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Operating Systems

Google drops sweet hints about name for Android 'L' release

A promo suggests possible names for Google's next mobile operating system, from Lemon Meringue Pie to Lemon Drop.

What sugary moniker will the Android 'L' OS receive? YouTube/screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Google, which could unveil its next version of Android as early as today, is toying with names for the updated mobile operating system in a new video.

In a promo called "Sweeeeet," which popped up on YouTube on Tuesday, Google touts its upcoming Android "L" platform with a casting session trying to come up with a catchy, flavorful name for the OS. One candidate suggests Lemon Meringue Pie. Another proposes Lava Cake. A third thinks of Lady Finger. A kid dressed in a lemon drop costume naturally suggests Lemon Drop.

As the candidates await the final decision, the promo segues to one guy dressed up like a cookie and suggests the name Oreo. But, wait, that doesn't start with "L." Some reports say that the new OS will be called Android 4.5 Lollipop, a name that didn't even make the auditions in the promo.

"There can only be one L," says the promo, followed by the promise that it's "coming soon."

And "coming soon" could be as soon as today. A Tuesday report from Forbes claims that Google will unveil its Android L-enabled Nexus 9 tablet today. Citing a "source close to Google," Forbes said that the Nexus 9 will be the first device to run Android L. The device itself would reportedly be available for preorder on October 17 and up for purchase on November 3.

At its 2014 I/O developer conference in June, Google gave us a taste of Android L via a developers preview edition. The new OS throws in a new design scheme called Material that adds more color and shadows and offers a sleeker and more minimal appearance. Notifications will offer new ways to alert you to phone calls and text messages. Android L will also offer a new way to unlock your device and provide smarter battery usage.

If Google does pick a sweet moniker, it will be a continuation of its long run with dessert-oriented names for the versions of Android once it moved beyond its alpha and beta versions: Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, and KitKit.

Asked about reports that the new Nexus devices would be unveiled today, a Google spokeswoman told CNET: "I'm afraid we don't have any news just yet."

Update, 7:09 a.m. PT: Adds comment from Google.