N stands for Nougat. The next version of Google’s mobile operating system and the successor to Android Marshmallow will be Android Nougat, slated for release later this summer.
To pick the name for Android N, Google for the first time asked the public to weigh in. At the company’s I/O 2016 developer conference, Dave Burke, vice president of engineering for Android, said Google would take name suggestions at android.com/n. But he added that Google reserves the right to choose the final name.
Since Android 1.5, Google has named each version of its mobile operating system after a sweet food — moving sequentially through the letters of the alphabet. The tradition started more than six years ago. But Android N is the first version to take users’ name submissions into consideration.
— Android (@Android) June 30, 2016
Android Nougat includes a split-screen multi-window mode, a redesigned notification shade, seamless updates, a new Data Saver mode, and other improvements. The new version also supports Daydream, Google’s new VR platform.
Here are all the releases up to Nougat:
- Android 1.5 Cupcake (April 2009)
- Android 1.6 Donut (September 2009)
- Android 2.0/2.1 Éclair (October 2009, January 2010)
- Android 2.2 Froyo (May 2010)
- Android 2.3 Gingerbread (December 2010)
- Android 3.0/3.1/3.2 Honeycomb (February 2011, May 2011, July 2011)
- Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (October 2011)
- Android 4.1/4.2/4.3 Jelly Bean (July 2012, November 2012, July 2013)
- Android 4.4 KitKat (October 2013)
- Android 5.0/5.1 Lollipop (November 2014, March 2015)
- Android 6.0 Marshmallow (October 2015)
Google has released four developer previews of Android N so far (the first preview arrived in March, followed by subsequent releases in April, May, and June). With the fourth developer preview, Google also pushed out the final SDK and let developers start submitting updated apps to Google Play.
Android N’s codename was New York Cheesecake, so that wasn’t a viable option as Google never uses the codename as the final name. A Google Opinion Rewards survey from March included these options: Napoleon, Nut brittle, Nachos, Nori, Noodles, Nougat, and Neapolitan ice cream.
I personally wanted Android Nutella, despite the trademarking work it would require. But Nougat is one character shorter, so the journalist in me is not complaining.