Category Archives: Android Blog

News and notes from the Android team

The ultimate account security is now in your pocket

Phishing—when an attacker tries to trick you into turning over your online credentials—is the most common cause of security breaches. Preventing phishing attacks can be a major challenge for personal and business users alike. At Google, we automatically block the overwhelming majority of malicious sign-in attempts (even if an attacker has your username or password), but an additional layer of protection can be helpful.

Two-step verification (or 2SV) makes it even harder for attackers to gain access to your accounts by adding one more step to the sign-in process. While any form of 2SV, like SMS text message codes and push notifications, improves the security of your account, sophisticated attackers can skirt around them by targeting you with a fake sign-in page to steal your credentials.

We consider security keys based on FIDO standards, like our Titan Security Key, to be the strongest, most phishing-resistant method of 2SV on the market today. These physical security keys protect your account from phishers by requiring you to tap your key during suspicious or unrecognized sign-in attempts.

Now, you have one more option—and it’s already in your pocket. Starting today in beta, your phone can be your security key—it’s built into devices running Android 7.0+. This makes it easier and more convenient for you to unlock this powerful protection, without having to carry around additional security keys. Use it to protect your personal Google Account, as well as your Google Cloud Accounts at work. We also recommend it for people in our Advanced Protection Program—like journalists, activists, business leaders and political campaign teams who are most at risk of targeted online attacks.

Using the built-in security key in a Pixel 3 to log into your Google Account.gif

To activate your phone’s built-in security key, all you need is an Android 7.0+ phone and a Bluetooth-enabled Chrome OS, macOS X or Windows 10 computer with a Chrome browser. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Add your Google Account to your Android phone.
  2. Make sure you’re enrolled in 2SV.
  3. On your computer, visit the 2SV settings and click "Add security key".
  4. Choose your Android phone from the list of available devices—and you’re done!

When signing in, make sure Bluetooth is turned on on your phone and the device you are signing in on.

We recommend registering a backup security key to your account and keeping it in a safe place, so you can get into your account if you lose your phone. You can get a security key from a number of vendors, including our own Titan Security Key.

Now on Android, your phone is a security key to protect your accounts from phishing. Christiaan Brand, product manager on the Google Cloud Security team, explains why protecting your identity is top of mind for Android.

Here’s to stronger account security—right in your pocket.

Source: Android


Supporting choice and competition in Europe

For nearly a decade, we’ve been in discussions with the European Commission about the way some of our products work. Throughout this process, we’ve always agreed on one thing一that healthy, thriving markets are in everyone’s interest.

A key characteristic of open and competitive markets一and of Google’s products一is constant change. Every year, we make thousands of changes to our products, spurred by feedback from our partners and our users. Over the last few years, we’ve also made changes一to Google Shopping; to our mobile apps licenses; and to AdSense for Search一in direct response to formal concerns raised by the European Commission.  

Since then, we’ve been listening carefully to the feedback we’re getting, both from the European Commission, and from others. As a result, over the next few months, we’ll be making further updates to our products in Europe.

Since 2017, when we adapted Google Shopping to comply with the Commission’s order, we’ve made a number of changes to respond to feedback. Recently, we’ve started testing a new format that gives direct links to comparison shopping sites, alongside specific product offers from merchants.  

On Android phones, you’ve always been able to install any search engine or browser you want, irrespective of what came pre-installed on the phone when you bought it. In fact, a typical Android phone user will usually install around 50 additional apps on their phone.

After the Commission’s July 2018 decision, we changed the licensing model for the Google apps we build for use on Android phones, creating new, separate licenses for Google Play, the Google Chrome browser, and for Google Search. In doing so, we maintained the freedom for phone makers to install any alternative app alongside a Google app.

Now we’ll also do more to ensure that Android phone owners know about the wide choice of browsers and search engines available to download to their phones. This will involve asking users of existing and new Android devices in Europe which browser and search apps they would like to use.

We’ve always tried to give people the best and fastest answers一whether direct from Google, or from the wide range of specialist websites and app providers out there today.  These latest changes demonstrate our continued commitment to operating in an open and principled way.

Source: Android


Shaping the future of mobile with Android

Android's mission has always been to work closely with a broad and open ecosystem of partners to push the boundaries of hardware and software, bringing new experiences and capabilities to your mobile device. Together with manufacturers, carriers, chipset makers and developers, we want to build mobile experiences that are both productive and helpful—whether that’s giving you new ways to explore the world, helping you stay on top of a busy day or providing the tools to maintain a healthy relationship with technology.

