Android Lifecycle: End Of Life And Support Status

Last updated on April 18, 2024

Android is a mobile operating system based on a modified version of the Linux kernel. It is being used on mobile phones, tablets, and many other devices that are touch-screen, since this OS was designed for such devices.

Major Android updates are released in the second half of each year that include new features and support, while minor updates are released monthly which include security patches.

Support status guide

End of life (EOL) is the end of a product’s useful life. When a product reaches the end of its life cycle, the manufacturer no longer supports it. The following table explains the different phases of a product’s lifecycle. Testing status is when the product is initially released and EOL is when product support is no longer offered. The time between these two points is the support timeframe.

Testing

The software is not yet publicly available. It is in testing phase i.e., alpha, beta, release preview etc.

Active

The software is actively supported by the vendor.

Phasing Out

The software will soon reach its end of life. You need to look for upgrade or migration options. The software will automatically go into phasing out status 2 months before end of life.

End Of Life

The software is no longer supported by the vendor. You need to make sure your system and environment are safe.

Version

Released

Security Support

Android 14 (Upside Down Cake)
7 months and 2 weeks ago
(4 October 2023)
Supported
Android 13 (Tiramisu)
1 year and 9 months ago
(15 August 2022)
Supported
Android 12.1 (Snow Cone v2)
2 years and 2 months ago
(7 March 2022)
Supported
Android 12 (Snow Cone)
2 years and 7 months ago
(4 October 2021)
Supported
Android 11 (Red Velvet Cake)
3 years and 8 months ago
(8 September 2020)
Ended 3 months and 2 weeks ago
(5 February 2024)
Android 10 (Queen Cake)
4 years and 8 months ago
(3 September 2019)
Ended 1 year and 2 months ago
(6 March 2023)
Android 9 (Pie)
5 years and 9 months ago
(6 August 2018)
Not Supported
Android 8.1 (Oreo)
6 years and 5 months ago
(5 December 2017)
Not Supported
Android 8.0 (Oreo)
6 years and 8 months ago
(21 August 2017)
Not Supported
Android 7 (Nougat)
7 years and 8 months ago
(22 August 2016)
Not Supported
Android 6 (Marshmallow)
8 years and 7 months ago
(5 October 2015)
Not Supported
Android 5 (Lollipop)
9 years and 6 months ago
(12 November 2014)
Not Supported
Android 4.4 (KitKat)
10 years and 6 months ago
(31 October 2013)
Not Supported
Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
11 years and 10 months ago
(9 July 2012)
Not Supported
Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
12 years and 7 months ago
(18 October 2011)
Not Supported
Android 3 (Honeycomb)
13 years and 2 months ago
(22 February 2011)
Not Supported
Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
13 years and 5 months ago
(6 December 2010)
Not Supported
Android 2.2 (Froyo)
14 years ago
(20 May 2010)
Not Supported
Android 2.0 (Eclair)
14 years and 6 months ago
(26 October 2009)
Not Supported
Android 1.6 (Donut)
14 years and 8 months ago
(15 September 2009)
Not Supported
Android 1.5 (Cupcake)
15 years and 3 weeks ago
(27 April 2009)
Not Supported
Android 1.1 (Petit Four)
15 years and 3 months ago
(9 February 2009)
Not Supported
Android 1.0
15 years and 7 months ago
(23 September 2008)
Not Supported

Work on developing the Android operating system began in 2003 by Android Inc. However, before it could make a public appearance, Android Inc. was purchased by Google in 2005. The first beta release of Android did not come out till 2007, and a stable version of Android 1.0 was released in 2008.

Up until Android version 9, the project manager decided to name the Android versions based on confectionary items, hence the names “Cupcake” and “Eclair” were used. But later, Google switched to a numerical ordering approach to make things easier and more understandable.

Android is the dominant shareholder of the mobile phone operating system and has been since 2012, followed by iOS.

Whether a device will receive an Android update is not up to Google. Instead, it is up to the manufacturer of the device to determine how long their product will be supported.

Every device manufacturer has their own defined timeline for how long a device will continue to receive the updates. Moreover, manufacturers also change the duration of device support from time to time.

That said, major Android updates are annual. Whether your device will receive them or not is a different subject and depends on your manufacturer. Moreover, “OS updates” and “security updates” for Android devices are different things – therefore, do not confuse them.

Security updates are more frequent and smaller in size. OS updates include changes to the operating system, and sometimes, the UI itself. The UI updates are created and rolled out by the device manufacturer themself.

Android Version History

Let us briefly discuss the different Android versions that have been released over the years.

Upcoming Android versionThe next anticipated Android version to be released is Android 15, codenamed “Vanilla Ice Cream“. Its Developer Preview (DP) has already been released on 16th February 2024. However, it is yet to be released to the public. It is anticipated that Android 15 will come out in the third quarter of 2024.

Android 14, codenamed “Upside Down Cake”, is the latest Android version running across flagship phones right now. Released on 4th October 2023, Android 14 offered more customization options, significantly improved battery performance, enhanced security and data protection, and much more.

