Our Android overlords don’t just come from one distant planet. There are different breeds of Android, or “versions” if you’re more used to terrestrial lingo. Each new version of Android has brought enhancements, improvements and additions, and word is there are even more bizarre mutations to come.
Each Android version is named after a type of dessert too, with delicious-sounding codenames whetting our appetite for their high-tech contents. Want to know which version of Android is inside your Android phone? Here’s a run down of the ones that have landed, what their special powers are and the next lot you can expect.
Android 1.5 is Cupcake’s alien codename. It was first spotted landing on Earth on 30 April 2009, adding new next-gen powers to the first ever Android phones. We’re talking stereo Bluetooth, a new on-screen keyboard, between screen animations, camcorder recording and direct Picasa and YouTube uploading.
If you have an ageing HTC Magic in your pocket, this is the Android edition your phone’s infected with.
Known also as Android 1.6 and from a planet not too far from Cupcake, this Android update brought earthlings a better Android Market, higher resolution screen support for WVGA screens, boosted voice search abilitiers, and integration of Google’s voice technology with contacts.
There were also speed improvements. When it debuted, Donut was the fastest Android ever seen. Newer HTC Magics already support Donut out of the box, and it’s at home inside the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 too.
A recent invader, hitting Earth in October 2009 and worming its way into the Nexus One, HTC Legend and HTC Desire. Different in many ways from its inter-planetary cousins, it offers a new browser interface, Microsoft Exchange support for workaholics, digital zoom for cameras, multiple Gmail account access and a super-advanced image search tool called Google Goggles.
In certain areas, namely the USA, it also has free Google Maps Navigation, although this has yet to break out from quarantine and land in other territories.
FroYo will be the next Android update due to land. It’s still en route to Earth and as yet, nobody’s sure when it’ll arrive. New Android versions find their way to handsets every few months however, so its arrival could be imminent.
FroYo is short for Frozen Yoghurt. It certainly sounds delicious. We just hope that means it tastes great, but doesn’t leave us with a headache.
From an even more distant planet, Gingerbread is currently in a galaxy far, far away, not to be seen for a few months yet.Very little is known about Android Gingerbread, although that’ll change as it begins to infiltrate our solar system.
Its Android powers are said to be so extreme that mere mortals cannot stare at it for too long, for fear of extreme technology envy and high-levels of next-gen gadget anticipation.