This week, we’re at MWC Barcelona to celebrate new milestones with our Android partners, from the latest flagship devices to their vision and strategy for 5G.  

Foldables: Expanding the definition of smartphones

We’re constantly evolving Android to support our partners in building devices in a variety of shapes and sizes. Last fall, we announced that Android will power the emerging category of phones with screens that can bend and fold. Along with this trend comes new smartphone capabilities—for example, multitasking on a phone can become even easier; with more available, expanding screen area, you can watch a video on one side and take notes on the other. Tablets can be more portable, folding to easily fit into your pockets or purses.

Foldable1

This week, the world’s first foldable screen devices are launching on Android, with Samsung’s Galaxy Fold announced at Galaxy UNPACKED, and Huawei’s Mate X which was just announced earlier today here at MWC Barcelona. We look forward to seeing more Android-powered foldable devices from other manufacturers, and we'll continue to make improvements to the operating system for a smooth experience on these phones.

Unlocking new ways to learn, communicate and be entertained with 5G

As the industry progresses towards faster and better connectivity with new devices and chipsets, 5G will accelerate the potential of richer entertainment and communication experiences. Our partners like Samsung, Xiaomi, LG, Huawei, Qualcomm, Sony, HTC, OnePlus and Vivo are revealing their plans for 5G, including new devices launching later this year. We’re excited that Android is enabling the world’s first 5G smartphones, helping accelerate its adoption in 2019 and beyond.

5G

Better mobile messaging for everyone

To improve the standard messaging experience on Android, we’ve been working with many of our partners, including Samsung, Huawei, America Movil, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica, Telenor, and Vodafone to make RCS (Rich Communication Services) more widely available. Google has helped to launch RCS with partners in 24 countries, bringing enhanced features in your conversations like group chats, read receipts, and high quality media sharing. We will continue to work to bring better messaging to every Android user, across a broad range of devices and carriers.

Delivering a software experience that is up-to-date and secure

As we continue to see new mobile trends emerging on Android’s open platform, we also know people and businesses want more clarity and assurance that their smartphones have the latest software and security updates. Over the last year, we worked with partners to offer reliable smartphone experiences on Android for more people and business customers globally.

The Android One program represents a collaboration with manufacturers to bring devices that deliver its key attributes: faster access to the latest version of Android, regular security updates and a software design that’s intuitive and streamlined. Thanks to our partners—including Xiaomi, LG, Motorola and HMD Global—Android One activations grew 250 percent year over year. With the addition of the Nokia 9 PureView, Nokia 3.2, Nokia 4.2 and more, Android One will continue to bring people a consistent smartphone experience that’s fresh and secure.

To help businesses discover the best devices and services Android has to offer, the Android Enterprise Recommended program has validated more than 80 devices that meet elevated enterprise requirements for hardware, software and security updates. Just a few days ago, we expanded the program to include Managed Service Providers, who are mobility experts equipped to help customers build and support their Android enterprise deployments.

Android (Go edition), an optimized version of Android tailored for smartphones with 1GB of RAM or less, has helped bring the power of computing to everyone by delivering a powerful, fast and secure experience specifically optimized for entry-level smartphones. Our most recent release, Android 9 Pie (Go edition), is powering the new Nokia 1 Plus and the BLU Vivo Go. Today, over 50 percent of entry-level Android devices are now activating with Go.

Easier access to the power of AI on mobile

Alongside our partners, we’ve also brought more AI capabilities to the mobile ecosystem. Last year, we took the first step in working with LG to launch a dedicated button for the Google Assistant on its flagship devices to help people get things done on the go—whether it’s staying on top of your day or finding directions with just your voice.

This year, we’re  bringing the Google Assistant button to the full portfolio of new Android devices with LG and Nokia, including the LG G8 ThinQ and K40 and the Nokia 3.2 and 4.2. New phones from Xiaomi (including the Mi MIX 3 5G and Mi 9), TCL and Vivo (including the V15 Pro) will also launch with the Google Assistant button later this year. With these partnerships, we expect over 100 million devices to launch with a dedicated Google Assistant button.

