Master Marshmallow: What a long, strange trip it's been. From its inaugural release to today, Android has transformed visually, conceptually and functionally — time and time again. Google's mobile operating system may have started out scrappy, but holy moly, has it ever evolved.
Here's a fast-paced tour of Android version highlights from the platform's birth to present. The early days Android made its official public debut in with Android 1. Things were pretty basic back then, but the software did include a suite of early Google apps like Gmail, Maps, Calendar, and YouTube, all of which were integrated into the operating system — a stark contrast to the more easily updatable standalone-app model employed today.
T-Mobile [ Further reading: Cupcake With early 's Android 1. Cupcake introduced numerous refinements to the Android interface, including the first on-screen keyboard — something that'd be necessary as phones moved away from the once-ubiquitous physical keyboard model. Cupcake also brought about the framework for third-party app widgets, which would quickly turn into one of Android's most distinguishing elements, and it provided the platform's first-ever option for video recording.
Cupcake was all about the widgets. Android version 1. Donut Android 1. Donut filled in some important holes in Android's center, including the ability for the OS to operate on a variety of different screen sizes and resolutions — a factor that'd be critical in the years to come. Google Android's universal search box made its first appearance in Android 1. Android versions 2. Eclair Keeping up the breakneck release pace of Android's early years, Android 2.
Eclair was the first Android release to enter mainstream consciousness thanks to the original Motorola Droid phone and the massive Verizon-led marketing campaign surrounding it.
Verizon's "iDon't" ad for the Droid. The release's most transformative element was the addition of voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation and real-time traffic info — something previously unheard of and still essentially unmatched in the smartphone world. Navigation aside, Eclair brought live wallpapers to Android as well as the platform's first speech-to-text function. And it made waves for injecting the once-iOS-exclusive pinch-to-zoom capability into Android — a move often seen as the spark that ignited Apple's long-lasting "thermonuclear war" against Google.
Google The first versions of turn-by-turn navigation and speech-to-text, in Eclair. Android version 2. Froyo Just four months after Android 2. Froyo did deliver some important front-facing features, though, including the addition of the now-standard dock at the bottom of the home screen as well as the first incarnation of Voice Actions, which allowed you to perform basic functions like getting directions and making notes by tapping an icon and then speaking a command.
Google Google's first real attempt at voice control, in Froyo. Notably, Froyo also brought support for Flash to Android's web browser — an option that was significant both because of the widespread use of Flash at the time and because of Apple's adamant stance against supporting it on its own mobile devices. Apple would eventually win, of course, and Flash would become far less common. But back when it was still everywhere, being able to access the full web without any black holes was a genuine advantage only Android could offer.
Gingerbread Android's first true visual identity started coming into focus with 's Gingerbread release. Bright green had long been the color of Android's robot mascot, and with Gingerbread, it became an integral part of the operating system's appearance. Black and green seeped all over the UI as Android started its slow march toward distinctive design. Android 3. Honeycomb 's Honeycomb period was a weird time for Android. Under the guidance of newly arrived design chief Matias Duarte , Honeycomb introduced a dramatically reimagined UI for Android.
It had a space-like "holographic" design that traded the platform's trademark green for blue and placed an emphasis on making the most of a tablet's screen space. When Android got a case of the holographic blues. While the concept of a tablet-specific interface didn't last long, many of Honeycomb's ideas laid the groundwork for the Android we know today.
The software was the first to use on-screen buttons for Android's main navigational commands; it marked the beginning of the end for the permanent overflow-menu button; and it introduced the concept of a card-like UI with its take on the Recent Apps list.
Android version 4. Ice Cream Sandwich With Honeycomb acting as the bridge from old to new, Ice Cream Sandwich — also released in — served as the platform's official entry into the era of modern design. The release refined the visual concepts introduced with Honeycomb and reunited tablets and phones with a single, unified UI vision.
ICS dropped much of Honeycomb's "holographic" appearance but kept its use of blue as a system-wide highlight. And it carried over core system elements like on-screen buttons and a card-like appearance for app-switching. Android 4. And it started the slow process of bringing a standardized design framework — known as "Holo" — all throughout the OS and into Android's app ecosystem. Android versions 4.
Jelly Bean Spread across three impactful Android versions, and 's Jelly Bean releases took ICS's fresh foundation and made meaningful strides in fine-tuning and building upon it. The releases added plenty of poise and polish into the operating system and went a long way in making Android more inviting for the average user.
Visuals aside, Jelly Bean brought about our first taste of Google Now — the spectacular predictive-intelligence utility that's sadly since devolved into a glorified news feed.
