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Christmas Gift Guide

Android through the years

1.0 G1 (2008)

1.5 Cupcake (2009)

2.0 Eclair (2009)

2.2 Froyo (2010)

2.3 Gingerbread (2011)

3.0 Honeycomb (2011)

4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (2011)

4.1 Jelly Bean (2012)

4.4 KitKat (2013)

5.0 Lollipop (2014)

6.0 Marshmallow (2015)

7.0 Nougat (2016)

8.0 Oreo (2017)

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 by / Photo by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Android 1.0 served up apps through Android Market with 35 apps at launch. Its Google Maps used the phone's GPS and Wi-Fi, and it had an Android browser built right in.

Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET

As the first major update of Android, Cupcake added widgets for the home screen, an onscreen keyboard, video recording in the camera and a copy-and-paste function to the web browser.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/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.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Corinne Sculze/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

With its clunky name, ICS merged the phone and tablet operating systems. It added face recognition for unlocking phones, canned text responses to declined calls and live video effects in the camera.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Marshmallow introduced Doze Mode to save on battery life. It also added built-in support for a fingerprint reader, USB Type-C and 4K mode for apps.

Caption by / Photo by Juan Garzon/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Jason Cipriani/CNET
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