Happy 14th birthday, Android! Look how far you’ve come

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Dhruv Bhutani / iandroid.eu

Fourteen years since its release, Android has democratized the smartphone global. It will be honest to mention that it has lived as much as its preliminary promise of enabling app-based, internet-connected reviews for everybody. In comparison to Apple’s walled lawn manner, Google designed Android to be a formidable pc on your pocket and to scale the similar revel in to the most productive finances telephones and flagships alike.

Even in its first iteration, Android was once chock-full of very important options for a productivity-focused person revel in. Multitasking was once a key a part of the revel in proper from day one. In a similar way, Android nailed the notification device in its first iteration. The drop-down hub is still the main approach to take care of your whole notifications till this very day, or even Apple needed to sooner or later concede and upload it in. Android additionally had a leg up over the contest with fundamentals like an app drawer, the power to transport desktop icons, and fast get admission to to settings and wallpaper converting, none of which have been to be had at the first iPhones.

However for all its forward-looking options, the primary iteration of Android overlooked out on a variety of options which might be thought to be desk stakes these days. Listed here are five options you most likely didn’t know had been lacking from Android 1.0.

Multi-touch make stronger

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Dhruv Bhutani / iandroid.eu

Whilst you call to mind fashionable smartphone interfaces, there are few gestures as herbal and ubiquitous as pinch to zoom. Surfing via footage, zooming right into a viewfinder, browsing the information superhighway, and even studying emails, the gesture is so commonplace and obtrusive that even first-time smartphone customers can determine it out. However do you know that Android didn’t have any make stronger for multitouch at release?

You could not pinch-zoom footage or textual content on an Android 1.0 tool.

The Apple iPhone wasn’t the primary tool with capacitive contact or multi-touch make stronger, however it popularised the theory of the gesture. As of late, the specifics are slightly murky, however it’s believed that Apple and Google had an settlement in position not to step on each and every different’s feet, and this incorporated multitouch make stronger on Android. On the other hand, as the recognition of the interplay medium grew, Google added make stronger for the framework in Android 2.0. It took until February 2022 for Google to in any case give in to person calls for and (*14*)unencumber multi-touch make stronger for the Nexus One lineup.

On-screen keyboard

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Robert Triggs / iandroid.eu

Do you know that Android wasn’t designed with touchscreens in thoughts? As of late, in fact, we take one of the most best possible Android keyboards as a right, however bodily keyboards and thumbpads had been not unusual within the 2000s, and Google had Blackberry squarely in its points of interest throughout the early days of Android building.

Android was once first aimed as a Blackberry competitor and did not make stronger on-screen keyboards.

So it was once no marvel that the primary Android telephone, the T-Cellular G1, had no digital keyboard. It took the discharge of the iPhone to set in movement the slab-like shape issue of the modern day smartphone with multi-touch enabled on-screen keyboards. Google adopted go well with, and six months after, the Android 1.5 Cupcake unencumber added a digital keyboard to the running device.

Top class apps within the Play Retailer

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Joe Hindy / iandroid.eu

The Google Play Retailer is house to one of the most maximum colourful and various apps that you can imagine. As of late, the choice of app choices numbers within the thousands and thousands, however it wasn’t at all times so. At release, the Google Play Retailer, then known as the (*16*)Android Marketplace, had a woeful thirteen apps. It was once additionally lacking one key characteristic — paid apps.

The Android Marketplace introduced with simply 13 apps, and no make stronger for app monetization.

Google came over to solving that quickly sufficient, and through 2009, paid app make stronger was once presented. Paid apps unfolded a marketplace with doubtlessly billions of customers, and builders flocked to it. Providing a 70% reduce to builders, the app retailer flourished and has been secret to meaking Android a firstclass citizen among all running techniques.

Widgets and Fast Settings

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Ryan Haines / iandroid.eu

Widgets were within the highlight since Apple presented the characteristic in iOS 14, however Android customers were playing them for just about a decade. On the other hand, this outstanding instance of Android’s customization possible wasn’t part of the running device’s preliminary unencumber.

It didn’t take too lengthy for Google so as to add it in, and widget make stronger was once baked in by the point Android 1.5 was once presented. Curiously, no longer many gadgets shipped with the usual Android 1.0 unencumber, so for many customers, their first revel in with Android would have incorporated widget make stronger.

Customization is a key a part of the Android ecosystem, however the running device introduced with out widget make stronger.

Any other characteristic that we take as a right these days and has been cribbed throughout running techniques is fast settings. Temporarily swiping all the way down to toggle such things as Wi-Fi, cellular knowledge, aircraft mode, and extra is an intrinsic a part of how we use telephones these days, however Android most effective added the characteristic with model 4.2, sometimes called Jelly Bean.

Video seize

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Ryan McLeod / iandroid.eu

One of the crucial best possible digicam smartphones these days boast high-end features like 8K video seize, (*15*)Dolby Imaginative and prescient make stronger, or even guide controls, however that wasn’t at all times the case. Smartphone imaging had very humble beginnings, and the primary model of Android lacked video seize make stronger altogether.

The primary model of Android may most effective snap nonetheless footage.

If that sounds surprising, a number of fundamentals like flash make stronger and virtual zoom had been lacking from the digicam app and most effective confirmed up with the Android 2.0 unencumber.


Those five options and much more have since made their approach to Android over time and variations that adopted, however it’s at all times intriguing to peer the bare-bones state of the running device at release. Do you consider any explicit options you overlooked out on within the early years of Android? Tell us within the feedback phase.