Android Cupcake

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Android Cupcake
Version of the Android operating system
The default Android Cupcake home screen
Android Cupcake home screen
Initial releaseApril 27, 2009; 14 years ago (2009-04-27)
Update methodSoftware update
Package managerAndroid Market
Kernel typeMonolithic (Linux)
Preceded byAndroid 1.1
Succeeded byAndroid 1.6 "Donut"
Support status

Android Cupcake is the third version of the Android operating system, developed by Google, being the successor to Android 1.1. It was released on April 27, 2009 and succeeded by Android Donut on September 15, 2009.

Android Cupcake introduces a new virtual keyboard, marking a departure from the physical keyboard present on the HTC Dream and support for stereo Bluetooth. Cupcake improved features to its in-built apps; videos can be directly uploaded to YouTube, as can photos to Picasa, the Gmail app supports batch actions, and the web browser was updated to include a new JavaScript engine and copy and pasting. Android Cupcake was the first major release of Android to use a confectionary-themed naming scheme, a scheme that continued until the release of Android 10 in 2019.[1]

By July 2010, Android Cupcake constituted less than a quarter of active devices running Android.[2] User adoption of Android Cupcake began to decrease in the following months, with 4.7% of devices using Android Cupcake by January 2011.[3] On June 30, 2017, Google ceased support for Android Market on Cupcake.[4]


In December 2008, the Android source was updated, making the "cupcake" branch public. The branch included support for stereo Bluetooth and fixed various issues with Android's email client. Around this time, reports emerged that the HTC Dream would receive an update for Android Cupcake.[5] The cupcake branch was continuously updated in the months following its release, with an on-screen keyboard and notepad app being added in January 2009.[6] The HTC Magic was unveiled in February as the first device to launch with Cupcake, notably lacking a physical keyboard.[7]

Android Cupcake was officially released on April 27, 2009.[8] In the days following Cupcake's release, select HTC Dreams began receiving an over-the-air update for Android Cupcake.[9]

System features[edit]


Stereo Bluetooth was added, and Bluetooth support for in-car kits was fixed.[10] Auto-pairing was added in Android Cupcake.[11] The Advanced Audio Distribution and Audio/Video Remote Control Bluetooth profiles were also added.[12][13]


A virtual keyboard was added, similar to the iPhone. The virtual keyboard feature is necessary for devices lacking a physical keyboard, such as the HTC Magic.[14] The virtual keyboard supports autocorrect, predictive text, custom dictionaries, and third-party keyboard layouts.[15]

User interface[edit]

Slight adjustments to Android Cupcake's user interface were made, including the inclusion of transparency.[16]


Widgets can now be added to the home screen. Built-in widgets include a calendar and music player, although developers can create their own widgets.[14]

Other features[edit]

Other features added in Android Cupcake include the saving of MMS attachments,[10] support for pausing and resuming of downloads,[10] support for MPEG-4 and 3GP videos,[15] and SD card filesystem checking.[13] The underlying kernel of the Android operating system, the Linux kernel, was updated to 2.6.27.[11]

App features[edit]

Android Market[edit]

Browsing categories and filters were added to Android Market, Android Cupcake's app store.[17]


Users can upload videos from the camera directly to YouTube.[18] Photos can also be directly uploaded to Picasa.[11] Startup times for the camera app were improved.[13]


User pictures can now be added to contacts.[19] Google Talk integration was added to the contacts app.[16] Similarly, the call log shows specific date and time stamps for events.[20]


The Gmail app was updated to allow batch operations, such as deleting or archiving multiple emails at once.[11]

Web browser[edit]

Android Cupcake's web browser uses the Squirrelfish JavaScript engine, and supports searching within a page and copy and pasting.[15] Other features added include tabbed bookmarks and history features.[20]

Developer APIs[edit]

Android Cupcake provides APIs for developers to use. Between Android 1.1 and Cupcake, there were over 1,000 changes to the Android API between Android 1.1 and Cupcake.[21] Developers can:

  • Create home screen widgets[14]
  • Use APIs for recording and playing back audio and video.[11]
  • Create replacement keyboards.[16]

Android Cupcake also added support for the OpenGL graphics API.[11]


  1. ^ Gartenberg, Chaim (July 23, 2020). "Even Android 11 is cake". The Verge. Retrieved December 17, 2022.
  2. ^ Powell, Adam (July 12, 2010). "How to have your (Cup)cake and eat it too". Android Developers Blog. Retrieved December 17, 2022.
  3. ^ Kimmey, Nate (January 5, 2011). "Android Platform Version Chart Updated: Froyo Dominates, Éclair Still Strong, Cupcake And Donut On The Way Out". Android Police. Retrieved December 17, 2022.
  4. ^ Whitwam, Ryan (June 20, 2017). "Google is ending support for the Android Market on Android 2.1 and earlier". Android Police. Retrieved December 17, 2022.
  5. ^ Ziegler, Chris (December 18, 2008). "Google secretly crafts Android codename "cupcake," fixes and features aplenty". Engadget. Retrieved December 17, 2022.
  6. ^ Ziegler, Chris (January 23, 2009). "Android Cupcake in all its keyboard-having glory, T-Mobile plays dumb". Engadget. Retrieved December 17, 2022.
  7. ^ Sadun, Erica (February 17, 2009). "Android, take two: HTC Magic to launch sans keyboard". Ars Technica. Retrieved December 17, 2022.
  8. ^ Oryl, Michael (April 27, 2009). "Android 1.5 "Cupcake" SDK and firmware now available". Android Authority. Retrieved December 17, 2022.
  9. ^ Herrman, John (April 30, 2009). "T-Mobile Pushing Android 1.5 'Cupcake' Update to Select G1s". Gizmodo. Retrieved December 17, 2022.
  10. ^ a b c Trenholm, Richard (April 28, 2009). "Android 1.5 SDK: What's new, Cupcake?". CNET. Retrieved December 17, 2022.
  11. ^ a b c d e f Shankland, Stephen (April 14, 2009). "Google touts Android 1.5 features to coders". CNET. Retrieved December 17, 2022.
  12. ^ Hamelin, Ron (July 29, 2010). "Meet Andy: Android's History In A Nutshell". Android Police. Retrieved December 17, 2022.
  13. ^ a b c "Android 1.5 Platform Highlights". Android Developers. April 26, 2009. Retrieved December 17, 2022.
  14. ^ a b c Burnette, Ed (April 14, 2009). "Top 5 features in Android 1.5 (Cupcake)". ZDNet. Retrieved December 17, 2022.
  15. ^ a b c Kumparak, Greg (April 13, 2009). "Android "Cupcake" build nearly golden brown: Preview SDK released, feature list finalized". TechCrunch. Retrieved December 17, 2022.
  16. ^ a b c "Android: a 10-year visual history". The Verge. December 7, 2011. Retrieved December 17, 2022.
  17. ^ La, Lynn; Mitroff, Sarah; Dolcourt, Jessica. "Every Android version from the T-Mobile G1 to Android Pie". CNET. Retrieved December 17, 2022.
  18. ^ Paul, Ryan (April 15, 2009). "Google unwraps Cupcake, announces preview of Android 1.5". Ars Technica. Retrieved December 17, 2022.
  19. ^ Hanson, Matt; McCann, John (August 6, 2018). "Android through the ages: from Cupcake to Pie and everything in between". TechRadar. Retrieved December 17, 2022.
  20. ^ a b Ionescu, Daniel (May 7, 2009). "Android Gets Updated to Version 1.5". PC World. Retrieved December 20, 2022.
  21. ^ Burnette, Ed (January 7, 2009). Hello, Android: Introducing Google's Mobile Development Platform. Raleigh: Pragmatic Bookshelf. p. 14. ISBN 9781934356494.

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