And to support future AI-driven mobile experiences, we worked with manufacturers like Qualcomm and Mediatek to bring support for Android’s Neural Networks API and ML Kit. This integration lets phone manufacturers and app developers build faster, smarter and smoother experiences on mobile. For example, LG adopted these technologies to bring Google Lens suggestions into the camera app on the LG G8 ThinQ, allowing people to simply point the camera, and with a single tap, call or save a phone number on a takeout menu, send an email right from a flyer, or open an address in Google Maps.

Extending Digital Wellbeing tools to more devices

Last summer, Android 9 introduced a set of new tools to help you achieve the balance with technology you might be looking for. Since the release, people have told us that getting better visibility into their habits has helped them take more control over their phone usage.

Today, Digital Wellbeing is expanding to more phones beyond Pixel and Android One, starting with the new Moto G7 family. We're working with partners to bring these features to even more phones, so more people can use them to strike a better balance and focus on what matters to them the most.

AR brings Android Partner Walk to life

Every year at MWC Barcelona, we offer the Android Partner Walk, where attendees have the chance to collect character pins from our partners across the show floor. This year we decided to bring those characters to life with augmented reality. If you’re at the show, you can see and collect 3D pins using the Android Partner Walk app. This app is powered by ARCore, Google’s platform for AR experiences.

When it comes to Android, we're focused on improving smartphones in ways that help people in their day-to-day lives—and we couldn’t do this without our partners. We’re proud that Android is powering many of the most exciting trends that push what mobile is capable of, and we cannot wait to see them in the hands of people around the world.


Source: Android


Encryption for everyone: How Adiantum will keep more devices secure

Editor's note: February 5 was Safer Internet Day, but we’ll be talking about it all week with a collection of posts from teams from across Google.


Encryption is incredibly important. It underpins our digital security. Encryption encodes data so that it can only be read by individuals with a key. With encryption, you are in complete control of this key, and you can store sensitive information such as personal data securely.

But encryption isn’t always practical, since it would slow some computers, smartphones and other devices to the point of being unusable. That changes with Adiantum, which we are introducing today in the spirit of Safer Internet Day.

Adiantum is a new form of encryption that we built specifically to run on phones and smart devices that don’t have the specialized hardware to use current methods to encrypt locally stored data efficiently. Adiantum is designed to run efficiently without that specialized hardware. This will make the next generation of devices more secure than their predecessors, and allow the next billion people coming online for the first time to do so safely. Adiantum will help secure our connected world by allowing everything from smart watches to internet-connected medical devices to encrypt sensitive data. (For more details about the ins and outs of Adiantum, check out the security blog.)

Our hope is that Adiantum will democratize encryption for all devices. Just like you wouldn’t buy a phone without text messaging, there will be no excuse for compromising security for the sake of device performance. Everyone should have privacy and security, regardless of their phone’s price tag.

Source: Android


Making audio more accessible with two new apps

The World Health Organization estimates that by the year 2055, there will be 900 million people with hearing loss. We believe in the power of technology to help break down barriers and make life a little easier for everyone. Today, we’re introducing two new apps for Android designed to help deaf and hard-of-hearing people: Live Transcribe and Sound Amplifier.

Bringing captions to conversations with Live Transcribe

Dimitri Kanevsky is a research scientist at Google who has worked on speech recognition and communications technology for the last 30 years. Through his work, Dimitri—who has been deaf since early childhood—has helped shape the accessibility technologies he relies on. One of them is CART: a service where a captioner virtually joins a meeting to listen and create a transcription of spoken dialogue, which then displays on a computer screen. Dimitri’s teammate, Chet Gnegy, saw the challenges Dimitri faced using CART: he always carried multiple devices, it was costly and each meeting required a lot of preparation. This meant Dimitri could only use CART for formal business meetings or events, and not everyday conversations.

That inspired Chet to work with the Accessibility team to build a tool that could reduce Dimitri’s effort spent preparing for conversations. We thought: What if we used cloud-based automatic speech recognition to display spoken words on a screen? A prototype was built and Googlers across a bunch of our offices—from Mountain View to Taipei—got involved. The result is Live Transcribe, an app that takes real-world speech and turns it into real-time captions using just the phone’s microphone.

