The Various Eras In Android App Development – Changing Platforms (Till Android 2.0)

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The version history of the Android operating system began with Android 1.0 which was launched in September 2008. Android is developed by Google and the Open Handset Alliance and has seen many version releases since its release. Since April 2009, the Android launches are named after a dessert item. Additionally they are named alphabetically from first to last: Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich. The first Android device, the HTC Dream boasted of Android Market application download and also a well-made browser which could show, zoom and pan full HTML web pages. It also had good camera support and the folders allowed for grouping of apps in a single folder. Gmail sync was first featured in the Android’s first version. Google Maps also was launched with support for maps along with driving directions using GPS. Some of the additional features included importing and playback of media files but there was no Bluetooth support for this version. Some of the apps included the Alarm Clock, Calculator, Pictures (Gallery), and Settings. There were many Android apps for this version.

The Android 1.1 update was released on February 9, 2009,for T-Mobile G1 only but was later extended to other versions too. The update was launched to resolve some bugs, and to change the API to a certain extent although a few minor features were also introduced.

The Android 1.5 update was named Cupcake after a dessert name and was released on the 30th April same year. The version was based on a Linux kernel and included many changes in the UI. Cupcake supported third-party virtual keyboards featuring text prediction. It also boasted support for widgets which could be embedded on the Home screen. The formats for video recording and playback were restricted to MPEG-4 and 3GP formats. Stereo support for Bluetooth was added too.

The Android 1.6 SDK which was dubbed Donut was released again late in September 2009. It had enhanced voice and text entry search along with the ability for developers to search with their own content. Android app development became easier after this.

The Android 2.0 SDK dubbed Eclair came close on heels after Donut in October. The version supported an expanded Account sync and Exchange email support with multiple accounts support. It also had Bluetooth 2.1 support and the ability to search all saved SMS and MMS. New camera features were introduced which included flash support, digital zoom, color effect and macro focus. Virtual keyboard typing became quicker while the browser UI was refreshed with bookmark thumbnails and support for HTML5.

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