Sequence Behind Android OS Names

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The first Android operating system version 1.0 (Android Alpha) was released in September 2008. They have come a long way since then because of its useful features and a plethora of developed apps from millions of developers. Android users are aware of the fact that Google uses familiar names mostly of sweets for their Android OS versions. But why such names? And, is there any sequence in these names? Here we are going to discuss the reasons for the same, but before that let’s dig a little bit about Android.

Who Founded Android And How Did It Get Its Name?

Initially, Android Inc was founded and developed by Andy Rubin, Rich Miner, and Nick Sears in 2003. The main brain behind this development was of Andy Rubin. One of the talented computer programmers, engineer, and entrepreneur. The early aim of this service was to ease the use of a digital camera and provide an OS to operate them and save images directly to Android cloud(as planned earlier).

Rubin previously used to work with Apple, and while working there his colleagues use to call him Android, because of his love for robots, machines, and programming. And once he started working on his own project, it became to be known as Android.

Later Android Inc. was acquired by Google in 2005 and later was released for smartphones. Google acquired Android for at least $50 million. Andy Rubin was also the part of the team Android after the acquisition and worked with Google till 2013. 

Android OS Names & Version Number In Order

It seems that Google Handset Alliance is following A, B, C, D and so on, means Alphabetic sequence for their Android operating system version names. Below you can see the list of Android OS with their logo:

A – Android Alpha (1.0)

B – Android Beta (1.1)

C – Android Cupcake (1.5)

Android Cupcake

D – Android Donut (1.6)

reasons behind android os versions names - donut

E – Android Eclair (2.0 – 2.1)

Android Eclair

F – Android Froyo (2.2 – 2.2.3)

Logic behind sweet names of Android versions - froyo

G – Android Gingerbread (2.3 – 2.3.7)


H – Android Honeycomb (3.0 – 3.2.6)

H for Honeycomb

I – Android Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0 – 4.0.4)

I for Ice Cream Sandwich

J – Android Jellybean (4.1 – 4.3.1)


K – Android KitKat (4.4 – 4.4.4)

K for Kitkat

L – Android Lollipop (5.0)

L for Lollipop

M – Android Marshmallow (6.0)

M for Marshmallow

N – Android Nougat(7.0)

Android 7.0 Nougat

O – Android Oreo(8.0)

Android 8.0 Oreo

P – Android Pie(9.0)

Android 9.0 Pie

Q – Android 10.0. No name or image specified yet and expected to be launched soon. Currently in the beta testing stage.

Google has named their OS’ after popular confectioneries and desserts around the world. It started with the Android C i.e Cupcake. As you can see the versions for A and B do not have the names of sweets. Many think it is just the old-school Alpha and Beta versions. Maybe Google will go up to Z letter, but what after that? Let’s wait and watch how intelligently Google Handset Alliance will come up with other Android OS names and its sequence.

Also Read: 5 Android Studio Alternative Tools for App Development

Reasons Behind The Sweet Names Of Android Versions

The truth is, nobody knows the exact logic, because Android’s team refuses to disclose the reason behind it and in Randall Sarafa’s (Spokesman for Google) own words “It’s more of an internal thing. It’s inscrutable.” I know this is a downer after all that build up, but it’s the truth! While the launch of the Android KitKat back in 2013, Google mentioned in an official statement that Android powers life of more than billion people and make their life sweet so they have named the versions after desserts.

Moreover, as per the discussions on the online social communities like Quora and Reddit, it is also said to be believed that Andy Rubins, the creator of Android, likes sweets very much and started naming them accordingly as you can see on the list above. And after the lead of Android went into the hand of yet another talented man i.e Sundar Pichai, he also thought it to name it the same way. And it seems to be a good decision.

Though no one knows what exactly Google does to select the name of the desserts or the confectionaries for their Android versions. This does not stop the people of different countries from trying to pitch for their own country’s sweets. As seen earlier many of the countries have tried to run campaigns so that Google may name the next Android from sweets that are famous in their country or region. For e.g. Indian people made a campaign for Kaju Katli to be the name for Android 4.4 i.e Android KitKat.

Why Companies Use Such Names?

Tech companies in Silicon Valley employ a lot of “Cool” things to connect better with non-tech audiences. When they fail to get the users attention with servers, algorithms, and other geeky words, they resort to different aspects like Doodles, Fun Keynotes, etc, to keep their brands fun. A distinct aspect of software companies is new releases of software and with that, they also have to come up with its names.

A lot of companies like Apple and Microsoft have a different name of their software versions. Microsoft’s naming conventions are a bit boring with the usual “Windows 95”, “Windows 98”. They changed it a little bit when they added “Windows XP” and “Windows Vista” but went back to their original naming scheme by going with the “Windows 10”.

Apple, on the other hand, was slightly creative with their OS names. They named it after the different kind of cats. It started with the “Cheetah” and ended with the “Lion” with other names like “Snow Leopard”, “Jaguar” and “Puma”.

Wrapping Up

So this was the reason behind Google’s way of selecting a name for its Android versions and other information regarding it. It is sure that the next Android OS i.e Android Q will also be a dessert. No matter what the name will be, it will surely be coming with lots of new and updated features. And like always the users speculate and try to figure out what it will be. Do you have something in mind about what the Android Q name be? Drop it in the comments section below.

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Akshay Thapliyal

Akshay Thapliyal is the co-founder of TechUntold and mainly looks into strategic planning at TechUntold. He also loves writing articles on apps & problems he faces related to tech. Follow him on Twitter.

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