A hot potato: Google has employed confectionary-themed code names released in alphabetical order – Cupcake, Donut, Éclair, Froyo, Gingerbread and so on – for its Android releases for the better part of a decade now. We made it all the way up to Android Q before Google decided that a brand refresh was in order.
Why now, you ask?
In announcing Google’s decision, Sameer Samat, VP of Product Management for Android, said that as they continue to build Android for devices around the world, they felt their brand should be as inclusive and accessible as possible. “We think we can do better in a few ways.”
Samat touched on how the engineering team has traditionally used internal code names based off of tasty treats but added that they’ve “heard feedback over the years that the names weren’t always understood by everyone in the global community.”
To make Android more universally acceptable, the next version of Android will simply use its version number – in this case, Android 10. The next version will be Android 11, and so on. How exciting.
While not a huge deal, abandoning the original scheme feels like a misstep. Google’s playful naming convention was a break from the norm and many would make a game of trying to predict the next name to be used. Google even licensed a couple of brand names with KitKat and Oreo. My guess is that when they hit the letter Q, they ran out of ideas. Indeed, can you think of a single common treat that starts with the letter Q?
If the new, monotonous naming contention is able to boost user adoption and curb Android’s massive fragmentation problem, well then, bring it on.