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November 1, 2018

Who’s Bugdroid? Meet the cute mascot of Android

by John_A

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Having a recognizable logo is important for a company’s branding. When you see the golden arches of McDonald’s M, Nike’s swoosh, or the Starbucks siren, you instantly know what they are. No further signage or explanation is required. Sometimes good logos go beyond simple recognition to convey something about the brand behind them, like Amazon’s logo with the arrow that goes from A to Z, signifying the fact it sells everything.

Before the operating system came along, android usually meant a robot with a human appearance or form, so it makes sense that Google’s Android logo is a friendly-looking green robot. But that friendliness and openness also conveys something about the platform, which was conceived as a path towards open standards for smartphone manufacturers and developers.

What is it called?

The Android mascot was never officially named. For a while the name Andy was associated with the logo — potentially referring to Android’s creator Andy Rubin — but we’re not sure where that came from. The Android team called it Bugdroid, and that name is as close as you’ll get to an official moniker.

When Google mentions Bugdroid, it still generally refers to it as the Android mascot.

Bugdroid goes viral

Who created the Android logo?

The Android logo was created by a designer called Irina Blok while she was working for Google. The idea was to create an open source logo for the developer community. The fact that it was open source, just like the Android platform, meant that anyone could create their own version of it, and they did.
Blok’s design was simple enough to become iconic, appealing to a much wider audience than the development community it was initially aimed at. She went on to work at Adobe, Apple, and Facebook among others.

After its release, the cute Android mascot began to pop up everywhere with all manner of strange makeovers, including ninjas, pirates, and even cats. One of the smartest artworks depicted the Android mascot taking a bite out of the famous Apple logo. Because Google didn’t claim any ownership or try to push design rules or restrictions, the mascot has appeared in countless forms across the world.

Bugdroid quickly spread to t-shirts and keychains. The mascot craze even gave rise to plastic and plush collectibles with endless versions. Google eventually launched Androidify, giving you the chance to design your very own version of the Android mascot that looks just like you.

Now more than a decade old, Bugdroid is still going strong and continues to serve as the instantly recognizable face of the Android platform. Every new version has a Bugdroid to match, and Google has a lawn on its Mountain View campus dedicated to previous Android version Bugdroid statues. Google also celebrated 10 years with a special Android Jetpack browser game that challenges you to navigate the mascot through the air collecting sweet treats and avoiding bugs.

We have no idea what Android Q will be called, but we’re sure the Android mascot will be front and center when it’s unveiled.

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