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WHAT'S IN A NAME?

Google is not giving India an Android Neyyappam

India-Google-Sunder-Pichai
Reuters/Adnan Abid
Better luck next time.
  • Itika Sharma Punit
By Itika Sharma Punit

Co-editor, Quartz India

This article is more than 2 years old.

Google has revealed the name of its next operating system (OS), and it may break a few hearts in India.

Google’s new OS will be called Android Nougat—after a dessert of Middle Eastern or Spanish origin. Many in India were rooting for names of Indian desserts for Android’s next version.

In May, US-based Google invited fans to suggest names for its yet-to-be-launched OS, Android N. While it received several suggestions from its home-country (like Nutella and New York Cheesecake), the company saw a massive response from Indians.

Since Google is now headed by an India-born CEO, Sundar Pichai, many hoped that the company would name its next Android OS after an Indian dessert. Some of the suggestions included nankhatai, nariyal laddoo, and ney payasam.

The most-talked about Indian suggestion was neyyappam, a traditional deep-fried delicacy from the southern Indian state of Kerala. There were sustained online campaigns to encourage more people to vote for neyyappam, including on a website called androidneyyappam.com, which ran a “support #AndroidNeyyappam campaign.” The website even suggested a logo:

This is not the first time that Indians have hoped for a local delicacy to make the cut for an Android name. Last year, before the launch of Android Marshmallow, there was speculation that Google might name it’s OS after motichoor laddoo or Mysore pak.

Pichai, too, had fueled such hopes. Speaking at a college in Delhi in December 2015, he said, that Google could run an online poll to name its next OS and, if Indians vote, it could become a reality.

But there’s reason for Indians to stay optimistic as there are obbattupeda, payasam, and puran poli to root for in the future.

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