Among the many features of Android operating systems, some of the cutest are undoubtedly the Easter eggs that can be found on the more modern versions starting with Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
The Easter eggs are pretty simple to find and access, always in the same place. A user need only go to System settings > About Phone > then tap the Android version on a device running Android 2.3 or higher, and an image styled according to the OS’s code name will appear.
Even more recent versions, starting with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, have been interactive. A few more taps or swipes of the screen prompt a moving image to appear.
Android has notably given most of its operating systems a delicious series of names based on desserts. As new systems are released, so do names increase alphabetically: Cupcake (1.5), Donut (1.6), Éclair (2.0), Éclair, second helping (2.1), Froyo (2.2), Gingerbread (2.3), Honeycomb (3.0), Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) and Jelly Bean (4.1).
Google is also expected to release Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie later this year. The OS will likely be unveiled at Google’s I/O event in May and will likely also feature its own unique Easter egg.
In the meanwhile, let’s review all of the Easter eggs released so far.
Android 2.3 Gingerbread
Android 2.3 was the first operating system to feature an Easter egg. The image, a painting called "Zombie Art" drawn by Jack Larson, featured a zombie gingerbread man, an oblivious Android and several zombies holding what appear to be mobile phones.
Android 3.0 Honeycomb
Honeycomb is notably the first and only Android operating system developed especially for tablets. After Android 3.0, systems were developed to work on both tablets and smartphones. Honeycomb is also the only codenamed OS version that isn’t exactly a food. Its Easter egg also reflects this by featuring an image of a blue Android honeybee, though there is a honeycomb in the background.
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
Android 4.0 contained the first interactive Easter egg. This Easter egg is especially entertaining as it requires the most interaction. Upon tapping the Android version number, a little Nyan Droid, an Android robot wearing and Ice Cream Sandwich, much like the Nyancat meme of a pixelated cat wearing a toaster pastry, appears on top of the home screen. Pressing one finger down on the screen then enlarges the Nyan Droid. Finally, pressing a finger down once more causes several Nyan Droids to endlessly fly across the screen.
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
International Business Times attended Samsung’s Mobile Unpacked event last Thursday where the Galaxy S4 smartphone was unveiled and captured footage of the Jelly Bean Easter egg on the new device. Initially released in July 2012, the Easter egg first reveals a jolly red Jelly Bean alongside the OS’s version number. Swiping your finger up and down the screen will then activate the interactive of several jelly beans endlessly floating across the screen.
Only time will tell what the Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie Easter egg will feature; perhaps an Android eating a slice of key lime pie, or a dancing Android with a Key Lime Pie body, going full circle back to the first one?
Fionna Agomuoh is a Technology Reporter for the International Business Times, a vegan foodie, and a lover of Electric Dance Music.