The Android operating system has been around since late 2007, and one of the things it has become known for is its colorful and ultra-tasty names. For example, the latest edition has been named KitKat, while earlier versions have had names like Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean.

Android

Of course those names have one thing in common. They’re all the names of tasty treats. Of course Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Android fans undoubtedly see new versions of the Android operating system as tasty treats, so here’s a history that’s worth snacking on. It’s estimated that more than 900 million devices in use today run on Android. At this point Jelly Bean is the most widely used version of the Android O/S.

Early Android versions were named for robots

Wikipedia runs through the various versions of Android, and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) was just getting started with naming in the early years of the operating system. According to Wiki, there were at least two internal per-commercial releases of the early system which were called Android Alpha and Android Beta.

In those early days, Google used the names of robots from popular fiction hits. Some of the releases had code names like Astro Boy, which was from a Japanese comic book series which dates to the 1950s. Google employees around this time also saw the code name Bender, which is the robot from the Futurama television series, and R2D2 of Star Wars fame.

Android switches to tasty treats

It wasn’t until the company started unveiling public releases with Android 1.5 in April 2009 that the operating system versions took the names of sweet treats. That version was called Cupcake, and the naming system was conceived by project manager Ryan Gibson.

Since then, the names have come out in alphabetical order. After Cupcake we saw Donut, followed by Éclair, Froyo and Gingerbread. Then we had Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean before this year’s release of KitKat. Previously this year’s version had been expected to be named Key Lime Pie.

The KitKat version was just announced this week and is expected to be released some time in October.