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Android 12 brings back the sweet name tradition with ‘Snow Cone’

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Android 12 is codenamed ‘Snow Cone’, a Google executive revealed on Twitter. The trend of naming new Android versions as Desert is not new as Google has previously used titles like Ice Cream Sandwich, Marshmallow and Nougat. However, that custom changed with the release of Android 10 in 2019 as the company then decided to use numerical ordering to call its new Android releases. Android 12 was released as the latest operating system from the house of Google on Monday – after months of testing under various developer preview and beta builds.

Google Vice President of Engineering for Android Dave Burke on Monday tweeted To announce Snow Cone as the Desert Name for Android 12. It has given the latest Android operating system a dedicated desert-themed name over the years – after Android Pie which was assigned the ninth major release on the mobile platform.

As noted by Android Central, the Snow Cone title first surfaced in February, although it didn’t receive enough coverage as Google dropped the use of sweet names for its new Android versions in 2019.

Nevertheless, the Android family had internally carried the Desert monikers as Android 11 was apparently called the Red Velvet Cake among Google developers. Android 10 was also suggested by Burke to be called Queen Cake – before scrapping the dessert-themed naming scheme.

A stable version of Android 12 was released on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) on Monday. Shortly after the launch, manufacturers including Oppo, OnePlus and Realme are also confirmed to release their custom skins based on the latest Android version. However, the Google Pixel phone is yet to receive the update.

After an initial developer preview released in February detailed at Google’s I/O developer conference in May, Android 12 brings a brand new ‘Material You’ design language. It also has new privacy options, a new estimated location permission, and an on-screen indicator to alert users when the phone’s built-in microphone or camera is in use. There are advancements such as iOS-like ways to opt out of ad tracking that will be available later this year.

Google has additionally optimized the overall user experience on Android 12 with better power efficiency and better CPU performance. You’ll also get tweaks, including smoother audio transitions and an improved notification shade.


This week is Google I/O time on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast, as we discuss Android 12, Wear OS, and more. Later (starting at 27:29), we jump to Army of the Dead, Zack Snyder’s Netflix zombie heist movie. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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