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Android Version Names: Every Os From Cupcake to Android P

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The Mascots on Google Campus, from left to right: Donut, Android (and Nexus One), Cupcake, and Eclair

The Mascots on Google Campus, from left to right: Donut, Android (and Nexus One), Cupcake, and Eclair

Android and Dessert Names

Google's Android division certainly has a sense of humor: It named all of its version codenames after desserts (just as Intel names all of its CPUs after rivers). To celebrate a new version, a giant mock-up of the dessert that matches the codename is usually delivered to the Google Campus and put on display.

So what are the different versions of Android OS and the desserts associated with them? Let us go over a short history.

Android 1.0 and 1.1: Unnamed, and "Petit Four"?

There appears to be no codename assigned to versions 1.0 Android OS.

Google bought a company called Android back in July 2005. Android was headed by several mobile big shots, including the former head of a big carrier, ex-owner of a phone maker, and more. After their buyout, Android went into stealth mode, and rumors spread that Google was working on a mobile phone.

The dam finally broke in November 2007, when Google suddenly announced that they were indeed working on a phone (Google Phone). More than that, they were also working on a brand-new mobile operating system called Android, based on the Linux kernel, to be used by the Open Handset Alliance, a group of 65 different hardware makers, carriers, and other mobile-related companies.

HTC was the first phone maker to get a real consumer phone out, the T-Mobile G1 (also known as the HTC Dream outside of US), on October 2008.

An update of Android, version 1.1, was released in February 2009. According to Android Police, this version was officially named "Petit Four", but since it was rarely seen, the name was also rarely mentioned.

The first significant version of Android OS that really showcased the power of the platform was V1.5, codenamed "Cupcake." As Cupcake starts with letter "C", many have suspected that 1.0 had a codename starting with "A" and 1.1 had one starting with "B," but no actual codenames were ever assigned. Someone assumed that an earlier mention of "Astro" and "Bender" by Android engineers in early talks referred to these two versions, but they denied so in the Android Police article linked above.

Android 1.5: Cupcake

The Android cupcake on Google's campus

The Android cupcake on Google's campus

Technically Android 1.5 wasn't the first version, but versions before it don't seem to have received any codenames. Stories were told that it was supposed to be version 1.2, but Google decided to make it a major revision and made it 1.5 instead. Among the many changes with Cupcake, third-party keyboard and Widgets were enabled and phone could upload directly to YouTube and Picasa. The company codenamed the version "cupcake," which is how the trend of dessert names began.

A cupcake is a small, individually-sized cake baked in a cup-shaped mold. It is usually served with frosting on top.

Android 1.6: Donut

The Android donut on Google's campus

The Android donut on Google's campus

Android V1.6, codenamed "Donut," was released in September 2009. It fixed reboot errors in the OS, revamped photo and video features (i.e. camera interface), and featured better search integration. It also added support for larger screen sizes and is the first version to offer Google's turn-by-turn navigation feature.

A donut is a small ring-shaped friedcake. The ring is made of rich, light dough and deep-fried. Various sweet coatings can be added. Donuts are not to be mistaken for bagels, which are baked, much denser, and usually salty.

Android 2.0 and 2.1: Eclair

The Android eclair on Google's campus

The Android eclair on Google's campus

Android 2.0 was released in October 2009, with a bugfix version (2.0.1) coming out in December 2009. Android 2.1 was released January of 2010. Most people consider them a single release. Added features include Bluetooth 2.1 support, flash and digital zoom for the camera, multi-touch support, live wallpapers, and more.

Eclairs are usually described as oblong cream puffs. They are baked pastries with cream filling and chocolate coating on top.

Android 2.2: Froyo

The Android froyo on Google's campus

The Android froyo on Google's campus

Android 2.2 mainly improved speed by adopting the Javascript "just-in-time" compiler engine from Google's browser, Chrome. It also improved browser support by adding animated GIF support and Flash 10.1 plug-in support, along with USB tethering and Wi-Fi Hotspot capability (for those with supporting hardware).

