Android N Developer Preview 5 was released yesterday, bringing a handful of bug fixes and improvements along with it. Funnily enough, after the Developer Preview dropped it didn’t take long for previewers to discover the inclusion of a new Easter Egg. It replaces the “NameyMcNameFace” Easter Egg found in Android N Developer Preview 4, but it is slightly more difficult to find compared to the previous Easter Eggs. In fact, at first glance, it looks like Google has skipped this “feature” altogether, but in truth, there’s more to it than meets the eye.
For the past few years, Google’s major Android versions have included an Easter Egg which can be discovered from the “About Phone” menu in the “Settings” screen. By tapping the “Android” section under “About Phone” repeatedly, users would discover an image or the logo of their current version of Android, and by tapping and holding the said logo, the final stage of the Easter Egg would be revealed. In the case of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the Easter Egg consisted in Nyan Cat-shaped Ice Cream Sandwiches flying across the screen, whereas Android 4.1 Jelly Bean included a mini-game revolving around tasty Jelly Beans. The Easter Eggs in Android 5.0 Lollipop and Android 6.0 Marshmallow were similar and emulated the gameplay of Flappy Bird, and needless to say, Android enthusiasts were expecting a new Easter Egg from the upcoming OS version, namely Android 7.0 Nougat. Sure enough, the final Developer Preview build does include a more intricate Easter Egg; one that expands beyond the “About Phone” menu and into the phone’s Quick Toggle area in the Notification screen.
At first glance, it looks like there’s not much to this Easter Egg aside from the “N” logo. However, users have discovered that, by tapping and then long-pressing the “N” logo, a “cat” emoji would appear underneath the logo. Furthermore, by long-pressing the image again, the “cat” emoji would be replaced by a “no entry” emoji. Initially, this seemed to be a play on the words “cat”, “no cat” and “Nougat”, which is the final name for Android 7. But interestingly enough, by toggling the “no cat” / “no entry” sign a new “Android Easter Egg” Quick Toggle becomes available, which can be dragged and pinned to the Quick Toggle area. This is where things become more interesting because the Easter Egg seems to be turning into a mini-game revolving around the idea of catching cats using various treats, or lures. By tapping the “???? Android Easter Egg” or the “Empty Dish” toggle, users have the option of choosing between four “lures”, namely “Bits”, “Fish”, Chicken” and “Treat”, and so the search for cats can begin. Reportedly, by enabling the lure users will eventually be greeted with a notification, informing them that they have caught a cat identified by a number, such as “Cat #196” or “Cat “#110”. Each cat appears to have its own design and color scheme, and there’s no telling how many cats are there. But to wrap things up, it’s becoming clear that Google’s next Easter Egg for Android 7 Nougat reminds us of popular mobile games that revolve around the idea of building a collection, whether it’s Pokemon GO or perhaps more accurately, Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector.