At the heart of Android is the Android Open Source Project. It’s the fundamental, barebones Android that, as we’ve seen in the past, can power almost any electronic product under the sun. But it’s also the base of stock Android that we see on Nexus devices, and the base of the skinned versions of Android that we see on almost all major phones and tablets.
It’s very rare that we hear anything from the AOSP team — they’re behind the curtains doing the hard work of putting the pieces of Android together, ready for new version launches. So it was refreshing to see that Technical Lead at AOSP, Jean-Baptiste Quéru, had written up a quick history of the project.
We highly recommend you go check it out on his Google+ page, but to summarise:
- 2008: Preparing the code and tools for initial release (1.0)
- 2009: Made it possible to merge code from external contributions. First major release (2.0)
- 2010: Removed manual tasks with automated ones to free up time. Release of 2.3.
- 2011: something something Honeycomb…
- 2012: Nexus 4, Nexus 7 can now run on unmodified AOSP code far more easily
- 2013: 5 years of hard work has paid off. Working on reducing backlog of contributions so that 2014 is a smooth year.
Not a single hint of any upcoming major releases of Android, but hey, with that backlog out of the way, the project can only get better and better.