Android 13, codenamed “Tiramisu” was released on 15th August 2022. It included support for Bluetooth LE audio and LC3 audio codec and made a bunch of other performance improvements.

Android 12, codenamed “Snow Cone” was released on 7th March 2022. Alongside it, Android 12.1 (codename “Snow Cone v2”) was also released for Pixel devices. this Android release significantly improved on its predecessor by including convenient Wi-Fi sharing abilities, scrolling screenshots, one-handed mode for larger screens, mic and camera indicator, and other less user-intervention features. All this is on top of major performance gains.

Android 11, codenamed “Red Velvet Cake” was released on 8th September 2020. It introduced a native screen recorder, notification history, chat bubbles, wireless Android Auto with 5GHz Wi-Fi, and a major privacy upgrade by isolating third-party app directories.

Android 10, codenamed “Queen Cake” was released on 3rd September 2019. It included a bunch of features and improvements, out of which the most significant were scoped storage restrictions, a floating settings panel, support for the AV1 and some other codecs, support for WPA3 Wi-Fi protocol, and notification bubbles.

Android 9, codenamed “Pie” was released on 6th August 2018. It made a drastic impact since it included a new UI with a quick settings menu. It also made the dock semi-transparent and made the corners rounded across the OS – pretty much everything was redesigned, including the volume slider. For security, it supported DNS over TLS, and a lot of gesture controls were added.

Android 8, codenamed “Oreo” was released on 21st August 2017. Shortly after, Android 8.1 was also released, with the same codename, on 5th December. This OS introduced a modular architecture that makes it easier and faster for hardware manufacturers to deliver Android updates. It also included picture-in-picture support for the first time on an Android device. Other than these, some major improvements included autofil abilities, notification improvements, a resurrected settings menu, a Wi-Fi assistant, and much more.

Android 7, codenamed “Nougat” was released on 4th October 2016. It was also followed by Android 7.1.1 and 7.1.2, which only included minor fixes like battery usage improvements. Android 7 introduced the restart option to the power menu. It also made touch and display improvements and included support for the fingerprint swipe-down gesture.

Android 6, codenamed “Marshmallow” was released on 29th September 2015. This OS update included the Android File Manager, amongst other new features and support, such as support for USB type C, a Doze mode with low power, a 4K display mode for applications, and an experimental multi-window feature for multitasking.

Android 5, codenamed “Lollipop” was released on 4th November 2014. Up until April 2015, it was followed by minor updates that included versions 5.0.1, 5.0.2, 5.1, and 5.1.1. However, the most major changes were introduced with the original Android 5 release, which included support for 64-bit CPUs, a recent activities screen, improvements to the lock screen, and a native flashlight app/widget. Other than these, a tonne of functional and performance improvements were also made.

Android 4, codenamed “Ice Cream Sandwich”, was originally released on 18th October 2011. It introduced a refreshed interface with white elements instead of blue, enhanced third-party app controls, performance optimizations, support for wireless printing, a native IR blaster API, and some setting changes. However, up until October 2014, Android 4 kept receiving minor updates where either security vulnerabilities were patched, performance improvements were made, or minor changes to the UI were implemented. Note that the minor updates to Android 4 also had separate codenames that are mentioned in the tale above.

Android 3, codenamed “Honeycomb” was released on 22nd February 2011. This update added a system bar, which had a Recent Apps button to jump between apps. It had a redesigned keyboard and the ability to open multiple browser tabs instead of multiple browser windows. It also included a bunch of gallery and contact improvements in terms of layout and user-friendliness.

Android 2, codenamed “Eclair” was released on 26th December 2009, and also had follow-up releases up until September 2011. Like Android 3 and 4, they also had other codenames like “Froyo” and “Gingerbread”. Android 2 brought support for Bluetooth 2.1 technology, optimized the hardware speeds, and included numerous other abilities and functions.

Android 1.0 was the first-ever debut of the Android OS for the public. It was released on 23rd September 2008 and it did not have a codename at the time. However, its updates, Android 1.1, 1.5, and 1.6 had codenames. Android 1 had very limited functionality and basic operations. However, it did include the ability for instant messaging, synchronizing contacts and emails, a media player, camera support, Wi-Fi, Google Maps, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long are Samsung phones supported?

After the release of the Samsung Galaxy S24 series, Samsung devices will be supported for 7 years since the release date, which includes both OS and security updates. Before that, they received 4 years of OS updates and 5 years of security updates.

However, Samsung announced in 2020 that the devices would start receiving 3 years of OS support, which was later upgraded to 4 years.

How long are Google Pixel phones supported?

Starting with the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, Google is promising seven years of OS updates and security updates. But the devices released before that only had 3 years of OS support.

You can find the details for different Pixel model support on this Google page.

How long are OnePlus phones supported?

OnePlus phones launched in and after 2023 will receive four years of Android updates as well as security updates. However, the older devices will only receive three years of OS updates and four years of security updates. The Nord series gets one year of upgrades and three years of security updates.