1. Are you ready for the Galaxy S20? Here is everything we know so far!

Question about names and version numbers

Discussion in 'Android Help' started by Android Question, Feb 22, 2016.

  1. Android Question

    Thread Starter

    I always wonder, is there any correlation between the names of Google Android builds and there version numbers? Why does Google name the OS versions in such a way that seems to have no ryme or reason?
    Like OK; throughout version history,
    You have Alpha, Beta, Cupcake, Doughnut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread etcetera. But look at the actual version numbers.

    Android Cupcake was 1.6. Then 2.0 , then incremental versions of 2.0 all the way up to Honeycomb aka 3.0

    Then instead of 3.1, 3.2 etc they JUMP to 4.0 in Ice Cream Sandwich. Then it's like the next version goes to 4.1 as a whole new OS. with 3 different versions of the same OS known as Jelly Bean. Everything following ICS is increments of 4.0 all the way to KitKat.
    Then we jump to Lollipop. Then we completely skip 5.2, 5.3, 5.4 and JUMP to 6.0?

    1. Download the Forums for Android™ app!


  2. scary alien

    scary alien not really so scary
    VIP Member

    I'm guessing there are probably different reasons for some of the releases. Some of the reasons would include a simple marketing / advertising strategy to help them differentiate the new release from the prior one.

    Another reason would be true technological improvements such as a newer kernel, major new features, smaller ROM footprint, etc, etc.

    Lots of details for each version can be found here:

    and I'm guessing you could categorize the releases in several ways if you wanted, but in the end, it's whatever Google thought best.

    Hadron likes this.
  3. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    The numbering largely follows a common convention for software builds: version number format is X.Y.Z, where X denotes major version, Y minor revision, Z a fix or maintenance release. Of course it's always a judgement call what you call major vs minor etc. Hence 1->2, 2->3, 3->4 etc are more major steps than say 2.1->2.2, 4.0->4.1, etc.

    Codenames seem to reflect what they think the public should regard as a significant update, but this is not so tightly tied to the version numbering (more a marketing thing perhaps). So while from 1.6 (the first public release) to 2.3 all minor revisions received their own codename, there's been a trend since then for some minor revisions not to merit this (e.g. all 3.x were Honeycomb, and 4.1-4.3 were all Jelly Bean), and most recently codename changes have coincided with major releases (Lollipop and Marshmallow). There's some hint there that they are moving to the main release each year having a new codename and a new major version number, but of course that could change if e.g. they decided that for marketing purposes they needed a new named version but the changes didn't merit altering the major number. I suspect that we'll see the major version and codename change in sync in future, with both happening once per year, but there's no law says they have to do it that way.
    scary alien likes this.
  4. MLSS

    MLSS Android Expert

    Sometimes their are a lot of alpha/beta versions that get tested in house once it is ready for release you get that version number.
  5. solaris9123

    solaris9123 Member

    Lol. I'm sure this is stupid, but what happens when they get to Z?
  6. scary alien

    scary alien not really so scary
    VIP Member

    They'll do like what Microsoft did:

    Hadron likes this.

Share This Page