Android Lollipop Includes Goat Detection Code

November 5, 2014 - Written By David Steele

The last time I lent my handset to a billy goat, it was an unmitigated disaster. It was thoroughly baaahaaad and when my Samsung Galaxy S III was returned to me, it was half chewed. “You’ve goat to be kidding me!” And if that wasn’t bad enough, when the bill arrived, imagine my horror when said goat had voted in X-Factor thirty five times in just a few minutes. Billy shock, right?

Alright. I think I’m out of goat puns, so let’s get down to business. When Google released Android 4.2, it included the “isUserAGoat” function. Google’s documentation explains, “Used to determine whether the user making this call is subject to teleportations.” It seems obvious recently. Unfortunately, the function was broken because the return value claims it will report “whether the user making this call is a goat” the response is always false. A bug bigger than the Bluetooth audio one for sure. As you can imagine, when I herd (yeah, turns out that I’m not out of goat puns after all!) Google had worked over this function, I was pleased. With the release of Android 5.0 Lollipop, “isUserAGoat” has been improved with Google’s advanced goat recognition technology. It checks if the Goat Simulator is installed and returns a true result if it’s onboard.

Upon further inspection of the code, it’s plain to see that when the Google developers had stopped hoofing (heheheh) about with the code they’ve also included the function “isUserAMonkey,” which tells the application is MonkeyRunner is installed. This application is designed to generate fake touch events… but shows the sense of humor that Google’s development team have. After all, let’s face it, writing thousands upon thousands of lines of code is likely to eventually cause one to go a little bit doo-ally? That explains the easter eggs and bug report?

Discovering that Google have worked on “isUserAGoat” has not changed my opinion of coders: they’re a wonderful breed of humanity with a great sense of humor with an underappreciated (and yet adored) role in society. They make things happen. And they’re probably all a little bit unhinged too.