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The 20 greatest milestones of Android's first five years

Armando Rodriguez | Oct. 22, 2013
We're celebrating the birthday of everyone's favorite little green robot by taking a look back at its first half-decade.

Malware in the Android Market (March 1, 2011)
The Google Play Store (known then as the Android Market) suffers from a serious bout of malware. Google ends up pulling more than 50 infected apps, and people start to seriously question how secure Android really is.

Google shows off Ice Cream Sandwich (October 19, 2011)
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich gives the operating system a major makeover, bringing many elements from Honeycomb to smartphones. This version of the OS includes a number of new features including Android Beam, panoramic photos, and the ability to unlock your phone using your face.

Phablets become a thing (late October 2011)
 

Samsung introduces the Galaxy Note, sparking a trend of smartphones with bigger screens. The phone is panned in the United States but becomes a huge success overseas, outselling many regular-size phones. Copy editors everywhere cringe as people invent a new word for this not-quite-a-phone-but-not-quite-a tablet device.

Amazon makes its own Android tablet (November 15, 2011)
Amazon enters the Android tablet race with its Kindle Fire. The Fire runs a customized version of Android but has access only to Amazon's heavily moderated app store. The tablet's low price makes it a huge hit with consumers and the most popular Android tablet of the day.

Google announces the Nexus 7 and Nexus Q (June 27-29, 2012)
At the 2012 Google I/O, the company takes the wraps off a number of products including the budget-friendly Nexus 7 and totally bizarre Nexus Q. The Q unfortunately (fortunately?) never sees the light of day, but the Nexus 7 becomes an instant hit and sells out almost immediately online.



We're not surprised Google decided to kill this thing.  

Oh, and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (June 27-29, 2012)
What's a Google product launch without a new version of Android? Android 4.1 Jelly Bean adds the ever helpful Google Now and helps to unify Android tablets and phones. The update also gives the OS a much needed speed boost thanks to the improvements in "Project Butter."

500 million Androids activated (September 11, 2012)
Android is the most popular operating system in the world, with 1.5 million new devices activated daily.

Nexus 10 and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean announced (November 13, 2012)
Despite its event being canceled by a hurricane, Google goes ahead with announcing Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and the Nexus 10. This new version of Jelly Bean adds Photo Spheres and the ability to have multiple user accounts on tablets. The Nexus 10 marks the first 10-inch Nexus tablet and boasts an eye-meltingly high-resolution display.

 

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