Apple and Google's mobile war: A photographic timeline

The biggest moves from Google and Apple in the still-raging smartphone war.

Luke Westaway
Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.
Luke Westaway
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Why do we feel so passionate about our operating systems? In the latest episode of Adventures in Tech, we explore the psychology behind smartphone fandom. Hit the link below to explore our findings, and click through these photos to check out the biggest moments and products in the iOS/Android war. Enjoy!
2 of 46 Declan McCullagh/CNET
The Android vs. iOS war began in 2007, when Steve Jobs revealed the very first iPhone. Back then iOS was known simply as 'iPhone OS.'
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In those days, Google CEO Eric Schmidt was on Apple's board of directors. He would resign from the position a few years later due to what Apple called a "potential conflict of interest."
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At the time of Android's creation in 2007, Google showed off a prototype running early software. It doesn't look too familiar compared with today's Android, but y'know, from tiny acorns and all that.
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Here's another look at that early Android home screen.
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Android was the first operating system to really harness the power of chihuahua photos.
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So noble. OK, that's the last chihuahua picture, honest.
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Hello, 'Droidy!
9 of 46 Justin Sullivan
When Android was still in development, Apple released the iPhone 3G. It ran iPhone OS 2.0, which introduced push e-mail and the App Store.
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In 2008, however, we saw the first Android phone -- the T-Mobile G1, also known as the HTC Dream. It looks primitive now, but things were about to advance very far, very fast.
11 of 46 Sarah Tew/CNET
The G1 had a QWERTY keyboard for rattling out text messages and e-mails. Today finding an Android phone with a physical keyboard is next to impossible.
12 of 46 James Martin/CNET
2009 brought us a look at this Imeem app for Android, running on Android version 1.5, called Cupcake.
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Android 2.0 Eclair added a unified e-mail in-box.
14 of 46 James Martin/CNET
Android was now advancing at a serious pace. In 2009 we glimpsed augmented reality through the Google Goggles visual search app.
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Of course, 2009 also brought the faster iPhone 3GS. iPhone OS 3.0 arrived at the same time, introducing long-awaited features like copy and paste and MMS.
16 of 46 Josh Lowensohn/CNET
2010 brought us the first Nexus smartphone -- the Nexus One, built by HTC.
17 of 46 Josh Lowensohn/CNET
The Nexus One ran Android 2.1 Eclair. Voice control and Google Earth for Android (shown here) were new treats, as were a whopping five home screens, instead of the usual three.
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Unlike the iPhone, Android devices had the power to multitask, running apps in the background. Apple was working on its own multitasking however...
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In summer 2010 we saw iPhone OS 4, which would be renamed iOS 4.
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Multitasking arrived, along with folders for apps, and a number of other tweaks, including custom wallpaper.
21 of 46 Flora Graham/CNET
In 2010 Android 2.2 Froyo arrived, bringing Flash support, which at the time was important for watching lots of video online.
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The Nexus S, built by Samsung, was introduced in 2010 alongside Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
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In 2011, Android 3.0 Honeycomb arrived. It was designed for tablets, but the first round of Android slates proved rather lacklustre.
24 of 46 Kevork Djansezian
2011 also saw the iPhone 4S introduced, bringing a significant new feature to iOS -- Siri.
25 of 46 Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET
With the iPhone 4S we got our first taste of iOS 5 and its new notification system. It was eerily similar to the notification panel Android had been using for ages.
26 of 46 Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET
A swanky to-do list was another new feature in iOS 5...
27 of 46 Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET
...as was Twitter integration, letting you tweet from more parts of the operating system.
28 of 46 Screenshot by Josh Lowensohn/CNET
The biggest change for iOS was iCloud, which meant over-the-air updates and wireless backup.
29 of 46 Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
Shortly after iOS 5's arrival, we got a look at Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich -- a radical overhaul that unified the tablet and smartphone versions of the operating system.
30 of 46 Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
One new feature was the power to control your mobile data usage.
31 of 46 James Martin/CNET
Ice Cream Sandwich made its debut on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
32 of 46 James Martin/CNET
The summer of 2012 brought Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
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Google's 'Project Butter' made Android 4.1 Jelly Bean a whole lot smoother to use.
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Jelly Bean first showed up on the 2012 Nexus 7 -- an alarmingly cheap, incredibly tempting 7-inch tablet.
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The autumn of 2012 saw the iPhone 5 introduced. It had a bigger screen, but saw the introduction of the controversial iOS 6 software.
36 of 46 Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET
iOS 6 introduced features like Passbook, which stores your tickets.
37 of 46 Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET
It also added Facebook integration. So far, so good, right?
38 of 46 Screenshot by Luke Westaway/CNET
Unfortunately, Apple's own iOS 6 Maps app was a total disaster compared with the Google Maps data used in iOS 5 and earlier versions. Apple's effort offered subpar information and was packed with comical errors.
39 of 46 Luke Westaway/CNET
The 3D Maps in iOS 6 sounded great, but were often ugly and hilariously out of shape. This is not how Clifton Suspension Bridge is supposed to look.
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Android fared better in 2012, introducing the jaw-dropping Nexus 4, which had a bargain-basement price tag, incredibly sophisticated hardware, and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Cheers, Google.
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Apple retaliated with iOS 7 in 2013 -- the most significant iOS overhaul to date.
42 of 46 Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET
This colourful, visually flat update brought lots of pleasant translucent effects.
43 of 46 Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET
A brand new multitasking system is also new in iOS 7.
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iOS 7 arrived on the iPhone 5S and 5C. One offers a fingerprint scanner, the other has colourful plastic casings. Both were surprisingly expensive.
45 of 46 Screenshot by Lynn La/CNET
Android took another step forward in 2013 with version 4.4 KitKat, the very latest edition of Google's operating system.
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The latest Nexus smartphone is the glorious Nexus 5. Both Android and iOS have come a long way in a few short years -- but which do you prefer? Stick your thoughts in the comments, and click below to check out our feature on the psychological processes that fuel the smartphone war.

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