Poll results: Evolution of Android - which major update changed the face of the platform most significantly?

With Android 5.0 Lollipop ever closer to becoming a mass-market reality (well, as mass-market as these can be, considering manufacturers' excruciatingly-slow transition towards new major updates), we felt like it was about time we had a look at Android's past. As we pointed out on Monday, when we published this poll, Google's platform has undergone a myriad of changes during its years of service, but not all of these were necessarily equal in their contribution. And as the below results plainly show, the near 4,000 participants in the poll agree with that notion.

We mentioned that we had our own favorite, and we're happy to see that most of you (43.44%) converge on our opinion that Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich was the update that changed the face of the operating system most significantly. A relatively close second is the upcoming Android 5.0 Lollipop update (about which we nevertheless know plenty already), with 31.39% of you considering it the most significant in the OS' history. With 10.83%, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is a distant third, followed by Android 2.3 Gingerbread (5.9%) and Android 4.4 KitKat (4.24%).

None of the above surprised us very much, but what about you? Anything about these numbers not sitting well with you? Let us know in the shout box below.

Evolution of Android - which major update changed the face of the platform most significantly?

Android 1.5 Cupcake
Android 1.6 Donut
Android 2.0 Eclair
Android 2.2 Froyo
Android 2.3 Gingerbread
Android 3.0 Honeycomb
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Android 4.4 KitKat
Android 5.0 Lollipop



1. sriuslywtf

Posts: 297; Member since: Jul 09, 2013

Android ICS FTW! But seriously, Google is on the right track! Keep it up!

4. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

I don't think so actually, people should try Lollipop if they can. I have it on my nexus 5/7 and feels 10x better than Kitkat for some reason. Everything has a flow and purpose now and there is so much more possible now. ICS was big, but I think LP will be much bigger in terms of securing the future for Android.

8. vincelongman

Posts: 5695; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Loving Lollipop on my Nexus 5 as well Especially the animations and improved ram management (feels like my ram doubled) I think ICS won this because it was a somewhat bigger jump Gingerbread's quite ugly design (open Music, not Play Music, it has Gingerbread's design) And ICS's holo design was arguably the best at the time of release (or tied with Metro as the best) I personally didn't even consider buying an Android until ICS

9. rd_nest

Posts: 1656; Member since: Jun 06, 2010

"Everything has a flow and purpose now..." That's a typical BS statement without any meaning at all. When you say something is better, you need to explain it properly. Such bogus statement has no meaning.

12. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

He doesn't say it is better, he says it feels better. Also stating everything has a flow and purpose, is certainly a statement with meaning. You might not concur with it or even understand it, but it's certainly not a BS statement.

2. ImUnderTheBed

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 23, 2014

Honestly IMHO pre ics android was very ugly. It's a wonder that it made it through that. But I guess everyone has their awkward teenage years.

3. Miracles

Posts: 560; Member since: Aug 31, 2013

The struggle to perfection :P

16. Ashoaib

Posts: 3285; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

pre ics android was really very ugly and looked like symbian... I hate android that time

5. hmd74

Posts: 540; Member since: Jan 31, 2013

Android 5.0 is the biggest change...because of the new animations and Material Design (visuals) + under the hood improvements like Project Volta and ART etc...

7. XaErO

Posts: 353; Member since: Sep 25, 2012

Absolutely .. I agree !! Android 5.0 L is best thing till date .. 1. ART - Upto 50% faster app execution 2. 64bit Support 3. Material Design 4. Camera related API (Large improvements here) 5. Smooth Animations (Multi-speed animations in one) 6. Performance Boost Thing (PBT) under the hood (read anandtech.com) 7. Overall new 5000+ APIs for developers for better control 8. Project Volta - Significant battery improvements and a lot of small-small countless more !!

15. vincelongman

Posts: 5695; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Ram management is so much better as well My Nexus 5 feels like it has double the ram now

6. greenelektron

Posts: 537; Member since: Sep 10, 2014

But Froyo is my favorite treat. I would agree with the ICS though but i voted for Jelly Bean.

10. dmakun

Posts: 382; Member since: Jun 06, 2011

I don't think the Lollipop update should have been included in this list. We will have a good assessment after it has rolled out so at the moment the inclusion of lollipop skews the results of this poll. A good time to do a poll which includes lollipop would be after the first quarter of 2015. Google and Android manufacturers understandably need improvement with regard effective update roll-outs but one can argue that even ICS is a very capable OS in today's standards".

11. SupermanayrB

Posts: 1188; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

What a lot of people are failing to realize is the roller coaster ride with all of the software updates. IMO Gingerbread is what caused a lot of people to jump ship from android because it didn't matter what carrier or which device you had, Gingerbread was terrible. ICS started to bring people back & restore faith in loyal platform users but I think it was project butter aka Jellybean that really got things going & made the software a competitor again.

14. Phonedingo

Posts: 399; Member since: Aug 16, 2014

Jellybean was the stage where I would say android finally matured. But the jump from gingerbread to ICS was way larger than the one from ICS to JB.

13. Phonedingo

Posts: 399; Member since: Aug 16, 2014

Glad to see ICS getting the recognition it deserves.

17. shnibz

Posts: 510; Member since: Sep 18, 2011

4.0 ICS not even a question!! I had sworn off Android after owning the helpless HTC Hero but when ICS came along and I played with it on a Galaxy Nexus, I was a back in baby!!

18. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Honeycomb should have had the most votes.

19. xtremesv

Posts: 299; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

Totally, Honeycomb paved the way for ICS interface.

20. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

yes, but it was broken, bumpy, failure of a road.

21. daniel_bargs

Posts: 325; Member since: Nov 27, 2010

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is the beginning of Android. It made Google relevant in the information technology era.

22. steodoreben

Posts: 379; Member since: Sep 26, 2013


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