Android versions comparison

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2014-10-20 15:24:47

Android platform

Android is a software stack that includes an operating system, middleware and key applications. While Google is the main actor which comes to mind, the Open Handset Alliance also collaborates on Android's development and release. The operating system is based on the Linux kernel, the specific versions depends on the platform version and is given in the comparison table below.

Phones / Tablets / Smart watches / TV Player...

The latest version of the platform is now Lollipop Android 5.0.

There was previously two flavors of the platform. One targeted for small screens mainly mobile phones (all versions below 3.0), and one dedicated for tablets: Honeycomb Android 3.0. However not all Android tablets support this version (some tablets use the Android 2.x).

These two variants of the platform have been merged to a versatile and uniform platform since "Ice Cream Sandwich", which has been released in October 2011. It combines "Gingerbread" and "Honeycomb" versions in a cohesive platform for tablets and phones at the same time.

Android 5.0 aka Lollipop target to be even more versatile to target also smart watches, TV player, Car media center... device with only 512 of RAM can support this new version.

Note: The market share figures (Sept. 2014) are based on statistics using API level, so the percentage might gather several versions of the Android platform.

Related comparisons:

http://socialcompare.com/en/comparison/mobile-os-comparison-developer-view

The following comparison chart lists the main differences between each version of the android platform using the changelog of each version. Do not hesitate to contribute or comment to make this comparison table as accurate as possible.