Live Transcribe has the potential to give people who are deaf or hard of hearing greater independence in their everyday interactions. It brought Dimitri closer to his loved ones—he’s now able to easily communicate with his six-year-old twin granddaughters without help from other family members. We’ve heard similar feedback from partners at Gallaudet University, the world’s premier university for deaf and hard of hearing people, who helped us design and validate that Live Transcribe met needs of their community.

livetranscribe

Live Transcribe is available in over 70 languages and dialects. It also enables two-way conversation via a type-back keyboard for users who can’t or don’t want to speak, and connects with external microphones to improve transcription accuracy. To use Live Transcribe, enable it in Accessibility Settings, then start Live Transcribe from the accessibility button on the navigation bar. Starting today, Live Transcribe will gradually rollout in a limited beta to users worldwide via the Play Store and pre-installed on Pixel 3 devices. Sign up here to be notified when it’s more widely available.

Clarifying sound with Sound Amplifier

Everyone can use a little audio boost from time to time, especially in situations where there’s a lot of background noise—like at a loud cafe or airport lounge. Today, we’re launching Sound Amplifier, which we announced at Google I/O last year.

With Sound Amplifier, audio is more clear and easier to hear. You can use Sound Amplifier on your Android smartphone with wired headphones to filter, augment and amplify the sounds in your environment. It works by increasing quiet sounds, while not over-boosting loud sounds. You can customize sound enhancement settings and apply noise reduction to minimize distracting background noise with simple sliders and toggles. 

sound amplifier

Sound Amplifier is available on the Play Store and supports Android 9 Pie or later phones and comes pre-installed on Pixel 3. With both Live Transcribe and Sound Amplifier, our goal is to help the hundreds of millions of people who are deaf or hard of hearing communicate more clearly.

Source: Android


Find more balance in your life this year, with help from Google

With our phones constantly buzzing and our inboxes filling up, it can sometimes feel like we’re always logged in. It’s easy to forget the importance of making deliberate choices about when we want to use our phones, and to know when we can take a much-needed break from screens.

Looking for more balance in your life this year? Here are some tools that will help you better understand how you’re currently using your phone, get more out your tech and carve out time to be a little more zen in 2019.

1. Take a look at your Digital Wellbeing dashboard.

Android Time Spent feature

The Digital Wellbeing dashboard on Android devices helps you understand how frequently you currently use different apps, how many notifications you receive and how often you unlock your phone. By looking at your usage over time, it’s easy to think about whether you’re getting value from the time spent on each activity and make changes.

2. Cut down on all that scrolling with app timers.

Android app timer

Once you’ve identified apps you’d like to use less often, you can set up app timers so your phone will nudge you when you’re close to your self-imposed limit. The app icon button will then gray out, with a notification to remind you of your goal, when you’ve exhausted the time limit you’ve set for yourself.

3. Use Flip to Shhh on Pixel 3.

Shhh mode on Pixel

For Pixel 3 users out there, if you turn your phone over on a table — like when you’re at dinner — your device automatically enters Do Not Disturb mode so you can focus on being present, not mindlessly checking sports scores or playing a game.

4. Create more family time with Family Link and the YouTube Kids app.

Digital Wellbeing for family and kids

If you have kids, Family Link and the YouTube Kids app allow you to set the digital ground rules for everyone in the household. With Family Link, you can view your children's activity, manage their apps, find apps recommended by teachers, set screen time limits and even lock their devices when it’s dinner or “go outside and play” time.

With the YouTube Kids app, you can decide whether or not your kids can use YouTube Kids search, keep tabs on the videos they’re watching and even block videos or channels you don’t want them to see—along with setting time limits for how long they can play with the app.

5. Get stuff done quickly and focus on what matters to you.

Great technology should improve your life, not distract from it, and a bunch of Google tools are here to help. The Google Assistant offers you downtime from screens by letting you to use your voice to send messages, control smart home devices and play music when you just want to chill. Google Photos automatically stylizes your photos for you, Android Auto minimizes distractions while you’re driving and Gmail’s Smart Compose already helps people save over a billion characters every week by suggesting words and phrases for you as you write.

6. Practice mindfulness and take a break.

Try searching for “mindfulness” in Google Play to download relaxing apps like Headspace, Calm, and many others to kickstart your wellbeing journey. You can also say to your Google Assistant, “I want to meditate” to get a bunch of app recommendations and healing sounds, and the recently updated Google Fit app now has guided breathing exercises for you, too.

7. Keep up with the #GetFitWithGoogle challenge.

With all this extra time, you might even have time to sneak in an extra run this week. We’re now three weeks into the #GetFitWithGoogle global challenge, with just one week to go as our influencer teams race to earn the most Heart Points during January with Google Fit.

