Google unveiled Android 8.0 (Oreo) via a pair of special statues, with one brought out just as the first major nationwide solar eclipse in the USA in almost 100 years ended its totality phase, and the search giant has now published a video showing the work that went into the statue’s creation and transport to the event, as well as a few scenes from the unveiling. The video shows off chunks of the process of making the statue, rather than giving viewers a comprehensive breakdown of how it was made. Designers are shown drawing up concept art for the statue and examining actual Oreo cookies for inspiration. The machining and assembly of the parts are shown, as well as some brief movement tests. Finally, the moving statue is brought to the event on a busy California highway, and viewers who just saw the eclipse look down from the sun are greeted by a moving Android Oreo statue.
Google’s decision to announce the newest version of Android during the eclipse was a somewhat risky hype building tactic, but it’s safe to say that it paid off, and the event showed off what’s shaping up to be a big evolutionary step for Android. The anticipation had been building for months beforehand, of course; Android head Hiroshi Lockheimer had hopped on Twitter to tease the new version in his usual fashion, Google had partnered up with Nabisco for an Oreo-themed Android game, and users around the internet had been throwing around possible names like “Oatmeal Cookie.” Orangina, a popular French drink, even got a moment in the spotlight thanks to one of Lockheimer’s red herrings on Twitter. In the end, most polls indicated that Oreo was the general consensus, and that is what it ended up being.
Android Oreo is the first time since Android 4.4 (KitKat) that Google has partnered up with a confectionery company to name a new version of Android, and the changes introduced are practically just as big as those found in KitKat. While KitKat introduced the Android Run Time, the Java-based runtime powering Android from Android 5.0 (Lollipop) and onward as an optional feature, Oreo introduces an internal tool to help fight bootloops, better permission management, improvements to battery stats, and perhaps most notably, brings Project Treble into the Android codebase, a Google initiative that essentially makes Android modular, making it easy for OEMs and carriers to push updates, which could help manufacturers and carriers that normally lag behind in security patches and major updates to keep things closer to how Pixel devices will be. Android Oreo, like the last commercially named version, is a game changer, and Google’s grand unveiling reflected that quite nicely.