My thoughts on Stuff

Android Operating Systems – Sweet Confectionery on a Device

Which of the following desserts would you like to try? Donut, Eclair, Froyo, android operating systemsGingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jellybean, Lollipop, or Marshmallow? Well, relax, there won’t be any additional calories put on today. These are the confectionery names of the Android Operating Systems. What are they and what relationship do they have to my Samsung devices? Let me try to break down the history of the open Android platform that Google and the Open Handset Alliance have been developing since 2008.


Android Operating Systems – History

Here is an overall history as captured in the table below:

Android operating systems
Table courtesy of Wikipedia


Android Operating Systems – The Most Recent

Ice Cream Sandwich – October 2011

Android Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) was the start of the serious development of the Androidandroid operating systems operating systems. This was also called Android 4.0 and was the first to unify the platforms of tablet and smartphones. There was a new visual appearance called “Holo” that reflected a cleaner and more simpler design. This made the new range of Android based phones much more pleasing to the eye and resulted in some great new smartphone releases such as the Samsung S4. The cleaner interface, faster internet browser and the new NFC integration made ICS a bright new system. Some of the downsides to Ice Cream Sandwich were that the Android 4.0 stock apps lacked the quality and functionality of third party developers. So, six months later, it was usurped by the next OS – Jellybean.

Jellybean – July 2012

Jellybean was released to attendees of Google’s developer conference in android operating systemsJune 2012 and started to appear in devices the next month. The improvements over Ice Cream Sandwich focused on giving the operating system a smoother and more responsive feel. Over the next year, Android 4.2 and 4.3 were unveiled, introducing lock screen widget, screen savers and a multi-user support for tablets. This really highlighted the advantage Android had over Apple’s operating system in that it allowed users to set up the interface of their tablets to match that on their smartphones. It is what I was attracted to when I bought my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet and could adjust the interface layout to match my Galaxy S3 smartphone.

Kitkat – October 2013

This was quite a winner for Nestle as they collaborated with android operating systemsGoogle to promote the Android 4.4 incarnation of Android operating systems. (No money changed hands, said Google, but Nestle collected as they released an Android range of Kitkats). This was a real step up and it proved to serious smartphone users that it was going to be a great match if not better that iOS 7. On this update, the calling and messaging side of the platform was addressed with a vast range of improvements. The new focus on smartphone productivity took center stage and Google Now started to come into its own on the smartphone platform. Minor tweaks over subsequent months were called 4.4.1, 4.4.2 and 4.4.3, all of this prepared users for the next major overhaul of the system when Android Lollipop arrived on the scene.

Lollipop – November 2014

Android 5.0 was released at the Google I/O conference in android operating systemsJune 2014 and started to appear on devices toward the end of the year. It also opened up over 5000 APIs to developers which meant that the number of available third-party apps through Google Play store was now going to skyrocket. Improvements to battery consumption were included as well, including battery saver mode so that some features were limited to WiFi use only. My Samsung Galaxy Note 3 was released with Android Jellybean but since I have owned it, the operating system has recently been automatically updated to use Lollipop. Some of the changes have taken a bit to get used to, but overall it is a vast improvement on the Android 4.0+ versions of the system.

Marshmallow – October 2015

The latest Android operating system is Android 6.0 called operating systems Samsung have started rolling out updates on all Galaxy S6, S6 Edge and Note 5 models. My wife’s Galaxy Note 5 is still using the Android 5.1 system under the Lollipop moniker, while the latest release Galaxy, the S7 and S7 Edge all come with Marshmallow as standard. What does it have that Lollipop didn’t?

Marshmallow introduces fingertip security so that PINs and passwords are no longer needed if you prefer a faster security set-up. In addition, Marshmallow allows you to set up the permissions you will give to downloaded apps, giving you greater control on what these apps use on your device. Battery consumption is a priority with Android 6.0. When your smartphone or tablet is resting, “Doze” automatically puts it into a sleep state. Even if you forget to charge the battery overnight, the morning alarm will still work. Apps Standby also limits the drain apps put on your battery, meaning that you aren’t hunting for the charger mid-afternoon.


Android Operating Systems – Conclusion

Keeping up with these updates can be a challenge. If you have an Android device, such as a Samsung, HTC, LG, etc., most of the newer models can be set up for automatic updates. Check out the screenshots below from my Galaxy Note 3. It is under Settings / Device. Select About device and screenshot 2 should appear. Select Software Updates for pic 3 to appear.

android operating systems

android operating systems

android operating systems


It is a good thing to set your phone to auto updates since then you don’t have to think too much about the operating system, just enjoy the features. But if you are really enjoying the current dessert on your phone and you are concerned that any new updates may mess up the interface you have, then switch off auto updates. It is as simple as a check box (screenshot 3).

One thing is for sure, technology is always changing. Newer and usually better things are appearing on the stage. Having an awareness of what these Android operating systems are about, will give you a greater technological nous and if, like me are in the 50+ age demographic, you will be able to have meaningful conversations with the younger brigade in your family.


Need a new device? Check out the Amazon and eBay widgets on my home page to find a great deal on the Samsung Galaxy range of smartphones.

6 thoughts on “Android Operating Systems – Sweet Confectionery on a Device

  1. This is a very informative article. Although, I have to be honest and say that I am not overly concerned about the operating system of my phone. Just as long as it does what I need it to do I’m happy. I also tend to manually download upgrades. I do this after I have listened to feedback from people that have already upgraded. In your opinion, as a fan of Samsung, do you think that not being able to change the battery on the S6 is a major drawback?

    1. Hi Steve,

      Yes, it was one of the downsides to the S6. The user uproar over that problem has prompted Samsung to change things with the S7 and S7 Edge. You can now remove the battery. Still, many users loved the S6 despite that issue with the battery. Another improvement is that a Micro SD card can be added to the S7 so that the memory can be expanded. This was another issue with the S6, S6 Edge and Note 5.

      The positive thing is that Samsung has listened to their customers and acted appropriately. Which model do you have, Steve?

  2. I am using a Samsung Galaxy Note 5. I’m not sure I have the latest Android installed. It recently prompt me for a software update. But my problem is I am running out of memory space for the software update to be performed. I have to clear off unwanted pictures and video which is quite a hassle. The fingertip security definitely sounds cool and I can’t wait to try it out. And the ‘Doze’ feature definitely sounds useful as I often forgot to charge my phone before sleep.

    1. Hi Kenny,

      Great choice of phone but you are going to have to upload those photos to the cloud. No doubt you have a gmail account. Each account get 15GB of storage for free. That is a lot of photos. My wife is always uploading the photos from her Note 5 to the cloud, keeping the storage free for the next ones. Worth trying out.

      Thank you for calling by the website and added to the conversation.


  3. Hi and my respects to very clear and understandable Android Operating Systems reviews.
    I would like to admit that I am an ardent Apple fans. It does not prevent me really appreciate other market participants.
    Absolutely that Android phones have some big pluses vs. iPhones just one significant lack why I still stick to Apple. It is so frequent hanging problems. It is so boring.

    1. Hi Andrejs,

      Thank you for your feedback on the article. Knowledge of other technologies can be very useful for when we make future buying decisions.

      All the best.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *