This page provides information about the relative number of devices that share a certain characteristic, such as Android version, API Levels and what all Android Versions Appium support. In short after completing this, will have the Understanding of Android Versions and API Levels.
Android is the operating system that powers more then one billion devices which include smart phones and tablets. Since these devices makes our lives sweater, each Android version is named on deserts. As the Android platform evolves and new Android versions are released, each Android version is assigned a unique integer identifier, called the API Level. Because users install apps on older as well as the most recent versions of Android, real-world Android apps must be designed to work with multiple Android API levels
What is an API?
API stands for Application Programming Interface. API is the engine behind connecting the different devices with each other to perform some operation for example, placing an order online, make a reservation or book a flight. In plain terms API is the messenger which takes request and tells the system what you want to do and then returns the response back to you.
Take an example of a Waiter, you visit some restaurant to have some food. You order waiter to bring some food items to you, waiter takes your request in the kitchen and request chef to prepare the requested food items. Once items are ready, waiter pick those items and bring it your table. Here waiter works as an API between you and the chef. So API helps us or makes it possible for us to interact with different devices.
Android API Levels
API Levels generally mean that as a programmer, you can communicate with the devices built in functions and functionality. As the API level increases, functionality adds up. Each Android device supports exactly one API level or you can also that each version of Android supports certain API Level. Selenium is also an API. When an application is built, it contains the following API level information:
- The target API level of Android that the app is built to run on.
- The minimum API level of Android that is required to run the app.
These settings are used to ensure that the functionality needed to run the app correctly is available on the Android device at installation time. If not, the app is blocked from running on that device.
Android Versions, Name and their supported API Levels:
Minimum Android Version
The minimum Android version is the oldest version of Android (lowest API level) that can install and run your application. By default, an app can only be installed on devices matching the target framework setting or higher; if the minimum Android version setting is lower than the target framework setting, your app can also run on earlier versions of Android. For example, if you set the target framework to Android 5.0 Lollipop and set the minimum Android version to Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich), your app can be installed on any platform from API level 15 to API level 21, inclusive.
Android Versions supported by Appium
This is also very important to understand that Appium supports only certain version of Android. Appium is supporting only further versions of API Level 17. Means Appium does not support any API Level which is less than 17. Selenroid supports the previous API Levels lower than the API Level 17.
Note: It means that if your phone have the Android version lower than 4.2.2, you would not be able to use Appium for Mobile Automation. The only option you left with to use Selenroid or to upgrade your Android version, if your providers allows you to do so.
How to check Android version of the phone?
To check the Android Version of your phone, first unlock you phone and follow the below mentioned steps:
- Tap on the Main Menu icon.
- Go to the Settings.
- Scroll down to ‘About phone‘ and tap on it.
- Scroll down a little and there you notice the ‘Android Version‘