Evolution of Easter Eggs in Android
* For the brave souls who get this far: You are the chosen ones,
* the valiant knights of programming who toil away, without rest,
* fixing our most awful code. To you, true saviors, kings of men,
* I say this: never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down,
* never gonna run around and desert you. Never gonna make you cry,
* never gonna say goodbye. Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you. */
We all love to laugh, tell jokes, or discover some weird things. Google, despite being a spy, has lots of developers with a great sense of humor. For example, if your Chrome browser crashes, you’ll see this message…
This is nothing less than a reference to Star Trek. Programmers often love to put totally random things in their code, like their current level of sobriety:
// drunk, fix later
Or their current progress:
// somedev1 – 6/7/02 Adding temporary tracking of Login screen
// somedev2 – 5/22/07 Temporary my ass
You can find similar comments in an absolutely brilliant thread over on Stack Overflow. But what exactly is the point of my story? Recently, the CyanogenMod Team added their own Easter Egg to Android. The first Easter Egg was reportedly found on the Atari game Adventure, when the author hid his name in the code. Players found it quite quickly, and that became one of factors that made the game so popular.
Easter Eggs aren’t new, and can be found in Android ever since Gingerbread. 2010 was the year when for the first time, tapping repeatedly on the Android version on the About menu opened up a new page, where a creepy Gingerbread Man stood next to perhaps iPhone-toting zombies and a happy Android.
The CyanogenMod Team added their own Easter Egg by putting an image of the TD duck.
The next Easter Egg that we all saw was in Android 3.0 Honeybomb. And matching with the OS’s Tron-blue theme, this proved quite a fitting hidden gem.
Next came Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and again we saw a new Easter Egg. This time, Google decided to pay tribute to Nyan Cat, and replaced the cat with an Android wearing an Ice Cream Sandwich. And to activate the animation, press the Nyandroid for a short while.
In Android 4.1-4.3 Jelly Bean, Google decided to get rid of Nyandroid, replacing it with candy jelly beans. Once again, the Easter egg was animated. And for the first time, you could play a mini game by swiping the jelly beans off of the screen.
The CyanogenMod team decided to change the Jelly Beans to Cid’s head, but that’s the only thing that changed. Some other ROMs like AOKP or PA have their own Easter Eggs, but I’m going to focus on CM only.
Finally, a new Easter Egg was introduced in Android 4.4 KitKat. The Easter Egg isn’t too innovative, as it’s the letter K letter that then transforms into the Android KitKat logo after few clicks. Then after pressing down the KitKat logo, you reach an interactive game that shows users about the new immersive mode.
The CyanogenMod team then replaced KitKat images with their own Cid, and you can check out both of them in the video below.
As you can see, Android developers are funny chaps who like to put some little bits of humor into the OS. Hopefully, they don’t stop, and we see an Easter Egg in the next version of Android—Lollipop or Licorice, perhaps?