Today’s reveal of the rebranding of the Android OS by Google comes with some sad news for many long-time fans. In short, the official name for the next major version of the OS, which previously has been known as “Android Q” will be simply Android 10. Yes, the era of Google using dessert names as the official brand for each major Android release seems to be over.
Sydney Thomashow, Google’s lead for brand and creative for Android, told Android Authority in an exclusive chat that the reason for the Android refresh in the first place is that the company wanted the Android brand to be more inclusive and recognizable to a worldwide audience. The other side of that coin is that Google’s tradition of using dessert names as Android release brands could get in the way of that desire for worldwide name recognition. As we mentioned in our Android rebranding feature, names like KitKat and Nougat are not known in many markets in the world. So, the decision was made to ditch the sweet treats and use version numbers instead.
The history of Android’s “sweet” codenames
As we mention in our extensive history of Android releases, version 1.0, the public release of the OS in 2008, didn’t have a codename at all. Android 1.1 didn’t have a public codename either, although “petit four” — a reference to a French dessert — was reportedly its internal codename at Google.
Android 1.5 was the first release with a public dessert-themed codename: Cupcake.
Android 1.5 was the first release with a public dessert-themed codename: Cupcake. A program manager at Google, Ryan Gibson, is credited with the name, but his reasons for choosing Cupcake remain a mystery. Officially, Google stated later that the reason for using dessert and treat names for Android versions was simple: “Since these devices make our lives so sweet, each Android version is named after a dessert.”
|Android version||Android code name||Android release date|
|Android 1.0||No code name||September 2008|
|Android 1.1||Petit four (rumored internal code name)||February 2009|
|Android 1.5||Cupcake||April 2009|
|Android 1.6||Donut||September 2009|
|Android 2.0||Eclair||October 2009|
|Android 2.2||Froyo||May 2010|
|Android 2.3||Gingerbread||September 2010|
|Android 3.0||Honeycomb||February 2011|
|Android 4.0||Ice Cream Sandwich||October 2011|
|Android 4.1||Jelly Bean||June 2012|
|Android 4.4||KitKat||September 2013|
|Android 5.0||Lollipop||October 2014|
|Android 6.0||Marshmallow||October 2015|
|Android 7.0||Nougat||October 2016|
|Android 8.0||Oreo||October 2017|
|Android 9||Pie||August 2018|
|Android 10||No code name||August 2019|
The dessert naming tradition continued with subsequent Android version launches, with each release getting a name in alphabetical order after Cupcake. This happened through August 2018, when Android 9 officially got the Pie codename.
Along the way, Google also came up with a tradition of introducing new statues it its Googleplex campus of the Android mascot with a large representation of the new sweets codename. The codenames even included real trademarked treats, such as Android 4.4, which used Nestle’s KitKat candy bar. More recently, Android 8.0 took on the Oreo name for its branding.
Now that Google has decided to no longer use its tasty codenames for Android 10, our theories about possible names for the next OS update are up in smoke. It’s too bad — over a year ago, we put out a few possible names Google could have used for Android 10’s branding. We liked the sound of Android 10 Quiche.
To be totally fair, Google may have thought that the “Q” names for dessert would not translate well with its plans for making the branding more universal. Oh well.
Could dessert codenames return for Android 11?
If Google does bring back its sweet codenames in 2020 for Android 11/Android R, we have a few suggestions, including Raspberry Ripple (a popular ice cream flavor), rum cake, rice pudding, and our personal favorite, rhubarb pie.
The last treat
So there you have it: The next version of Android from Google will be known as Android 10, just like Apple’s iOS uses numbers for its major releases. Of course, Microsoft has done so for decades with many of its Windows operating system launches, with some notable exceptions like Millenium, XP, and Vista.
We expect there will be a ton of debate on the interwebs about this change. Some might argue that ditching the dessert names was inevitable, as Google moves forward with its efforts to make Android an even bigger brand name worldwide. On the other hand, we know lots of long-time Android fans will lament the loss of these fun and unique names.
What do you think? Is Google making the right decision to just use Android 10 as the public name for the OS release? Do you think putting the dessert nicknames to bed is a bad idea? Let us know.
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August 22, 2019 at 04:00AM