Froyo is short for "frozen yogurt." It is a frozen dessert made from yogurt, so it is slightly more sour than soft serve, but also lower in fat.

Android 2.3, 2.4: Gingerbread

The Android gingerbread man on Google's campus

The Android gingerbread man on Google's campus

Gingerbread was officially released in December 2010.

On December 6th, 2010, Google officially announced the first phone with Android OS 2.3 Gingerbread. The phone was the Nexus S, which Google co-developed with Samsung. The phone was originally only available for T-Mobile, but was later made for Sprint and AT&T as well.

Gingerbread supports SIP internet calling, NFC wireless transaction capability (if hardware is present), more than one camera, and gyroscopes and other sensors (barometers, gravimeters, and others are possible). It also features a download manager, some tweaks to allow usage on Tablets, and other system level tweaks for programmers.

As a dessert, gingerbread is basically a ginger-flavored cookie. It is often made to celebrate end-of-year holidays in the US. The cookies are cut into festive shapes—often the shape of a man—and decorated with icing and candy.

Android 2.4: Still Gingerbread

TechCrunch just revealed that there will be "Ice Cream Sandwich" after Honeycomb.

A version of Android 2.4 was found on Sony Ericssen Xperia Arc at CES 2011. The phone maker claims wrong version, but later Google source confirmed that "Ice Cream" will be announced at Google I/O event in May 2011 and released June or July 2011.

But wait, Pocket Lint quotes Viewsonic (an Android tablet maker, among other things) that 2.4 will retain the "Gingerbread" moniker, and "Ice Cream" (or "Ice Cream Sandwich") will be 3.1!

Well, 2.4 being Ice Cream doesn't make sense, as it violates the existing order, as the dessert names are in alphabetical order, and I is after H, not before. It does make sense to make it after Honeycomb (3.0)

Android 3.0, 3.1, and 3.2: Honeycomb

The Android honeycomb on Google's campus

The Android honeycomb on Google's campus

Honeycomb was released in February 2011, and was rapidly followed by 3.1 and 3.2 in July and August of 2011. Google posted a lot of previews and highlights on Honeycomb.

Honeycomb was made for tablets, which implied that Android OS 2.X was not. That did not stop Samsung and a slew of smaller manufacturers from putting out an army of Android 2.X tablets of various sizes before the end of 2010 as they tried to ride the wave of the iPad's success in time for the Christmas shopping season.

Motorola Xoom was the first Android 3.X tablet to be released. It has since been followed by many others.

Dessert-wise, honeycomb is a sheet of hexagonal cells bees build out of wax and fill with honey. Fresh honeycomb can be consumed as a dessert—some people chew or even consume the wax with the honey.

Android 4.0: Ice Cream Sandwich

The Android ice cream sandwich on Google's campus

The Android ice cream sandwich on Google's campus

Ice Cream Sandwich was Google's attempt to synthesize Honeycomb, it's tablet-only platform, with its mobile platform. Released in October 2011, it featured a new design and default font, as well as the ability to monitor and limit mobile data usage and other upgrades. Many devices were slow to adopt Ice Cream Sandwich. Three months after Ice Cream Sandwich, only one phone (Samsung Galaxy Nexus) had been released to run it.

In real life, an ice cream sandwich is a layer of ice cream, usually vanilla, sandwiched between two cookies, usually chocolate. They are often rectangular in shape.

Android 4.1: Jelly Bean

The JellyBean mascot on Google's campus

The JellyBean mascot on Google's campus

Jelly Bean came out in 2012. Biggest changes included "Google Now," an AI assistant that anticipates your needs and better, more interactive notifications. Jelly Bean also allows "voice typing," a built-in speech-to-text engine that does not rely on Internet or data.

