The dirty word: ‘Android’ wasn’t said a single time during the Google Pixel 3 event
Android is the world’s most ubiquitous OS and one of the vital components of Google’s enterprise. However it’s changing into clearer that the corporate now not needs the phrase related to its telephones. The most recent proof is within the transcript for its occasion this week in New York Metropolis.

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“Android” wasn’t stated a single time through the Made by Google 2018 keynote. It marks the primary time ever that Google has held a public-facing {hardware} occasion like this — for the reason that introduction of the working system in 2008 — with out no less than mentioning it by identify.

Going, going, (virtually) gone

This isn’t the primary we’ve seen of the Android model slipping away. Google’s most vital apps have additionally seen the Android identify disappear over the past couple years. Android Pay was rebranded to Google Pay. “Android Messages” was renamed to only “Messages” on the Play Retailer someday within the final a number of months (though it retains the Android name on the web). Google’s wearable OS Android Put on was rebranded to Put on OS.

That’s to not point out all of the manufacturers and merchandise that Google has launched within the final couple years which have left behind any point out of the OS, typically in favor of the Google moniker itself. “Google One,” for its all-in-one cloud storage providing. “Google Duties,” for its new process supervisor app. “Google Allo” and “Google Duo” for its newest makes an attempt at Android messaging and video calling, respectively. Not all the things is being rebranded as “Google” clearly, but it surely’s a preferred substitute.

After all, the identify stays the title of most Android OS offshoots a lot the identical manner Android hasn’t been renamed: Android TV, Android Auto, and Android Issues are nonetheless round. (Though it was confirmed that Google’s Dwelling Hub Sensible Show isn’t working Android Issues, however moderately the “Forged platform”. And we confirmed it’s being used to test Fuchsia OS, too.)

It’s no secret that the Google Pixel three and Google Pixel three XL run Android, too — removed from it. You could find the phrase within the Settings app, Google will in fact inform you immediately when you ask, and the corporate nonetheless talks up Android and all its newest options loud and proud at its annual developer occasion the place the Pixel — the cellphone identified to get the newest variations the quickest — is certainly not lacking.

However the Android model has been shortly disappearing from Google’s merchandise and its advertising messages for the reason that launch of the unique Google Pixel. That cellphone had no apparent point out of Android apart from a couple of apps. No point out of Android on the retail field. Not even a point out on the boot display screen (now, the Pixel telephones say “Powered by Android” on boot, a requirement for third events). And this yr’s keynote was in all probability essentially the most muted but by way of the little inexperienced robotic.

However Chrome OS was front-and-center

Whereas Android went unsaid, Google had no disgrace speaking Chrome OS, which powers the brand new Pixel Slate pill. Google informed a whole story round Chrome OS, the place it’s come from, why it is smart on the pill, and touted it as an amazing desktop various to Home windows and macOS.

To me it appeared Chrome OS was clearly marketed as a standout characteristic of the Pixel Slate. So as to add insult to damage for Android, the “universe” of Android apps that may now run on Chrome had been known as merely “apps” or “apps from the Google Play Retailer” through the keynote.

chromeOS positively had the highlight on 10/9

So why has it disappeared from the identify of so many apps? And why did the phrase go completely unsaid for the primary time throughout this week’s occasion? And why — as you possibly can see — is chromeOS (apparently that’s the brand new formatting for that model?) completely within the clear to get a highlight whereas Android isn’t?

Google’s historically quiet in regards to the reasoning behind its branding choices, however we are able to make an informed guess.

Android sounds technical, has baggage, and is likely to be stale

For one, there’s public notion. “Android telephones” have a status of being cheaper and lower-quality than “iPhones” in well-liked tradition, no matter that being true for some however not all of them. For the reason that very starting of the platform, one enticing facet of Android telephones as a substitute for the iPhone has been their oftentimes decrease costs — or no less than that these reasonably priced fashions exist.

It’s comprehensible that, given the Android model’s affiliation with “decrease high quality” non-premium telephones that Google doesn’t need to affiliate the identify of that OS with its telephones — no less than not by way of the public-facing advertising message. Android telephones are made by dozens of scattered producers, all with various approaches to their merchandise, their design, their options, and so forth. — which has result in an arguably good factor: immense variety of telephones working Android as we speak. However which means “Android” doesn’t actually have a lot which means different than simply being not-iPhone.

Slightly, Google has spent thousands and thousands over the previous few years constructing a model across the phrase Pixel and the assorted points you would possibly affiliate it with — most notably its stellar digicam. Like the opposite “iPhone” and “Galaxy” model names which might be ubiquitously identified within the smartphone house, Google needs to construct considered one of its personal. And it doesn’t need the luggage of the Android connotation mucking up the picture of a cellphone that competes with the iPhone and prices upwards of $1,000.

One other facet would possibly merely be Google reconsidering whether or not the Android model sends the perfect message to the a lot broader variety of potential clients Google needs to succeed in with its merchandise going ahead. One downside is likely to be that the phrase simply sounds robotic and technical — the other of the pleasant and homey picture Google’s constructed round its present merchandise.

An individual near the corporate’s advertising efforts informed us that, even earlier than the Made by Google {hardware} initiative, as Google moved from advertising its merchandise from area of interest markets to advertising them to mainstream audiences, the Android model was ineffective.

The individual added that, with this in thoughts, there’s an inner understanding that considered one of Google’s long term targets is to fully drop Android as a model, though such a path has been controversial with “some key gamers who’re hooked up” to it. Google in fact hasn’t made any official indication that it plans to maneuver on from the model, in order that’s but to be seen — though clearly there’s rising proof that that is an intentional determination for its client advertising messages.

For historic context, on the Made by Google 2017 occasion and launch of the Pixel 2, the phrase Android was talked about one single time. Google touted the newest options of Android Oreo saying that those that “already have a Pixel just lately acquired the Android Oreo replace,” and that “as a Pixel consumer, you’ll at all times be the primary to get the OS and safety updates with out having to do something.”

Throughout the Made by Google 2016 keynote, the place the corporate launched the Google Pixel, Google Wifi, its Daydream View headset, the Google Dwelling, and extra, Google talked about Android six occasions. So solely that one — admittedly particular — metric, there’s been a notable decline.

However Android’s not gone but

All this stated, the Android model is much from useless but. At the very least on the technical aspect of issues, there’s no cause to anticipate that Google will rename its cellular working system anytime quickly. Android was mentioned countless times during the Google I/O 2018 keynote, and I’d anticipate that to proceed for years to come back. And even on the Google Pixel telephones, there are some stragglers which have remained. The Android Auto app is pre-installed for connecting your cellphone to automotive infotainment methods.

However when will Google’s auto infotainment system get a public-facing rebrand to ditch the Android identify? I wouldn’t be stunned if that’s sooner moderately than later.

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