Happy Donut Day! While you're chomping down on yours, why not take a minute to learn all about Vodafone's history with a very different kind of donut...
Happy Donut Day! Every year, the first Friday of June sees our American cousins celebrate the circular snack in all its sugary glory, so we thought we’d take a few minutes to do exactly the same, only with a distinctly Vodafone twist…
Way back in 2009 we stocked the HTC Magic, our first ever Android phone. What’s the link? It was running Android 1.6 – dubbed ‘Donut’ – of course! A lot’s happened between now and then in the world of mobile, and with Android M having been unveiled only last week, now’s a great time to take a whistle-stop tour through Android’s many incarnations. Step this way…
From D for Donut to M for…
Android Donut (or Doughnut, to us in the UK), was version 1.6 of Android’s mobile operating system, but it was the first to see widespread adoption thanks to a much broader range of phones than for earlier incarnations. The HTC Magic was Vodafone UK’s first Android offering, and it brought with it a dinky 3.2-inch display, a 3.15-Megapixel camera and a single-core processor with 512MB of RAM.
We’ve certainly come a long way since, as the specs in even our most wallet-friendly Vodafone Smart devices prove.
Eclair, or Android 2.0, souped up the mobile platform’s customisation offerings, bringing live wallpapers to smartphones for the first time. In the back end, meanwhile, Google added Bluetooth 2.1 support, the ability to add multiple email accounts and a bevy of camera upgrades including support for LED flashes and digital zooming.
With Froyo, Google put a big focus on voice – you could use speech to craft text messages, or use your dulcet tones to call businesses and contacts, send emails, listen to specific songs, browse the web and complete a swathe of other tasks. Froyo was also the first version of Android that allowed us to tether our phones to our laptops, letting us use their data connections as mobile hotspots.
Hot on the heels of Froyo, Android Gingerbread offered a host of small tweaks to improve the overall experience. Better copy and paste functionality, a new download manager and a cleaner, faster UI made everyday tasks easier, while Google also added support for gyroscopes and barometers, allowing game and app developers to let their imaginations run wild.
With Honeycomb (Android 3.0), Google put a big focus on the then fledgling Android tablet market. The whole interface was given a fresh lick of paint, with a lot of work put into making things look and work nicely on larger screens – apps like email and contacts got a shiny two-pane design for those spacious horizontal tablet displays.
Android Ice Cream Sandwich
Android 4.0.1 arrived in 2011, signalling a major new focus on design. Apps, fonts and menus were all given an overhaul, with Android simplifying everything from making folders to finding your contacts. Ice Cream Sandwich also premiered Face Unlock, which uses the front-facing camera to recognise who’s trying to access the phone.
Android Jelly Bean
Now we’re getting somewhere. Jelly Bean was a big step forward for Android, with a lot of new features added. Smart Bluetooth let you stay connected without draining power, Restricted profiles let you control who access what on the family tablet, and expandable notifications gave us more info at a glance. Behind the scenes, ‘Project Butter’ ensured that the interface was more buttery smooth than ever before.
Yet more UI and design tweaks brought Android one step further to the version we have today in this chocolatey update, with nicer-looking contacts, multitasking, music artwork screens and more. Google also added the Hangouts app in its KitKat release, bringing your MMS and SMS chats together, along with the ability to chat with emojis. KitKat was also the first version of Android to let you say ‘OK Google’ to initiate voice commands.
The big shakeup. With Lollipop, or Android 5.0, Google debuted its new ‘Material’ design language, which resembles colourful cuts of paper stacked on top of each other. The result is beautiful, with fluid animations aplenty and pretty flourishes at every turn. For many people, Lollipop brought a much needed shot of personality to a historically workmanlike operating system.
And that brings us right up to now. Google lifted the lid on Android M at its annual I/O developer conference at the end of May, meaning we now know what’s coming from the OS’ next big step. Click here to find out everything you need to know.
So there you go: from Donut to ‘M’ in just six years. And while the USA’s Donut Day may be focused more on sugary treats than smart tech, we at Vodafone UK know which one is tastier…
What does the M in Android M stand for? Let us know your guess in the comments section below!