Android O is coming — and with it a confectionary reckoning.
Android O is now available in Developer Preview, but Google isn't divulging its true name — and won't until much later in the summer.
But as hard as Google's job was finding a decent N-related dessert, that's nothing compared to the dilemma Android will face this year. There's a real shortage of desserts starting with the letter O, and that could lead to some unusual dishes emerging as candidates for the Android 8.0 nickname.
Let's take a look.
Android 8.0 Ox-tongue Pastry
Image credit: Ricky Lau, Wikimedia Commons
Don't let the name fool you: There are no actual ox tongues in this Chinese treat, also known as a "horse-ear pastry" (which frankly would've been much more fitting for the Honeycomb release.) It's named for its shape — either an ear or a tongue, depending on whether you spend your time primarily around horses or oxen. Wikipedia describes ox-tongue pastry as a breakfast dish, "chewy, with a soft interior and a crunchy crust."
Maybe this would be a fitting internal Google codename for the next version, a la Key Lime Pie, Lemon Merengue Pie or Macadamia Nut Cookie. (It could be "OTP" for short!) But conjuring up the visage of animal parts for an official Android nickname? Probably a bad idea.
Android Central Rating: 4/10
- Pro: Could help Google's push into China.
- Con: Constant reminder of ox entrails.
Android 8.0 Ontbijtkoek
Image credit: Takeaway, Wikimedia Commons
Pronounced, ont-beyt-kook, this Dutch cookie loaf is spiced and sweetened, and often served with butter at breakfast time. It's not a million miles away from Gingerbread — which you may remember was Android 2.3 — but it's also not the most visually appealing sweet treat, looking basically like sticky brown bread. That said, it'd be easy to transform into a loafy, Dutch Android figure for Google's statue garden.
Google could go with Ontbijtkoek to simultaneously win over fans in the Netherlands, while also masterfully trolling English-speaking journalists.
Android Central Rating: 3/10
- Pro: Basically just Dutch gingerbread.
- Con: Looks like it was typed by a cat walking across a keyboard.
Android 8.0 Oliebol
Image credit: Teunie on Wikimedia Commons
Literally "oil balls," oliebol-en are a type of Dutch donut made by dunking dough — often mixed with currants, sultanas or candied fruit — into a deep fat fryer. It's popular in the Netherlands and Belgium, particularly during the winter, while many other European countries have their own local interpretation of this sweet, doughy delight.
Oliebol earns a high score for deliciousness, while also being the right shape and size for hors-d'oeuvres, lawn statues, promotional graphics and Easter egg animations.
Android Central Rating: 5/10
- Pro: Fun to say. Oliebol!
- Con: Similarity to "volleyball" could lead to confusing/messy situations.
Android 8.0 Ozark Pudding
An accidental collision of other, lesser desserts.
The first truly American dessert on our list, Ozark pudding comes from the Ozarks region of Missouri — a dried fruit and nut custard often served with ice cream. It's not quite a cake or a pie, but there are countless variants of it that use different types of bases and coatings. (Like Android itself!)
Ozark has the look of an accidental collision of other, lesser desserts. It's also got patriotism going for it, with the pudding being a favorite of President Harry Truman. The only problem is how Google would fashion a statue of Bugdroid holding — well — a pile of nutty, fruity slop.
Android Central Rating: 5/10
- Pro: Warming southern dessert loved by the major historical figure.
- Con: Looks like vomit.
Android 8.0 Oatmeal Cookie
Image credit: Paul Martin on Wikimedia Commons
The thing you mistakenly point to at the coffee shop expecting a chocolate chip cookie, oatmeal cookie would be the safe choice for Android O for English speakers. It's like a regular cookie, except with added oats and sometimes raisins, with the end product often appearing vaguely congealed and malformed. (Perhaps an accurate metaphor for Android once certain manufacturers get their paws on it.)
Oatmeal Cookie would be less than the sum of its parts.
Though easy to spell and memorize, oatmeal cookie lacks both the sweetness of a cookie and the satisfying warmth of a bowl of oatmeal. Avoid at all costs.
Android Central Rating: 1/10
- Pro: Easy to say.
- Con: Fundamentally disappointing on every level.
Android 8.0 Orelletes
Image credit: Chixoy on Wikimedia Commons
Literally "little ears" — named after their shape — these sweet Catalan pastries are often eaten at weddings and other celebrations. They're made from flour, eggs, sugar, anisette and olive oil and fried, then dusted with icing sugar. Orelletes can come in all shapes and sizes, which lines up with Google's vision of Android powering a multitude of devices in various form factors. (No, we're not stretching that metaphor at all.)
Android Central Rating: 6/10
- Pro: Can be used as a humorous replacement for your own ears.
- Con: Thin and unsatisfying compared to heartier desserts on this list.
Android 8.0 Oreo
Finally, we reach the one "O" sweet treat that everybody instantly thinks of. If Google was to partner with Nabisco (as it did Nestle for Android 4.4 KitKat), we could have another commercial tie-in, with Oreo boxes promoting the next version of Google's OS, and possibly limited edition biscuits (with antennae!) in the shape of the Android mascot, Bugdroid.
It would be a perfect match was it not for the nature of the Oreo itself. As someone who lives in a part of the world that only got Oreos relatively recently, I can't help being underwhelmed whenever I eat one. It's not incorrect to call it a cookie, and there's some kind of sugary cream stuff going on too. Fine. But I'm left wondering where the flavor is each time I put one in my mouth. It's like you've eaten a cookie, but what's the point? Your taste buds are no better for it. Therein lies the Achilles heel of Android Oreo.
Android Central Rating: /10
- Pro: Brand recognition. Novelty Bugdroid cookies.
- Con: Involves inking deal with tyrannical confectionery mega corporation. Cookie itself basically tastes of nothing.
What would you name Android O? Am I right about Oreos being totally overrated? Would you play volleyball with Olie-Bols? Shout out in the comments and let us know!