The return of Android's dessert names: Android 12 is 'Snow Cone'

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The return of Android's dessert names: You were sorely missed
After a two-year hiatus, Android's creative and sweet dessert names are seemingly back for good.

Dave Burke, Google's vice president of engineering for Android, has just confirmed on Twitter that Android 12 carries, wait for it... the Snow Cone name. Yep, Android 12 Snow Cone it is! This is as official as it gets, because it's coming straight from one of Android's head honchos. It's subjectively a welcome reversal to Google's naming policies, as it adds some flavor and recognizability to an otherwise forgettable name.

Google abandoned the official use of dessert names after Android 9 Pie in 2018. It was the last Android version to officially carry a dessert name, and was followed by Android 10 and Android 11 which officially carried no fancy confectionery names. Internally, however, those two were reportedly called Quince Tart and Red Velvet Cake, respectively. Thus, Android 12 would probably be referred to as "Android 12 Snow Cone" once it hits the Pixel lineup and all other eligible Android devices. We'll live and we'll see.




But why were dessert names dropped in the first place? As per Google's communications manager for Android, Kaori Miyake, the reason is inclusive-ness. “We heard feedback over the years from users that the names weren’t always intuitively understandable by everyone in the global community,”the representative told Wired a couple of years ago.

It's hard to come up with a dessert name that's instantly recognizable on a global basis, especially with certain letters of the alphabet. For example, Android 6.0 Marshmallow reportedly caused some distress over at Google. “Marshmallows are not really a popular treat everywhere in the world,” Miyake revealed. “It was always hard to find a name that was truly relatable.”

Well, it seems that as we've overcome the "Q" and "R" letters, which hardly grace any globally recognizable desserts, Google is once again ready to go back to its roots. However, what will Google do once we arrive to "W", "X", "Y", and "Z"? Another change of heart is probably in tow for Android, and why not a restart all the way back to "A"?


Android 12 was officially released on October 4 to the Android Open-source Project, commonly known as AOSP, but it is yet to hit Google's own Pixel lineup of devices, or any other Android device altogether. Google says it Android 12 Snow Cone will arrive to its Pixels in a couple of weeks, while users of other Android devices will have to wait some more before they could get a whiff of that Android 12 Snow Cone.

We've already reviewed Android 12, and it's one of the biggest releases in recent years, adding a pretty distinct visual overhaul dubbed Material You alongside revised widgets, new theming options, simplified settings menu, and tons of other features that make it quite an intriguing update for Pixel users. Thanks to intricate under-the hood improvements have made Android 12 faster and more responsive with better power efficiency on top of that in comparison with Android 11.

Yet, it remains to be seen what portion of the new and overhauled features will be adopted by each and every Android manufacturer. As you know, each manufacturer has the liberty of adapting Android to their particular interface design language and needs, so don't get too excited about Material You, as it might not be available "as is" on your Samsung, Xiaomi, or OnePlus device. I'm certain that manufacturers will try to implement both Material You and the revised widgets, but we'll have to wait and see how complete this implementation would be.

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