As you may or may not know, nearly every version of Android has been named after a candy or dessert in alphabetical order, starting with the letter “c.” (The first two versions were just called Alpha and Beta.)
“Some people think they’re dessert-themed, but it’s really technically tasty treats,” Hiroshi Lockheimer, Android’s vice president of engineering, said in a behind the scenes video.
The Marshmallow announcement is a bit surprising to Android insiders, who widely believed the next version would be called “Macadamia Nut Cookie.” But Google has thrown Android-naming curveballs before. In 2013, two versions of Android ago, Google assigned the name “Kit Kat,” when everyone thought “Key Lime Pie” was a done-deal. In an effort to do something “fun and unexpected,” Google struck a last-minute deal with Nestle.
“A lot of people throw in their ideas — internally as well as externally,” said Lockheimer. A French pastry association even sent Google a treat for naming consideration — a kouglof — for Android K.
Developers got a first look at the new operating system back in May, during Google’s I/O conference. Google gave the final version of Android Marshmallow to developers on Monday, and it will launch to the public in the fall.
Android Marshmallow focuses on subtle improvements to the user experience, including squashing a ton of bugs and overhauling basic features. The biggest addition is Android Pay, Google’s latest take on mobile payments. It’s pretty similar to Apple Pay, and a big improvement over Google Wallet, the companies earlier attempt at a mobile wallet.
Other Android M improvements include a new permissions tool that gives users more control over what data they share with apps. There are battery saving features, in Marshmallow, as well as a new tool that lets you open Chrome browser tabs directly inside apps instead of asking users to choose between Chrome and an app.
Here’s a look back at all of Android’s sugary names:
Ice Cream Sandwich
…and now, we have Marshmallow.