingerbread (2010)Another key in the evolution of Android was the incorporation of the support for the front camera in Gingerbread.

The Nexus result program and the arrival of Gingerbread confirmed it. Google chose to launch the Nexus S – built by Samsung – a phone derived from the successful Galaxy S of the South Korean manufacturer. Gingerbread was another great refinement of Android, and saw a redesign of the widgets and the Android home screen.

Gingerbread also came with an improved keyboard, with improved multi-touch support, which allows you to press several keys to access a secondary keyboard. Finally, add support for the front camera. What will we do today without the selfies?

Android 3.0 Honeycomb (2011)

Android 3.0 Honeycomb (2011)

The launch of Honeycomb was interesting because it was aimed at tablets. It was even shown for the first time on a Motorola device, which will eventually become Xoom. Honeycomb gave some clues about the design of future versions of Android. Instead of continuing with the classic green color, Google opted for a blue. In addition, I offered previews for individual widgets. Perhaps his greatest innovation was that he eliminated the need for the physical button: the start, back and menu buttons were included in the software, so they can be hidden or displayed according to the application.

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (2011)

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (2011)

The Nexus S was a great phone, but it was not the end of the association of Google and Samsung. Both companies joined again for the launch of the Galaxy Nexus, which with the Ice Cream Sandwich update brought many Honeycomb features to cell phones.

The operating system brought the virtual buttons, as well as a tight and refined interface that made use of the blue highlights. Other features, such as facial unlocking, data usage analysis and new applications for mail and calendar, also came in this version.

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (2012)

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (2012)Another milestone of the evolution of Android was the arrival of Google Now.

Android Jelly Bean marked a new era for the operating system. Its most important change was Google Now, which could be accessed quickly from the home screen and brought in one place information such as calendar events, emails, weather reports, among others. Set the stage for what current digital assistants will be, including Google Assistant.

In addition to Google Now, other additions were implemented, such as Project Butter, seeking to drastically improve Android's touch performance, tripling the graphics in bfer storage. I transformed it into a much more fluid experience. The updated source, expandable notifications, greater flexibility of widgets and other features also came in this version that, without a doubt, is one of the most important.

Android 4.4 KitKat (2013)

Android Kitkat

Android 4.4 KitKat coincided with the launch of the Nexus 5 and arrived with many new features. It was one of the biggest aesthetic changes of the system, modernizing its appearance. The blue emphases of Ice Cream Sandwich and Jellybean were replaced by a more refined white, and several Android applications were redesigned to show lighter color schemes.

In addition to a new look, KitKat incorporates the search command “OK, Google“, Which allowed the user to access Google Now at any time. It also brought a new telephone dialer, full screen applications and a new Hangouts application, which offered SMS support along with support for the Hangouts messaging platform.

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