Android

In 2017, Android became the most popular operating system in the world, surpassing even Windows which has always held this coveted scepter. Thanks to the enormous spread of smartphones and the presence of the green robot in numerous product categories, Android is unquestionably the most used and most important operating system.

In our journey we want to retrace the history of Android, from the dawn to the transition to Google, through the different versions and countless minor updates, to discover the many devices in which it can be found.

History of Android

It was 2003 when Andy Rubin, Rich Miner, Nick Sears, and Chris White founded Android Inc. whose aim was to develop ” cellular devices more aware of their owner’s location and preferences “. It is only in 2005, with the acquisition by Google for an amount close to 50 million dollars, that Android begins to become an operating system for mobile devices, with a Linux kernel.

In reality, the first contact, albeit indirect, between Google and Andy Rubin took place in the spring of 2002, when Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the historical founders of the Mountain View giant, began to use a flashy smartphone, equipped with a small screen and a physical keyboard capable of connecting to the Internet and using the well-known browser. It was Sidekick, built by the company Danger Inc., founded in Palo Alto by Andy Rubin and other partners.

After the adventure was archived in a decidedly unsuccessful way, despite the success collected among enthusiasts, and after spending a few months developing new software for digital cameras, Rubin decided to exploit a domain purchased a few years earlier, android.com, creating software designed for mobile devices and open to any software designer.

After investing all of his assets and enlisting the help of his friend Steve Perlman, the company attracted the interest of some investors, most notably Craig McCaw, one of the pioneers of mobile telephony. During the negotiations, Rubin informed Larry Page of the new potential partners and within a few weeks, Google completed the acquisition of Android. The $ 50 million figure is an estimate, as the official figure has never been disclosed.

From the acquisition by Google, it still took over two years of development, starting from a Linux kernel, by the Rubin team, who remained in the project together with Miner and White, before the official presentation on November 5, 2007, by the company. Open Handset Alliance, was born on that occasion. OHA was, and still does, a consortium of technology companies like Google, HTC, and Samsung, mobile operators like Sprint, Nextel, and T-Mobile, and chip makers like Qualcomm and Texas Instruments.

The debut of the new operating system came later, on October 22, 2008, when HTC Dream was launched on the market. Since then, a very long process of updates and improvements has begun that has led Android to be the most popular operating system in the world, with constant updates that in recent years have reached an annual frequency, with minor releases released between one version and another.

Similar to what happens for Linux, Android has also adopted an alphabetic convention to identify the various versions. For versions prior to 1.0 only acronyms were used and the first release to have an official codename was 1.5, called Cupcake. Versions 1.0 and 1.1 were later referred to as Alpha and Beta, or Apple Pie and Banana Bread, but never actually had an official name.

Starting from version 1.5, Google has decided to match the name of a dessert to each version, even if no one is sure of the origin of this decision, apparently born as a game within the development team.

After a “decline” of imagination with the 9.0 version of Android, simply called Android 9 Pie, the Californian giant decided, in August 2019, to drastically change course. Goodbye to the names of sweets, which are difficult to understand for some countries and cultures.

In their place is a much simpler solution, with only the version number. The successor of Android Pie is therefore known as Android 10, and subsequent versions will be marked exclusively by the number.

To make the change of course even more evident, there is also a renewed logo, which you can see in the cover image. The robot remains green, but of a more intense shade, and the writing also changes, which goes from green to black to be more readable in every situation. All the details are available in this article.

Android architecture

From a technical point of view, Android consists of the lower part of a Linux kernel, which acts as an abstraction layer between the hardware and the software, and the drivers for managing the various hardware components. Above we find a level that includes a set of native libraries, written in C and C ++, which represent the real heart of Android.

We have the Media Framework for audio and video codecs and multimedia playback and recording libraries, the Surface Manager to manage display functions, Open GL ES, the 3D graphics library, SGL, a 2D graphics engine library, FreeType for rendering bitmaps and fonts, SQLite to manage a relational DBMS, WebKit, the rendering engine of Internet pages, SSL for communication security and many others.

In the upper level, we find an application framework created by a set of APIs (Application Programming Interface) and other components of fundamental importance for the execution of Android applications. There is also a virtual machine (from version 5.o the obsolete Dalvik is replaced by Android Run Time) for running applications.

