Oreo to Orange: What should Google’s Android O be called

Google has just teased the launch of the next version of its mobile operating system, Android O. What do you think ‘O’ stands for?

tech Updated: Mar 24, 2017 12:36 IST
Vidya Subramanian
Vidya Subramanian
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Android O,Google,Android O name
What could Google possibly intend to call Android O?(Alphabet)

Google has always had a sweet tooth. Except for the first version of Android, all of the rest have been named after sweets. Technically, the first two were prosaically called Android 1.0 and Android 1.1; but Wikipedia has sagely informed me that the second one was ‘internally’ known as Petit Four.

Wikipedia has also informed me that a Petit Four is “a small bite-sized confectionery or savoury appetizer” named in French.

Petit Fours, like the second version of Android. (Wikipedia)

While this was not an “official” name, the rest of the versions of Android have kept the tradition and gone from Cupcake to Nougat, and now we’ve reached the 15th version and the letter O.

All of Android’s ‘sweets’
  • Petit Four - Unofficial (February 2009)
  • Cupcake (April 2009)
  • Donut (September 2009)
  • Eclair (October 2009)
  • Froyo (May 2010)
  • Gingerbread (December 2010)
  • Honeycomb (February 2011)
  • Ice Cream Sandwich (October 2011)
  • Jelly Bean (July 2012)
  • Kitkat (October 2013)
  • Lollipop (November 2014)
  • Marshmallow (October 2015)
  • Nougat (August 2016)

Expectedly, there is much speculation about what O could stand for. While TechCrunch hopes it will be called Oreo, CNet suggested everything from Orange to Onion Powder. One Twitter user thought it could be called Omelette.

A quick, unscientific survey around the newsroom proved that O is not an easy letter to work with when it comes to sweets. A Bengali colleague, after much head scratching, came up with, ‘O Sandesh!’ as an ode to the Bengali sweet dish; a suggestion that was ruled out after a discussion about the efficacy of nomenclature that begins with an exclamation.

One remembers the disappointment that followed the announcement of the Android Nougat last year, because India’s prolific sweetmeat repertoire had once again gone unacknowledged by Google who had not named Version N ‘Neyappam’. This year, we’re convinced the disappointment will be less, given we haven’t been able to come up with any sweet dishes that begin with the letter O.

Maybe it’s time Google ditched the sweet, and gave in to the pleasures of the savoury and sour. I think it might be called ‘Orange’. One side of the circles on the logo are, you see, orange. That, I think, is a definite hint.

Do you have another opinion? What do you think it should be called?


First Published: Mar 23, 2017 16:45 IST