Introduction to Android

Welcome to the introduction to android, in this post we will learn the basics of android OS like what is android, the history of the android operating system, its features of Android OS, and different versions of the Android operating system.

Official Documentation: Android | The platform pushing what’s possible

What is Android?

Android logo

Android is a modified Linux-based mobile operating system that was originally started by Android Inc. with the same name. In 2005, Google acquired Android and took over its development work to enter the mobile space.

Android was made open-source and free; hence most of the source code of Android is released under the open-source Apache license. That allows anyone to download the source code and change it as per their requirements, hence they can have their own flavor of the Android operating system.

The first beta version of the Android Software Development Kit (SDK) was released by Google in 2007 whereas the first commercial version, Android 1.0, was released in September 2008.

The source code for Android is available under free and open-source software licenses. Google publishes most of the code under the Apache License version 2.0 and the rest, Linux kernel changes, under the GNU General Public License version 2.

Features of Android

Android is a powerful open-source operating system that provides a lot of great features, those are

  • Storage: Uses SQLite, lightweight relational database storage for data storage (really helpful when limited mobile memory storage is to be considered).
  • Media Support: Include support for a large number of media formats for Images, Audio as well as Video, like H.263, H.264, MPEG-4 SP, AMR, AMR WB, AAC, MP3, MIDI, WAV, JPEG, PNG, GIF & BMP.
  • Messaging: Both SMS and MMS are supported.
  • Web Browser: Based on Open Source WebKit, now known as Chrome.
  • Connectivity: Supports a large group of networks like GSM/EDGE, IDEN, CDMA, EV-DO, UMTS, Bluetooth, WiFi, LTE, and WiMAX.
  • Hardware Support: Accelerometer Sensor, Camera, Digital Compass, Proximity Sensor & GPS, and a lot more.
  • Multi-Touch: Supports multi-touch screen.
  • Multi-Task: Supports application multitasking.
  • Flash Support: Supports Flash.
  • Tethering: Supports sharing of the Internet as wired or wireless hotspots.

Android Versions

Here is the list of its different versions and their code names:

VersionAPI LevelVersion NameRelease Date
1.01N/ASeptember 23, 2008
1.12Petit FourFebruary 9, 2009
1.53CupcakeApril 27, 2009
1.64DonutSeptember 15, 2009
2.05EclairOctober 27, 2009
2.0.16EclairDecember 3, 2009
2.17EclairJanuary 11, 2010
2.2 – 2.2.38FroyoMay 20, 2010
2.3 – 2.3.29GingerbreadDecember 6, 2010
2.3.3 – 2.3.710GingerbreadFebruary 9, 2011
3.011HoneycombFebruary 22, 2011
3.112HoneycombMay 10, 2011
3.2 – 3.2.613HoneycombJuly 15, 2011
4.0 – 4.0.214Ice Cream SandwichOctober 18, 2011
4.0.3 – 4.0.415Ice Cream SandwichDecember 16, 2011
4.1 – 4.1.216Jelly BeanJuly 9, 2012
4.2 – 4.2.217Jelly BeanNovember 13, 2012
4.3 – 4.3.118Jelly BeanJuly 24, 2013
4.4 – 4.4.419KitKatOctober 31, 2013
4.4W – 4.4W.220KitKatJune 25, 2014
5.0 – 5.0.221LollipopNovember 4, 2014
5.1 – 5.1.122LollipopMarch 2, 2015
6.0 – 6.0.123MarshmallowOctober 2, 2015
7.024NougatAugust 22, 2016
7.1 – 7.1.225NougatOctober 4, 2016
8.026OreoAugust 21, 2017
8.127OreoDecember 5, 2017
928PieAugust 6, 2018
1029Android 10September 3, 2019
1130Android 11September 8, 2020
1231Android 12October 4, 2021
12.132Android 12LMarch 7, 2022
1333Android 13Q3 2022

What is the API Level?

API Level is an integer value that uniquely identifies the framework API revision offered by a version of the Android platform.

Android vs iOS market share

Android dominates in global market share, responsible for 71 percent of all smartphone usage in Q1 2021. Android has been falling slightly in market share in the past two years, as Apple’s iPhone 11 and 12 were both well received by customers.

Android Vs IOS Market Share

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