Android 4.4: KitKat

The Android 4.4 KitKat mascot on Google Campus

The Android 4.4 KitKat mascot on Google Campus

Google announced that Android 4.4 would be named KitKat on September 3, 2013. KitKat's parent company, Nestlé, was fully on board with the naming of operating system and launched an advertising campaign during KitKat's release. As part of the campaign, specially marked packages of Kitkat with Andy the Green Android on the package each contained a sweepstakes code that could win a new Nexus 7 Android tablet or Google Play store credit.

KitKat took the Google Now feature and took it a step further with "Ok Google." Ok Google allows people to access Google Now without even touching their phones—just verbally saying the phrase opens up the artificial intelligence assistant. KitKat also introduced Emoji to Google's keyboard.

Android 5.X: Lollipop

The Android lollipop on Google's campus

The Android lollipop on Google's campus

Android 5 is called Lollipop, and it featured a brand new runtime called ART that no longer relies on the older DALVIK runtime (which is somewhat based on Sun/Oracle specs). Lollipop also contains other UI improvements and has an excellent battery life on some devices.

Android 6: Marshmallow mascot on Google Campus

Android 6: Marshmallow mascot on Google Campus

Android 6.X: Marshmallow

Android 6: Marshmallow is already out for the Nexus devices and is believed to be coming soon to all flagship devices before end of the year, and to other devices by mid 2016.

Marshmallow introduced several changes that can have significant impact. App permission model is now opt-in (grant specific permission as requested) rather than opt-out (all is permitted, then use App Ops to run off individual permissions). Doze mode allows the device to go into hibernation when idle, cutting power consumption to virtually nil. Fingerprint sensor support is now baked into the OS rather the vendor support, and USB C is now fully supported. Finally, Marshmallow allows one to format a microSD card and adopt it as if it's internal storage and share the same internal security level.

Google unveil Android 7, Nougat at Google Campus, June 30, 2016

Google unveil Android 7, Nougat at Google Campus, June 30, 2016

Android 7: Nougat (2016)

Android 7 was officially christened Nougat on June 30, 2016, when the latest lawn status was revealed amidst fanfare (see photo). It is armed with a new Just-In-Time compiler based on the ART engine, Unicode 9.0 Emoji support, and the new Vulkan 3D rendering API. Patches for 7.1, 7.1.1, and 7.1.2 followed in 2017.

Android Oreo lawn statue, just before debut on Google campus

Android Oreo lawn statue, just before debut on Google campus

Android 8: Oreo (2017)

Android 8, named Oreo after the famous cookie, was released in Q3 of 2017. Its major change was "Project Treble", where it made the OS more modular so OS upgrades can be released faster by the manufacturers. Emoji support was updated to Unicode 10, with improved notifications framework multiple display support, and other features. It was quickly followed by 8.1 in December 2017 with an "Oreo Go Edition" for low-end devices as well as improved API for several internal functions.

Android 9: P (2018?)

Nothing is known about the final name for Android 9.0 other than it will begin with letter P. A preview of such was made available by Google in June 2018

Where Is the Latest Operating System for My Phone?

The problem with Android OS is each phone maker and/or carrier can customize the phone, and those tweaks mean each carrier/maker will need to retest the OS completely before it can be released. The process often takes several months, and ExtremeTech does a great job of explaining why.

Even then, it is not guaranteed that your device can be updated to the latest version of Android OS. Devices that came with V1.5 (Cupcake) or V1.6 (Donut) can be upgraded to V2.1 or V2.2, but will not fully support all the features of the OS due to hardware limitations. Some examples:

  • Some of the earliest HTC Android phones, such as Legend, Desire, and Hero, do not support live wallpapers even when upgraded to Eclair (2.1) or later.
  • The original Google phone, the T-Mobile G1 (HTC Dream) only officially received the V1.5 or V1.6 updates. Some have developed later Android OS ROMs for the phone, but they require the phone to be rooted to use.
  • Motorola Droid, even when upgraded to Froyo (2.2), does not support mobile hotspot.

