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Say goodbye to tasty treats: Q release is simply 'Android 10'

Android 10 logo on a Pixel 3a
Android 10 logo on a Pixel 3a (Image credit: Android Central)

After using "tasty treats" as brand names for each major Android version release, from Cupcake up to Pie, Google is dropping the dessert nomenclature altogether with the release of Android 10. There will be no "Q" dessert, and going forward we'll be referring to future Android versions simply by their numerical progression.

Having the name revealed to be just Android 10 is rather anticlimactic, I will admit, after months of (frankly questionable) speculation about just what Google could have in mind for a Q dessert. But thinking about it for a while, I completely understand Google's decision to drop the desserts in favor of a straight numerical naming scheme.

Android is an incredibly huge brand that spans billions of users across the entire world. When you take this scale into account, you can see why Google is moving away from having a name theme for each release: different languages, alphabets and cultures don't share — or understand — the same foods and words. A "marshmallow" doesn't have an analog across the world, "nougat" is pronounced completely differently in France and the U.S., and was "honeycomb" really a tasty treat in the first place? Choosing a single food to represent a software version isn't particularly inclusive or representative of the global user base Android has, even if it was fun.

Looking back, we could have seen this coming somewhat with the launch of Android 9 Pie, which incorporated the version number into the official name unlike Android Oreo, Android Nougat and Android Marshmallow. But now Google is making a clean cut, and it seems appropriate to do so with the jump to the first double-digit version. And thankfully for all of us, Google decided to refrain from following Apple's calamitous choice to use "X" instead of 10.

Going to a pure numerical version scheme may be a bit on the boring side compared to having a dessert we can all make puns about for the next year, but it's certainly more inclusive and easier to explain to a global audience. Not to mention the simplicity of being able to talk to another person about Android versions.

We'll finally get past the confusion and explanation of the sentence "does my phone have Nougat or Oreo?" — you either have version 10, 11 or 12 and so on. The dessert names were a fun quirk of Android that kept things playful, and was a neat nod to the community of Android followers who loved to riff on the names; but for everyone else, it was all just a bit confusing.

The move to numbered versions makes even more sense in the grand scheme of Google's update of the Android brand as a whole, which changes colors and design elements to make it easier to see and read in a wider variety of scenarios. To that point, the new "logo" for each release will now simply be "android" written out in the same script as the latest brand, accompanied by the version number in the same design.

Google says it will still have an Android 10 statue to carry on that part of the tradition, though it'll sure stand out against the backdrop of a lawn full of treat-themed statues. We don't yet know what form the Android 10 version will take until later on in the year when the software is officially released.

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

23 Comments
  • It was gonna happen sooner or later, Z was approaching
  • Lol we would have had a decade before we got to Z.
  • Quaaludes! Or Quim! Wait, are we not sound this anymore?
  • I'm disappointed, I looked forward to that every year. Nothing like saying I'm running Pie, or Oreo. I mean that was so much fun 😄 It's okay though, 10 or Q should be ready for release now Google.
  • About time. I'd rather just see the numbers instead of trying to remember which name was latest. I'm relatively new to Android and may e I'd feel differently if I had a longer experience.
  • Sort of an acquired thing, yes. I remember, as a high schooler, always thinking "will my phone run ice cream sandwich??" since then it's always been an exciting thing to see a new name for a new update! But things change I guess.
  • So, will betas still keep the letters, meaning R is next, or will they be changing to numbers, i.e. Android 11 beta?
  • From my understanding, Google will still use letters as internal codenames for new Android versions but end users will just see the version number.
  • I'm disappointed but I suppose Google couldn't continue the desert naming theme forever. Still Nokia are doing us users proud with my 8.1 scheduled to get Android 10 by September or we early October.
  • 10 looks a lot like IO.
    When they think of a way to add an 's', they'll be even more like the eye phone, they seem to be chasing.
  • Seriously? "Inclusivity"? Why not pick a dessert that starts with that ('Q') particular letter from SOME OTHER LANGUAGE rather than just go the number route. This is just ridiculous. It took you, Google, 16...yes....16 letters to get to "Android 10"?
    Your wokeness is showing, Google. Serious virtue signaling.
  • Totally agree with you.
  • The very first time they'd have to pick a dessert from another culture and they bail on the naming scheme. Yep, that's totally inclusive.
  • I say we petition to get it changed. Bunch of bull Google's throwing at us http://chng.it/vBX5cFGW
  • Agreed! The names were fun and quirky, changing it to numbers is boring and smacks of "Appleness". Android users love fun and creativity, if we wanted boring, we wouldn't be here lol.
  • Been running Q Beta 6 for a couple of weeks and I love it! Can't say I'm going to miss the dessert theme too much. It was cute and quirky for a while, but as the brand continues to expand simplifying the naming structure will be a benefit in the end. Plus, is there a dessert that begins with Q??
  • Do you think no desserts, beginning with the letter 'Q', exist, on the entire planet?
    If you know this to be fact, you are more versed than most.
  • "The dessert names were a fun quirk of Android that kept things playful, and was a neat nod to the community of Android followers who loved to riff on the names; but for everyone else, it was all just a bit confusing." Why does it seem that the majority have no imagination and sense of humor? In the larger scheme of things it appears once anything goes mainstream it has to be dumbed down to be appealing? That irony is an appalling verdict on our society. I'm a little curious why they don't just stick to Q,R,S... and forget the dessert. Or like marcelo_l suggested. Just pick an international dessert. If a person can't remember they are on Oreo or Kit Kat, they won't remember if they are on 9, 10 or 11. It's not like someone is going to say, "finally, they are using a number for the version, I can switch from Apple now!" This change simply disappoints those who care and doesn't hardly effect those who don't.
  • I would argue that the overwhelming majority of Android users have no idea what version their phone runs: name, number, or letter. I'd also argue that those users don't care either. Going a step further, most of them probably ignore the "Update Available" notification too if they don't have automatic updates enabled. None of them care about the OS as long as the phone works.
  • I am slightly disappointed, but I guess finding a dessert name beginning with Q, X or Z would have been a challenge;).
  • It was fun while it lasted, and I thought it would have been good to expand culturally and use treats from around the world. I know it was fun to tell someone "I got pie!" and show them a phone. I was also looking forward to Reese's and possibly Tiramisu (one of my favorite desserts, by the way), but I guess just numbers is more, umm, professional looking.
  • Note to Google.... Do the average user.... Your bread and butter..... Your mom and pop and grandfather a favour.... Make changes every five years.... The OS is mature.... The gesture controls aren't wanted.... Enough with the lipstick changes, and the just unsettling enough changes that require me to spend an hour or three on speakerphone with my 74 year old father to help navigate him. Google, you are utterly clueless, trapped in your tech bubble. I now only see change for the sake of self justify your design teams job changes.
  • Apple chose the X for a phone not their operating system. I don’t think people really cared about the name of the OS in general. And there was nothing really confusing, roman numbers are supposed to be known !