Today, Android is the world's most pervasive mobile operating system on the planet, powering millions of smartphones, tablets, wearables, and more. But that wasn't always the case, and Android's public life started from humble beginnings just about six years ago.
The Android of 2008 — what debuted on the first Android smartphone, T-Mobile's G1 aka the HTC Dream — looks almost nothing like the Android we use today. It was slow, clumsy, not particularly intuitive, and frankly, just plain ugly. But Google being Google, the company quickly iterated on Android and issued many numerous updates to add functionality, improve usability, and clean up the appearance of Android over the years.
Remember the Motorola Xoom?
Notable releases include 2008's Android 1.5 Cupcake, which was the first version seen by the public; 2009's Android 2.0 Eclair, which ushered in the Motorola Droid and free turn-by-turn smartphone navigation; 2011's Android 3.0 Honeycomb, the first Android release to really embrace tablets; late 2011's Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which debuted a more modern style and interface; 2013's Android 4.4 KitKat, which arrived via a sponsored partnership with Nestle; and 2014's Android 5.0 Lollipop, the cleanest, nicest to use version of Android yet.
Android has gone through many shapes, sizes, and designs over the years, and today's Android is designed to run on not just phones and tablets, but wearables, cars, appliances, and countless other devices. Where will Android go tomorrow? And more importantly, what will the next dessert theme be? Only the future (and maybe a few brains at Google) knows that, but we're eager to go along for the ride.