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Android Octopus: Are animals the new sweet treats?

In sensible, functional terms, it's probably the least important thing about a new version of Android. Yet each year, there's intense speculation around what the new nickname of the next release will be. Google — including prominent Googlers like Hiroshi Lockheimer — play into the hype, teasing fans with cryptic confectionery references. The result is a predictable crescendo of hype in the month running up to the launch of each new version. Normally, by the time the final developer preview drops, we know the nickname.

Yet this year, there's been no Oreo or Oatmeal Cookie or Ontbijtkoek announcement — which, admittedly, could mean just about anything. Maybe Nabisco is driving a hard bargain, and that Android Oreo deal is taking a bit longer to hammer out. Maybe Google wants to make a bigger splash when the final version of O drops, likely later in August.

Or maybe, just maybe, the days of Android "sweet treats" are over, and the animal era has begun, starting with Android 8.0 Octopus.

Octopus

Panda

Android 8.0 Octopus.... Android 9.0 PANDA??

The new (and presumably final) Android O Easter Egg shows a somewhat creepy physics-equipped polygonal cephalopod. Sure, Android O is version 8.0, and octopi are well known for their eight tentacles. But perhaps there's more to it than that.

Google is running out of letters, desserts and time.

Once Android version letters start venturing further into the back half of the alphabet, it'll be near impossible to come up with new sweet treats. If there's no Oreo deal, the tepid Oatmeal Cookie is about the only option for O. Android P could easily be Pancake or Popsicle, but Q? U? Google will be forced to seek out increasingly esoteric desserts as we reach the end of the decade.

Moving over to the animal kingdom would solve this problem, and also give Google more interesting options when it comes to cutesy branding and statues, both of which have been a little stale since the Lollipop era. The current Android lawn statue sitting outside Building 40 of the Googleplex is a boring old Bugdroid standing on a triangle of nougat. Who wouldn't love to see that replaced with a giant robot octopus?

Android Nougat statue

Rubbish.

Here at AC, we've all tried to forget Android 3.x Honeycomb, but probably the best thing about that version was this little guy, the Honeycomb bee. Perhaps it's time to resurrect this idea.

Apple famously named OS X releases after big cats, until it ran out of felines and moved onto Sea Lion (opens in new tab) Mavericks. Perhaps it's time for Google to do the same, and let Octopus prepare the way for Android 9.0 Panda, Android 10.0 Quokka and Android 11.0 Rhinoceros.

Or we can wait another five years until the dessert train finally runs out of steam with Android 13.0 Upside Down Cake.

Your choice, Google.

We should know what Android O in all its crumbly or tentacly goodness is actually called by late August. Keep it locked to AC for the latest on this highly important, non-trivial development.

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.

18 Comments
  • >_>
  • Android Octomom? A little bloated.
  • Only if they announce there are going to be 8 versions of the pixel coming out this fall!
  • I hope so. Considering how obesity and sugar related conditions are becoming such a global health problem a move away from giving the likes of Kitkats and Oreos publicity would be a responsible thing for Google to do. Plus Oreos are rancid.
  • i don't know... I see Oreos in that octopus... the mouth is basically an Oreo cream filling.
  • Ubuntu has already done the animal thing...
  • I'd be fine with dropping the name altogether and just leaving it 8.0, 9.0, etc. Why does it need some weird name association?
  • Only other option is oatmeal cookie? Did you not see all the suggestions on the article you guys published a couple months ago, there were tons of options!
  • No no no.... P is for Penguin.
  • Batman would take it out.
  • Otterpop! It solves animals and treats.
  • It would make sense that Google gets away from the sweet names as it isn't sustainable before you start repeating desserts and getting into minutia. Now they can be referred to as the sweets era, the animal era, the chemical era. Who knows, that's my guess.
  • Let's hope they don't jump to "healthy alternatives" or something boring like that. Android Oatmeal
    Android Protein Shake
    Android Quinoa
    Android Rice Cake
    Android Spinach
    Android Tomato... Someone else can work on finishing the list if they feel like it. I'm running out of steam.
  • They brought back the Oreo cereal this year. Coincidence? I think not. Lol
  • Android "Oh no" 😂 Maybe they will borrow Q from ST:TNG... It'd be easier to change 8 to 7.1 and use proper version numbers instead of revision numbers 😉
  • Octopus is a sweet treat in Asia.
  • Reminds me of Ubuntu. It has pretty cool animal names for versions.
  • Android 8? Still waiting for Android 7 on two of my Android phones. Moto E on lollipop, Nexus 5, Lenovo P2 and HTC M8S on marshmallow, and Nexus 5x on Nougat. Meanwhile the wife's iPhone 5S will son be getting iOS 11 and it was out about the same time as the Nexus 5.