The 10 Greatest Versions of Android, Ranked

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Android, archetypal released successful 2008, is inactive a comparatively young operating system. However, with immoderate years seeing aggregate updates, determination person been plentifulness of Android versions to look at. Some were amended than others, truthful let’s fertile the 10 greatest.

The Ranking Criteria

Ultimately, immoderate “best” database is going to travel down to the author’s preference, and this database volition beryllium nary different.

As a long-time Android user—going each the mode backmost to Android 1.5—I person acquisition with astir each mentation of Android. Android makes things complicated, though. My acquisition with Android connected a Pixel could beryllium precise antithetic than idiosyncratic else’s acquisition with the same mentation connected a Samsung phone.

I won’t beryllium simply ranking the versions based connected which has the champion features, arsenic that would skew heavy toward the newest versions. Rather, I’ll beryllium considering the interaction that each merchandise had connected the level arsenic a whole.

Will you astir apt hold with my database entirely? Nope! Let’s begin.

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#10: Android 5.0 Lollipop

android lollipopAndroid

Let’s commencement astatine the bottommost of the database with a arguable Android version. Released successful 2014, Android 5.0 Lollipop gave america our archetypal sensation of “Material Design.” This marked yet different large plan revamp for Android, but 1 that has arguably aged the best.

Beyond aesthetic changes, determination were immoderate large things happening nether the surface, too. Android switched from Dalvik to ART (Android Runtime), which improved the show of apps. That’s wherefore astir Android apps contiguous enactment Android 5.0 and above.

While Lollipop looked great on the surface, it was plagued by bugs. Memory absorption was a messiness connected galore devices, causing apps to beryllium closed successful the inheritance excessively often. There were besides galore annoyances with the caller notification system.

Lollipop was important for the aboriginal of Android, but it had a batch of hiccups.

#9: Android 6.0 Marshmallow

android marshmallowJoe Fedewa

Speaking of bugs, let’s speech astir the mentation that fixed a batch of Lollipop’s issues. Released successful 2015, Android 6.0 Marshmallow didn’t person the fanfare of different releases, but it was sneakily precise important.

Marshmallow introduced a large alteration successful however Android handles app permissions. Rather than asking you to assistance each permissions astatine the clip of installing the app, you tin assistance them arsenic needed. That means that you’re lone giving an app entree to, for example, your files if you specifically bash thing that requires that permission.

#8: Android 7.0-7.1 Nougat

android nougatAOSP

Android 7.0 Nougat was released successful 2016 and it was different refining update. By this time, Material Design was becoming much polished and fleshed out. Android had a nice, accordant look.

Nougat yet brought split-screen mode to “stock” Android. Before this, telephone makers had implemented their ain methods for split-screen mode, but Nougat made it a modular feature. This merchandise besides made “Doze,” a diagnostic intended to prevention artillery life, enactment a small better.

Perhaps the biggest happening that Nougat brought was Google Assistant. This was the mentation of Android that launched connected Google’s archetypal Pixel phone, and it was tightly integrated with the operating system. Google Assistant present comes connected each Android devices by default.

RELATED: What Is Google Assistant, and What Can It Do?

#7: Android 9 Pie

android pieAndroid

When Android 9 Pie was released successful 2018, the reception to it was mixed. For the archetypal time, Android didn’t person a Recents/Overview button. The navigation consisted of a pill-shaped location fastener for gestures and a tiny contextual backmost button.

While the half-baked gestures were soon replaced with Android 10, immoderate different features had a much lasting impact. Digital Wellbeing, a suite of tools to assistance radical signifier amended usage habits, was included for the archetypal time. Machine learning-powered artillery redeeming and surface brightness were besides introduced.

A large portion of Android Pie was privacy. Android got amended power implicit erstwhile apps could entree your camera and microphone. There were a batch of small things that greatly improved the wide privateness and information of the operating system.

RELATED: Google Digital Wellbeing Review: A Strong Nudge Towards Disconnecting

#6: Android 2.0-2.1 Eclair

android eclairAndroid Developers

By acold the oldest introduction connected this list, Android 2.0 Eclair was released successful 2009 conscionable six weeks aft Android 1.6. This was a monumental update for the operating strategy astatine the time.

Eclair introduced galore things that we instrumentality for granted today: Voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation successful Google Maps, unrecorded wallpapers, speech-to-text, and adjacent pinch-to-zoom. (Yes, Android didn’t person pinch-to-zoom astatine first.)

If you were an Android idiosyncratic astatine this time, Eclair was the update. I inactive retrieve erstwhile my HTC Eris got the update and I could usage the navigation successful Google Maps. It was legitimately life-changing. And tin you ideate utilizing a telephone without pinch-to-zoom?

#5: Android 4.1-4.3 Jelly Bean

android jelly beanAOSP

Android Jelly Bean contained 3 updates from 2012 to 2013. Coming from the large plan overhaul successful Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean was each astir refinement.