In general, you will need to wait for the carrier to release the OTA (over-the-air) updates or wait for a ROM developer, such as Cyanogen, to get a ROM version working for your phone.

The way the process works is Google has to release the SDK and ROM for the latest OS. Then each carrier and phone maker will go off and test it on their phones, add any local improvements, and eventually release it over the air and push it to your phone. The process takes several months.

Android OS itself don't have any hard requirements, but there are some practical ones. I would expect a device with 512 MB of RAM and 1 GHz CPU to run Gingerbread, but anything less may be problematic. For Lollipop and Marshmallow you'd expect at least a quadcore with 2 GB of RAM, if not the latest octo-core with 3 or 4GB of RAM. The recommended device specs will only go up with future Android operating systems.

What Is AOSP ROM vs. Factory ROM?

AOSP, or Android Open Source Project, is the source of all actual Android code that is open source. While Google did develop and is still developing Android, it periodically releases bug fixes and new versions to AOSP to continue its development. However, AOSP versions of ROM are a very generic ROM and need to be customized for different hardware implementations. You can't just download AOSP stuff into your device and expect it to run.

Thus, many ROM developers take AOSP code, customize it to their purposes, specialize it for one platform/device, and voilà, AOSP-based ROM. Not all features may be supported by AOSP ROM as some hardware does not have open source support.

A factory ROM, on the other hand, is based on the original firmware from the manufacturer. It is basically a tweaked version of the original ROM, probably with bloatware stripped out and tuned for maximum performance. This is only possible if the manufacturer has actually released such a ROM.

For example, to get Jelly Bean on an older phone, such as Motorola Droid Bionic (aka Targa), one can take the official Motorola 4.1 Jelly Bean update, then load one of the tweaked ROMs based on it. Or one can just Cyanogen Mod 10.1, which is based on AOSP. CM10.1 doesn't have nav dock or lap dock support, as those are proprietary to Motorola with no open source support, but it has variety of other features not available on the factory or tweaked ROMs.

Conclusion

I hope you have enjoyed our little excursion into Android history. Stay tuned.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Comments

Raf on January 15, 2020:

It's a great idea the names of the deserts. It really helps us to know which operative system are newer and older. Thank you! Keep up with the good work. JOKE

Dhara on November 21, 2019:

Version of q full name ??

Sunitha.G on August 12, 2019:

Can I know the version of "Q'' as much as possible.

Jaspreet singh on June 21, 2019:

Andriod developers names

Steve Lang on May 13, 2019:

Pecan Pie

Shalitha on March 20, 2019:

A-9.* ;PIE

harshshiyani3@gmail.com on March 12, 2019:

android 9 version name is PIE

(Please update this content..Thank you)

Mayank on March 07, 2019:

P is going on for Pie

Abhay Deshpande on March 06, 2019:

Very good information...

Abhishek Gawade on March 05, 2019:

P for Pie

Pekpek on March 04, 2019:

Pekpek

savinu sasmina on February 28, 2019:

android 9 version name = poniyo

john on February 25, 2019:

P for pie

Sushil Joshi on February 25, 2019:

Pancakes or Pizza

Chinna on February 24, 2019:

Why are they not defind B and O letters OS..is their any reason

jan on February 24, 2019:

p is for pie

Edgar on February 15, 2019:

P is for Pie in this case

Jai prakash on February 11, 2019:

P for PenCake

Val'ate on January 25, 2019:

P for pop corn

jasminejoy on January 21, 2019:

thank you for sharing details. i attend internship in trichy gives practical knowledge and technical knowledge about android.

for details: https://inplanttrainingintrichy.co.in/internship-i...

aditya on January 15, 2019:

very usefull

S Quadri on December 27, 2018:

What will android 10 be ??

lavaboyz on December 05, 2018:

Android OS : Pie will be released in August 2018.

