The ten Best Variations of Android, Ranked

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The ten Best Variations of Android, Ranked
The ten Best Variations of Android, Ranked

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Android | The Google

Android, first launched in 2008, remains to be a comparatively younger working system. Nonetheless, with some years that noticed a number of updates, there have been loads of Android variations to contemplate. Some had been higher than others, so let’s rank the ten best.

Rating standards

In the long run, any “best” record can be downloaded in accordance with the creator’s desire, and this record won’t differ.

As a longtime Android person – going again to Android 1.5 – I’ve expertise with virtually each model of Android. However Android makes issues sophisticated. My expertise with Android on a Pixel is perhaps very totally different from another person’s expertise with the identical model on a Samsung telephone.

I would not merely rank the releases based mostly on which one has one of the best options, as that may skew very strongly in direction of the newer variations. As an alternative, I will take into consideration the influence every launch has had on the platform as an entire.

Are you prone to comply with my total record? no! let’s begin.

Associated: What are Android skins?

#10: Android 5.0 Lollipop

Android Lollipop
Android

Let’s begin on the backside of the record with a controversial Android model. Launched in 2014, Android 5.0 Lollipop gave us the primary expertise of Materials Design. That is one other main design revamp for Android, but it surely’s arguably growing old higher.

Along with the aesthetic modifications, there have been just a few main issues happening beneath the floor as nicely. Android switched from Dalvik to ART (Android Runtime), which improved the efficiency of purposes. That is why most Android apps right this moment assist Android 5.0 and later.

Whereas Lollipop regarded nice on the floor, it was plagued with bugs. Reminiscence administration was a large number on many gadgets, inflicting apps to shut within the background lots. There have been additionally many annoyances with the brand new notification system.

Lollipop was necessary to the way forward for Android, but it surely had plenty of hiccups.

#9: Android 6.0 Marshmallow

Android Marshmallow
Joe video

Talking of bugs, let’s discuss concerning the model that fastened plenty of Lollipop points. Android 6.0 Marshmallow was launched in 2015, it did not have a lot fanfare in different variations, but it surely was crucial.

Marshmallow made an enormous change to how Android handles app permissions. As an alternative of asking you to grant all permissions on the time of app set up, you possibly can grant them as wanted. Which means that you give the app entry to, say, your information provided that you do one thing that requires this permission.

#8: Android 7.0-7.1 Nougat

Android Nougat
AOSP

Android 7.0 Nougat was launched in 2016 and it was one other refining replace. By this time, Materials Design has change into extra polished and embodied. Android has a good looking and constant look.

Nougat lastly introduced split-screen mode to Android’s “storage.” Earlier than that, telephone makers had applied their very own strategies for split-screen mode, however Nougat made it a regular characteristic. This launch additionally made Doze, a characteristic meant to save lots of battery life, work a bit higher.

Maybe the most important factor Nougat introduced was the Google Assistant. This was the model of Android launched on Google’s first Pixel telephone, and it was tightly built-in with the working system. Google Assistant is now out there on all Android gadgets by default.

Associated: What’s Google Assistant, and what can it do?

#7: Android 9 Pie

Android Pie
Android

When Android 9 Pie was launched in 2018, reception was combined. For the primary time, Android didn’t have a Recents / Overview button. Navigation consists of a gesture pill-shaped dwelling button and a small contextual again button.

Whereas the half-baked gestures had been quickly changed by Android 10, another options had a long-lasting impact. Digital Wellbeing, a set of instruments to assist individuals type higher utilization habits, is included for the primary time. Machine learning-powered battery saving and display brightness are additionally launched.

A giant a part of Android Pie has been privateness. Android has higher management when apps can entry your digicam and microphone. There have been plenty of little issues that significantly improved the general privateness and safety of the working system.

Associated: Google Digital Wellbeing evaluate: A giant push in direction of disconnection

No. 6: Android 2.0-2.1 Eclair

android eclair
Android builders

By far the oldest entry on this record, Android 2.0 Eclair was solely launched in 2009 six weeks After Android 1.6. This was a large replace to the working system on the time.

Eclair launched many issues we take as a right right this moment: step-by-step voice steerage in Google Maps, reside wallpapers, speech-to-text conversion, and even pinch-to-zoom. (Sure, Android didn’t have the flexibility to zoom in/out at first.)

If you happen to had been an Android person at the moment, Eclair was The Modernization. I nonetheless bear in mind when HTC Eris obtained the replace and I might use Google Maps navigation. It was legit to alter a life. And might you think about utilizing a telephone with out having to zoom in/out?

#5: Android 4.1-4.3 Jelly Bean

Android Jelly Bean
AOSP

Android Jelly Bean had three updates from 2012 to 2013. Coming from a significant design overhaul in Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean has been all about optimization.

