Earlier this month, Google released the final beta of Android Q, and its public release is coming this quarter. Officially known as “Android 10,” the forthcoming launch will be markedly different from years past. Google is using this year’s release to significantly update the operating system’s brand and naming scheme.
Moving forward, “Android” will just be followed by a version number. This tradition of naming major releases with desserts dates back to Android 1.6 Cupcake in 2009. That was followed up by 1.6 Donut, 2.0 Eclair, 2.2 Froyo, 2.3 Gingerbread, 3.0 Honeycomb, 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, 4.1 Jelly Bean, 4.4 KitKat, 5.0 Lollipop, 6.0 Marshmallow, 7.0 Nougat, 8.0 Oreo, and 9 Pie.
“Android 10” is shorter and cleaner, and Google did explain to us how it came up with possible Q dessert names. However, one primary reason the Android maker decided to move away from tradition was how past confectionary and pastry names were not universally known or understood. For example, pie is not considered a dessert around the world.
Google opted for a number and universal scheme that ultimately is like Chrome, iOS, and Windows. That said, the company hopes to keep the whimsy associated with Android alive though its new brand identity. It’s not as drastic as the 2014 rebrand from the original 2008 look, but there are enough refinements that will make Android stand out.
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Like the Android 10 naming change, the primary goal of this new look is accessibility. It starts with something as fundamental as color, with the “android” wordmark — which has been slimmed down with a tweaked font — now in black. The previous green was hard to see for those with visual impairments.
A new shade of “Android green” is still used by the robot, with the primary change being to the mascot’s top. Google is preserving the brand’s playfulness by having the robot’s head always appear next to “android” or just on top of it.
For more about the various changes, including the new color palette, be sure to read our interview with VP of Product Sameet Samat and Android’s Global Brand Director Aude Gandon.