Google ditches Android dessert naming convention

August 23, 2019 | 12:20

Tags: #android #android-10 #android-q #linux #mobile-operating-system #naming-convention #nomenclature #operating-system #sameer-samat

Companies: #alphabet #google

It's the end of an era at Google: The company's Android mobile platform is dropping its long-running dessert-themed naming convention, switching instead to a simple numerical format.

Beginning with the release of Android 1.5, the mobile popular platform Google acquired along with its creator Android Inc. in 2005, the operating system has been following an incrementing alphabetical dessert theme for its release names: Cupcake, Donut [sic], Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean. 2013's Android 4.4 brought an interesting shift to a protected trademark, partnering with Nestle to call the release KitKat; this was followed by the more generic Lollipop, Marshmallow, and Nougat, until 2017's 8.0 release returned to co-branding with Oreo. Android 9.0, meanwhile, is known as Pie - and will be the last to feature such a name.

From now on, Google has announced, the dessert codename is to be dropped, in favour of a simple numerical number. As a result, what was formerly known as Android Q - which, to be fair to the company, is a tough letter to pick a dessert for, with Queen of Puddings being the only one that immediately springs to mind in the English language - will launch simply as Android 10.

'Our engineering team has always used internal code names for each version, based off of tasty treats, or desserts, in alphabetical order. This naming tradition has become a fun part of the release each year externally, too. But we’ve heard feedback over the years that the names weren’t always understood by everyone in the global community,' explains Google's Sameer Samat of the move. 'For example, L and R are not distinguishable when spoken in some languages. So when some people heard us say Android Lollipop out loud, it wasn’t intuitively clear that it referred to the version after KitKat.

'It’s even harder for new Android users, who are unfamiliar with the naming convention, to understand if their phone is running the latest version. We also know that pies are not a dessert in some places, and that marshmallows, while delicious, are not a popular treat in many parts of the world. As a global operating system, it’s important that these names are clear and relatable for everyone in the world. So, this next release of Android will simply use the version number and be called Android 10. We think this change helps make release names simpler and more intuitive for our global community. And while there were many tempting “Q” desserts out there, we think that at version 10 and 2.5 billion active devices, it was time to make this change.'

At the same time, Google has announced a revised Android logo design and brand colour scheme, which it says will begin to be reflected in the coming weeks as Android 10 rolls out.

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