Android OS Releases - The Android Developer’s Cookbook: Building Applications with the Android SDK, Second Edition (2013)

The Android Developer’s Cookbook: Building Applications with the Android SDK, Second Edition (2013)

D. Android OS Releases

This appendix summarizes the different OS releases and main features that are important to developers.

Cupcake: Android OS 1.5, API Level 3, Released April 30, 2009

Image Linux kernel 2.6.27

Image Smart virtual (soft) keyboard, support for third-party keyboards

Image AppWidget framework

Image LiveFolders

Image Raw audio recording and playback

Image Interactive MIDI playback engine

Image Video recording APIs

Image Stereo Bluetooth support

Image Speech recognition via RecognizerIntent (cloud service)

Image Faster GPS location gathering (using AGPS)

Donut: Android OS 1.6, API Level 4, Released September 15, 2009

Image Linux kernel 2.6.29

Image Support for multiple screen sizes

Image Gesture APIs

Image Text-to-speech engine

Image Integrate with the Quick Search Box using the SearchManager

Eclair: Android OS 2.0, API Level 5, Released October 26, 2009

Android OS 2.0.1, API Level 6, Released December 3, 2009

Android OS 2.1, API Level 7, Released January 12, 2010

Image Sync adapter APIs to connect to any backend

Image Embed Quick Contact accessible in applications

Image Applications can control the Bluetooth connection to devices

Image HTML5 support

Image Multitouch accessible through the MotionEvent class

Image Animated wallpaper support

Froyo: Android OS 2.2, API Level 8, Released May 20, 2010

Image Linux kernel 2.6.32

Image Just-in-time (JIT) compilation enabled, leading to faster code execution

Image Car and desk dock themes

Image Better definition of multitouch events

Image Cloud-to-device APIs

Image Applications can request to be installed on the SD memory card

Image Wi-Fi tether support on select devices

Image Thumbnail utility for videos and images

Image Multiple language support on keyboard input

Image Application error reporting for market apps

Gingerbread: Android OS 2.3, API Level 9, Released December 6, 2010

Android OS 2.3.3, API Level 10, Released February 9, 2011

Image Linux kernel 2.6.35

Image Support for extra-large screen sizes and resolutions (WXGA and higher)

Image Native support for SIP VoIP Internet telephony

Image Keyboard improvements

Image Enhanced copy/paste functionality

Image NFC support

Image Audio effects

Image New Download Manager

Image Support for multiple cameras on the device

Image Support for WebM/VP8 video playback and AAC audio encoding

Image Improved power management, including application management

Image Switched from YAFFS to ext4 on newer devices

Image Concurrent garbage collection for increased performance

Image Native support for more sensors (such as gyroscopes and barometers)

Honeycomb: Android OS 3.0, API Level 11, Released February 22, 2011

Android OS 3.1, API Level 12, Released May 10, 2011

Android OS 3.2, API Level 13, Released July 15, 2011

Image Linux kernel 2.6.36

Image Optimized tablet support and new “holographic” user interface

Image Added System Bar, with quick access to notifications, status, and soft navigation buttons

Image Added ActionBar, giving access to contextual options, navigation, widgets, or other content at the top of the screen

Image Simplified multitasking through use of Recent Apps in the System Bar

Image Redesigned keyboard for large screens

Image Simplified copy/paste interface

Image Multiple browser tabs instead of new browser windows and “incognito” mode

Image Hardware acceleration

Image Support for multicore processors

Image HTTPS stack improved with Server Name Indication (SNI)

Image Connectivity for USB accessories

Image Expanded Recent Apps list

Image Resizable home screen widgets

Image Support for external keyboards and pointing devices

Image Support for FLAC audio playback

Image Support for connected Wi-Fi connections when the screen is off

Image Compatibility display mode for apps that have not been optimized for tablet screen resolutions

Image Filesystem in Userspace (FUSE; kernel module)

Ice Cream Sandwich: Android OS 4.0, API Level 14, Released October 19, 2011

Android OS 4.0.3, API Level 15, Released December 16, 2011

Image Linux kernel 3.0.1

Image Soft buttons from Android 3.x now available for use on phones

Image Customizable launcher

Image Integrated screenshot capture

Image Ability to access apps directly from lock screen

Image Improved copy/paste functionality

Image Better voice integration and continuous, real-time speech-to-text dictation

Image Face Unlock

Image New tabbed Chrome browser, allowing up to 16 tabs and automatic syncing of bookmarks with users’ Chrome bookmarks

Image New Roboto UI typeface family

Image Data Usage section in settings to track data limits and disable data when the quota is passed

Image Ability to shut down apps that are using data in the background

Image Refreshed People app with social integration, status updates, and hi-res images

Image Android Beam, an NFC feature for rapid short-range exchange of bookmarks, contact info, direction, YouTube videos, and other data

Image Support of WebP images

Image Hardware acceleration of the UI

Image Wi-Fi Direct

Image 1080p video recording for stock Android devices

Image Android VPN Framework (AVF) and TUN (without TAP) kernel module (prior to 4.0, VPN software required a rooted device)

Jelly Bean: Android OS 4.1, API Level 16, Released July 9, 2012

Android OS 4.2, API Level 17, Released November 13, 2012

Image Linux kernel 3.0.31

Image Vsync timing for all drawing and animations performed by the Android Framework, as well as triple buffering in the graphics pipeline

Image Enhanced accessibility

Image Bidirectional text and other language support

Image User-installable keyboard maps

Image Expandable notifications

Image Ability to turn off notifications on an app-specific basis

Image Shortcuts and widgets can automatically be rearranged or resized to allow new items to fit on home screens

Image Bluetooth data transfer for Android Beam

Image Offline voice dictation

Image Tablets with smaller screens now use an expanded version of the interface layout and home screens used by phones

Image Improved voice search

Image Multichannel audio

Image USB audio

Image Audio chaining for gapless playback

Image Stock Android browser is replaced with mobile version of Google Chrome on devices with 4.1 preinstalled

Image Google Now search application

Image Ability for other launchers to add widgets from the app drawer without requiring root access

Image Photo Sphere panorama photos

Image Lock screen improvements, including widget support and swipe to camera

Image Notification power controls

Image “Daydream” screen saver, showing information when idle or docked

Image Multiple user accounts (tablets only)

Image Support for wireless display with Miracast

Image Increased number of extended notifications and Actionable Notifications for more apps

Image SELinux

Image Always-on VPN

Image Premium SMS confirmation

Image Phonelike launcher for small tablets in Android 4.1 extended to larger tablets

Image Added Bluetooth gamepads and joysticks as supported HID devices