Android versions

HTC Dream G1 was therefore the first smartphone with Android, of which version 1.0 was mounted, with Android Market, the precursor of the current Google Play Store, an HTML browser (the first version of Google Chrome will arrive only four years later), Gmail, a generic email client and the first G-Apps, such as Contacts, Calendar, Google Maps, Sync, Google Search and a media player.

In February 2009, Google released the first update, Android 1.1 with some improvements to fluency, security, and other improvements. It is only from version 1.5 that Google decides to adopt a code name for each Android release, starting from the letter C and combining it with the name of a dessert. So let’s go over the history of the thirteen versions of Android with the version number, the release date, the code name, and the main innovations introduced with each of them.

Android 1.5 Cupcake

The first version with an official name is therefore Android 1.5 Cupcake, which brings the API 3, introducing widgets, text prediction, and support for custom keyboards. The version is released on April 13, 2009, and obviously maintains compatibility with previous versions.

The news does not end here, which includes the ability to record videos, support for Bluetooth accessories, photos in contact cards, screen rotation, and better integrations with Google services, such as the ability to upload a video to YouTube or a photo on Picasa.

Android 1.6 Donut

It only takes five months for the development team to release the next version, officially released on September 15, 2009, called Android 1.6 Donut. This is not a revolutionary update, given that the news concerns support for CDMA networks, search within the smartphone, and new functions for the gallery.

Android Market, the forerunner of the Google Play Store, is revamped, highlighting the best free and paid applications, taking advantage of the rapid growth of the catalog of third-party products.

Android 2.0 Eclair

The first major update is released on October 27, 2009, just over a month after the previous one. Android 2.0 Eclair, followed on January 12, 2010, by Android 2.1 Eclair (which only offers a few bug fixes) represents an important improvement in the history of the green robot.

Support for Microsoft Exchange, the ability to manage different e-mail accounts, a refresh in the design of the main applications, voice entry with the microphone key inserted in the keyboard instead of the comma, the animated backgrounds on the Home Page, and the Google Maps navigator. The latter in particular brings step-by-step directions, 3D viewing, and voice guidance.

While not bringing significant news Android 2.1 Eclair enters history for being the operating system used by Nexus One, the first Google-branded smartphone produced by HTC, updated later to versions 2.2 and 2.3.

Android 2.2 Froyo

Once again a few months passed and Google releases Android 2.2 Froyo on May 20, 2010. The green robot is enriched with many functions that we have long learned to take for granted. The interface does not change significantly but the news is not lacking. Push notifications arrive, WiFi hotspot is introduced to browse from other devices using smartphone connectivity.

The Dalvik JIT compiler is introduced and with voice actions, it is possible to search, set alarms, take notes, and much more. It is possible to install applications on the SD cards and update them in OTA mode.

Android 2.3 Gingerbread

Before the end of 2010, Google releases Android 2.3 Gingerbread, which debuts on Nexus S , the first smartphone made in collaboration with Samsung. It becomes clear that Google plans to release a new reference device along with the new versions of Android. In this way, developers and manufacturers can immediately see the potential of the new system.

The new version of Android introduces support for large screens, support for NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, new audio effects, a download manager, support for multiple cameras (including the front one), and new APIs dedicated to developers of video games.

Battery management is introduced which allows to obtain of precise information on the consumption of each individual function and application. It is with Android 2.3 Gingerbread that Google introduces the Easter Eggs, which can be revealed by accessing the Settings – Device Info and repeatedly tapping the item dedicated to the Android version.

The story of the first Android Easter Egg deserves to be told: Dianne Hackborn, head of the Android framework team, becomes friends with artist Jack Larson, who paints zombies of all kinds. Hackborn thinks it’s fun to have a painting with a zombie gingerbread man and the painting is so popular that it is hidden within the operating system, becoming a tradition that continues today.

Android 3.0 Honeycomb

On January 27, 2011, Android 3.0 Honeycomb arrives on the market, the only release of the green robot dedicated exclusively to tablets. The user interface is completely redesigned, although not meant for smartphones, and introduces Google’s first design language, called Holo.

On-screen navigation controls are introduced, avoiding having to use physical buttons even on tablets. Here are the new Quick Settings, which allow you to view the time, battery status, and connectivity in a single section.

