A Brief History of Android Software Development

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Sub: Although just a decade old, the history of android app development is nothing sort of a saga featuring Android’s trial and triumphs, story behind the sweet code names, it’s rivalry against iOS and more.

Early Years

Over the decade, Android App development has changed rapidly and historically. What was originally meant to improve the operating systems of digital cameras, would go on to become the world’s most popular mobile OS, skyrocketing the demand for top Android mobile app development companies across the world. Who would have thought that iOS biggest rival Android would get its name from founder Andy Rubin’s time in Apple itself where he got the nickname Android for his love for robots.

Ever since Android Inc. was founded in 2003 by Rich Miner, Nick Sears, Chris White, and Andy Rubin, it has seen several ups and downs. Just two years after it was founded, Google bought Android.

And, just when Android was figuring out how to set it to foot into the smartphone industry, in Jan 2007, Steve Jobs launched the iPhone, an instant sensation. Which led to Google to join the Open Handset Alliance with HTC, Motorola, Qualcomm, T-Mobile, and Texas Instruments. This made Android OS the de facto software for several smartphone manufacturing companies including HTC, Motorola, and Samsung.

1st Android Phone

In September 2008, Android launched its first phone T-Mobile G1 also known as HTC Dream combining new touchscreen technology with a physical QWERTY keyboard. It used several Google products such as Google Maps, YouTube, and Google search and while the Google Play store had not launched yet, Android offered Android Marketplace where developers displayed their mobile android app.

Story Behind The Logo

Irina Blok, a Google employee at the time, in a chat with The New York Times in 2013, said while she was directed to make the logo look like a robot, the final design was inspired in part by looking at the familiar restroom logos representing “Men” and “Women.”

Fun fact: Since Android is an open-source project, the logo has been modified and used by tons of people. And, Google allows these changes under the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License.

Android Version History

The first Android version was released in 2008 with no particular nickname but offers Google apps like Gmail, Maps, Calendar, and YouTube (integrated into the OS). Ever since Android has released the following versions:

  • Android 1.5, Cupcake
  • Android 1.6, Donut
  • Android 2.0 to 2.1, Eclair
  • Android 2.2, Froyo
  • Android version 2.3, Gingerbread
  • Android 3.0 to 3.2, Honeycomb
  • Android version 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Android versions 4.1 to 4.3, Jelly Bean
  • Android version 4.4, KitKat
  • Android versions 5.0 and 5.1, Lollipop
  • Android version 6.0, Marshmallow
  • Android versions 7.0 and 7.1, Nougat
  • Android version 8.0 and 8.1, Oreo
  • Android version 9, Pie
  • Android version 10, Q

Android Q

Android Q, expected to launch in August. It promises a totally reimagined UI with no Android Back button and more sophisticated Android gestures. Drawing a stronger focus on privacy, Android Q will offer new security updates that give you more control over how and when apps can access location data along with expanded protection of unique device identifiers that can track a device’s activity. Multitasking on Android might receive a bubble-based system where apps are able to perform any task including individual messaging conversations to lists, recipes, and even directions, all in a small floating bubble on your screen.

Why Name Android Versions After Candy?

The credit of naming all Android versions after sweet desserts has traditionally gone to its project manager at Google, Ryan Gibson, but nobody knows his reasons for doing so. However, after Google released Android 4.4 KitKat, it offered an”official” statement saying, “Since these devices make our lives so sweet, each Android version is named after a dessert.”


From offering on-screen keyboard (Cupcake) and voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation (Eclair) to introducing “OK, Google” (KitKat), Project Treble (Oreo)  and a new dashboard of “Digital Wellbeing” (Pie), Android has had one crazy ride. Unlike Apple, it kept it’s OS open source and never shies away from experimentation. As a key contributor to future technology trends that impact businesses, Android has often been ahead of its time.