Congrats to Colombia for holding onto the lead going into the final week!

Get Fit With Google leaderboard, week 3

Keep an eye on the #GetFitWithGoogle hashtag on Instagram and follow the teams below to follow their fitness journeys. Will Team Switzerland make a final dash for the line? Just one week to go before we announce the overall winners.

Don’t forget to share your own Heart Points progress using #GetFitWithGoogle to help others like you stay motivated.


Source: Android


Kick-start your New Year’s resolutions with Google Fit

January is fast approaching—and that means it’s almost time for New Year's resolutions, even though most people seem to abandon them about a week into the new year. But if 2019 is the year you want to stick to your goals, you may want to get a head start. In fact, our New Year's resolution is to make it easier for you to get healthy, and have fun doing it. Here's how you can put health and wellness first in 2019, with a little help from Google.

Step 1: Get in the game.

Go to the Google Fit app to join a 30-day challenge designed to kick-start your journey to a healthier, more active life. The challenge begins on January 1, but you can sign up starting today (running shoes optional). You’ll earn Heart Points from activities that you log or actively track with Google Fit. Better yet, Google Fit will automatically detect and log walks, runs or bike rides for you. Your goal is to get as many points as possible—and we’ll be cheering you on along the way.

Step 2: Learn the ground rules.

You’ll score Heart Points for any activity that gets your heart pumping. Get one point for each minute of moderate activity, like picking up the pace while walking your dog, and double points for more intense activities like running or kickboxing. Hit 150 Heart Points per week to meet the American Heart Association (AHA) and the World Health Organization (WHO)’s physical activity recommendations shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, improve sleep and increase overall mental well-being.

Step 3: Get moving.

We hear you: It’s tough to get motivated when it’s cold outside. Here are some ways you can earn Heart Points while you’re going about your winter routine:

  • Want to involve the whole family? Go sledding with your kids and earn double Heart Points.  
  • Skip the snowblower and grab a shovel. Extra points if you do your neighbor’s yard, too.
  • You’ll probably make a hot cocoa run at some point. Park at the farther end of the lot and squeeze in a brisk walk.
  • If you find yourself on the mountain this winter, skiing and snowboarding are all intense activities that can earn you double Heart Points.
  • If the hot cocoa didn’t warm you up, catch a spin class and earn a Heart Point for every minute you’re on the bike.

Step 4: Find a buddy.

For more inspiration, we’ve teamed up with 36 influencers from nine countries around the globe to show us how they’re earning their Heart Points. Follow #GetFitWithGoogle on Instagram and YouTube to see how others are tackling the challenge, or share your own tips and tricks on how you #GetFitwithGoogle with your favorite Heart Points workout.

Are you up for the challenge? Sign-up today in the Google Fit app. If you’re new to Google Fit, try it here to start the year right with Fit.

Source: Android


Bringing eSIM to more networks around the world

With eSIM,  getting wireless service is as easy as turning on your phone. Gone are the days of going to the store to get a SIM card and fumbling around to try and place it into a small slot. With eSIM, we hope to bring you instant connectivity across more carrier networks, and devices in the Google ecosystem—from Android smartphones to Chromebooks to Wear OS smartwatches.

Pixel 2 was the first major smartphone with eSIM, and now, on Pixel 3,  we’re expanding eSIM support to more carriers. If you’re in the U.S. and would like to purchase a phone that has eSIM, head over to Google Fi or the Google Store. If you’re in Germany, look out for the ability to purchase Pixel 3 with eSIM functionality from Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone soon. Sprint in the U.S., EE in the UK, Airtel and Reliance Jio in India, and Truphone and Gigsky in various countries will also roll out eSIM support for Pixel 3 in the coming months.

To enable a consistent and simple experience across the ecosystem, we’re also creating a program that allows Android device makers to build eSIM-capable smartphones. We look forward to continuing our work with our partners on the potential benefits of eSIM—whether that’s getting you connected to a phone, watch, tablet, or laptop—in the future.

Source: Android


Upgrade your daily drive with new Android Auto features

When you’re on the road, the journey can be just as important as the destination. Today we’ve added new Android Auto features that make your drives even more simple, personal and helpful—including easier access to your favorite content with improved media browse and search features, plus new ways to stay connected with visual message previews and group messaging.