Version nameKey user features addedKey developer features addedRelease dateAndroid market shareAPI Level
Android 5.0Lollipop
  • New design (Material design)
  • Speed improvement
  • Battery consumption improvement
  • Several new API
  • Tracking battery consumption app
2014-10-170 %20
Android 4.4.4KitKatFix Heartbleed / OpenSSL vulnerability2014-06-2324.5 % (4.4 - 4.4.4)19
Android 4.4.3KitKat
  • Bug fixes
  • Enable Sprint Spark band 26 and band 41
2014-04-1424.5 % (4.4 - 4.4.4)19
Android 4.4.2KitKat
  • Bug fixes
  • Security enhancements
2013-12-0924.5 % (4.4 - 4.4.4)19
Android 4.4.1KitKat
  • Bug fixes
  • Enhance the camera on the Nexus 5
2013-12-0524.5 % (4.4 - 4.4.4)19
Android 4.4KitKat
  • Screen recording
  • New Translucent system UI
  • Enhanced notification access
  • System-wide settings for closed captioning
  • Performance improvements
  • Public API for SMS management.
  • Improved memory usage
  • Security enhancements (SELinux enforcing mode, new cryptographic algorithms, VPN per user...)
  • NFC Host Card Emulation (for wireless payment, loyalty programs...)
  • Printing Framework
  • Storage Access Framework
  • Hardware Sensor Batching
  • Full-screen immersive mode
  • GLES2.0 SurfaceFlinger
  • Chromium WebView
  • Audio tunneling to DSP
  • Audio monitoring
  • Wi-Fi certified Miracast
  • New Bluetooth profile
  • IR Blasters API
  • Wi-Fi Tunneled Direct Link Setup (TDLS) support
  • Tools for analyzing memory use (procstats, on-device memory status and profiling)
2013-10-3124.5 % (4.4 - 4.4.4)19
Android 4.3Jelly Bean
  • Dial pad auto-complete
  • Photo Sphere enhancements
  • Camera app UI updated
  • 4K resolution support
  • Ability to create restricted profiles for tablets
  • Hebrew and Arabic right-to-left (RTL) support
  • Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) support
  • Bluetooth Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP) 1.3 support
  • Security and performance enhancements
  • OpenGL for Embedded Systems 3.0 graphics support
  • Logging and analyzing enhancements
  • Wi-Fi scanning API
  • Improved DRM (digital rights management) API
  • VP8 encoding
2013-07-248 % (4.3)18
Android 4.2.2Jelly Bean
  • Allow toggling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth state in Quick Settings using long-press
  • Shows the percentage and estimated time remaining in the active download notifications
  • Wireless charging and low battery sounds changed
  • Gallery app updated for faster loading with new image transition
  • Performance enhancements and bug fixes (Bluetooth A2DP audio streaming fix...)
  • Secure USB debugging (allow debugging to authenticated computers only)
2013-02-1120.7 % (4.2 - 4.2.2)17
Android 4.2.1Jelly Bean
  • Fix missing december bug in the People app
  • Add support for Bluetooth gamepads and joysticks HID devices
2012-11-2720.7 % (4.2 - 4.2.2)17
Android 4.2Jelly Bean
  • Lockscreen widgets
  • 360 degree images with Photo Sphere
  • Gesture Typing, for faster typing
  • Wireless display with Miracast
  • Daydream to display information when idle or docked
  • Multi-user for tablets
  • vsync timing
  • Triple buffering
  • reduced touch latency
  • CPU input boost
  • Native RTL support - mirrors the display from manifest prop
  • External display support - Display Manager
  • Nested fragments
  • Renderscript Compute - run tasks on the GPU (supported devices)
  • Renderscript ScriptGroups, built-in intrinsics like blur,
  • FilterScript is a subset of Renderscript made for high performance image processing
2012-11-1320.7 % (4.2 - 4.2.2)17
Android 4.1.2Jelly Bean
  • Enable Home screen rotation
  • Fix bugs and enhance performances
2012-10-0925.1 % (4.1 - 4.1.2)16
Android 4.1.1Jelly Bean
  • Fix a bug on screen orientation
2012-07-2325.1 % (4.1 - 4.1.2)16
Android 4.1Jelly Bean
  • Google Now ( http://youtu.be/pPqliPzHYyc )
  • Voice Search
  • Speed enhancements
  • Camera app improvements
  • Accessibility: gesture mode, enable braille external keyboards...
  • app stack navigation to define a parent activity in manifest for deep navigation
  • MediaActionSound class to make sounds like when a camera takes a photo
  • NFC supports large payloads over bluetooth
  • WIFI/WIFI-Direct service discovery
  • Large, detailed, multi-action notifications
  • Input manager allows you to query input devices
2012-07-0925.1 % (4.1 - 4.1.2)16
Android 4.0.4Ice Cream Sandwich
  • stability improvements
  • better camera performance
  • smoother screen rotation
2012-03-289.6 % (4.0.3 - 4.0.4)15
Android 4.0.3Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Social stream API in Contacts provider to show updates associated to your contacts
  • Video stabilization and QVGA video resolution API access
  • Accessibility API refinements for screen readers
  • Calendar provider updates
2011-12-169.6 % (4.0.3 - 4.0.4)15
Android 4.0.2Ice Cream SandwichMinor fixes2011-11-280 %14
