Home Columns Anantha Narayan Sweet taste of software

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    How do you whip up a massive appetite for boring lines of code among the developer community and make the content-starved media go into raptures over an incrementally new version of your product? Well, if you are Google, you’d accomplish the task deftly, by simply codenaming the gazillionth version of your mobile operating software after desserts that leave a scrumptious after-taste.
    The nomenclature strategy of covertly labelling the key releases of Android as ‘Cupcake’, ‘Donut’, ‘Eclair’, ‘Froyo’, ‘Gingerbread’, ‘Honeycomb’, ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’, ‘Jelly Bean’ and ‘KitKat’ was indeed a masterstroke. Honestly, no one would have given a squat about Android 4.3 or Android 4.4. But when you call one ‘Jelly Bean’ and the other one ‘KitKat’, it does tease the senses and multipliesRadioAnchor
    Contrary to popular belief, the practice of choosing confectionery-themed cryptonyms wasn’t exactly invented by Google. South Korean multinational LG beat them to it, at least by 3 years, when they launched the cell phone codenamed as ‘Chocolate’. They followed it up with another series called ‘Cookie’. But before LG could explore the full beauty of what they had hit upon, Google unveiled its seemingly ingenious naming architecture.
    Google’s alphabetical line up of desserts has lent itself to fascinating guessing games about future names. The next release of Android tentatively titled ‘L’ has already started fuelling frenetic speculation. Some think ‘Lollipop’ would make a befitting pick. ‘Licorice’ has an equal amount of backers. IIT Kharagpur grads have apparently been rooting for ‘Lassi’. Business competitors mockingly feel ‘LOL’ would be perfect though.
    Despite being a clever marketer, I think somewhere, Google missed a trick in milking the full potential of what they’ve created. I say this because none of the smartphones actually carry the fancy codenames in the device settings. Instead, they still use bland numbers like Android 4.4.1. The tactic is as retarded as inviting guests over for ice cream and serving them capacious empty scoops!
    Cribs apart, I was wondering which Indian sweets would fit into the Android scheme of things. In my view, there’s still hope for Laddu, Mysorepak, Modak, Payasam, Rasagulla, Rasmalai, Shrikhand, Sandesh, and Tilkut. But the big question is, will Google bite?

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