Google calls on fans to name Android N

Google's Dave Burke tells Google I/O attendees the company is running a contest to decide the next tasty moniker of its newest Android release. N is for...Nutella?

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
Watch this: Android N packs new features, and you get to name it

Last December, while on a trip back to India, Sundar Pichai joked that the name of the next version of Android would be decided in an online vote.

Google's CEO quipped that the nation's 1.3 billion people could choose an Indian dessert for the name of the newest update of the world's most popular mobile operating system, which has typically been named after something sweet.

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Pichai, 43, kept his promise. At Google's I/O developer conference Wednesday, David Burke, vice president of engineering, made the contest official. The meaning of "N" in Android N, as it's called now, is up to you. (And that seems fitting since "n" is the variable in equations that stands for unknown.)

You can submit naming ideas here. Google didn't say when it will choose the new name. And though it's a contest, there's no winner or prize for choosing the eventual name.


Will Android fans name the newest version of Android after this tasty hazelnut confection? Maybe. Maybe not. You get to decide.

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

Google showed off Android N at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California, in front of a crowd of 7,000 developers. New features include a split-screen view that lets you run more than one app simultaneously. You'll also be able to reply to texts directly from a notification, instead of having to stop what you're doing and go to the texting app.

For the uninitiated -- and for all you iPhone users -- 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 KitKat (circa 2013), "L" was for 2014's Lollipop, and "M" is for Marshmallow, the Android version released in October.

"Basically if it's sweet and tasty, I like it," Android chief Hiroshi Lockheimer said in an interview about the latest features in Android N. (Lockheimer, by the way, is the reason that K stood for KitKat, his favorite candy bar.)

So do your worst, Internet. My money is on Nutella, though some of my colleagues who are Harry Potter fans are rooting for Nosebleed Nougat.