Android 4.0.1Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Facial recognition (Face Unlock)
  • UI use Hardware acceleration
  • Better voice recognition (dictating/Voice typing)
  • Web browser, allows up to 16 tabs
  • Updated launcher (customizable)
  • Android Beam app to exchange data through NFC
2011-10-190 %14
Android 4.0Ice Cream Sandwich
  • New lock screen actions
  • Improved text input and spell-checking
  • Control over network data
  • Email app supports EAS v14
  • WI-FI direct
  • BlueTooth Health Device Profile
  • Low-level streaming multimedia (Khronos OpenMAX AL
  • Grid Layout
  • Spell checking service
  • Address Space Layout Randomization
  • VPN client API
  • Remote Device camera enable/disable
  • ZSL exposure, continuous focus, and image zoom
  • Flags to help control system ui elements like system bar from apps
0 %14
Android 3.2.6HoneycombMinor fixes2012-02-150 %13
Android 3.2.4HoneycombAdded "Pay as you go" for tablets2011-12-150 %13
Android 3.2.2HoneycombMinor fixes2011-09-300 %13
Android 3.2.1Honeycomb
  • Android Market updates including easier automatic updates
  • Google Books updates
  • Wi-Fi improvements
  • Chinese handwriting prediction improved
2011-09-200 %13
Android 3.2Honeycomb
  • Optimizations for a wider range of tablets
  • Compatibility display mode (zoom for fixed-sized apps)
  • Media sync from SD card
  • Extended API for managing screens support
    • New resource qualifiers for screens support
    • New manifest attributes for screen-size compatibility
    • Screen compatibility mode which allows for phone apps to appear as if they were still on a phone
2011-07-150 %13
Android 3.1Honeycomb
  • UI improvements
  • Open Accessory API
  • USB host API
  • Mice, joysticks, gamepads... support
  • Resizable Home screen widgets
  • MTP notifications
  • RTP API for audio
2011-05-100 %12
Android 3.0Honeycomb
  • Multi core support
  • Better tablet support
  • Updated 3D UI
    • customizable homescreens
    • recent applications viewing
    • redone keyboard layout
  • Media/Picture transport protocol
  • Google Talk video chat
  • Google eBooks
  • "Private browsing"
  • System-wide Clipboard
  • HTTP Live streaming
  • contextual action bar
  • Fragments first introduced(support library now supports it as well)
  • Hardware-accelerated 2D graphics
  • Renderscript 3D graphics engine
  • Pluggable DRM framework
  • device administration
  • High performance Animation Framework
  • RTP streaming API
  • Forced rendering of layers
  • High performance WIFI lock
  • Vew network traffic stats
  • ADTS AAC and FLAC audio
  • LRU cache
2011-02-220 %11
Android 2.3.7Gingerbread
  • Google Wallet support for the Nexus S 4G
11.4 % (2.3.3 - 2.3.7)10
Android 2.3.6Gingerbread
  • Voice search issue fixed
11.4 % (2.3.3 - 2.3.7)10
Android 2.3.5Gingerbread
  • Improved network performance for the Nexus S 4G
  • Fixed Bluetooth issues on the Samsung Galaxy S
  • Gmail app. improvements
2011-07-2511.4 % (2.3.3 - 2.3.7)10
Android 2.3.4Gingerbread
  • Voice or video chat using Google Talk
  • Open Accessory API
2011-05-1011.4 % (2.3.3 - 2.3.7)10
Android 2.3.3Gingerbread
  • NFC API improvements (peer to peer communication...)
  • added unsecure bluetooth sockets
2011-02-0911.4 % (2.3.3 - 2.3.7)10
Android 2.3Gingerbread
  • Updated UI
  • Improved keyboard ease of use
  • Improved copy/paste
  • Improved power management
  • Social networking features
  • Near Field Communication support
  • Native VoIP/SIP support
  • Video call support
  • performance - concurrent garbage collection, faster event distribution, updated video drivers
  • NDK - Native Asset Manager, Native Activities + event handling, khronos api
  • audio effects api
  • VP8, WebM, AAC, AMR wideband
  • Multiple camera sensor support
  • strictmode debugging
  • media framework replaces OpenCore
2010-12-060 % (2.3 - 2.3.2)9
Android 2.2Froyo
  • Speed improvements
  • JIT implementation
  • USB Tethering
  • Applications installation to the expandable memory
  • Upload file support in the browser
  • Animated GIFs
2010-05-200.7 % (2.2)8
Android 2.1Eclair
  • Updated UI
2010-01-120 %7
Android 2.0.1Eclair2009-12-030 %6
Android 2.0Eclair
  • HTML
  • Digital zoom
  • Microsoft Exchange support
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • Live Wallpapers
  • Updated UI
2009-10-260 %5
Android 1.6Donut
  • Gesture framework
  • Turn-by-turn navigation
2009-09-150 %4
Android 1.5Cupcake
  • Bluetooth A2DP, AVRCP support
  • Soft-keyboard with text-prediction
  • Record/watch videos
2009-04-300 %3
Android 1.1Banana bread
  • "Show" & "Hide" numeric keyboard, in caller application
  • Ability to save MMS attachments
2009-02-090 %2
Android 1.0Apple pie
  • Download and updates via Android Market
  • Web Browser
  • Camera support
  • Gmail, Contacts and Google Agenda synchronization
  • Google Maps
  • YouTube application
2008-09-230 %1
Android 0.92008-08-180 %
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Comments

