As we close in on Android’s 11th birthday, Google has announced a major update to the operating system’s brand. Perhaps the biggest component of this brand shake up is a change in the way Google names Android releases. On top of that, Google is also giving the Android logo a bit of an update.
Since the very early days of Android, Google has assigned dessert-themed codenames to major Android releases, and those codenames have been widely used externally as well. From here on out, Google will stop referring to Android releases using desserts and letters and simply number them instead. This begins with Android Q, which is now known as Android 10.
In a blog post today, Google explains that while its naming conventions can be clear to some, they don’t always work on a global scale. “For example,” the company says, “L and R are not distinguishable when spoken in some languages. So when some people heard us say Android Lollipop out loud, it wasn’t intuitively clear that it referred to the version after KitKat.” New Android users face similar problems, as it can be hard to tell if your phone is running the latest version of Android if you’re not familiar with how Google names its releases.
This switch to a simple numbering system fixes that and helps make Android more accessible around the world. Unfortunately, that means we’ll probably never learn what dessert the “Q” in “Android Q” stood for, and that one was of particular interest simply because there aren’t a ton of desserts that start with “Q” out there.
The other portion of this brand makeover is a new look for the Android logo. It’s a relatively simple redesign that still features the Android robot and black text instead of green, so this isn’t really a dramatic change. Still, Google says it’s an important one because it found that the green text in the old logo could be hard to read in some scenarios, so this new color scheme will help improve contrast.
So, there you have it: a new look and a new naming scheme for Android releases. As brand changes go, this one is pretty straightforward, but for an operating system with the reach that Android has, any brand shake ups are big ones. We’ll see that new branding put to use soon enough, as the freshly-renamed Android 10 is on the horizon.