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Happy 5th birthday, Android!

Today marks the 5th anniversary of the launch of the first commercially-available Android handset, the HTC G1. With how quickly the pace of Android development moves along, it's hard to think that the operating system is just (in all practical sense) just five years old. Back in those days we were excited that the G1 had HSUPA data and thought that the keyboard was the best thing since sliced bread.

You still had a horribly ugly interface by today's standard, could only use one Gmail account per device and had to use a USB adapter to plug your headphones into the G1 ... but nobody really cared, this was the future. Now over 1 billion Android devices have been activated, and we're not looking back.

Here's to another 5 years and beyond, Android.

Via: +Des Smith

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

101 Comments
  • I can't believe it's only been 5 years.
  • Yeah, it should be 6 because we started 1 year after Apple, and they are on iOS 7 soooo... Posted from the old Google Nexus 7 via Android Central App
  • Well, if you wanna go by when Google bought Android it's actually been 8 years... Posted via my thumb(s) and the Submit button
  • So, by that logic, iOS was a year old when iOS 1.0 was released? Posted from my pure Google Nexus 4 using the AC app.
  • WOW How time has flown by, its crazy to think that 5 years ago the G1 1st hit the market.
  • Even more remarkable -- Android didn't get rolling in the market until the Droid hit Verizon and the Hero & Galaxy hit Sprint, etc. That was more than a year after the G1 on T-Mobile. So you could say that most of Android's progress has occurred in less than four years. I bet Android's current position far exceeds even Google's wildest expectations.
  • I'd say since the EVO. StealthDroid - Working in the Nexus Lab
  • Definitely with the OG Droid Posted via Android Central App
  • The EVO definitely helped but that first big push was that annoying Drrroooiiidddd jingle. I picked up my Droid Eris on release day back in November (5th or 6th, I don't remember) of '09.
  • Best OS out there. Apple wishes they could touch it Posted via Android Central App
  • Looks like apple has been touching it, every year they are copying more and more from android. Wonder what would happen if Google took it from open but only charge their oem's 1$ for licensing and others approved to use it, just to keep apple from copying its features.
  • The leaps and bounds Android has made in 5 years has been astonishing. Can't wait to see where we are after another 5.
  • This! Posted via Android Central App
  • +9000 Posted via your wifes, girlfriends phone
  • Amen to that! Posted from the old Google Nexus 7 via Android Central App
  • Phone still sitting in my nightstand. Build quality of the G1 has yet to be matched. Hands down best physical keyboard ever made, and that hinge STILL works as well as it did 5 years ago.
  • I thought the LG Shine Plus had one of the best keyboards, too bad the phone was crappy overall.
  • Htc touch pro2... Best keyboard ever!!! Posted via Android Central App
  • This. Editor in chief of Futureproff.com
  • T-Mobile G2 did!!! Posted via Android Central App
  • Epic 4g had a nice keyboard Posted via Android Central App
  • I bought my wife the original T-Mobile HTC G1. It was her first smart phone. She loved it and is still rockin' Android 5 years later with her GS3.
  • Beat every OS out there. Posted via Android Central App
  • Yup. Posted from the old Google Nexus 7 via Android Central App
  • It's only been 5 years? Wow, seems a lot longer. I remember the buzz about the G1 before it launched. The tech crowd was darn near wetting themselves over what could be. Of course I had to get the G1 on launch day. Haven't used another OS since. Happy Birthday Android! Many, many more.
  • I remember my g1. Got my first girlfriend on that phone hah. Posted via Android Central App
  • That sounds painful...
  • Lol how so? Posted via Android Central App
  • Happy birthday! Posted via Android Central App
  • Nexus 5 announced on the 5th birthday would've been nice.
  • Agreed.
  • Yeah, it should've been: Nexus 5 and Android 5.0 Posted from the old Google Nexus 7 via Android Central App
  • At 5 o'clock. Location of announcement: latitude 5 longitude 5. With only five people there. Man Google could have made this epic! Posted via Android Central App
