It’s been a few years since Google monkeyed with the Android branding, so it’s long overdue for yet another style change. Google has announced a new visual identity for its mobile platform, which “better represents [the] Android community.” The gist is capitalization and 3D. The aesthetics are subjective, but Google is right that the new branding is more fun.
The 2019 brand update did away with the iconic green “bugdroid,” keeping just the bot’s head to complement the sharp sans serif Android font. That font isn’t changing in the brand update, but it is getting a capital ‘A’ instead of the all lower-case type. Google says this new typeface works better with Google’s own logo and branding.
The 2019 update is when Google dropped the tradition of giving each Android release a dessert name, and sadly, Google won’t bring back that playful aspect of the OS. There is a new robot, though. The robot has been recapitated—it’s now rendered in a 3D style with a slightly round shape and the same antenna-equipped head. The flat Android head logo from 2019 was simpler and more understated, but Google says this new bugdroid has “a lot more character.”
Google’s announcement post shows the bugdroid with a few different themes, presumably to signify the platform’s core ethos of being “open, iterative and inclusive.” Although, Google stops short of reviving the 2010-era ‘be together, not the same’ slogan.
In a simultaneous but separate announcement, Google has also revealed a raft of new features coming to Android. There’s Image Q&A, which makes photos more accessible by using an AI to answer questions about it. The At A Glance widget is also getting a much needed design update. It will match Google’s Material You aesthetic, and it uses AI to surface contextual information on your home screen. In the coming weeks, Android will also let you join Webex and Zoom meetings in Android Auto (with audio only), and phones will get a simplified Meet UI for easier use on the go.
Google doesn’t have much to say about Android 14 specifically, but it’s clear the new branding will be baked into the OS. Google says that the updated brand style will start appearing on devices this year, presumably as part of the impending Android 14 update. That software will start to hit Pixel devices in the coming weeks—we don’t have an exact date. When that happens, you’ll see this fresh new Android logo on startup. Most phones will have to wait months longer for the update, but Samsung phones should have better RAM management when it rolls out. You won’t have to wait on Android 14 to get the new features, though. They’ll begin appearing soon on devices with Android 8 and higher.