In short: Google's big hardware event on Tuesday brought quite a few new devices, including the Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel Slate and Google Home Hub. But it turns out that Google did not mention "Android" once. This is actually a pretty big deal, considering Google has mentioned Android during every public hardware event since it launched back in 2008. Though it's not all that surprising. Given that the only product that truly runs Android, that was announced was the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL smartphones. And Google spent the majority of the time on the cameras of those smartphones – did not mention specs at all.
Android has been synonymous with Google pretty much since the G1 launched back in 2008. And that's because it is a big chunk of its business – behind search and ads. Many might be thinking that Google is getting away from the word "Android", and perhaps might be gearing up for Fuchsia OS, after all the Google Home Hub was a Fuchsia OS device before it got turned into a smart display for the Google Assistant. But that is likely not the case here. With Android and Google, the case was likely the search giant trying to appeal to the mass market. The term "Android" is typically referring to those cheap smartphones. That's again, not a surprise, considering the majority of Android's market share is from those cheap smartphones. But those smartphones also offer a somewhat poor experience, and have a bad reputation. Google has been slowly getting rid of the "Android" terms on its products, which really started with the Google Pixel two years ago. It was not mentioned as running Android 7.1, which it was. On top of that, other products are dropping "Android" too, like Android Wear. Which was recently renamed to Wear OS. On top of that, Google's partners rarely even mention Android with their new smartphones. Take Samsung for example, it hasn't mentioned that its smartphones are running Android in a couple of years now. But they are still running Android. Just like how everyone has stopped touting specs in their keynotes.
Background: The mass market of users have never really called Android phones by that name. It used to be "Droids" back in the day when Verizon and the Droid brand was king of Android. Of course, it was also part of the name "Android", and sounded cooler. But as Samsung smartphones began to take off and gain popularity, it has moved to either "iPhone" or "Galaxy" in terms of smartphones. There's no more "Android" or "Motorola" or an "LG", it's just those two brands. And now Google is looking to bring its own brand – Pixel – into that ring.
Impact: There's really no impact here for users when it comes to whether Google is going to use the term "Android" when it announces new hardware products. And that's because Google will still tell you it is running Android, if you ask what operating system is on-board. It is also still mentioning Android when it is talking about software, at events like Google I/O. But that is also the difference between Google talking to developers at I/O and Google talking to the press and the public at a Made by Google event.