  • All 5 people with 5 o'clock shadows, chewing "5" gum, listening to 5 finger death punch, and at exactly 5, when the nexus 5 is announced, they must simultaneously perform the 5 point palm exploding heart technique on each other, take 5 steps, and... Wait... sorry..... kinda took that in a darker direction at the end there.... B-) Posted via Android Central App
  • Is everything a Nexus thread? Posted via your wifes, girlfriends phone
  • At this point, you are the Knights who say Ni and the word "Nexus" is "it". With that established I say "Nexus!","Nexus!","Nexus!"....Shoo! Be gone foul monster.
  • Then what's the shrubbery? :D Posted from my pure Google Nexus 4 using the AC app.
  • I think he fancies a Note 3. Perhaps he can acquire one with a herring.
  • nii nii nii
  • LOL that HTC G1 looks so primatve now
  • Yeah, it's amazing, how fast hardware has advanced. Posted via Android Central App
  • this
  • Let's see some Kit Kat running on the G1
  • Haha! The phone's gonna smoke Posted via Android Central App
  • What a great day to announce KitKat! This would be a great opportunity to announce the 5th Nexus phone too. If only KitKat remained KeyLimePie and 5.0, this would have been a "triple 5" for them! I'll just keep on dreaming that they announce they press conference this week. Happy Birthday Android. I wish you less apples, many more deserts and a ton of little Nexus to expand the family.
  • Will there be a birthday card forthcoming from Apple, Inc?
  • Probably not, but there should be. I mean it should say "Happy Birthday Inspiration!" Posted from the old Google Nexus 7 via Android Central App
  • My favorite mobile OS is still WebOS and will always be! Posted via Android Central App
  • ...and that has wtf to do with this???
  • WebOS is like James Dean. He died young before his rogue charm lost its effect. People tend to exaggerate his abilities and impact because he is frozen in time to us. Same with the ill-fated operating system. WebOS lived fast, died young and left a good-looking corpse.
  • i was forced to leave webos when they stopped making devices with it , if not i would still be a webos user it was a great os no matter what people say IT WAS A GREAT OS
  • This is your birthday song...it isn't very long. Posted via Android Central App
  • Nice, same as mine.
  • Happy birthday!!! Posted via Android Central App
  • Android celebrates a birthday,...while the qwerty keyboard remains dead because manufacturers refuse to offer any choice. Posted via Android Central App
  • Nonsense. My Swype keyboard has a QWERTY layout. What did you want, Dvorak?
  • Lol +9001 Posted from my pure Google Nexus 4 using the AC app.
  • Having been an Android user for 8 years, happy 5th birthday Android!! Posted via Android Central App
  • How? Posted from the old Google Nexus 7 via Android Central App
  • He's referring to the android he built to serve as he sex slave.
  • LOL!!! Posted via Android Central App
  • Happy birthday from a proud Android owner. Thank you Google.
  • +100 Posted from the old Google Nexus 7 via Android Central App
  • Android sure has come a long way in 5 years. I remember seeing it on the original beta devices. While it's likely I'll be switching to an iPhone (my vow was Nexus or nothing on Verizon) I'll still have my trusty Nexus 7. Maybe in the future I'll come back to Android on my phone. It's still my favorite OS.
  • I started out with palm pre as my first smartphone, then ditched the webOS for Android and I've been happy every since. Happy Birthday Android! ^_^ Posted via Android Central App
  • Cheers! Posted via Android Central App
  • Happy birthday android :) I want some cake now :D
  • The cake is a lie. Here, grab a Kit-Kat!
  • Now hold on just a sec, I wouldn't say that nonbody would have ever thought android would be this big! Are you kidding me! I was screaming it from the roof tops, as soon as I got my hands on the G1!!!! A whole lot of us knew it from the beinging. Just casue y'all didn't have the foresight, don't throw us in that same boat hahaha! Happy Birthday! Skynet.. I mean Android!!!
  • Exactly. I bought the G1 the day it was released. I knew it from the beginning that Android would take over the world. (skynet joke) Happy birthday ANDROID! (thank you google for buying android and turning it into something amazing... my life has never been the same) (PS I miss my G1 and never should have sold it)
  • Don't confuse luck with insight.
  • I've been using android since Verizon's first android phone the droid eris on android 1.6 Posted via Android Central App
