10 iconic features of each major Android update, from Cupcake to Lollipop

The long history of Android now spans over 6 years -- from the HTC-made T-Mobile G1 to today -- and in that time, Google has released 10 whole major updates, each with its respective set of new features, bug fixes, and behind-the-scenes improvements. Having become a mature operating system, the rate at which these new updates are published has now slowed down in comparison with the past, allowing manufacturers and their custom UIs to catch up in the progress. The lengthier time frame also allows Google to focus on more thorough implementations, last seen with the design revamp that is on its way with Android 5.0 Lollipop.

But as time has gone by, it has become an increasingly difficult job remembering each of the major updates for what they brought to the table and, consequently, became known for. Do you even remember what made Android 3.0 Honeycomb so popular, and why its contribution to the ecosystem should be never forgotten? Maybe you do, but it's safe to say that a big portion of the Android community won't -- either because they weren't involved at the time, or because their recollection of the event has faded with time. It's time we did something about that, and today is that day. Dive right in to re-discover each of the major Android versions and what they became iconic for.



1. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2277; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

Android: The world's most advanced mobile OS keeps getting better.

6. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

It has inspired Apple to improve its own OS.

13. fanboy1974

Posts: 1345; Member since: Nov 12, 2011

And that's the reason why iOS is so buggy now. The OS was never meant to receive 3rd party keyboards and that was of the issues covered in iOS 8.0.2. It looks tacky when Apple keeps adding Android like features to a OS designed 7 years ago. And look at the iPhone 6 plus. Phone has a smaller screen than a Note 4 but is taller. Apples hardware and software needs a total redesign from the ground up.

8. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

Android is king of mobile os......

2. draconic1991

Posts: 200; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

for 4.1 i think project butter was much more important...it kind of bridged the gap between ios and android's smoothness of the interface

7. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

I was about to say the same thing.

18. Duketytz

Posts: 534; Member since: Nov 28, 2013

I was expecting project butter too!

3. npaladin2000

Posts: 165; Member since: Nov 06, 2011

Actually, as far as Gingerbread's breakout feature, in hindsight I'd have to say front camera support, without which the selfie-revolution (selfielution?) would never have happened.

4. vhd88 unregistered

i think best and biggest feature of android 4.1 jelly bean is project butter!

5. kumarabhishek591

Posts: 150; Member since: Feb 22, 2014

The biggest feature in android froyo was move to sdcard capability because internal memory of smartphones at that time was very low

9. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Maybe things will differ with the official release, but I find a lot of the design elements of the L developer preview to be rather ugly. Some elements are nice though, and it runs smoother than Barry White's voice.

10. LikeMyself

Posts: 631; Member since: Sep 23, 2013

People give too much importance to their phones! Oh I'm so addicted to this rectangle!

11. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Android L by default films the user so it can do face unlock.

16. vincelongman

Posts: 5692; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Not by default You have to go to smart lock settings and setup trusted faces first

12. Elfmonster unregistered

What happened to Apple Pie and Butterfinger?

14. fanboy1974

Posts: 1345; Member since: Nov 12, 2011

If memory serves me correctly Android A and B never made it to public release.

17. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Is that what they were actually called? I always wondered why the nicknames began at "Cupcake"...

15. realhumanbeing

Posts: 53; Member since: Oct 18, 2014

Forgot to mention live wallpaper support in 2.2 ! Little thing but aesthetically pleasing !

19. Bioload25

Posts: 213; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

They grow so fast :')

20. greenelektron

Posts: 537; Member since: Sep 10, 2014

I cant wait for the Lollipop for n5.

21. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Project butter was way bigger feature than Google now for me. Still a nice article from PA. I still think android 4.0 was a bigger upgrade than android 5.0, lollipop is still lacking basic features and still didn't solve "stock android woes".

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