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by Samuel OnyikeOctober 29, 2016

Android 2.0 Eclair (API level 5)

On October 26, 2009, the Android 2.0 SDK was released, based on Linux kernel 2.6.29 and codenamed Eclair.

Changes include the ones listed below.
Version Release date
2.0         October 26, 2009
Expanded Account sync, allowing users to add multiple accounts to a device for synchronization of email and contacts
Microsoft Exchange email support, with combined inbox to browse email from multiple
accounts in one page
Bluetooth 2.1 support
Ability to tap a Contacts photo and select to call, SMS, or email the person
Ability to search all saved SMS and MMS messages, with delete oldest messages in a conversation automatically deleted when a defined limit is reached
Numerous new camera features, including flash support, digital zoom, scene mode, white balance, color effect and macro focus
Improved typing speed on virtual keyboard, with smarter dictionary that learns from word usage and includes contact names as suggestions
Refreshed browser UI with bookmark thumbnails, double-tap zoom and support for HTML5
Calendar agenda view enhanced, showing attending status for each invitee, and ability to invite new guests to events
Optimized hardware speed and revamped UI
Support for more screen sizes and resolutions, with better contrast ratio
Improved Google Maps 3.1.2
MotionEvent class enhanced to track multi-touch events
Addition of live wallpapers, allowing the animation of home-screen background images to show movement

Android 2.0.1 Eclair (API level 6)

Version Release date
2.0.1 December 3, 2009
Minor API changes, bugfixes and framework behavioral changes
Nexus one home screen 21.png
Android 2.0 Home Screen

Android 2.1 Eclair (API level 7)

Version Release date
2.1         January 12, 2010
Minor amendments to the API and bugfixes

Android 2.2 Froyo (API level 8)

On May 20, 2010, the SDK for Android 2.2 (Froyo, short for frozen yogurt) was released, based on Linux kernel 2.6.32.
Version Release date
2.2 May 20, 2010
Speed, memory, and performance optimizations
Additional application speed improvements, implemented through JIT compilation
Integration of Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine into the Browser application
Support for the Android Cloud to Device Messaging (C2DM) service, enabling push notifications
Improved Microsoft Exchange support, including security policies, auto-discovery, GAL look-up, calendar synchronization and remote wipe
Improved application launcher with shortcuts to Phone and Browser applications
USB tethering and Wi-Fi hotspot functionality
Option to disable data access over mobile network
Updated Market application with batch and automatic update features
Quick switching between multiple keyboard languages and their dictionaries
Support for Bluetooth-enabled car and desk docks
Support for numeric and alphanumeric passwords
Support for file upload fields in the Browser application
The browser now shows all frames of animated GIFs instead of just the first frame only
Support for installing applications to the expandable memory
Adobe Flash support
Support for high-PPI displays (up to 320 ppi), such as four-inch 720p screens
Gallery allows users to view picture stacks using a zoom gesture

2.2.1 January 18, 2011
Bugfixes, security updates and performance improvements
2.2.2 January 22, 2011
Minor bugfixes, including SMS routing issues that affected the Nexus One
2.2.3 November 21, 2011
Two security updates

Android 2.3 Gingerbread (API level 9)

On December 6, 2010, the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) SDK was released, based on Linux kernel 2.6.35.

Version Release date
2.3         December 6, 2010
Updated user interface design with increased simplicity and speed
Support for extra-large screen sizes and resolutions (WXGA and higher)
Native support for SIP VoIP internet telephony
Faster, more intuitive text input in virtual keyboard, with improved accuracy, better suggested text and voice input mode
Enhanced copy/paste functionality, allowing users to select a word by press-hold, copy, and paste
Support for Near Field Communication (NFC), allowing the user to read an NFC tag embedded in a poster, sticker, or advertisement
New audio effects such as reverb, equalization, headphone virtualization, and bass boost
New Download Manager, giving users easy access to any file downloaded from the browser, email, or another application
Support for multiple cameras on the device, including a front-facing camera, if available
Support for WebM/VP8 video playback, and AAC audio encoding
Improved power management with a more active role in managing applications that are keeping the device awake for too long
Enhanced support for native code development
Switched from YAFFS to ext4 on newer devices
Audio, graphical, and input enhancements for game developers
Concurrent garbage collection for increased performance
Native support for more sensors (such as gyroscopes and barometers)

