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The 10 Greatest Versions of Android, Ranked

The 10 Greatest Versions of Android, Ranked
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Android, first released in 2008, is still a relatively young operating system. However, with some years seeing multiple updates, there have been plenty of Android versions to look at. Some were better than others, so let’s rank the 10 greatest.

The Ranking Criteria

Ultimately, any “best” list is going to come down to the author’s preference, and this list will be no different.

As a long-time Android user—going all the way back to Android 1.5—I have experience with nearly every version of Android. Android makes things complicated, though. My experience with Android on a Pixel could be very different than someone else’s experience with the same version on a Samsung phone.

I won’t be simply ranking the versions based on which has the best features, as that would skew heavily toward the newest versions. Rather, I’ll be considering the impact that each release had on the platform as a whole.

Will you probably agree with my list entirely? Nope! Let’s begin.

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#10: Android 5.0 Lollipop

android lollipop
Android

Let’s start at the bottom of the list with a controversial Android version. Released in 2014, Android 5.0 Lollipop gave us our first taste of “Material Design.” This marked yet another major design revamp for Android, but one that has arguably aged the best.

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Beyond aesthetic changes, there were some major things happening under the surface, too. Android switched from Dalvik to ART (Android Runtime), which improved the performance of apps. That’s why most Android apps today support Android 5.0 and above.

While Lollipop looked great on the surface, it was plagued by bugs. Memory management was a mess on many devices, causing apps to be closed in the background too often. There were also many annoyances…

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