Click image for larger view
Continue with the 2nd segment of the Android OS versions.
Released date: December 2010. The name would be called “Gingerbread2.3”. Are you hungry yet? Here we go!
- Not so good for the older or cheaper android mobile devices, since the release of the Gingerbread (not yet anyway). That being said, it signifies a big leap forward for the android OS. Hefty amount of updates to the user interface and display means that Gingerbread is firmly aimed at the HD smartphones. There are many remarkable improvements to the file system and how the OS handles games, paving the way for the development of some truly great software.
- First on the list, Google Talk: Support for voice or video chat using Google Talk.
- Users will enjoy this: System update – Updated user interface design for simplicity and speed.
- Loving the display: Support for extra-large screen sizes and resolutions (WXGA and higher).
- Do you make internet calling? Native support for SIP VoIP – meaning: A session initiation protocol connection is a Voice over Internet protocol service offered by many internet telephony service providers.
- Sicken tired of lag keyboard? With virtual keyboard update: faster, more intuitive text input, improved accuracy, better suggested text.
- This is what I do daily: Copy/Paste update – Allows users to select a word by press-hold.
- For those who uses Near Field Communications – lets users read an NFC tag embedded in a poster, sticker, or advertisement.
- New audio effects such as reverb, equalization, headphone virtualization, and bass boost.
- This is big: System update – improved power management, better management of apps that keep the device awake.
- Download Manager: Easy access to any file downloaded from the browser, email, or another application.
- It’s about time! Camera update – Access multiple cameras, including a front-facing camera if available.
- Media support update – WebM/VP8 video playback – meaning: WebM is the overall name of the new video format Google had launched. WebM videos have the extension .webm. They contain three major building blocks:
- The webM containter. A container defines the overall structure in which video and audio are saved.
- The VP8 video codec. A video codec defines how the original video data is being encoded to achieve a reasonable files size.
- The Vorbis audio codec. An audio codec does exactly the same as a video codec. Encode the original data to make it easier to store and distribute.
- Audio, graphical, and input enhancements for game developers.
- Sensor: Support for more sensors (such as gyroscopes and barometers).
- File system: changed from YAFFS to the ext4 file system. What is YAFFS? Yet Another Flash File System specifically designed to be fast, robust and suitable for embedded use with NAND and NOR Flash. It is widely used with LINUX, RTOS, or no OS at all. What is EXT4? Fourth extended file system is a journaling file system for Linux as a series of backward compatible extensions to EXT3, many of them originally developed by cluster file systems. Meant to extend storage limits and add other performance improvements.
Released date: February 2011. Here comes the “Honeycomb V3.0”!
- This release is a Tablet-only version of the Android OS. First seen on the Motorola XOOM tablet.
- For the Android tablet users! Optimized tablet support with a new virtual and “holographic” user interface.
- System Bar: Quick access to notifications, status, and soft navigation buttons.
- Action Bar: Quick access to contextual options, navigation, widgets at the top of the screen.
- Multi-tasking: Tap recent apps in the system bar to quickly jump from one app to another.
- Redesigned keyboard: to help make entering text fast and accurate on larger screen sizes.
- Copy/Paste: simplified and more instinctive copy and paste system.
- I’m digging this! Browser: Multiple tabs instead of browser windows, form auto-fill and anonymous browsing.
- Camera: Quick access to exposure, focus, flash, zoom, front-facing camera, time-lapse, and more.
- Photo Gallery: View albums and other collections in full-screen mode. Easy access to thumbnails.
- Contacts: new two-pane UI and Fast Scroll to let users easily organize and locate contacts.
- Email: new two-pane UI to make viewing and organizing messages more effective.
- Google talk: Support for video chat using Google talk.
- Hardware acceleration.
- CPU: Support for multi-core processors. Oh, yeah!
- UI refinements.
- Support for USB accessories.
- Expanded Recent Apps list.
- Resizable Home screen widgets.
- Support for external keyboards, pointing devices, joysticks and gamepads.
- High-performance WI-FI lock, to maintain high-performance W-FI connections.
Released date: November 2012. “Ice Cream Sandwich V4.0” for everyone!
- This release was designed to close the gap between the smartphone and tablet version of the Android OS, Ice Cream Sandwich is a big leap forward for Android. Good news! Any phones that aren’t currently running 2.3 (Gingerbread) will be able to run the operating system. Most compatible mobile devices received the upgrade installed. The known Galaxy Nexus was the first mobile device to be shipped with the “Ice Cream Sandwich” installed.
Noteworthy: More to cover on this version!
- Enhance speed and performance
- Virtual buttons in the UI, in place of capacitive or physical buttons.
- Separation of widgets in a new tab, listed in a similar manner to apps.
- Easier to create folders, with a drag and drop style.
- A customizable launcher.
- Improved visual voicemail with the ability to speed up to slow down voicemail messages.
- Pinch to zoom functionally in the calendar. – Awesome!
- Offline search, a two-line preview, and new action bar at the bottom of the Gmail app.
- Ability to swipe left or right to switch between Gmail conversations.
- Integrated screenshot capture (by holding down the power and volume-down buttons).
- Improved error correction on the keyboard.
- Ability to access apps directly from lock screen (similar to HTC Sense 3.x).
- Improved copy and paste functionality.
- Better voice integration and continuous, real-time speech to text dictation.
- Face Unlock, a feature that allows users to unlock the mobile device using facial recognition software.
- New tabbed web browser, allowing up to 16 tabs.
- Automatic syncing of browser with users’ Chrome bookmarks.
- New types face family for the UI, Roboto: meaning – is a sans-serif type face family. Google describes the font as ‘modern’, yet approachable and emotional.