Okito on November 21, 2018:

Update: Android 9 for pie.

Bagay on November 13, 2018:

P for puke

Ronak on October 28, 2018:

Q Is Quintinoo cake

Sharad Bhandari ( the black red dimond) on October 27, 2018:

P is meant by Pie the latest android OS version took out by Google one of my favorite company and I have android version of Kitkat and another of android lollipop

Mouni on October 20, 2018:

P for pop corn

kabul945879@email.com on October 12, 2018:

Kit Kat version & my phone device &data active

Beau on September 27, 2018:

P is indeed pie, just got the update

motherofchaos on September 27, 2018:

P should be POPCORN.

Isaac Asamani on September 22, 2018:

The New Android Version

P for Pie (°_°)

azhar khan on September 21, 2018:

p for panther

yogendra Singh on September 04, 2018:

New android version pai

Taer on August 19, 2018:

P for pie

Garry on August 18, 2018:

P= Pie

Hardik sabhaya on August 16, 2018:

Android 9 : P for PIE

SHAKIR on August 10, 2018:

P FOR PICKLE

Ave on August 10, 2018:

Nice stuff

Shanestir on August 02, 2018:

Pop rock update!!!.....yo got that pop rock update yet

Avi on July 30, 2018:

P for pestry

daisy on July 13, 2018:

it helped me in my computer exam

HexWich on March 31, 2018:

P is peppermint according to easter eggs, and Q shoulb be ummm Qualude?

vineeth reddy on March 24, 2018:

O For

OREO

binu on February 04, 2018:

nice

Eric Farmer from Rockford Illinois on January 15, 2018:

A fun article. I always found the Android naming system very memorable. I have all of them memorized because they are named after foods. I learned what Froyo is because of Android. I have never heard of it before.

riya on January 01, 2018:

super

supa on December 04, 2017:

good

Aiay on December 01, 2017:

Nice with many information

Estee on September 01, 2017:

Next one is O = Oreo

Prabeen on August 28, 2017:

Update O = Oreo

BHAVIK on August 22, 2017:

O= ANROID OREO

Steven Nicolet on August 22, 2017:

Google just announced that the next version will be "Oreo"

(Fall - 2017).

Oreo on August 21, 2017:

O = Oreo

kewal on August 21, 2017:

oreo !

Prranjal Shrivastav on February 07, 2017:

The next one starts with N and not L, as Lollipop exists already. It's called "Nougat".

It's like talking with people in the past.

ali on February 01, 2017:

A = Android it self

B = Beta

ranz eriza on August 20, 2016:

A = Andy

B = Beta

C = Cupcake

D = Donuts

E = Eclairs

F = Froyo

G = Ginger bread

H = Honeycomb

I = Ice Cream Sanwich

J = Jelly Bean

K = Kitkat

L = Lolipop

M = Marshmallow

N = Nougat

O = ?

sumit on January 13, 2016:

I love android very much !!

none on January 08, 2016:

Why android version names are related to food items as Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, and Jelly Bean?

bushra on October 28, 2015:

Really all information to good ...

none on August 18, 2015:

can u add 6.0 marshmallow to the list?

Jonny on October 16, 2014:

Lollipop anyone?

erum on July 01, 2014:

It is nice...

hazini on June 30, 2014:

thank you for detailed information..after kitkat ,what is the next version .?

poorni on June 30, 2014:

its really useful...

Henny on June 16, 2014:

Can I update my 4.2.2 android to 4.4 android?

VX on May 14, 2014:

I just bought a Galaxy Note 3

When I connected it to my WiFi network and after sometime

An Android OS uptade 4.4 (Kitkat) appeared and I installed it.

Its pretty fast but there is no much difference between Jellybean and Kitkat.

