What are the different Android versions

All Android versions at a glance: From Cupcake to Android 11

There have been a ton of different versions of Android since 2008. We explain names, differences, distribution and functions and show you how the software has developed over the years.

It's hard to believe: Android will celebrate its twelfth birthday in 2020. The first version of the operating system was officially released on September 23, 2008 and just one month later, on October 22, the first Android smartphone was available with the HTC G1.

The software has come a long way since then and has become the most widely used operating system in the world. We give an overview of the development of Android, the different versions, their differences, names and their distribution. The distribution figures are based on the data from Statcounter.

Android 1.5 Cupcake (April 2009)

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Android 1.5 was the first version that was named after a dessert. Image: © Getty Images / Elena Veselova 2018

The first version of Android named after a dessert was Android 1.5 Cupcake. The release took place in April 2009 and paved the way for modern smartphones with pure touchscreen operation - Cupcake was the first version with a screen keyboard.

  • Cupcake is no longer used

Android 1.6 Donut (September 2009)

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With Android 1.6, the software became more flexible. Image: © Getty Images / Westend61 2018

Just a few months after Cupcake, Google added Donut. The version brought some minor improvements and made Android work with different screen resolutions.

  • Donut is also no longer in use

Android 2.0 Eclair (October 2009)

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With Android 2.0, navigation with Google Maps was possible for the first time. Image: © Getty Images / Carlo A 2018

With Android 2.0 Eclair, the next version followed just a month after Donut. The official version 2.0 brought animated wallpapers as well as support for digital zoom and flash light in the camera app. Navigation with Google Maps was now also possible for the first time.

  • Android Eclair has now also been completely retired

Android 2.2 Froyo (May 2010)

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Android 2.2 expanded the possibilities for SD cards. Image: © Getty Images / Westend61 2018

With Android 2.2, the tethering function for mobile hotspots became available for the first time. In addition, apps could be saved to an SD card for the first time.

  • The use of Android Froyo has now been discontinued

Android 2.3 Gingerbread (December 2010)

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Detailed battery management has been available since Android 2.3. Image: © Getty Images / the_burtons 2018

In December 2010, Google introduced support for NFC (Near Field Communication) for the first time with Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The battery management, which shows users what battery power is used for, was also new in Gingerbread.

  • In September 2018, Android Gingerbread was still running on 0.3 percent of all Android devices

Android 3.0 Honeycomb (February 2011)

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Android 3.0 was primarily developed for tablets. Image: © Getty Images / Westend61 2018

Version 3.0 of Android was specially developed for tablets, which became more and more common from 2011 onwards. The user interface has been adapted accordingly. The menu for quick settings was also introduced for the first time.

  • Android Honeycomb is no longer used

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (October 2011)

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Android 4.0 is still used on some devices. Image: © Getty Images / iStockphoto / StephanieFrey 2018

With Ice Cream Sandwich followed a version that again focused more on the smartphone. The NFC functions have been expanded with the Android Beam service and the customization options for the start screen have been expanded. In addition, users were given comprehensive control over their mobile data usage.

  • Ice Cream Sandwich was still in use on 0.3 percent of all Android devices in September 2018

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (June 2012)

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Google Now first came up with Android 4.1. Image: © Getty Images / Science Photo Library RF 2018

With Android 4.1, Google introduced the mobile assistant Google Now, allowed switching between different user accounts on one device and improved the notifications, which are now more interactive.

  • In September 2018, Jelly Bean was still running on 3.5 percent of all Android devices

Android 4.4 KitKat (October 2013)

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For Android 4.4, Google started a brand cooperation with Nestlé and KitKat. Image: © Nestlé 2018

A relatively long time passed before Android 4.4 KitKat was introduced. The voice control "Ok Google" was introduced for the first time. It was also now possible to print documents directly from an Android device.

  • Android KitKat is still in use on 1.79 percent of all Android devices (June 2020)

Android 5.0 Lollipop (November 2014)

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With Android 5.0, Google introduced a completely new design. Image: © Getty Images / EyeEm / Shannon West 2018

Again, Google took a lot of time until the new version. With Android 5.0 Lollipop, the design has been completely redesigned. The stylish material design has been used in every version since then. Notification cards appeared on the lock screen for the first time in this version. With Lollipop, Android also expanded into new devices such as TVs and wearables.

  • In June 2020, Android Lollipop was still used on 4.76 percent of all Android devices

Android 6.0 Marshmallow (October 2015)

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Android 6.0 gave users more control. Image: © Getty Images / EyeEm / Vy Dang 2018

With Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Google introduced detailed management of app permissions and gave users more control. Support for USB-C and Android Pay were also introduced. For the first time it was also possible to format SD cards as internal storage.

  • In June 2020, Android Marshmallow was found on 8.44 percent of all Android devices

Android 7.0 Nougat (August 2016)

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Android 7.0 made smartphones fit for virtual reality. Image: © Getty Images / Cultura RF / Debby Lewis-Harrison 2018

In August 2016, Google introduced the split-screen mode with Android 7.0 Nougat, integrated the Vulkan API for more powerful graphics processing in games, and launched Daydream for the first time, a virtual reality interface from Android.

  • Android Nougat was in use on 10.29 percent of all Android devices in June 2020

Android 8.0 Oreo (August 2017)

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Android 8.0 was released in August 2017. Image: © TURN ON 2017

The next version of Android followed almost exactly a year after Nougat. With Oreo, a new, effective power-saving mode has been introduced that prevents the activities of apps in the background. In addition, the virus scanner Google Play Protect has been integrated into the operating system.

  • Android Oreo ran on 18.46 percent of all Android devices in June 2020

Android 9.0 Pie (August 2018)

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Android Pie has been available since August 2018. Image: © YouTube / Copper vs Glass 2018

Android Pie was released in August 2018 and introduced, among other things, a new gesture control and the optimization of many functions through machine learning. In addition, the version focused on conscious smartphone use ("digital wellbeing").

  • Android Pie ran on 32.43 percent of all Android devices in June 2020

Android 10 (September 2019)

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Android 10 said goodbye to the candy in the name. Image: © Google 2019

In September 2019, Google said goodbye to the candy in the Android name and simply released the latest version under the number 10. Probably simply not to find a dish with a catchy name that starts with Q. The current Android version introduced, among other things, a system-wide dark mode, new gesture control and more control over app permissions.

  • Android 10 ran on 22.06 percent of all Android devices in June 2020

Android 11 (Fall 2020)

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Android 11 focuses on more accessibility. Image: © YouTube / Android Central 2020

Android 11 will probably be released in autumn 2020. The latest Android version now offers, among other things, a conversation area in the notifications, one-time app authorizations, three biometric security levels and easier screen recording.

  • Android 11 is currently only running as a beta on smartphones (as of June 2020)