2.3.1 December 2010
Improvements and bugfixes for the Nexus S
2.3.2 January 2011

Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread (API level 10)

Version Release date
2.3.3 February 9, 2011
Several improvements and API fixes

2.3.4 April 28, 2011
Support for voice or video chat using Google Talk
Open Accessory Library support. Open Accessory was introduced in 3.1 (Honeycomb) 
but the Open Accessory Library grants 2.3.4 added support when connecting to a USB peripheral 
with compatible software and a compatible application on the device
Switched the default encryption for SSL from AES256-SHA to RC4-MD5.

2.3.5 July 25, 2011
Improved network performance for the Nexus S 4G, among other fixes and improvements
Fixed Bluetooth bug on Samsung Galaxy S
Improved Gmail application
Shadow animations for list scrolling
Camera software enhancements
Improved battery efficiency

2.3.6 September 2, 2011
Fixed a voice search bug[s]

2.3.7 September 21, 2011
Google Wallet support for the Nexus S 4G

Android 3.0 Honeycomb (API level 11)

On February 22, 2011, the Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) SDK – the first tablet-only Android update – was released, based on Linux kernel 2.6.36. 
The first device featuring this version, the Motorola Xoom tablet, was released on February 24, 2011.

Version Release date
3.0         February 22, 2011
Optimized tablet support with a new “holographic” user interface
Added System Bar, featuring quick access to notifications, status, and soft navigation buttons, available at the bottom of the screen
Added Action Bar, giving access to contextual options, navigation, widgets, or other types of content at the top of the screen
Simplified multitasking – tapping Recent Applications in the System Bar 
allows users to see snapshots of the tasks underway and quickly jump from one application to another
Redesigned keyboard, making typing fast, efficient and accurate on larger screen sizes
Simplified, more intuitive copy/paste interface
Multiple browser tabs replacing browser windows, plus form auto-fill and a new “incognito” mode allowing anonymous browsing
Quick access to camera exposure, focus, flash, zoom, front-facing camera, time-lapse, and other camera features
Ability to view albums and other collections in full-screen mode in Gallery, with easy access to thumbnails for other photos
New two-pane Contacts UI and Fast Scroll to let users easily organize and locate contacts
New two-pane Email UI to make viewing and organizing messages more efficient, allowing users to select one or more messages
Hardware acceleration
Support for multi-core processors
Ability to encrypt all user data
HTTPS stack improved with Server Name Indication (SNI)
Filesystem in Userspace (FUSE; kernel module)
Disallows applications from having write access to secondary storage (memory cards on devices with internal primary storage) outside of designated, 
application-specific directories. Full access to primary internal storage is still allowed through a separate application-level permission.

Android 3.1 Honeycomb (API level 12)

Version Release date
3.1         May 10, 2011
UI refinements
Connectivity for USB accessories (USB On-The-Go).
Expanded Recent Applications list
Resizable Home screen widgets
Support for external keyboards and pointing devices
Support for joysticks and gamepads
Support for FLAC audio playback
High-performance Wi-Fi lock, maintaining high-performance Wi-Fi connections when device screen is off
Support for HTTP proxy for each connected Wi-Fi access point

Android 3.2 Honeycomb (API level 13)

Most first- and second-generation Google TV-enabled devices used Honeycomb 3.2.
Version Release date
3.2 July 15, 2011
Improved hardware support, including optimizations for a wider range of tablets
Increased ability of applications to access files on the SD card, e.g. for synchronization
Compatibility display mode for applications that have not been optimized for tablet screen resolutions
New display support functions, giving developers more control over display appearance on different Android devices

