You all know Android comes in different flavors, yes every major Android versions has dessert based nickname. Android versions names are in alphabetical order. Lets walk through the history of Android.
Android Versions Names from Cupcake to Oreo.
Oreo – Android 8.0 (API 26)/Android 8.1 (API 27)
Android Oreo is the 8th major release of the Android operating system. It was first released as a developer preview on March 21, 2017, with factory images for current Nexus and Pixel devices. The final developer preview was released on July 24, 2017, with the stable version released in August 2017.
Android Oreo 8.1 is latest among all the Android versions available now. It is first released as a developer preview on October 25th, 2017, with factory images for current Nexus and Pixel devices.The developer preview will be available for Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel C, Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P and the Android emulator. Click here to read more about Android 8.1 Developer Preview.
Nougat – Android 7.0 (API 25)/Android 7.0 (API 24)
Android 7.0 Nougat is the major 7.0 release of the Android Versions. It was first released as a developer preview on March 9, 2016, with factory images for current Nexus devices.. Final release was on August 22, 2016.
Android Nougat comes with much awaited native support for multi-window, so apps can live side by side. Google’s also adding in direct-reply notifications and bundled notifications.
Marshmallow – Android 6.0 (API 23)
Android 6.0 Marshmallow was released on October 5, 2015. It comes with some visual changes — like a new launcher and refined notification panel. Android 6.0 gave us better control over permissions, allowing you to control what parts of your data apps can access, rather than approve it by simply installing the app in the first place.
Lollipop – Android 5.0 (API 21)/ Android 5.1 (API 22)
Android 5.0 became available as official on November 12, 2014. Lollipop comes with major changes in user interface which is really a milestone in UI design for Android Apps. Google introduced a responsive design language called Material Design. It’s also the first time Google has provided developer beta previews of the software, so that the apps we all love can be ready when the new version drops.
Google made internal changes to the platform, with the Android Runtime (ART) officially replacing Dalvik for improved application performance. It also added support for 64-bit devices.
KitKat – Android 4.4 (API 19) / Android 4.4W KitKat, with wearable extensions(API 20)
KitKat was released on Google’s Nexus 5 on October 31, 2013, and was optimized to run on a greater range of devices than earlier Android versions, having 512 MB of RAM as a recommended minimum. Android 4.4 turned the Android into a lighter, flatter and much colorful look. Added some features like the Google Now launcher, SMS integration with Hangouts, and easier and faster user interface.
Android 4.4W KitKat, with wearable extensions(API 20)
Android KitKat exclusive to Android Wear devices was realeased on June 24, 2014. Android 4.4W KitKat, with wearable extensions comes with some UI updates and GPS support for Android Wear devices.
Jelly Bean – Android 4.1 (API16)/ Android 4.1 (API17)/ Android 4.1(API18)
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean was released to the Android Open Source Project on July 9, 2012, and the ASUS Nexus 7 tablet, the first device to run Jelly Bean, was released on July 13, 2012. Later in the year, the release of the Nexus 10 and Nexus 4 updated things from 4.1 to 4.2 and on to 4.3, under the same version name Jelly Bean.
Ice Cream Sandwich – Android 4.0 (API 14)
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the last version to officially support Adobe Flash player was released on October 18, 2011. It was first launched with Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Ice Cream Sandwich brought many of the design features of Honeycomb to smartphones.
Honeycomb – Android 3.0 (API 11)/ Android 3.1 (API 12)/ Android 3.2 (API 11)/
Android 3.0 HoneyComb is the first and only Android update specifically made for Android Tablets. The first device featuring this version, the Motorola Xoom tablet, was released on February 24, 2011. It brought a lot of UI elements like System bar at the bottom of the screen to replace the Status bar we see on phones, and a new recent applications button are a great addition for the wide screen offered by Android tablets.
Along with Honeycomb, Google implemented a new distribution method where the manufacturers are given the source code and license to use it only after their hardware choices have been approved by Google. Further improvements to Honeycomb were added in the Android 3.1, and Android 3.2 updates.
Gingerbread – Android 2.3 (API 9)/ Android 2.3 (API 10)
Android 2.3 Gingerbread was released on December 6, 2010. Gingerbread brings a few UI enhancements to Android, things like a more consistent feel across menus and dialogs, and a new black notification bar. Gingerbread brings support for NFC (Near Field Communication).
Froyo – Android 2.2 (API 8)
Android 2.2 Froyo (Frozen Yogurt) was released on May 20, 2010. This Android version introduced of the Just-In-Time Compiler — or JIT — which speeds up the phone’s processing power. It also brought support for Adobe Flash player. Froyo also brought native support for tethering, one of the mostly used feature by mobile users.
Eclair – Android 2.0 (API 5)/ Android 2.0.1 (API 6)/ Android 2.1 (API 7)
Android 2.0 Eclair was released on October 26, 2009. It brought enhanced browser, Google maps along with a new user interface.
Donut – Android 1.6 (API 4)
Android 1.6 Donut was released in September 2009, based on Android 1.5. It comes with some enhancements in Android Market. A major highlight is, Donut brought support to touch screens with high resolution
Cupcake – Android 1.5 (API 3)
The Android 1.5 Cupcake was released on April 27, 2009. This is the first among the different Android versions to get the code name based on a dessert. Cupcake started the naming convention based on dessert names.
Don’t think that Android 1.5 Cupcake is released, only to start a new naming standard for Android Versions. It also brought a lot of UI enhancements such as widget support and home screen folders. Some major updates of Cupcake, behind the scenes are improved Bluetooth support, camcorder functions, and new upload services like Picasa and YouTube.