Google has conventionally named its Android versions after desserts, but earlier today, the company announced it would let users choose what the ‘N’ in Android N stands for.
For a brief moment, it seemed like a fun idea to make users to feel involved in Android N’s release. Then the Internet happened: people complained.
Leaving Android N’s name to a free-for-all is a recipe for disaster. From ‘Nipple’ to ‘Nazi’ – let’s not get into the variety of racial slurs – people started submitting all sorts of inappropriate things. How could Google ever assure its well-mannered users that the masses of immature internet denizens wouldn’t choose something vulgar?
Well, by not actually making it free-for-all. David Burke, Android VP of Engineering, clearly noted the submissions would just be suggestions during Google’s I/O keynote address, and that it will be the one to ultimately decide on Android N’s final name. The submission guidelines also make this clear enough in nice capital letters:
THIS IS SOLELY INTENDED TO BE FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES; THE NAME(S) YOU SUBMIT WILL NOT BE JUDGED AND THERE WILL BE NO PRIZES OR COMPENSATION AWARDED TO ANY PARTICIPANT.
Note the ‘entertainment purposes’ and ‘will not be judged.’ There will be no Android NaziNipples.
That’s not to say Google shouldn’t have been more cautious. I get that the ‘Sweet!’ message after submitting a name alludes to Android’s dessert history, but using that after every entry is definitely an oversight. There definitely should be filters in place to block out some of the more obvious poor choices.
But Google also would never have been able to catch all the things the pervs at 4chan will come up with, and the internet has been finding its way around profanity filters for years. Google knows this; there’s a reason it’s not letting people view the top suggestions.
Point is, it seems ludicrous to suggest a company could never hold an open naming contest simply because a few boneheads won’t play nice. I’ll take a few raunchy submissions that will literally never see the light of day if it means the Android community gets to participate in N’s naming process.
Anyway, none of this matters. We all know it’s going to be Android Nutella.