Virtual surround sound – enjoy movies from Google Play with surround sound on Nexus 7 (2013 edition) and other Nexus devices.
Auto complete – just start touching numbers or letters and the dial pad will suggest phone numbers or names. To turn on this feature, open your phone app settings and enable “Dial pad auto complete.”
OpenGL ES 3.0 – Android now supports the latest version of the industry standard for high performance graphics.
Wireless Display for Nexus 7 (2013 edition) and Nexus 10 – project from your tablet to a TV.
Additional language support – Android is now translated in Afrikaans, Amharic (አማርኛ), Hindi (हिंदी), Swahili (Kiswahili), and Zulu (IsiZulu).
Hebrew, Arabic, and other RTL (right-to-left) – now supported in the home screen, settings, and Phone, People, and Keep apps.
Easier text input – an improved algorithm for tap-typing recognition makes text input easier.
Lower latency input for game pad buttons and joysticks.
Location detection through WIFI – use WiFi to detect location without turning on WiFi all the time.
Bluetooth Smart support (a.k.a. Bluetooth Low-Energy) – devices like Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 (2013 edition) are now Bluetooth Smart Ready.
Bluetooth AVRCP 1.3 support – display song names on a car stereo.
Disabled apps tab – check which apps are disabled in Settings > Apps.
Restricted profiles – put your tablet into a mode with limited access to apps and content.
Setup wizard simplification – getting started on Android is easier thanks to the ability to correct previous input, and because of streamlined user agreements.
Faster user switching – switching users from the lock screen is now faster.
Enhanced photo daydream – navigate through interesting albums.
Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
Lock/home screen rotation support for the Nexus 7
One-finger gestures to expand/collapse notifications
Bug fixes and performance enhancements
Photo Sphere panorama photos
Keyboard with gesture typing
Lock screen improvements, including widget support and the ability to swipe directly to camera
Notification power controls
“Daydream” screensaver, shows information when idle or docked
Multiple user accounts (tablets only)
Support for wireless display (Miracast)
Accessibility improvements: triple-tap to magnify the entire screen, pan and zoom with two fingers. Speech output and Gesture Mode navigation for blind users.
New clock app with built-in world clock, stop watch and timer
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Smoother playback of video and animations by:
Vsync timing across all drawing and animation done by the Android framework, including application rendering, touch events, screen composition and display refresh
Triple buffering in the graphics pipeline
Bi-directional text and other language support
User-installable keyboard maps
Ability to turn off notifications on an app specific basis
Shortcuts and widgets can automatically be re-arranged or re-sized to allow new items to fit on home screens
Bluetooth data transfer for Android Beam
Offline voice dictation
New interface layout for tablets with smaller screens (closer resembling that of a phone)
Improved voice search
Improved camera app
Google Wallet (for the Nexus 7)
High resolution Google+ contact photos
USB audio (for external sound DACs)
Audio chaining (also known as gapless playback)
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
Virtual buttons in the UI, in place of capacitive or physical buttons
Separation of widgets in a new tab, listed in a similar manner to apps
Easier-to-create folders, with a drag-and-drop style
A customizable launcher
Improved visual voicemail with the ability to speed up or slow down voicemail messages
Pinch-to-zoom functionality in the calendar
Integrated screenshot capture (accomplished by holding down the Power and Volume-Down buttons)
Improved error correction on the keyboard
Ability to access apps directly from lock screen
Improved copy and paste functionality
Better voice integration and continuous, real-time speech to text dictation
Face Unlock, a feature that allows users to unlock handsets using facial recognition software
New tabbed web browser, allowing up to 16 tabs
Automatic syncing of browser with users’ Chrome bookmarks
A new typeface family for the UI, Roboto
Data Usage section in settings that lets users set warnings when they approach a certain usage limit, and disable data use when the limit is exceeded
Ability to shut down apps that are using data in the background
Improved camera app with zero shutter lag, time lapse settings, panorama mode, and the ability to zoom while recording
Built-in photo editor
New gallery layout, organized by location and person
Refreshed “People” app with social network integration, status updates and hi-res images
Android Beam, a near-field communication feature allowing the rapid short-range exchange of web bookmarks, contact info, directions, YouTube videos and other data
Support for the WebP image format
Hardware acceleration of the UI
1080p video recording for stock Android devices
Android 3.0 Honeycomb
Optimized tablet support with a new virtual and “holographic” user interface
Added System Bar, featuring quick access to notifications, status, and soft navigation buttons, available at the bottom of the screen
Added Action Bar, giving access to contextual options, navigation, widgets, or other types of content at the top of the screen
Simplified multitasking – tapping Recent Apps in the System Bar allows users to see snapshots of the tasks underway and quickly jump from one app to another
Redesigned keyboard, making typing fast, efficient and accurate on larger screen sizes
Simplified, more intuitive copy/paste interface
Multiple browser tabs replacing browser windows, plus form auto-fill and a new “incognito” mode allowing anonymous browsing
Quick access to camera exposure, focus, flash, zoom, front-facing camera, time-lapse, and other camera features
Ability to view albums and other collections in full-screen mode in Gallery, with easy access to thumbnails for other photos
New two-pane Contacts UI and Fast Scroll to let users easily organize and locate contacts
New two-pane Email UI to make viewing and organizing messages more efficient, allowing users to select one or more messages
Support for video chat using Google Talk
Support for multi-core processors
Ability to encrypt all user data
Android 2.3 Gingerbread
Updated user interface design with increased simplicity and speed
Support for extra-large screen sizes and resolutions (WXGA and higher)
Native support for SIP VoIP internet telephony
Faster, more intuitive text input in virtual keyboard, with improved accuracy, better suggested text and voice input mode
Enhanced copy/paste functionality, allowing users to select a word by press-hold, copy, and paste
Support for Near Field Communication (NFC), allowing the user to read an NFC tag embedded in a poster, sticker, or advertisement
New audio effects such as reverb, equalization, headphone virtualization, and bass boost
New Download Manager, giving users easy access to any file downloaded from the browser, email, or another application
Support for multiple cameras on the device, including a front-facing camera, if available
Support for WebM/VP8 video playback, and AAC audio encoding
Improved power management with a more active role in managing apps that are keeping the device awake for too long
Enhanced support for native code development
Switched from YAFFS to ext4 on newer devices
Audio, graphical, and input enhancements for game developers
Concurrent garbage collection for increased performance
Native support for more sensors (such as gyroscopes and barometers)