  • voted for this Comparison (Like)
    Posted 2014-07-14 21:55:26 by ibankbee
  • thnx for info...
    Posted 2014-01-25 16:41:41 by Tanushree Pattayat Taps
  • voted for this Comparison (Like)
    Posted 2014-01-12 13:25:22 by Nediak
  • voted for this Comparison (Like)
    asteriou2009
    Posted 2014-01-04 13:19:40 by asteriou2009
  • voted for this Comparison (Like)
    Great comparison !
    Posted 2013-11-22 00:23:16 by Xavier Joy Gomes
  • easy to convey matter........
    Posted 2013-11-18 07:08:57 by Karthik Raja
  • commented on Android 4.1.2
    Je ne sais pas si c'est le cas sur tous les smartphones, mais sur le Samsung Xcover 2 ou GT-S7710, cette version est une vrai galère au niveau de la mémoire. Impossible de transférer les applications sur la micro SD. Du coup, on est vite saturé en mémoire. Inadmissible pour un smartphone comme celui-là. Il serait bien d'avoir une solution pour corriger ce problème.
    Français Posted 2013-10-13 08:58:21 by Fred
  • voted for this Comparison (Like)
    Posted 2013-10-04 08:00:45 by chgros59
  • commented on Android 4.1.2
    Bonjour. Depuis que j'ai cette nouvelle version (4.1.2) j'ai un petit souci. Quand j’écris un sms et que j'ai un mot qui n'éxiste pas sur mon téléphone il est impossible d'ajouter ce nouveau mot dans le dictionnaire interne de mon galaxy note GT-N7000. Y'a t'il une solution car cela est très gênent. merci d'avance
    Français Posted 2013-09-27 19:39:23 by Thunder13
  • commented on Android 4.2.2
    Dolphin has not supported Flash since about the time of Android 4.0.1 or 4.0.2, Or have they added it back? The Android devs had pretty horrid Flash support anyway. Felt like they just decided to give up trying to get their code right (was it beyond their skill level? who knows...but it's not there far as my last look.)
    Posted 2013-06-10 13:27:30 by brecklundin
  • voted for this Comparison (Like)
    Posted 2013-04-09 11:07:43 by Rajesh Varanasi
  • android is a software for tablet and phones, the platform is based on linux kernel. it can be modified by programmer and now it has many versions like gingerbread, ice cream sandwich, jelly bean, honeycomb, etc. Fachrunnisa Firdausi /IT 2E/ 214
  • est-il possible de mettre à jour la version android de ma tablette qui tourne sous 4.1.1 ?
    Français Posted 2013-03-09 18:13:31 by surfette001
  • Voted for this Comparison A++
    Posted 2013-03-03 02:23:41 by El Komander
  • voted for this Comparison (Like)
    Jelly Bean 4.2
    Posted 2013-02-09 22:57:26 by elpak
  • voted for this Comparison (Like)
    Much HELPFUL...
    Posted 2013-01-30 16:22:39 by Ali Hussain Shaikh
  • I want to say ,,, just awesome ,, After reading your article i became a fan of Android ,, So i add a part to Android in my blog and write something on Best Android Email Clients
    Posted 2013-01-24 15:52:08 by Sumit Sharma
  • voted for this Comparison (Like)
    Posted 2012-12-19 18:16:50 by jacfalcon
  • voted for this Comparison (Like)
    Posted 2012-12-17 15:56:25 by Vanina
  • voted for this Comparison (Like)
    very helpfull!
    Posted 2012-12-04 01:24:17 by L7ColWinters
  • Rien de mieux qu'un OS ouvert et accessible à tous. Quand Apple le comprendra ? Un bon article sur ce thème : http://www.itespresso.fr/generations-android-ice-cream-sandwich-gingerbread-58424.html
    Français Posted 2012-11-07 14:53:36 by caminel
  • voted for this Comparison (Like)
    Posted 2012-11-05 23:05:40 by e-cigarette
  • voted for this Comparison (Like)
    Posted 2012-10-31 00:25:22 by Matt Szczublewski
  • voted for this Comparison (Like)
    cute system
    Français Posted 2012-08-17 04:40:37 by simosamm
  • voted for this Comparison (Like)
    Posted 2012-08-03 12:23:24 by Ankit Mishra
  • voted for this Comparison (Like)
    Posted 2012-06-19 14:45:19 by Mike
  • voted for this Comparison (Like)
    Nice One
    Posted 2012-06-16 08:39:01 by Sohail Khan
  • commented on Android 4.0.4
    i need it to download
    Posted 2012-05-23 05:43:27 by Fredmar T. Go
  • voted for this Comparison (Like)
    Very Informative
    Posted 2012-04-27 13:45:05 by Sooraj Amin
  • USEFUL....
    Posted 2012-02-09 04:46:57 by suryag
  • voted for this Comparison (Like)
    seems useful
    Posted 2011-12-13 02:37:13 by Android_Fans
  • voted for this Comparison (Like)
    Posted 2011-09-13 11:09:24 by Vishal
  • voted for this Comparison (Like)
    Posted 2011-07-20 20:41:47 by A l'anis
  • voted for this Comparison (Like)
    Posted 2011-07-14 20:19:59 by Freebie
  • voted for this Comparison (Like)
    Posted 2011-07-13 17:50:31 by Alexis
  • voted for this Comparison (Like)
    Posted 2011-06-09 15:49:37 by Ahmad Ejaz
  • i hope 4 android 2.2
    Posted 2011-02-17 21:27:08 by the.game
  • voted for this Comparison (Like)
    Posted 2010-11-23 09:20:49 by Thibaud Elzière
  • voted for this Comparison (Like)
    Posted 2010-11-17 20:01:48 by manoupub
  • voted for this Comparison (Like)
    Posted 2010-11-17 11:33:33 by Nicolas Sierro
  • voted for this Comparison (Like)
    La part de marché me semble être trop relatif et évolutif pour faire partie de ce comparatif.
    Français Posted 2010-11-16 13:52:52 by JeromeT
  • voted for this Comparison (Like)
    Posted 2010-11-16 10:58:09 by Champignon Paris
  • voted for this Comparison (Like)
    comprehensive comparison!
    Posted 2010-11-16 05:52:47 by Ali Mohsin
  • voted for this Comparison (Like)
    Posted 2010-11-15 23:14:25 by Seralo

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