Google’s annual Android launch counts among both the most exciting and most teasing announcements the company makes. Every new version of Android is better, faster, more secure, and comes with new interesting features that billions of Android users would certainly love. But hardly any of those users will ever get all that new stuff—less than 15 percent of Android users are on the current build. Maybe on their next phone, or the one after that. Right now, the best and newest Android exists mostly for Pixel owners.
Today, Google announced that the latest version of Android has a name. Android Oreo joins a long line of dessert names, following Nougat, Marshmallow, Lollipop, and KitKat. (Android chief Hiroshi Lockheimer recently confirmed on Twitter that the names are technically “tasty treats” rather than desserts, so Google could have gone with Olive Oil, Orange Juice, Orange Julius, Oatmeal Cookie, or Ovaltine, and gotten away with it. But it’s Oreo.)
Google also announced that anyone using the Android Open Source Project, the code repository that Google’s hardware and chip partners use to access the software, can get their mitts on the final version of Oreo today. Google’s doing carrier testing with Nexus and Pixel phones, which means those should get updated soon. And if you’re in the Android Beta Program, you’ll get Oreo shortly as well. If you’re not, sign up! You’ll get it too.
We’ve known about the features of Android O for a while now, but here’s a quick highlight reel: Oreo brings notification dots to your phone, so you can see which apps have new stuff for you. It enables picture-in-picture multitasking. It gives users more control over push notifications, so your phone won’t buzz you every second of every day. It improves Android’s battery management, stiffens its security, and speeds up boot processes and text input. It also brings lots of tinker-friendly settings, like a customizable lock-screen shortcut and fingerprint scanner gestures. Best of all, Oreo ships with a whole new set of decidedly un-blobby emoji.
If your phone can’t get Oreo, don’t stress—this latest dessert isn’t a giant leap forward. (Next year, Android Pizza, better be a game-changer.) For the last few years, Android’s been in a place of refinement rather than reinvention. But most of the changes feel like upgrades, and it’s worth all the rebooting just to get those new emoji. And to kill a few more notifications.