Support for multi-core processors is added, which in 2011 were still a marginal reality and an improvement in the management of multitasking. Android 3.0 Honeycomb is considered by many to be a flop due to the many problems present in the first version, marginally corrected with the 3.1 and 3.2 updates.

Version 3.0 also brings a new Easter Egg, represented by a nice bee/robot with the word Rezzzzz…, a reference to Tron that demonstrates the nerd spirit of Google developers.

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

On October 19, 2011, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus arrives on the market, bringing the new major release Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich to its debut. The smartphone abandons the physical navigation keys in favor of those on the screen, a prerogative that still persists in Google-branded devices.

The big news is represented by the use of the Linux 3.0 kernel but folders also arrive in the Home with a simple drag and drop, resizable widgets, the ability to monitor the consumption of mobile data, and Android Beam, which allows you to share content between two smartphones using NFC.

The interface is made once again with the Holo design, which debuted with Android 3.0 and sees for the first time the use of the Roboto font, developed in-house and optimized for high-resolution screens. The Menu key is replaced by the `” Recent “key which allows you to view recently used applications.

The Contacts section is moved from the Phone application into a separate application. There comes the possibility of unlocking the smartphone by framing your face, even if security is practically non-existent. Android 4.0 ICS finally introduces the possibility of capturing screenshots by simultaneously pressing the Power button and the Volume Down button.

The new Easter Egg is represented by a series of androids with cat ears and covered in biscuits and ice cream, with decidedly “pixelated” graphics from 8-bit arcade games.

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

On June 27, 2012, it was the turn of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, a code name that is also used for two subsequent releases, Android 4.2 and Android 4.3 released in the following months. The most important novelty introduced by version 4.1, accompanied by the launch of the Nexus 7 tablet developed in collaboration with ASUS, is called Project Butter and promises to eliminate interface slowdowns thus offering a much more fluid user experience.

On the occasion of the launch of the first iteration of Jelly Bean also comes Nexus Q, a media player that has quickly disappeared from the scene. Some of the concepts behind the device will be reused for Chromecast, a hugely successful device.

Interactive notifications are introduced, which allow you to immediately reply to a message or perform other operations. Google Now also arrives with its real-time information that paves the way for a new type of assistance on mobile devices.

The launch of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean is somewhat overshadowed by two events: the presentation of the Nexus 4, the smartphone made by LG and according to many the most beautiful Nexus ever, and the Nexus 10 tablet made by Samsung, and the hurricane Sandy forcing Google to cancel the presentation event, replaced with a post on their official blog.

With the second version of Jelly Bean comes Photo Sphere, multi-user management (reserved for tablets), the ability to scroll on the keys to writing, screen sharing on a TV and Daydream which allows you to show images or the clock while charging. There is no shortage of widgets on the unlock screen, quick settings that allow you to quickly change some settings and the use of Google Chrome as the default browser.

On July 24, 2013, comes Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, the third and latest version with this name. To accompany the green robot we find the Nexus 7 2013, a tablet made once again by ASUS. Among the innovations introduced by the new version, we find support for Bluetooth LE (Low Energy), the ability to create user profiles with limited access and support for OpenGL ES 3.0.

With Jelly Bean obviously comes a new Easter Egg that shows a candy on the screen. A long press will cause it to explode by scattering small candies around the screen. You can launch anywhere with a simple swipe, without there being an end goal to achieve.

Android 4.4 KitKat

Officially announced on September 3, 2013, Android 4.4 KitKat arrives on the market almost two months later, on October 31 together with the LG Nexus 5, one of the most loved Nexus devices by users. This is the first version of Android paired with a commercial product, Nestlé’s KitKat cookies. This is bound to repeat itself in the future, even if a few years will have to pass. The development of the Holo interface is completed, reaching its highest point of success before giving way to a new design that will be introduced with the next version.

Here comes “Ok Google”, a voice command that we have come to know by now and that allows you to send messages, receive driving directions or manage multimedia playback. Immersive design is introduced, allowing applications to hide the status bar and navigation bar to take advantage of the full screen and offer a more enveloping experience.

The ART runtime makes its appearance, destined to supplant Dalvik in later versions, which promises better energy management. Project Svelte allows Android to work better in low-end devices, those with 512MB of RAM and with low-resolution screens. Finally, it is possible to change the default application for managing messages, which with Android 4.4 KitKat becomes Google Hangouts but can be replaced with the one preferred by the user.

