Google’s Android operating system (OS) is based on existing open-source software, including the Linux kernel. The system has been adopted by most other smartphone manufacturers, including Samsung, Nokia, LG, and Huawei.
Since its launch in 2007 it has had nine major releases, with the latest version released in August 2018. Every version so far has been named after a dessert beginning with a different letter of the alphabet: Cupcake, Donut, Éclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, KitKat, Lollipop, Marshmallow, Nougat, and Pie.
The tenth Android release (which has so far simply been referred to as ‘Android Q’) is expected to be rolled out during autumn, with a beta version already released on Google’s own Pixel handsets earlier this year. Google has now confirmed that, in a break with tradition, it will be named ‘Android 10’.
According to Google, the name change was agreed upon after it had received feedback that not everybody understood what the dessert-related names referred to. For instance, the L and R sounds are not easily distinguishable in some languages, while ‘pie’ does not always refer to a sweet dish 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,” said Sameer Samat, VP of Android product management, in a statement. “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.”*
Android 10 will feature revamped branding – including introducing a new set of contrasting colour combinations which are easier to view for people with visual impairments – as well as a ‘dark’ mode and some “digital wellbeing tools”.
*E&T is unsure, however, how many “tempting ‘Q’ desserts” were realistic naming possibilities for Google.