  • I had that phone Posted via Android Central App
  • Five years ago I was using a Palm Treo, wishing HP hadn't screwed the pooch.
  • Yea its been about 5yrs since i have been able to stay focused at work!!!.... Im just serious people Posted via Android Central App
  • Oh, Android. You are so great! My first smartphone was the Blackberry Storm, then I switched to Android! (HTC Wildfire S) and now I have the Nexus 7 and waiting on that Nexus 5! Posted from the old Google Nexus 7 via Android Central App
  • Happy Birthday Android!!! I missed my G1 sold it for the myTouch 3G Slide and been rockin Android ever since!!!
  • My first was the og dinc!!! Changed my smartphone life Posted via Android Central App
  • Happy Birthday, Android. So much has changed in five years. And that G1 sure looks thick and heavy, which is probably the reason I wasn't interested in Android or HTC until two years later when I got the EVO 4G. I think I was using a Blackberry Curve five years ago. I dumped BB for a touchscreen, and I've been happy with Android ever since. Posted via HTC One Android Central App
  • Here's To Celebration.
  • Would would have thought android would become so awesome and ios starting to go backwards... Posted via Android Central App
  • I still remember when android was in its early stages when I was in middle school and I tried convincing my friends that it was better than iOS. I couldn't get a phone at the time and I wanted some kind of smart device but there were no good android mp3 players and tablets were wayyyyy to expensive. So I had to get an iPod touch. Worst $250 I ever spent. After that I realized how bad apple was and I wanted an android device sooooo badly but I couldn't get one. Then when Samsung announced the tab 2 the end of my freshman year of highschool I went and got it and I fully realized how great android is. I have since gotten another tablet (nook HD+) and the galaxy s3 but I will soon be upgrading to the moto x. And that ipod touch? It hasn't been charged in about a year. Android has come so far since I first started following it (2.1 I think it was at) and ever since I have thought of it as the greatest mobile os out there. I can't wait to see what is in store for the next five years. Happy birthday android and I hope you see many many more in years to come! Posted via Android Central App
  • Get off my lawn.
  • Happy bday my fav OS
    They grow up so fast D,: Posted via Android Central App
  • Just bought an HTC G1 to calibrate Posted via Android Central App
  • that´s right..acCeptance is the first step
  • I still have my g1
  • Blackberry is still the best.
  • ...said absolutely nobody.
  • Happy birthday! StealthDroid - Working in the Nexus Lab
  • My G1 was like the shittiest thing ever with it's like 80mb of app space but otherwise it was just such a cool phone at the time.
  • Happy Birthday Android. 5 years ago you were an ugly duckling and the iPhone was the Apple of my eye. Over time you've changed and grew into a wonderful mature OS that has won me over along with your sexy curves on the HTC One. Thank you Android. Thank you.
  • I didnt have a G1 but i was early to the Android party with my HTC hero with Sprint. Ironically at that time, i was debating between a Palm Pre, the BB touchscreen phone and the Hero. One of the best decisions i have made in my life. Have never looked back since. Back then i had an iPod touch for my music but once google play came out iTunes was finally removed from my comp. What a long way Android has come. Here's to another five years and beyond.
  • time sure does fly when having fun! :)
  • In the early years of Android, I remember seeing [online] a huge sign in a West Coast shopping mall, "You need Droid!" Anyhow, I love my N4 and N7 devices :)
  • Salute
  • I still have my G1. Running all sorts of crazy cyanogenmods on it Lol I still love the keyboard!
  • and the rest was ePicness
  • Android and the hardware it runs on has come a long way in those five years.
  • The G1 had, and still has, amazing build quality. I take mine out on special occasions like this just to remind myself how far we've come, but also how solid a foundation the platform had. The G1 is still a functional phone, if you've got apps old enough to fit. A little slow but with Froyo it can still get you through the day. I even miss the trackball on my newer phones. Happy 5th to Android and the G1! Posted from my day 1 G1
  • for me and lots of more people it was the evo who wowed me and made me an android user a loyal one