The new Easter Egg is not particularly interesting, as it just shows a “K” that rotates with pressure and shows a collage with the previous versions, with decidedly psychedelic colors.

Android 5.0 Lollipop

Starting with Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google introduces the Developer Preview system, which allows developers, and the most impatient users, to install a preview of the new operating system. The first version is presented on 25 June 2014 during the Google I / O and is generically called Android L. The final name is announced only on 15 October 2014, on the occasion of the official presentation in which the Motorola Nexus 6 smartphone is also launched. the HTC Nexus 9 tablet and the Nexus Player media player.

The biggest novelty is represented by a new user interface, made with a flat and simple style: Material Design. Android 5.0 Lollipop undoubtedly represents the biggest change since Android was released, with a sometimes clean cut with the past. It starts with the new ART runtime, which replaces the now obsolete Dalvik. Project Volta aims to improve the overall autonomy of the devices.

You can unlock your smartphone with a Bluetooth device, such as a smartwatch, Heads Up notifications arrive, and there is a new unlock screen that allows you to launch the camera. The “Recent” screen is also redrawn with a three-dimensional stack showing open applications. Android 5.0 Lollipop is the first version of the green robot to support 64-bit architecture, used for example by the Nvidia Tegra K1 chipset used on HTC Nexus 9.

For the first time, Android’s Easter Egg is a game that harks back to one of the hottest games in 2015. Google calls it Flappy Droid and it’s clearly inspired by Flappy Bird. You have to try to pass a small green robot between the lollipops which represent a simple but decidedly difficult obstacle.

Android 6.0 Marshmallow

Once again Google releases a Developer Preview of the new version of Android, simply called Android M, during the Google I / O on May 28, 2015. The final version, called Android 6.0 Marshmallow, is announced on August 17 but is available from 5 October 2015, a week after the presentation of the LG Nexus 5X and Huawei Nexus 6P , the last two devices in the Nexus range. On that occasion, the Pixel C tablet produced by Google is also presented.

Among the news, we point out Now on Tap, which allows you to obtain information on the content of the screen by pressing the Home button, the management of permissions, which allows you to know what information to share with the applications installed on your device. The most significant novelty is Doze, which manages energy savings in stand-by: background connections are limited to high-priority applications, but it is possible to manually exclude applications from energy management.

With Android 6.0 Marshmallow comes native support for fingerprint readers for unlocking devices and for purchases on the Play Store and USB Type-C standard for charging and data transfer.

The Easter Egg does not change much, which incorporates the Flappy Droid theme introduced with Lollipop by replacing the lollipops with marshmallows and introducing a chaotic multiplayer system. To start the game you must first press on the M and then on the marshmallow.

Android 7.0 Nougat

The first trial version of Android N, later renamed Android 7.0 Nougat, was announced on March 9, 2016, but the official release arrives only on August 22. It is not a device produced by Google to bring the new release of the green robot to its debut, but LG V20. The Google devices instead arrive on October 4 of the same year, Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL, and can have the new Android 7.1 Nougat version, with some exclusive functions.

The Split Screen mode is introduced for smartphones, which allows you to view two applications on the screen, while a function that allows you to view some applications in floating windows is hidden. A new notification curtain arrives, which allows grouping by a single app, and the Doze energy management system is further evolved.

It is possible to set the consumption of data traffic in the background by individual applications, the hamburger button is introduced which allows you to move more quickly between the submenus and the Vulkan API support for 3D rendering. Also noteworthy is the native block of unwanted numbers, Project Svelte which reduces the consumption of RAM, a new JIT compiler, and Android For Work, to manage the smartphone during working hours.

The Easter Egg of Android 7.0 Nougat is among the cutest ever presented by Big G. After a press on the N of Nougat, a cat icon will appear on the screen. We then find a new tile to add to the quick settings, with a cat. After inserting it, an empty bowl appears which, when touched, allows you to choose the food to use. After a few minutes, a notification arrives with the number of the cat you have “caught”. It is possible to repeat the operation indefinitely and collect numerous cats.

Android 8.0 Oreo

The first Android O Developer Preview is unveiled on March 21, 2017, and the final version, called Android 8.0 Oreo, is announced on August 21, 2017 , coinciding with a solar eclipse. Once again the new release of the green robot is available in advance of the presentation of Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL , which arrived only on October 4th and for which the Android 8.1 Oreo version is released on December 5th .