You can try out these new features with some of your favorite media apps—like Google Play Books, Google Play Music, iHeartRadio, Pocket Casts and Spotify. Popular messaging apps like Messages, Hangouts and WhatsApp also work with the new messaging features. In the coming months, we’ll work with more apps to add support for these new features.

New ways to discover media

If driving in silence isn’t for you, playing and finding media just got easier. By bringing content to the forefront of your screen, you can now spend less time browsing and more time enjoying the content you like most. An improved layout, featuring large album art views, lets you quickly identify and select something to play.

image 3

Got something specific in mind? We’ve also made improvements to the voice search experience. Just say “OK Google, play 80s music” or “OK Google, play Lilt” to view even more categorized search results from your app right on the screen.

image 2

More options for messaging

As you’re driving, you don’t have to worry about missing important messages—you can now safely stay connected with multiple people at once. When messages arrive, Android Auto can show you a short preview of the text when your vehicle is stopped. This message previewing capability is purely optional (enabled via Android Auto’s settings menu), giving you the ability to choose what’s most important—privacy or convenience.

img

In addition to SMS messaging, Android Auto now supports apps that use MMS (multimedia messaging service) and RCS (rich communication services). This means that your favorite messaging apps can now offer additional capabilities, like support for group messaging.


The updates will be fully available in the next several days. Check out the Android Auto app in the Google Play Store to try out these new features on your next drive.

Source: Android


Celebrating a Sweet Decade of Android

Ten years ago, we introduced the first version of the Android operating system with the T-Mobile G1, and launched Android Market (now Google Play) the very same day. Android has grown up a lot since then—there are now more than 2 billion active Android devices around the world.

The operating system itself has gone through some major transformations, too. The G1 ran on Android 1.0—a version so early, we didn’t even name it after a dessert. The debut included features that you know and love today like pull-down notifications, sharing content across apps and multitasking between apps. But it didn’t have more advanced features like voice search, turn-by-turn navigation or NFC. 10 years later, we’ve come a long way! Our latest release of the operating system, Android 9 Pie, has all of those features and harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to make your phone smarter, simpler and more adaptive.

On the occasion of Android’s 10th birthday, we’re taking a trip down memory lane to look at the earliest versions of Android, the major improvements of each release and how far we’ve come:

Cupcake (Android 1.5) added virtual keyboards, customization options and easy ways to share.

Cupcake.png

With the introduction of virtual keyboards, Cupcake opened the doors to full touchscreen Android devices. And with home screen app widgets, you had more ways to customize your device, a defining feature still used today, alongside app folders. Sharing directly from your smartphone became easier with more ways to copy and paste and the ability to capture, share and upload videos.

Donut (Android 1.6) gave you one easy place to search across your phone and the web.

Donut introduced Android’s Quick Search Box, which lets you get search results from both the web and across your phone, from a single box on the homescreen. Even in these early days, the system was designed to learn which search results were more relevant, getting you to the right results faster the next time you typed in a relevant query. We also introduced support for different screen densities and sizes, laying the foundation for the very high density screens and variety of phone sizes we see today.

Eclair (Android 2.0+) changed driving forever with Google Maps navigation and speech-to-text.

Eclair.png

Google Maps navigation made Android smartphones, well, smart. Turn-by-turn directions using Google Maps data included many features found in a typical in-car navigation system: a forward-looking 3D view, voice guidance and traffic information—all for free on your high resolution phone. Eclair also added speech-to-text transcription, which lets you input text like emails and messages with your voice.

We also introduced a fan favorite feature: live wallpapers.

Voice Actions in Froyo (Android 2.2+) helped you do even more hands-free.

Froyo.png

Froyo took Android voice capabilities to the next level with Voice Actions, which let you perform key functions on your phone—searching, getting directions, making notes, setting alarms and more—with just the sound of your voice. Sounds familiar

Gingerbread (Android 2.3) added early battery management capabilities.

Gingerbread.png

Gingerbread helped you get the most out of your battery life by knowing exactly how your device was using it, from screen brightness to any active app. With Android 9, we’ve taken battery life management to a whole new level with Adaptive Battery, which uses AI to learn the apps you use most and prioritize battery for them.

Honeycomb (Android 3.0) extended Android to more shapes and sizes.

