Android 10 Is Now The Official Name Of Google’s Next Mobile Operating System, Dropping Dessert Names

The mascots of the Android operating system Marshmallow and earlier versions like Donut, Cupcake, and Eclair can be seen on the Google company site. Google gives up the tradition of naming versions of the Android operating system after sweets. The next variant, for whose name the initial letter "Q" was previously reserved, will now be called Android 10 instead. (Photo by Andrej Sokolow)

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It’s been a tradition since the first publicly available version of Android, version 1.1 which was codenamed Petit Four, ten years ago. However, as of today, that’s all over.

Google announced on Thursday that it will stop using dessert codenames to refer to the version of its mobile operating system and instead use version numbers, just like Apple with iOS.

“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,” said Sameer Samat, vice-president of Product Management, for Google’s Android. “But we’ve heard feedback over the years that the names weren’t always understood by everyone in the global community.”

Below are the codenames used over the past ten years for the different Android versions:

  • Android 1.1 – Petit Four (February 2009)
  • Android 1.5 – Cupcake (April 2009)
  • Android 1.6 – Donut (September 2009)
  • Android 2.0-2.1 – Éclair (October 2009)
  • Android 2.2 – Froyo (May 2010)
  • Android 2.3 – Gingerbread (December 2010)
  • Android 3.0-3.2 – Honeycomb (February 2011)
  • Android 4.0 – Ice Cream Sandwich (October 2011)
  • Android 4.1-4.3 – Jelly Bean (July 2012)
  • Android 4.4 – KitKat (October 2013)
  • Android 5-5.1 – Lollipop (November 2014)
  • Android 6 – Marshmallow (October 2015)
  • Android 7-7.1 – Nougat (August 2016)
  • Android 8-8.1 – Oreo (August 2017)
  • Android 9 – Pie (August 2018)
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Android Q is now Android 10

Android Q is now Android 10

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“As a global operating system, it’s important that these names are clear and relatable for everyone in the world,” added Samat. “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 [smartphones, tablets, watches, TVs, and cars], it was time to make this change.”

The next version of Android, expected to launch this fall, is codenamed “Q”. But finding a dessert starting with that letter happens to be quite a challenge.

Besides, as Samat pointed it out, pies are not a dessert in some places and marshmallows, while delicious, are not a popular treat in many parts of the world.

But more importantly, for the new Android users who were unfamiliar with the naming convention, it was becoming even harder to understand if their phone was running the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system.

“As we continue to build Android for everyone in the community, our brand should be as inclusive and accessible as possible,” explained Samat.

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The dessert-themed naming convention was fun and part of the launch folklore of the next generation of Android every year.

However, it’s true that for someone that is not into that nerdy stuff, figuring out if the version of Android running on the smartphone is the latest can be daunting: Is Lollipop better than Marshmallow?

Besides, how do you even begin to pronounce Nougat?

All in all, this is a good move on the part of Google especially as we get closer to the launch of Android 10: Earlier this month, Google rolled out the 6th beta—the “release candidate for final testing—of its next-generation mobile operating system which is usually the final one before the official release that will include features like dark mode, gestural navigation, live caption and more parental controls, just to name a few.

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