It gave us expandable and interactive notifications, an expanded voice search system, and a more advanced system for displaying search results in general, with a focus on card-based results that attempted to answer questions directly. Multiuser support also came into play, albeit on tablets only at this point, and an early version of Android's Quick Settings panel made its first appearance. Jelly Bean ushered in a heavily hyped system for placing widgets on your lock screen , too — one that, like so many Android features over the years , quietly disappeared a couple years later.
KitKat Late's KitKat release marked the end of Android's dark era, as the blacks of Gingerbread and the blues of Honeycomb finally made their way out of the operating system. Lighter backgrounds and more neutral highlights took their places, with a transparent status bar and white icons giving the OS a more contemporary appearance.
The release was Google's first foray into claiming a full panel of the home screen for its services, too — at least, for users of its own Nexus phones and those who chose to download its first-ever standalone launcher.
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Navigation SlidingMenu - Library to create applications with slide-in menus. SlidingTutorial - Simple library that helps to create awesome sliding android app tutorials.
Page View indicator - Support for horizontally scrolling ViewPager. MaterialDrawer - Simple take on a material design navigation drawer.
Rebound - Rebound is a java library that models spring dynamics. Android View Animations - Cute view animation collection. Android-Transition - Allows the easy creation of view transitions that react to user inputs.
Android-View-Actions - Makes creating complex animations for views easy. Images android-crop - Library project for cropping images. CircularImageView - Custom view for circular images while maintaining the best draw performance. Android-Image-Filter - Library project for applying image filters easily. Doesn't have Gradle or Maven Support. Emojicon - Adds emoticons to your app Loading Images Picasso - A powerful image downloading and caching library for Android.
Universal Image Loader - Asynchronous, out of the box loading and caching of images. Glide - An image loading and caching library for Android focused on smooth scrolling,Recommended by google.
Fresco - An Android library for managing images and the memory they use. Crash monitoring Fabric Crashlytics - Easy crash reporting solution. Bugsnag - Cross platform error monitoring. Networking Ion - Good networking library for android. RoboSpice - Library that makes writing asynchronous network requests easy.
HappyDns - A Dns library, user can use custom dns server, dnspod httpdns. Only support A record. Notifications android-remote-notifications - Pulls notifications from a remote JSON file and shows them in your app.
Database Cupboard - Access the sqlite easily via direct database access or through the ContentProvider framework. DbInspector - Provides a simple way to view the contents of the in-app database for debugging purposes.
Simple, modern and fast! Object oriented API and multi platform support. NexusData - Object graph and persistence framework for Android. Testing Robotium - Test automation framework for black-box UI tests.
Roboletric - Unit test framework to run tests inside the JVM on your workstation, not in the emulator. Tracking MobileAppTracking - Tracking your marketing campaigns across multiple ad networks. Mixpanel - Analytics platform to analyze the users.
Otto - Event Bus for Android. Weak handler - Memory safer implementation of android. Byte Buddy - Runtime code generation library with support for Android. It uses various Encryption to protect your application's Shared Preferences. LeakCanary - Catch memory leaks as they occur. Androl4b - A vm for assessing android applications. Debugging Tools Linx - Show logcat inside the device for debug builds Scalpel - View the entire hierarchy in 3d in the phone.
Stetho - Debug hierarchy and network from chrome. Bluetooth Low Energy in Bluetooth 4. Android Scripting - Allows to run scripting languages on Android. Android Priority Job Queue - Implementation of a Job Queue to easily schedule jobs tasks that run in the background, improving UX and application stability.
Easy Rating Dialog - Lib provides a simple way to display an alert dialog for rating app. Caffeine - A collection of utility classes that help make Android development faster. AboutLibraries - Automatically generates an About this app section, with a list of used libraries.
AudioPlayerView - A view that loads audio from an url and have basic playback tools. Typography - An Android library that makes it easy to use custom fonts in views. Developing for Android - A series of articles from Googler Chet Hasae and others, answering most commonly asked question: Android Hive Tutorials - Very good tutorials for beginners.
Android Weekly - Newsletter with weekly information about android. Android Action Bar Style Generator. Device Art Generator - Wraps app screenshots in real device artwork. Square libraries - Multiple high quality libraries by square. Development Alternatives My personal recommendation is for now to use the android api to build a native app. Scala can help to build this native apps with cleaner code. But there are also use cases where alternatives like cross-platform development can be useful.
Performance awesome-android-performance - A list of awesome Android tutorials, videos and tools for performance optimization. Other Awesome Lists Other amazingly awesome lists can be found in the awesome-awesomeness list. Contributing Your contributions are always welcome! Please read the contribution guidelines first.