Google’s customary dessert names aren’t just total fluff.

Betsy Lyon/CNET

Google released Android Q’s third beta earlier this week at Google I/O, its annual developer conference, but we’re no closer to knowing Google’s plans for its full name. Since 2009, Google has historically named its operating systems after desserts (Android 1.5 Cupcake), but there aren’t many sweet treats starting with Q. Even Wikipedia is at a loss.

“We’re superexcited about the desserts,” Sameer Samat, said Google’s vice president of product management for Android and Play. “At the same time, Q is a hard letter. But we’re looking at it.”

Naming Google’s mobile OS after desserts may not seem like a big deal, but it plays into Google’s image. Adopting a lighthearted naming convention was one way for Google to define its then-new OS. Compared with the stodgy naming conventions of Microsoft’sWindows Phone and Windows Mobile software and even Apple’sstraightforward approach, Google’s embrace of desserts signaled that the company is fun, and that phones are for everyone, not just geeks who can’t get enough of software versioning.

Who are you, Q?

Juan Garzon/CNET

Over the years, some Android dessert names were easy to get your head around, like Android 2.2 Froyo, but others have been harder to swallow, like 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Google has also been known to get around a tricky naming situation by partnering with known brands, as with Android 4.4 KitKat and Android 8.0 Oreo.

Google doesn’t typically announce the final name of its next Android operating system until closer to its release. Last year, that announcement for Android Pie occurred on Aug. 6. If Google follows the same pattern this year, it won’t have long to settle on a name before making Android Q official.

I’m putting my money on Quince Jam.

Originally posted May 7, 5:38 p.m. PT.


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