The confectionary-based names for Android software updates have been a source of much amusement and speculation for both users and observers of the Google OS over the years. The updates have been released in alphabetical order (publically, at least), but started with C (Cupcake), rather than A.
So what came before cupcake? After the emergence of some new information of Wikipedia, Android Police has done a bit of digging and confirmed more code names, which include ‘Petit Four’, ‘Astro Boy’ and ‘Bender’, with the help of a few Google employees.
Initially, Android build references were quite boring, going by the likes of ‘m5’ (milestone 5) and ‘TC3’ (Test Cycle 3). However, the system used to reference various builds became confusing, which led to the alphabetical naming system being used. This came into place for the third release of a development stage and therefore the third letter of the alphabet was used, thus ‘Cupcake’ was created and it went from there.
Two other codenames that have come to light since the update of Wikipedia’s Android version history are ‘Astro Boy’ and ‘Bender’, which refer to robots, rather than confectionary. However, these didn’t necessarily refer to Android versions 1.0 and 1.1, but more likely milestone builds, as Google’s Dianne Hackborn explains:
Astro Boy and Bender were definitely code names that were tagged on some milestones with plans for using a robot theme, but these may have been pre-1.0 milestones, or plans-that-changed for after 1.0.
The first confectionary-based reference given to an Android build was actually ‘Petit Four’, which Hackborn says was ‘because our PM liked tasty treats’ and referred to Android 1.1. From there, desert names supplanted fictional robots, so we are left with the following list:
- Android milestone builds (with Astro Boy and Bender floating around in here somewhere)
- Android 1.0 (No codename)
- Android 1.1 – Petit Four
- Android 1.5 – Cupcake
- Android 1.6 – Donut
- Android 2.0 – Éclair
- Android 2.1 – Éclair
- Android 2.2 – Froyo
- Android 2.3 – Gingerbread
- Android 3.0 – Honeycomb
- Android 4.0 – Ice Cream Sandwich
- Android 4.1 – Jelly Bean
We now await the official announcement of Google’s ‘K’ release, which is widely believed to be Key Lime Pie.