VX on May 13, 2014:

Android 4.4 is unbelievably fast and cool in my Galaxy Note 3

Even the note is fast has 2.71 gb ram

As fast as bullet traib

kschang (author) from San Francisco, CA, USA on February 23, 2014:

@Dheeraj : this was explained at the end: "In general, you will need to wait for the carrier to release the OTA (over-the-air) updates, or wait for a ROM developer, such as Cyanogen, to get a ROM version working for your phone."

If nobody makes 4.4 for your phone, then you are out of luck.

viks on February 17, 2014:

very important....

Dheeraj on February 02, 2014:

pls tell me how to update android ver. 4.0 to 4.4 i know there is answer in the summary but i can not understand pls help!!!!!!......

rani on January 30, 2014:

i love android

kschang (author) from San Francisco, CA, USA on January 11, 2014:

http://developer.android.com/about/dashboards/inde...

john cena on January 11, 2014:

which is the latest android version with their rankings

James Richton from USA on January 09, 2014:

This is a pretty cool hub. I was really interested in this hub.

Mike on December 28, 2013:

My bet on the next OS Name is going to be Lollypop.

teejay on December 23, 2013:

Add Your Ci have 2.1 and would like to know when im getting an upgrade it hurts ntt to download my favourite stuff omment...

riteshraaj on December 16, 2013:

I like ot & thanks for google.

MR.FYP on November 26, 2013:

It's an open source brain......

thanks huppages

kschang (author) from San Francisco, CA, USA on November 15, 2013:

It's probably Licorice. Nobody say Lime Pie. It's always Key Lime Pie.

Aman Dahiya on November 15, 2013:

The android versions are not only named after food, they are also in alphabetical order.

Cupcake, Donut, Eclaire, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycome, and Ice Cream Sandwich,JellyBean,KitKat,LimePie,

Devam on October 24, 2013:

This helped me very much, except for android Limepie.

also visit my blog on poems & comment...

kschang (author) from San Francisco, CA, USA on August 11, 2013:

I was thinking Limeaid, though that's not really a candy. :) Guess it'll have to be Lollipop.

020 on August 10, 2013:

new version of android can be chillibutter , limepickle

iguidenetwork from Austin, TX on July 09, 2013:

Thanks for laying out the very interesting story behind Android names. They sound cute, besides. :)

kschang (author) from San Francisco, CA, USA on June 23, 2013:

That's answered in "Where is _______ for MY Phone?"

J on June 23, 2013:

"Though you should really be on gingerbread. Froyo is old stuff." How would you change to gingerbread if the operating system is froyo, and the android says there are no new updates?

dprx505 on May 15, 2013:

thank you for the review.

kschang (author) from San Francisco, CA, USA on April 18, 2013:

Updating my Bionic to Jelly Bean... stay tuned!

kschang (author) from San Francisco, CA, USA on January 09, 2013:

It's better, but not *that* much better, IMHO of course. Though you should really be on Gingerbread. Froyo is old stuff.

shingshing on January 08, 2013:

is ice cream sandwich better than froyo?

niks on December 15, 2012:

Hey i got my tab upgraded to jelly bean..and it is really smooth.....

bmg1001 on December 10, 2012:

Don't forget to update the page with Jellybean 4.2 and the 4.2.1 update that fixes the December bug!

Jamie on December 09, 2012:

Here's an idea.....OS 3.1 should be called "Pie" or "Pi"....get it....3.14

Trent on July 31, 2012:

Android 5.0 is Licorice Bullet

xRevan116x on July 16, 2012:

I am happy. Mainly because 2 months ago I installed Cyanogen Mod 9 on my Samsung Galaxy S GT-i9003.

However, since Jelly Bean is out, I want to get a Galaxy Nexus now. XD

Oh well. My income can't handle a new phone every half a year.

kschang (author) from San Francisco, CA, USA on June 21, 2012:

I don't know. See the section "Where is _____ for my phone?"

ravi on June 21, 2012:

my phone android 2.3.3 convert to android 4.0 is possible

ritu on May 11, 2012:

am impressed!