3.2.1 September 20, 2011
Bugfixes and minor security, stability and Wi-Fi improvements
Update to Android Market with automatic updates and easier-to-read Terms and Conditions text
Update to Google Books
Improved Adobe Flash support in browser
Improved Chinese handwriting prediction
3.2.2 August 30, 2011
Bugfixes and other minor improvements for the Motorola Xoom 4G
Bugfixes and other minor improvements for the Motorola Xoom and Motorola Xoom 4G
3.2.4 December 2011
“Pay as You Go” support[clarify] for 3G and 4G tablets
3.2.5 January 2012
Bugfixes and other minor improvements for the Motorola Xoom and Motorola Xoom 4G
3.2.6 February 2012
Fixed data connectivity issues when coming out of airplane mode on the US 4G Motorola Xoom

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (API level 14)

The SDK for Android 4.0.1 (Ice Cream Sandwich), based on Linux kernel 3.0.1,
was publicly released on October 19, 2011.
Google’s Gabe Cohen stated that Android 4.0 was “theoretically compatible” with any Android 2.3.x device in 
production at that time.
The source code for Android 4.0 became available on November 14, 2011.
Ice Cream Sandwich was the last version to officially support Adobe Systems’ Flash player.

Version Release date
4.0        October 18, 2011
Major refinements to the “Holo” interface with new Roboto font family
Soft buttons from Android 3.x are now available for use on phones
Separation of widgets in a new tab, listed in a similar manner to applications
Easier-to-create folders, with a drag-and-drop style
Improved visual voicemail with the ability to speed up or slow down voicemail messages
Pinch-to-zoom functionality in the calendar
Integrated screenshot capture (accomplished by holding down the Power and Volume-Down buttons)
Improved error correction on the keyboard
Ability to access applications directly from lock screen
Improved copy and paste functionality
Better voice integration and continuous, real-time speech to text dictation
Face Unlock, a feature that allows users to unlock handsets using facial recognition software
Automatic syncing of browser with users’ Chrome bookmarks
Data Usage section in settings that lets users set warnings when they approach a certain usage limit, and disable data use when the limit is exceeded
Ability to shut down applications from the recent apps list with a swipe
Improved camera application with zero shutter lag, time lapse settings, panorama mode, and the ability to zoom while recording
Built-in photo editor
New gallery layout, organized by location and person
Refreshed “People” application with social network integration, status updates and hi-res images
Android Beam, a near-field communication feature allowing the rapid short-range exchange of web bookmarks, contact info, directions, YouTube videos and other data
Support for the WebP image format
Hardware acceleration of the UI
Wi-Fi Direct
1080p video recording for stock Android devices
Android VPN Framework (AVF), and TUN (but not TAP) kernel module. Prior to 4.0, VPN software required rooted Android.

4.0.1 October 21, 2011
Fixed minor bugs for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
4.0.2 November 28, 2011
Fixed minor bugs on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, the US launch of which was later delayed until December 2011.

Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich (API level 15)

Version Release date
4.0.3 December 16, 2011
Numerous bugfixes and optimizations
Improvements to graphics, databases, spell-checking and Bluetooth functionality
New APIs for developers, including a social stream API in the Contacts provider
Calendar provider enhancements
New camera applications enhancing video stabilization and QVGA resolution
Accessibility refinements such as improved content access for screen readers

4.0.4 March 29, 2012
Stability improvements
Better camera performance
Smoother screen rotation
Improved phone number recognition


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About The Author
Samuel Onyike
Epigrammatic tech-savvy writer. He loves to write on the ever changing technology topics and sees the human mind as the first virtual reality. Samuel doesn't need a manual to use a device even for the first time. He'll beat you in football games.

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