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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Could Android Jelly Bean Be the Successor to Ice Cream Sandwich?

Android Jelly Bean

Slow news day? How else to explain the buzz being generated by a report about potential codenames for Google's follow up to its upcoming Android mobile operating system?

The follow-up to Google's current-generation Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS that's affectionately known as Ice Cream Sandwich won't even be arriving until October or November, according to Google. That said, interest in all things Android has certainly kept pace with the operating system's growing importance in the smartphone and tablet markets.

So perhaps it makes sense that people are keen to learn any detail at all about Ice Cream Sandwich's successor, even its codename. Which, according to, may or may not be Jelly Bean.

The tech blog cites one "trusted source" as saying Jelly Bean is a done deal. But another source cited in an update to the post says that codename hasn't yet been finalized. What Jelly Bean has going for it, of course, is that Google has so far named each successive new version of Android and some important updates to the OS after a tasty treat that follows an alphabetical pattern.

Thus we've seen Banana Bread followed by Cupcake followed by Donut, etcetera, through to the upcoming Ice Cream Sandwich. And while Ice Cream Sandwich is assumed to be a major version update from Android 3.0 to Android 4.0, Google hasn't actually made that official yet. Jelly Bean could be Android 5.0, but that's not official either. thinks Jelly Bean makes a lot of sense because "the pickings are fairly slim for desserts with 'J' names." Maybe, but Google has been known to get creative with its Android codenames. Case in point, Froyo, the codename for Android 2.2.

Jell-O is a brand name, so it's probably off limits. A better bet would be Jujube, which is actually a generic term, though "Jujubes" is branded in the U.S. by the confectioner Farley & Sathers (on a historical note, Jujubes were originally made by the Heide Candy Company). Jelly Roll would be a nice twist on the more generic Jelly Bean, with the bonus of being an homage to jazz pioneer Jelly Roll Morton as well as a somewhat dated but naughty metaphor.

Speaking of metaphors, here's a mix of them: If Google does decide to throw us a curveball with Android 5.0 (or whatever the "J" stop turns on the Android train turns out to be), perhaps it will go with Javvarisi, the Tamil term for pearl sago, a tapioca like starch that's used in sweet pudding dishes.

Or perhaps the search giant will try to be a bit more more health conscious with the next iteration of Android. If Google wants to start moving away from codenames that still evoke sweetness without relying on refined sugar, they might try Jicama or Jackfruit.


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