It's been nearly nine years since Google rolled out the first version of Android to consumers in 2008. Since then, the mobile OS has reached 2 billion devices and shows no sign of slowing down. We take a look at how the OS has evolved over time.
Caption byLynn La
/ Photo by Stephen Shankland/CNET
Microsoft users rejoiced at Eclair's support for Exchange. The OS also supported multiple Google accounts and let you search within text and SMS messages. It also added multi-touch support and the camera improved with flash and digital zoom.
Froyo introduced Flash Player 10.1, which bridged gaps by allowing phones to play video and stream audio. The camera flash now worked on video, Bluetooth compatibility was boosted and you could use your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot.
With Gingerbread, the world got to know Near Field Communication (NFC), which allowed phones to connect with other nearby devices. The OS also allowed video calling using the front-facing camera and added a download manager.
Honeycomb was the first update for tablets only. It included 3D graphics support, side-by-side browser tabs, video chatting with Google Talk, Bluetooth tethering and full-screen mode within the photo gallery.
Jelly Bean had faster, smoother performance thanks to"Project Butter." It let you interact more with expandable notifications, the Chrome browser became the default, widgets became resizable and Google Now was pre-installed.
Google partnered with an actual food company to create the KitKat OS. As for the software itself, it added emojis to the Google Keyboard, had a smaller memory footprint to support lower-end phones and let you print on the go with Google Cloud Print.
Google overhauled its aesthetic completely with a flat interface known as Material. Notifications came in banners across the lock screen or as pop-up alerts. The OS also had priority mode, multi-user support, screen pinning and recent apps were renamed Overview.
With NougatNougat, you could finally clear all your apps in Overview with a single tap. It let you adjust the skin tone of your emojis and tap through more Quick Setting options. It also supported Google's VR endeavor, Daydream.
Timed to launch right alongside the 2017 US solar eclipse, Google's latest Android Oreo OS serves up picture-in-picture apps for even more multitasking. There's also a better copy-and-paste experience, improved security and better battery management.