There are many innovations in the new version, starting with Project Treble which allows you to unlink the operating system updates from those of the hardware. The channels arrive in the notifications, which can be postponed to a later time with the Snooze function, the picture-in-picture mode to run some applications in a floating window, the support for Bluetooth 5, and new limitations to applications in the background to optimize the battery consumption, and adaptive icons.

Android Go is also announced, a particular version of Oreo intended to run on low-end devices, with 1 GB of RAM and reduced resources available.

After the cats of Nougat, Oreo’s Easter Egg is uninspiring and shows an octopus (Octopus) that can be dragged across the screen.

Android 9.0 Pie

On August 6, 2018, version 9.0 of Android is officially announced, which bears the simple name Pie, pie in English. The main novelty is represented by the official support for the notch, the notch at the top of the screen that has spread to 2018 smartphones.

The notification curtain, quick toggles, and systems pop-up windows are updated, such as the on/off menu, which now has a more lively look and rounded corners. It is possible to choose how the system should behave when the USB cable is inserted, modify the screenshots, interact with the applications also through the multitasking screen, with copy and paste operations.

The Ambient Display mode now shows the remaining charge percentage and the quick toggles are organized on horizontal pages. Android 9.0 Pie promises greater autonomy thanks to the adaptive battery, you can customize notifications and better manage quick responses.

Here come Dashboard, App Timer, Wind Down, Digital Wellbeing, and Such, functions designed to reduce the “dependence” on the smartphone, by acting on various system components.

The Easter Egg is represented by a letter P with psychedelic colors that change when your finger touches the screen.

Android 10

It is the first version that abandons the name of the dolcetto, thus moving to a numbering that is easier to remember. The turning point is in a certain sense epochal and contributes to giving a more serious image to the operating system.

The logo changes, the colors change, even if the new features of version 10 do not represent changes compared to previous versions, but rather a series of improvements. The dark mode arrives along with new gestures, in particular for the back function, which will no longer collide with the management of the NavigationDrawer.

With the new operating system comes the new easter egg , which allows you to scroll the word Android 10 modifying it until it becomes Android Q.

Android interface

The Android interface is mainly based on direct manipulation, through touches and actions such as swipe, tap and pinch to manage objects on the screen, with the help of a virtual keyboard. However, it is possible to connect, via Bluetooth, external physical keyboards and additional game controllers. The management of the interface is assisted by a series of internal sensors, such as accelerometers, gyroscopes, and proximity sensors, while the input operations enjoy haptic feedback thanks to a vibration motor.

After it is turned on, an Android device usually displays the Home Page, the main container that includes icons to launch applications and widgets, which show content that usually updates in real-time, such as weather forecasts, calendars or others.

The appearance of the Home Page changes thanks to different launchers, applications that manage the home screen, the appearance of icons, their grouping and many other functions. The Android interface includes, at least in devices with a screen, a status bar, located at the top, containing information on connectivity, time and pending notifications. Notifications, which can be viewed in detail with a swipe down, are information from installed applications, such as messaging apps, emails, SMS and more.

At the bottom, in some cases, there is a virtual navigation bar, which replaces the physical keys and which in some cases can be hidden. In some cases it is possible to completely disable the navigation bar and replace the virtual keys with gestures, which allow you to have a more immersive experience and take advantage of the whole screen.

It is possible, through a physical or virtual button or a special gesture, to view the applications used recently and quickly switch from one to the other. Depending on the memory installed, applications may open instantly or may need to be fully reloaded.

With Android 9 Pie a decisive choice was made, using the gestures, then improved with Android 10, as the default navigation method. It is still possible to use the traditional navigation bar, although Google does not recommend it, as it worsens the immersive experience.

With Android 10 also comes the Dark Mode sketched in the previous version and now available throughout the system, including most of the Google Apps.

Android updates

Android updates are a thorny issue. While Google releases the news in six to nine-month cycles, in the form of major releases or minor releases to fix major bugs (or more recently to add Pixel-exclusive features), Android device makers have decidedly different timelines.

However, it should be noted that there are two different types of updates for Android: system updates, which allow you to have new versions of Android, and security patches that are released monthly by Google and of which you can find a detailed description at this address.

Usually, the manufacturers guarantee, at least for the respective top of the range, 24 months of updates for the operating system and 36 months for the security patches, but things are constantly evolving so you will have to expressly refer to the manufacturer of your device to get the certainty.

