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Google Is Ditching Its Sweet Tooth in Android Rebrand

By Evan Niu, CFA - Aug 22, 2019 at 2:15PM

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The search giant casts off desserts.

The first couple versions of Android didn't have sweet names, but Alphabet (GOOG 1.66%) (GOOGL 1.77%) subsidiary Google ended up adopting alphabetically dessert-themed code names for major releases a decade ago with 1.5 Cupcake. Google has steadfastly kept up the convention ever since, but it was always clear the practice couldn't last forever.

Not only would the search giant run out of letters in the alphabet, there aren't a whole lot of desserts that start with Q, the next character in line after 9.0 Pie, although that didn't stop the internet from speculating. Google has officially announced that it is rebranding major Android versions, ditching its sweet tooth and going back to good old-fashioned numbers.

Say hello to Android 10

In a blog post, Android exec Sameer Samat explains why Google is changing Android's branding strategy. As the dominant mobile platform on Earth -- IDC pegged Android's worldwide smartphone market share at 85% in 2018 -- Android should be "as inclusive and accessible as possible." There are now 2.5 billion active Android devices in use.

That means that some members of the global community might not understand the names, as L and R are "not distinguishable when spoken in some languages," according to Samat. More superficially, some of the confections aren't actually desserts in certain parts of the world.

Version

Code Name

1.5

Cupcake

1.6

Donut

2.0

Eclair

2.2

Froyo

2.3

Gingerbread

3.0

Honeycomb

4.0.1

Ice Cream Sandwich

4.1

Jelly Bean

4.4

KitKat

5.0

Lollipop

6.0

Marshmallow

7.0

Nougat

8.0

Oreo

9

Pie

Data source: Android.

Samat continued:

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.

Google is also revamping the main Android logo to feature a more modern typeface and look, while tweaking the color scheme for improved readability. This is the first time since 2014 that the company has updated its logo.

Android 10 is slated for release later this fall alongside a new Pixel 4 flagship handset made by Google. The search giant has been pushing deeper into hardware and most tech companies have lined up their product cycles for release each fall ahead of the holiday shopping season. Following rampant leaks over the summer, Google went ahead and shared what the forthcoming device will look like.

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