Here's what's inside the cookie.

By David Meyer
August 22, 2017

It’s official: the new version of Google’s Android mobile operating system is known as Oreo. And it’s rolling out very soon.

Google has a long-running tradition of naming its Android versions after confectionery, with the names being alphabetically sequential—the current version is Android Nougat. Android “KitKat” 4.4, which rolled out in 2014, was another example of Google partnering up with a major snack brand.

Google announced the new name with a video that riffed off Monday’s full eclipse in the U.S.

Oreo comes with a new mobile security tool called Google Play Protect, which regularly scans users’ devices as well as the billions of apps in the Play Store. Google claims devices running Oreo will start up much more quickly than those on Nougat or earlier versions.

Helping Android catch up with advances in Apple’s iOS, the new version also introduces a picture-in-picture mode that lets users see two apps at once, and makes it easier to see which apps have notifications by looking at their homescreen icons.

Android Oreo also comes with a revamped suite of emojis.

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As for when people will get to play with Oreo, that depends on which handset they’re using. Google’s own Pixel and Nexus 5X and 6P smartphones will get a phased rollout soon, and the same goes for the Pixel C tablet and the discontinued Nexus Player TV dongle.

By the end of this year, Google said, a variety of partners “are scheduled to launch or upgrade devices to Android 8.0 Oreo.” Interestingly, it began the list of these partners with Essential, the new smartphone brand headed up by Android co-creator Andy Rubin. Others on the list include Nokia-maker HMD Global, Samsung, Sony, Lenovo-owned Motorola, HTC, LG, Kyocera, General Mobile, Huawei, and Sharp.

The Oreo code is available now to those wanting to make their own versions of Android.

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