Android OS started off as a small competition to the iPhone from Apple. But its popularity and market presence growth has been exponential in the recent days. Android sales has surpassed iPhones since the 3rd quarter of 2010 (with respect to the number of units sold) and there has been several comparisons made between the market competitors iPhone and Android. At the same time, Android also keeps releasing a new OS Update once in every 6 months. Since its modest version 1.0 in September 2008 to the most awaited version Ice-cream sandwich (expected in April 2011), there has been constant improvements in OS functionalities and features. I have given a pictorial representation of the various features in each of the Android OS since Cupcakes till Honey Comb.
The Cupcakes version 1.5 experimented with capturing videos through the inbuilt camera and enabled sharing it with your friends on YouTube and Picasa. The key improvements were the ability to have widgets on home screen. The next version 1.6 - Donut came with the voice search and voice dial enhancements. Nearly 6% of users are using this version of Android OS
The next update of OS was Éclair OS 2.0/2.1. This enhancement saw a lot of improvements and additional features over its previous versions. HTML 5 was introduced and Microsoft Exchange server ActiveSync was supported. This is one of the popular versions of Android OS and has close to 31% of users.
The December 2010 released Gingerbread OS 2.3/2.4 is yet to catch up in its market presence (less than 1% use this OS as of now Feb2,2011 Source-Wikipedia). The key features of this update are the improved resolution for large screens, Near field communication, Copy-paste feature, improved graphics for gaming and multiple camera.
The last OS released of late (22Feb 2011) was Honeycomb OS 3.0 SDK. This is the first ever tablet only release of Android and has opened the Pandora box for the non-Apple manufacturers! Moto Xoom will be the first tablet to run on this OS. The attractive features are the 3D desktop with redesigned widgets, Gtalk video chat and improved performance with hardware acceleration.
Ice-cream Sandwich is speculated to be released by mid-2011 and just as the name suggests, is probably going to be an amalgamation of the fascinating features from Gingerbread and Honeycomb!
Which OS versions do you use/like? And what is your expectation from the most awaited Ice-cream sandwich update? Do share your thoughts!