Honeycomb.png

Honeycomb’s new Holo design language, along with larger layout and rich animation support, made the most of your tablet’s screen. This was the first version of Android that was intended for different form factors, laying the groundwork for more robust and flexible platforms introduced later, like Android TV, Android Auto, Android Things and Wear OS by Google.

Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) introduced smooth moves

Ice Cream Sandwich introduced a simplified and streamlined design to help you get things done on your phone faster. New features like app folders, a favorites tray and widgets made it easier to find and use your favorite apps. The addition of NFC didn’t just pave the way for mobile payments—it also made “beaming” of maps, videos, links and contacts easy by placing two phones together.

Navigation became more intuitive with the arrival of quick settings and the ability to swipe to dismiss recent apps and notifications, features first introduced in tablets with Honeycomb, brought to phones. This release reflected a renewed focus on creating fluid experiences in Android—an effort that continues to this day with intuitive gestures in Android 9.

Jelly Bean (Android 4.1) brought personalized and intelligent assistance to the palm of your hand

Jelly Bean.png

A precursor to the Google Assistant, Google Now in Jelly Bean helped you get the information you needed at just the right time—like the daily weather as you got dressed and commute times before you walked out the door. Notifications became richer, allowing you to expand them to show more content and immediately take actions, such as liking a post, archiving an email or even blocking future notifications.

Ok Google, tell me about KitKat (Android 4.4)

KitKat built on the earlier Voice actions, uniting the helpfulness of Google Now with improvements in voice technology and letting you launch voice search, send a text, get directions, or play a song just by saying “Ok Google.” KitKat also brought lighter colors and transparency to Android’s design, setting the stage for Material Design in Lollipop.

Android 5.0’s Lollipop brought great design to Android

Lollipop.png

With Lollipop, we brought Material Design to Android, introducing an entirely new look and feel that made it easier to navigate your device. Material Design is a visual language that combines the classic principles of good design with the innovation of technology and science. Lollipop also made it more seamless to transition across the devices that you use throughout the day, so that you can pick up where you left off across Android phones, tablets, TV and wearables.

Help was on tap in Android 6.0 Marshmallow

Marshmallow represented another next step in the journey to the Google Assistant we know today. With Now on Tap, you could simply tap and hold the Home button to get contextual help—customized to your task at hand, without having to leave what you were doing, whether in an app or on a website.

To help save your juice for the things that matter most, Marshmallow brought some new battery saving features: Doze, which automatically puts your device into a sleep state when it’s at rest, and App Standby, which limits the impact of less frequently used apps on battery life.

We also introduced run-time permissions, which help users better understand and evaluate requests for apps to have access to certain data.

N was for Nougat (Android 7.0) and new emoji

Nougat.png

Nougat focused on improvements to the ways you were already using your phone—adding multi-window to let you run two apps side by side, instant reply within notifications, adjustable display size for improved accessibility, and Data Saver which limits how much data your devices uses on background. We also introduced VR mode to enable high-quality VR experiences for apps, and 63 new emoji that focus on better gender representation—in all six skin tone options. 🙌

The world’s favorite cookie became the world’s favorite new Android release—Android 8.0 Oreo

Oreo.png

Oreo introduced ways to navigate tasks on your phone more seamlessly, like picture-in-picture, and Autofill, which helps you log into your apps faster. Oreo also continued to simplify the Android experience with more visual cohesion and easier gestures—like swiping up from the homescreen to see all your apps.

And with Oreo (Go edition), we built our first-ever configuration of Android specifically optimized for entry-level devices, ensuring that first-time smartphone users get a fast, powerful experience.

Android 9 Pie serves a slice of Digital Wellbeing

Pie.png

The way we use our phones—and how much time we spend on them—has changed a lot since the days of Cupcake. So one of the biggest changes in Android 9 Pie is the introduction of new ways for you to take control of your digital wellbeing, including a new app timer and a dashboard that lets you see how much time you spend in various apps. With Android 9, your phone also changes the way it works by learning from you—and working better for you—the more you use it. Artificial intelligence now powers core capabilities of your phone, from predicting your next task so you can jump right into the action you want to take to prioritizing battery power for the apps you use most and the ones it thinks you are going to use soon.

From the early days of Voice Actions with speech-to-text to an increasingly helpful smartphone with AI at its core, Android has continued to evolve over the past 10 years. And thanks to our open-source platform and the passionate community of users, partners and developers, Android has empowered innovations and given people access to the power of mobile technology.

Source: Android