As for the release of system updates, the level of customization made by the manufacturer greatly affects the timing. Devices such as Nokia smartphones receive new versions of Android very quickly, others such as Huawei and Samsung are decidedly slower, having much more complex custom interfaces to update.

System updates rarely occur in low- and mid-range devices, often forcing users to purchase a new device in order to have an updated version of Android.

Starting with Android 10, Project Mainline is introduced, which allows you to download security updates directly from the Play Store, as is normally the case for applications. It will not be possible to update all aspects of the operating system in this way, and the function will be available exclusively for those products that will arrive on the market with Android 10 on board, not for models updated from Android 9 Pie.

Devices with Android

Although it was born mainly as an operating system for smartphones, Android is present on numerous devices, thanks also to some variants that we will talk about shortly. In addition to smartphones, therefore, we find Android on numerous other products, such as tablets, televisions, car radios, smartwatches and products from the IoT range, thanks to a special reduced version.

We also find the green robot inside media players to be connected to TVs, portable media players, cameras, headphones, home automation systems, laptops and desktop computers, routers and much more.

We can safely say that any device that needs an operating system can use Android in one of its many variations. It is no coincidence that in 2017 it became the most popular operating system in the world, surpassing a giant like Windows that can count on an immense installed base.

AOSP

We remind you that Android is an Open Source operating system managed by Google, so anyone can have access to the source code, except for some parts that are proprietary and not available to the public. To allow anyone to download the source code there is the AOSP ( Android Open Source Project ) repository, an operation possible for anyone but recommended for developers or users with the necessary skills.

The source code files are uploaded to a Git repository managed directly by Google, with information about the changes made and the dates they were made. Thanks to this possibility, custom ROMs were born, customized versions of Android with various additions, optimizations and changes.

The most famous of these was certainly CyanogenMod, closed in 2016 and from whose ashes LineageOS was born, carried out by the same development team. Equally famous was the Paranoid Android team, whose components, at least in part, were absorbed by OnePlus for the development of OxygenOS.

Virtually anyone can create their own version of Android, customizing it according to their tastes and needs, adding functions and removing those that are not useful.

Android variants

Android is available on a multitude of devices thanks to numerous variants and projects that allow it to be used virtually anywhere. In addition to the “classic” version of Android, which is used on smartphones and tablets, there are two other projects related to smartphones.

The first is Android Go, a project intended for devices with a small data sheet, usually with 1 GB of RAM and with little internal storage space. Thanks to a series of applications ah hoc it is possible to have a fair amount of space available for the essential applications for the user.

A very important project, which has definitely evolved over the years is Android One, initially created for smartphones destined for emerging markets and now synonymous with Android Stock for third-party manufacturers, which can offer an experience identical to that of Google products. Pixel offers rapid updates both in terms of security patches and versions of the operating system.

Among the most illustrious names that offer devices with Android One we find Xiaomi, HTC, and above all Nokia, which since MWC 2018 has promised to exclusively market smartphones with Android One.

Android is also present in smartwatches thanks to Android Wear, which became Wear OS by Google in the spring of 2018, with advanced functions such as Google Assistant, voice commands, support for GPS and heart rate readers. After an initial phase of relative enthusiasm, in which the main smartphone manufacturers have proposed their respective smartwatches with Android Wear, the market has now moved towards traditional watch manufacturers, with the Fossil group as a great protagonist.

Google obviously does not forget the Internet Of Things thanks to Android Things, announced in 2015 with the name of Project Brillo and subsequently evolved. It can be used on devices with 32MB of RAM, supports WiFi and Bluetooth LE the Weave protocol to communicate with other similar devices.

Even smart TVs, better known as smart TVs, can count on a customized version of the green robot, obviously called Android TV and presented in 2014, with applications optimized for large home screens. We also find this version within some media players, such as Xiaomi Mi Box and NVIDIA SHIELD TV.

There is obviously a version developed for cars, presented in 2015, intended to facilitate the use of the smartphone in the car, without distractions, There are voice commands to basically the screen of the internal infotainment system serves as an external display for the smartphone, which must be connected via USB. In 2019, Android Auto will be replaced by a particular version of Google Assistant dedicated to cars, announced at Google I / O 2019, called Driving Mode.