India grads want next Android release named after local drink

Graduates from the Indian Institutes of Technology are appealing for Google to consider popular Indian drink, lassi, as a potential name for future Android releases. Another group suggests local dessert, ladoo.
Written by Nitin Puri, Contributor on
Will the next Android release be sweetly named "lassi" or "ladoo"?

Following Google's announcement that its next Android release has been named after the chocolate bar, KitKat, Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) graduates now are appealing for Google to consider popular Indian drink "lassi" as a possible name for future Android releases. Another group is appealing for the U.S. company to ponder over Indian sweets like "ladoo".

For those who don't know, lassi is either a sweet or salty yogurt drink, and analogous to a thick milkshake, in my opinion. Ladoo, on the other hand, is a very popular spherical, sweet dessert, which looks very similar to a golf ball. Both are prevalent in South Asian culture and cuisine and as such, IIT grads are appealing to Google to possibly name a future Android release lassi, reports The Times of India.

To be specific, a group of students from IIT Kharagpur have written an open letter to Google Android's boss, Sundar Pichai, with the request. Interestingly, IIT Kharagpur is also Pichai's alma mater.

According to the university group, naming the next OS, lassi, would be acknowledgment Google is aware and wants to appreciate the customer support it has in India. Quoting IDC figures, the letters also adds that 68.8 percent of smartphones shipped to India in 2012 were running the Android platform. Google itself claims there has been an annual growth of 500 percent in India for Android smartphones.

The second suggestion of naming future Android release, ladoo, comes from Pricebaba, funded by the incubator 500 Startups. They kicked off an online campaign to convince Google to name the next OS, ladoo. The campaign has since gathered over 4,800 supporters.


It would be quite the accomplishment if a future Google OS were named either Lassi, Ladoo, or perhaps something else pertaining to Indian food and cuisine. While everyone in the Indian subcontinent will know the meaning behind the names, others obviously won't get it initially, but eventually word about it will spread.

If anything, this could be a way to bridge the gap between the East and the West. Everyone in India knows what a KitKat bar is, but does everyone in Europe or North America know what a lassi or ladoo is? Perhaps Google could change all that.

However, and realistically speaking, would either word catch on globally? That's one aspect Google will need to think about, and unless Sundar Pichai has a personal say in this matter, he still has to promote the Android name globally. Then again, there must be pockets of people in the world who don't know what KitKat means. If Google can choose the chocolate bar for a name, then perhaps it can consider Lassi or Ladoo.

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