One of the vital notable options of Jelly Bean was the introduction of the fast settings panel. This can be a characteristic that has change into customary on virtually all smartphones. It introduced a number of keys that had been buried within the settings to a extra handy place.

Jelly Bean was additionally our first style of “Google Now,” which has since been deserted. The idea of predictive info that might aid you all through the day was unbelievable on the time. It caught round for some time, however was ultimately changed by Google Assistant.

One other cool Jelly Bean characteristic that has since been deserted by Google is Lock Display Widgets. It could have been nice to have fast entry to easy-to-use widgets with out having to unlock your telephone, however it could not have been straightforward for the common client to make use of.

#4: Android 4.4 KitKat

android kitkat
Android

In 2013, Google launched the primary branded model of Android, 4.4 KitKat. Earlier variations of Android went darkish with neon lighting. KitKat took issues in the wrong way with mild backgrounds and muted highlights.

This was the primary model of Android to have a clear standing bar on the prime of the house display. I additionally specified the swap to the monochrome icons within the standing bar, which on this case was white. These small aesthetic modifications made the notification space look cleaner.

KitKat was the primary model of Android to assist “OK Google” wake instructions. Right now, it solely labored with the display on, but it surely was an necessary beginning step for what would ultimately change into the Google Assistant.

Android followers could bear in mind KitKat because the model that was launched on the Nexus 5. To this present day, the Nexus 5 is arguably essentially the most beloved smartphone that Google has launched. It was an exquisite marriage between software program and {hardware}.

#3: Android 10

📸 Android

Android 10, launched in 2019, was the primary model to drop sweet titles. This means that Google hoped to take Android in a extra “mature” course.

The obvious change in Android 10 was full-screen gesture navigation. Android Pie is beginning to transfer away from the navigation bar and buttons, however Android 10 is totally conscious of that. For the primary time, Android didn’t have ‘Residence’ and ‘Again’ buttons.

One other huge plus in Android 10 was the system-wide darkish theme. By flipping a swap, you possibly can management the theme of any utility that helps system setting. No extra selecting themes on an app-by-app foundation (except you actually wish to). Android’s base coloration has slowly change into very white and brilliant, so this was a really welcome characteristic.

Android 10 has many options, however one other necessary one is healthier management over permissions. Customers are lastly getting extra management over which apps can entry their places. That is one thing Google has been engaged on lots lately, and Android 10 has been an enormous step ahead.

No. 2: Android 8.0-8.1 Oreo

Android Oreo
Android

Launched in 2017, Android Oreo did not carry a large design revamp, but it surely was quietly one of the crucial secure and polished variations of the OS. This was the second time that Google used a trademark with the nickname sweet.

Regardless of this, Android Oreo was not missing in options. Image-in-picture has change into an authentic characteristic, notification channels have introduced plenty of customizations for notifications, and even textual content choice has obtained new choices.

Maybe one of the crucial handy options ever for Android was launched with Oreo: Password Autofill. Identical to in Chrome, Android can bear in mind your login for apps, which makes utilizing apps and organising new gadgets considerably simpler.

Android Oreo additionally launched Challenge Treble, which promised to enhance the replace mode that has plagued Android for years. After 4 years, has it made a distinction? Maybe not as a lot as Google had hoped.

Oh, and a RIP to blob emojis.

Associated: What are Android notification channels?

#1: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

android IC
Android builders

Ice Cream Sandwich was launched in 2011, and diehard Android followers will bear in mind it as a fairly large deal. This was the primary time that Android truly regarded like a contemporary working system because of newly appointed design chief Matias Duarte.

Android 3.0 Honeycomb, which was supposed for tablets solely, launched a neon “Holo UI”. Ice Cream Sandwich (higher often called “ICS”) refined the Holo person interface and introduced it to telephones, uniting the 2 classes of gadgets. Not everyone seems to be a fan of how Google integrates tablets and telephones, but it surely was undoubtedly an enormous change for the platform.

Ice Cream Sandwich has introduced richer notifications that may be wiped away for the primary time in Android historical past. Honeycomb’s revamped and most visually revamped Recents menu has been renovated. Face Unlock has been added as a brand new safety methodology.

It could possibly’t be pressured sufficient how huge a deal Holo UI for Android is. Previous to that, Android didn’t have a design language. It was very fundamental and appeared designed for builders. Lastly making the ice cream sandwich appear extra handy to make use of.

Ice Cream Sandwich launched on Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Android nerds salivated over the discharge’s video hype. This was once I felt that Android was lastly rising and that Google was taking it severely as a mainstream working system.


This was a tough record to place collectively, and could possibly be carried out in a very totally different order with the correct arguments. Every model of Android added one thing necessary, however some had larger results general. Hopefully the subsequent huge characteristic is correct across the nook.

Associated: Dev Preview in Android 12 guarantees a cleaner, sooner, and extra immersive expertise

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