- I have noticed this from my previous mobile device: Data usage section in settings that lets users set warnings when they approach a certain usage limit, and disable data use when the limit is exceeded.
- Always improving with the camera: Camera app. With zero shutter lag, time lapse settings, panorama mode, and the ability to zoom while recording.
- Built in-in photo editor. NICE!!
- New gallery layout, organized by location and person.
- Refreshed “People” app with social network integration, status updates and hi-res images.
- Android Beam, a near-field communication feature allowing the rapid short-range exchange of web bookmarks, contact info, directions, YouTube videos and other data.
- Hardware acceleration of the UI.
- Resizable widgets: already part of Android 3.1 for tablets, but new for cellphones.
- Wi-Fi Direct. Meaning – initially called Wi-Fi P2P, is a Wi-Fi standard that enables devices to connect easily with each other without requiring a wireless access point and to communicate at typical Wi-Fi speeds for everything from file transfer to internet connectivity.
- Check this out! 1080P video recording for stock Android devices.
Released date: Approximately August 2013. I love “Jellybean 4.2”!
- Jelly Bean greatly improves a lot of Android’s features, including the camera software, keyboard and search. The new OS is now available on a number of smartphones and tablets, although it is still not available across the board. Takes the speed and simplicity of the operating system to a whole new level. The obvious feature is the completely new camera experience that’s beyond smart, a new form of typing that helps you power through messages, and much more. Highly recommended and it is certainly something you want on your device.
Noteworthy: A lot to cover in details, I’m just going down the list.
- Daydream Mode: lets your Android device display useful and delightful information when idle or docked. Show off our photo albums.
- Expandable Notification: The great advantage about Android has always put in control when it comes to staying notified and stay connected. Just swipe down from the top of the screen to see all your notifications in one place. For example – Late for a meeting or missed a call? Take action in an instant directly from the notification shade.
- More Accessibility: Check this out – Enable screen magnification to easily zoom or pan the entire screen to get a closer look. Visually impaired users can now enter full-screen and even type and interact with the device while zoomed in. Another awesome feature – Blind users can use Gesture Mode to reliably navigate the UI using touch and swipe gestures in combination with speech output.
- Wireless Sharing: Android 4.2 allows to enable wireless display. You can actually share movies, YouTube videos, and anything that’s on your screen on an HDTV. Here’s how it works – Just connect a wireless display adapter to any HDMI enabled TV to mirror what’s on your screen quickly and easily.
- Custom Widgets: Now it’s even simple to personalize your home screen. I’ve done this myself – As you place widgets on the screen, everything else automatically moves to make room. When they’re too big, widgets resize on their own, interacting with your favorite apps and customizing your home screen has never been stress-free.
- Google Now: This feature brings you the information you need, when and where you need it before you even ask. Google now lets you know today’s weather before you start your day, or when the next train will arrive as you’re standing on the platform. This awesome version, you can see popular photo spots nearby, track packages easily; get information about upcoming movies, and much more!
- Faster and Smoother Graphics: I love this subject! This latest version, with smooth graphics and silky transitions, moving between home screens and switching between apps is effortless like turning pages in a book. More reactive and uniform touch responses mean you can almost feel the pixels beneath as your fingers moves across the screen. Jelly Bean makes your Android device even more responsive by boosting your device’s CPU (Central processing unit) instantly when you touch the screen and turns it down when you don’t need it to improve battery life.
- Gesture Typing: I have not use this feature a whole lot, this feature writing messages on the go is easier than ever with gesture typing – just glide your finger over the letters you want to type and lift after each word. Check this out – You don’t’ have to worry about spaces because they’re added atomically for you. The keyboard can anticipate and predict the next word, so you can finish entire sentences just by selecting suggested words.
- Very improved Google search: It’s easier than ever before to quickly get answers, explore, and browse search results. Android also let you search the web with our voice, and it’s convenient for getting quick answers on the fly. It speaks back to you and powered by the knowledge graph, bringing you an accurate answer if it knows it, and precisely ranked search results, so you can always find out more.
Released date: Approximately January 2014. I need a “Kit Kat V4.4”!
- This release is the sweetest and the newest version of Android available today; most devices are still running the previous, Jelly Bean, at this time.
Noteworthy: Sophisticated updates
- Refreshed interface with white elements instead of blue.
- More ability for applications to use ‘immersive mode’ to keep the navigation and status bars hidden while maintaining user interaction.
- Optimizations for performance on devices with lower specifications, including zRAM support (is a module of the Linux kernel – increases performance by avoiding paging to disk and using compressed block device in RAM instead) and “Low RAM” device API (allow applications to detect when running on low memory devices and choose to disable large-RAM features).
- Wireless printing capability. WOW!
- NFC: host card emulation, enabling a device to replace smart cards.
- Web Views: now based on Chromium engine (Open-source project and the browser source code released and maintained by Chromium Project.
- Expanded functionality: for notification listener services.
- Storage access: framework for retrieving content and documents from other sources.
- Sensor batching: step detector and counter APIs.
- Setting applications: now makes it possible to select default text messaging and home (launcher) application.
- Audio tunneling: audio monitoring, loudness enhancer.
- Built-in screen: recording feature
- Native infra-red blaster.
- Expanded accessibility and closed captioning settings.
- Bluetooth Messaging: Access Profile (MAP) support.
- Disabled access to statistics by third-party applications.
- Settings applications: no longer uses a multi-pane layout on devices with larger screens.
- Wi-Fi and Mobile data: activity (TX/RX) indicators moved to quick settings.
- Miscellaneous: improvements and bug fixes.