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Android N is officially called Nougat

Google announces the name of the latest version of its mobile software, after asking fans in May to chime in with suggestions.

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Richard Nieva Former senior reporter
Richard Nieva was a senior reporter for CNET News, focusing on Google and Yahoo. He previously worked for PandoDaily and Fortune Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, on CNNMoney.com and on CJR.org.
Richard Nieva
2 min read
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Watch this: Nougat is the latest flavor of Android
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Google's Android chief, Hiroshi Lockheimer, announced the new name at company headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.

Google

N is for Nougat.

Google on Thursday officially named the latest version of its Android mobile software, up until now only known as Android N.

For the uninitiated, there are two things that go into naming the latest flavor of Android. First, it has to proceed alphabetically from the last version. Second, it has to be a candy or dessert. For example, "K" was for 2013's KitKat, "L" was for 2014's Lollipop, and "M" is for Marshmallow, the Android version released in October.

Google made the announcement on Snapchat and Twitter.

For the first time, Google in May said it would choose this year's name by asking fans for suggestions. The idea came after Google CEO Sundar Pichai was in India last year and joked that the next name would be decided by an online poll. The nation's 1.3 billion people, he quipped, could choose the name of an Indian sweet.

And so Google ran with the idea to crowdsource the naming process. A Google spokeswoman said the company received millions of submissions from around the world, and that Nougat was one of the most popular non-brand suggestions.

That might explain why the company didn't choose Nutella or Nerds, two fan-favorite candidates. It's unclear if Google was even considering brand names. (We've asked, but Google has not responded yet.) The only time the company has done that was with Android KitKat, which required a licensing deal.

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Watch this: Google debuts Android N with new multitasking app features

Some of the major new features for Android Nougat are a VR mode, which gives the software some extra oomph when a phone is placed in a headset and used as a virtual reality viewer. Another is a battery-saving feature called Doze on the Go, which allows a phone to conserve power while it's sitting in your pocket. Nougat, still in beta, will be officially released in the fall.

CNET's Erin Carson contributed to this report.