Android P to be named “Pie”

Google’s announced that the next version of Android, previously named “Android P,” now has an official name. In keeping with the dessert-themed naming convention for Android releases (such as Marshmallow, Nougat, and Oreo), Android P will be named “Pie.”

Thoughts on Android Pie’s name

While I don’t mind the name, it does seem a bit generic. Not even a specific kind of pie, at that, though Google’s images seem to favor cherry pie. I went with an image of a sweet potato pie for this post, as that’s the kind of pie I’m used to eating at holidays. (Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a picture of my mother’s sweet potato pie in my photo collection.)

I would’ve liked “Popsicle” as a name. However, some think that might’ve been too American-specific, as it’s called different things across the world (“ice lolly,” “ice pop,” etc.).

TechCrunch ran an article coming up with 15 alternate names, ranging from the aforementioned Popsicle to Pop-Tarts to parfait. The Verge, meanwhile, is already wondering what Android Q will be called, given how few desserts start with that letter. I’d go with quiche… while not quite a dessert, it does fit. That, or maybe quesito (a cheese-filled pastry popular in Puerto Rico)?

New features

Toy Android mascotHere’s some of the new features in Android Pie:

  • Support for Android phones featuring an iPhone X-like “notch.” This extends to slightly rearranging the top bar’s display icons to accommodate where a notch’s cameras would go, even on non-notched phones.
  • A new recent apps feature that displays recently used apps as individual screens. A similar feature exists on some customized Android tablet. However, it reminds me of Palm’s WebOS years ago, which had the same feature.
  • The traditional back and home buttons are gone. Instead, there’s a pill-shaped button that relies on gesture-based navigation.
  • “Slices” (tying into the “Pie” name), a feature that displays part of an app anywhere else in Android when relevant information requires users’ attention.

Android version usage

Unlike iOS, Android version usage is still in a fractured state. See the infographic below.

Infographic
Infographic by Statista (CC BY-ND)

As the infographic shows, Nougat (from two years ago) has the largest share of usage; it’s followed by Marshmallow (from 2015) and Lollipop (from 2014). Even ancient versions like Jelly Bean (from six years ago) has a share only 1.4% less than Oreo (released last year).

Of course, iOS on the Apple side of things is vastly more unified, offers better support for older devices, and is more up-to-date. According to Apple, as of May 31, 2018, 81% of iOS devices are using iOS 11 (released in September 2017), while another 14% use iOS 10 (released in September 2016). Only 5% of Apple mobile devices use a version earlier than iOS 10.

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