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What is API Level?

API Level is an integer value that indicates the Android framework API release versions for Android platform. Each revision made is assigned with a new incremental API Level value.

The framework API that an Android platform delivers is specified using an integer identifier called “API Level”. Each Android platform version supports exactly one API Level. The initial release of the Android platform provided API Level 1 and subsequent releases have incremented the API Level.

The API Level identifier lets the Android platform describe the minimum and maximum framework API revision that it supports

The framework API’s are used to build Android application to interact with Android system. The framework API consists of following components

  1. A core set of packages and classes
  2. A set of XML elements and attributes for declaring a manifest file
  3. A set of XML elements and attributes for declaring and accessing resources
  4. A set of Intents
  5. A set of permissions that applications can request, as well as permission enforcements included in the system
  6. Each successive version of the Android platform can include updates to the Android application framework API that it delivers.

The table below specifies the API Level supported by each version of the Android platform.

Platform Version API Level VERSION_CODE
Android 5.0 21 LOLLIPOP
Android 4.4W 20 KITKAT_WATCH
Android 4.4 19 KITKAT
Android 4.3 18 JELLY_BEAN_MR2
Android 4.2, 4.2.2 17 JELLY_BEAN_MR1
Android 4.1, 4.1.1 16 JELLY_BEAN
Android 4.0.3, 4.0.4 15 ICE_CREAM_SANDWICH_MR1
Android 4.0, 4.0.1, 4.0.2 14 ICE_CREAM_SANDWICH
Android 3.2 13 HONEYCOMB_MR2
Android 3.1.x 12 HONEYCOMB_MR1
Android 3.0.x 11 HONEYCOMB
Android 2.3.4, 2.3.3 10 GINGERBREAD_MR1
Android 2.3.2, 2.3.1, 2.3 9 GINGERBREAD
Android 2.2.x 8 FROYO
Android 2.1.x 7 ECLAIR_MR1
Android 2.0.1 6 ECLAIR_0_1
Android 2.0 5 ECLAIR
Android 1.6 4 DONUT
Android 1.5 3 CUPCAKE
Android 1.1 2 BASE_1_1
Android 1.0 1 BASE