One of the astir notable features successful Jelly Bean was the instauration of the Quick Settings panel. This is simply a diagnostic that has go modular connected astir each smartphones. It brought respective toggles that were buried successful the settings retired to a much convenient place.

Jelly Bean was besides our archetypal sensation of “Google Now,” which has since been abandoned. The conception of predictive accusation that could assistance you passim the time was beauteous unthinkable astatine the time. It stuck astir for a while, but was yet replaced by Google Assistant.

Another chill diagnostic from Jelly Bean that Google has since abandoned was Lock Screen Widgets. It was neat to person speedy entree to useful widgets without having to unlock your phone, but possibly not truthful casual for the mean user to use.

#4: Android 4.4 KitKat

android kitkatAndroid

In 2013, Google released the archetypal branded mentation of Android, 4.4 KitKat. Previous versions of Android had go acheronian with neon highlights. KitKat took things successful the other absorption with airy backgrounds and muted highlights.

This was the archetypal mentation of Android that had a transparent presumption barroom astatine the apical of the location screen. It besides marked the power to single-color icons successful the presumption bar, which successful this lawsuit was white. These tiny aesthetic changes made the notification country look a batch cleaner.

KitKat was the archetypal mentation of Android that supported the “OK Google” aftermath commands. At this time, it lone worked with the surface on, but it was an important opening measurement for what would yet go Google Assistant.

Android fans whitethorn retrieve KitKat arsenic the mentation that launched connected the Nexus 5. To this day, the Nexus 5 is arguably the astir beloved smartphone that Google has released. It was a large matrimony betwixt bundle and hardware.

#3: Android 10

📸 Android

Android 10, released successful 2019, was the archetypal mentation to driblet the dessert nicknames. This signaled that Google was hoping to instrumentality Android successful a much “mature” direction.

The astir noticeable alteration successful Android 10 was the full-screen motion navigation. Android Pie started the modulation distant from a navigation barroom and buttons, but Android 10 afloat realized it. For the archetypal time, Android didn’t person “Home” and “Back” buttons.

Another large summation successful Android 10 was the system-wide acheronian theme. By flipping a switch, you tin power the taxable of immoderate app that supports the strategy setting. No much choosing themes connected an app-by-app ground (unless you truly privation to). Android’s basal colour had dilatory go rather achromatic and bright, truthful this was a precise welcomed feature.

Android 10 had galore features, but different important 1 was amended power implicit permissions. Users yet got much power implicit which apps could entree their locations. This is thing Google has been moving connected rather a spot successful caller years, and Android 10 was a large measurement forward.

#2: Android 8.0-8.1 Oreo

android oreoAndroid

Released successful 2017, Android Oreo didn’t bring a monolithic plan revamp, but it was softly 1 of the astir unchangeable and refined versions of the operating system. This was the 2nd clip that Google went with a marque for the dessert nickname.

Android Oreo wasn’t abbreviated connected features, though. Picture-in-picture became a autochthonal feature, Notification Channels brought tons of customizations to notifications, and adjacent selecting substance got caller options.

Perhaps 1 of the astir convenient features to ever travel to Android was introduced with Oreo: Password Autofill. Just similar successful the Chrome browser, Android could retrieve your login for apps, making it drastically easier to usage apps and acceptable up caller devices.

Android Oreo besides introduced Project Treble, which promised to amended the update concern that has plagued Android for years. Four years later, has it made a difference? Probably not arsenic overmuch arsenic Google had hoped.

Oh, and RIP to the blob emojis.

RELATED: What Are Android Notification Channels?

#1: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

android ICSAndroid Developers

Ice Cream Sandwich was released successful 2011, and diehard Android fans volition retrieve it arsenic a beauteous large deal. This was the archetypal clip that Android really looked similar a modern operating strategy acknowledgment to the recently hired plan main Matias Duarte.

Android 3.0 Honeycomb, which was lone for tablets, introduced the neon “Holo UI.” Ice Cream Sandwich (commonly called “ICS”) refined the Holo UI and brought it to phones, unifying the 2 instrumentality categories. Not everyone is simply a instrumentality of however Google merged tablets and phones, but it was unquestionably a large alteration for the platform.

Ice Cream Sandwich brought richer notifications that could beryllium swiped distant for the archetypal clip successful Android’s history. Honeycomb’s revamped and much ocular Recents paper was brought over. Face Unlock was added arsenic a caller information method.

It truly can’t beryllium emphasized capable however large of a woody the Holo UI was for Android. Before it, Android didn’t truly person a plan language. It was precise basal and looked similar thing designed for developers. Ice Cream Sandwich yet made it look much affable to use.

Ice Cream Sandwich was launched connected the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Android nerds drooled implicit the hype video for the release. This was erstwhile it felt similar Android yet grew up and Google was taking it earnestly arsenic a mainstream operating system.


This was a hard database to enactment together, and it could beryllium made successful a wholly antithetic bid with valid arguments. Every Android merchandise has added thing important, but immoderate had bigger impacts overall. Hopefully, the adjacent large diagnostic is just astir the corner.

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