Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 16th Jun 2014 08:34 UTC
Google

To prevent any more of Android's past from being lost to the annals of history, we did what needed to be done. This is 20+ versions of Android, seven devices, and lots and lots of screenshots cobbled together in one space. This is The History of Android, from the very first public builds to the newest version of KitKat.

Very detailed, and a fun read.

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Wonderful
by Dryhte on Mon 16th Jun 2014 09:04 UTC
Dryhte
Member since:
2008-02-05

That amount of detail is one of the reasons I keep going back to Ars ;)

It's depressing to see how many versions of Android I've never had on any device...I've had 1.5, 1.6, 2.0, 2.2, 2.3, and 4.0 on a GB device (not that great). Then I moved to WP8 - maybe it's time to move back...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Wonderful
by Morgan on Mon 16th Jun 2014 15:58 UTC in reply to "Wonderful"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Without a doubt, the latest devices shipping with 4.4 are mature, fast, fluid, and versatile. I'm sticking with WP8 myself, but I see the appeal of modern Android devices. I just personally think WP8 works better as a phone OS, and Android works better as a tablet OS.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Wonderful
by calden on Tue 17th Jun 2014 08:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Wonderful"
calden Member since:
2012-02-02

Without a doubt, the latest devices shipping with 4.4 are mature, fast, fluid, and versatile. I'm sticking with WP8 myself, but I see the appeal of modern Android devices. I just personally think WP8 works better as a phone OS, and Android works better as a tablet OS.


I defiantly have to agree, I absolutely adore my Nokia 1020 as a phone. Though I have to say I think I also prefer my Nokia 2520 over my Nexus 10. The Nexus 10 is defiantly the best Android experience you could possibly have, I will never, ever own another Android device unless the OS comes directly from Google, i.e. Play Edition, Nexus or an Nvidia reference like the EVGA Note 7 and HP 7 Extreme. TouchWiz for example is so God awful that I shudder to even mention it's name, even though I would love to have the new Samsung S OMOLED, hopefully a Play Edition will emerge.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Wonderful
by phoenix on Mon 16th Jun 2014 16:31 UTC in reply to "Wonderful"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

It's depressing to see how many versions of Android I've never had on any device...I've had 1.5, 1.6, 2.0, 2.2, 2.3, and 4.0 on a GB device (not that great). Then I moved to WP8 - maybe it's time to move back...


On my wife's LG Eve (first Android device in the family), we ran 1.5, 1.6 (official versions from LG), 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3 (AOSP versions from OpenEVE and similar projects).

On my Sony Xperia pro (my first Android device), I ran 2.2, 2.3, and 4.0 (wasn't very stable).

On my LG Optimus G, I ran 4.0, 4.1 (from LG), 4.2 and 4.3 (Rootbox, Carbon, Slim).

On my LG G2, I've run 4.2 and 4.4 (Slim and Mahdi).

I think between those devices, we've played with every major.minor version of Android released on smartphones. And probably the vast majority of the .revisions as well.

Hard to believe it's only been 5-ish years since Android showed up in our house.

Reply Score: 2

love these
by REM2000 on Mon 16th Jun 2014 12:09 UTC
REM2000
Member since:
2006-07-25

Love these kind of articles, very thorough and well presented with screen shots and good wording. It's surprising how quick history can be forgotten or lost in todays information age. As mentioned in the article a lot of the services they wanted to screen shot no longer work.

There is a rapid pace of change, which is equally shadowed by rapid loss.

Reply Score: 2

hate to be debbie downer, but...
by hobgoblin on Mon 16th Jun 2014 13:53 UTC
hobgoblin
Member since:
2005-07-06

I found the whole thing shallow, and overly focused on the design of things.

I started reading Ars Technica after discovering their multi-page articles on Linux and CPU internals, and i find this, tho large, lacking in comparison.

Reply Score: 1

h5n1xp Member since:
2013-08-24

The CPU architecture articles are what drew me to arstechnica too... Probably 14 years ago or something!!

Reply Score: 2

dnebdal Member since:
2008-08-27

I found the whole thing shallow, and overly focused on the design of things.

I started reading Ars Technica after discovering their multi-page articles on Linux and CPU internals, and i find this, tho large, lacking in comparison.


That's a bit like complaining that their CPU architecture series had really shallow coverage of the marketing and packaging. This is a study of the evolution of the user interface - the metaphors, controls, overarching theme choices (or lack of such), and what functionality is and isn't included by default.

In other words, the "design of things" is the actual subject matter here - no wonder you thought there was a lot of it.

Edited 2014-06-16 23:44 UTC

Reply Score: 3

hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

In other words, more like their pixel counting OSX articles than their CPU articles.

Give me a writeup of the changes in the internals of Android from version to version, and i'll be happy.

I swear that if you wanted to you could have themed 1.0 to look like 4.4. That is how much value UI design has (at least imo).

Damn it, i keep seeing this design over function attitude spreading all over. On /r/android people as dismissing the very real issues with how Google is handling SD card support because "praise Duarte".

Edited 2014-06-17 13:07 UTC

Reply Score: 2

hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

Seems the edit window is closed, so i have to reply to myself.

Anyways, if the title had said "the visual history" or "the interface history" i would not complain as loudly. But it says "the history" yet gloss over all the internal changes.

Never mind that it is one more article that conflate ASOP Android and the Google apps suite. Those two are not joined at the hip, as Amazon (and now Nokia/Microsoft) has shown us.

Reply Score: 3

Rose Colored Glasses?
by jburnett on Mon 16th Jun 2014 17:27 UTC
jburnett
Member since:
2012-03-29

Looking back on this makes me kinda miss my old Gingerbread based phone. Not the terrible battery life, or the painfully slow networking (Sprint I hate you so much). The often large amount of lag between pressing a button and seeing a response wasn't any fun. Nor do I miss firing up Angry Birds not to play, but merely to hold in my hands to keep them warm (often too warm) in the snow.

But despite the hardware limitations, so much of the interface just seemed to work better back then. Also, it was much more fun. Today's interfaces take themselves way too seriously.

Reply Score: 2

v wow I'm amazed...
by sergio on Tue 17th Jun 2014 02:15 UTC
RE: wow I'm amazed...
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 17th Jun 2014 09:28 UTC in reply to "wow I'm amazed..."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

It was totally touch-oriented from the beginning. Just incredible, take that Apple!


That's Palm OS you're thinking of.

Reply Score: 2

RE: wow I'm amazed...
by Soulbender on Tue 17th Jun 2014 13:23 UTC in reply to "wow I'm amazed..."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

You fail at sarcasm.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: wow I'm amazed...
by themwagency on Wed 18th Jun 2014 03:48 UTC in reply to "RE: wow I'm amazed..."
themwagency Member since:
2013-03-06

The fact that you don't like it doesn't make it sarcasm or a supposed failed attempt at it.

Reply Score: 0