Google has hidden Easter eggs inside its Android operating system for many years. Our favorite OS has brought surprises with each of its iterations and we've gathered them here in a retrospective running from Android Gingerbread all the way up to Android Nougat.
Android 2.3 Gingerbread
The Easter egg found in Android 2.3 Gingerbread is frightening. Featuring a hand-painted picture of a demonic, bow-tie wearing, yellow-eyed gingerbread man, a disconcerted Bugdroid and zombies, this first Easter egg is not only unsettling but strikingly different from Google's later attempts. Thankfully.
To view this – as well as all of the other Easter eggs on our list – go into your device settings, choose about phone and tap on the Android version until the Easter egg appears.
Android 3.0 Honeycomb
Android 3.0 Honeycomb's Easter egg is far less scary than Gingerbread's but it's nonetheless strange. Go through the same steps as mentioned above to activate it, and what you will see is a neon bee. A square box will be seen underneath the bees stinger housing the word 'REZZZZZ'.
In the Tron universe – which the bee appears to be part of – ‘Rezzing’ is the term used for generating a person or object in its game grid. Quite why Google is riffing on Tron, we don't know.
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
Do you remember Nyan Cat? The pixelated cat who travels to outer space on a rainbow? Well, Android paid tribute to the internet's favorite feline friend with the Easter egg for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
After tapping on the Android version number several times, a pixelated Bugdroid will appear. When you tap and hold on this, a Nyan Cat inspired animation will begin featuring 8-bit Nyandroids shooting up into space. Nice.
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Devices running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean will be greeted by a huge smiling red jelly bean in this version's Easter egg. Access it the same way as the others and long press on the giant jelly bean to flood your displays with more beans. Swipe these to fling them in any direction.
Android 4.4 KitKat
Android 4.4 KitKat's Easter egg paid homage to all of the past versions of Android. Go to settings > about phone and tap the Android version several times. A spinning letter K will appear which you can tap and hold to reveal the KitKat logo. Tap and hold that and a board of colored tiles featuring the logos of past Android versions will be revealed.
Like the Nyan Cat Easter egg, for Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google took inspiration from a pop culture phenomenon of the time, in this case, it was Flappy Bird. Tapping the software version will produce a flying Bugdroid who you must guide between Lollipop obstacles. It's an infuriating game that plays very similar to Flappy Bird.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow features another Flappy Bird inspired minigame as its Easter egg, only this time the Lollipops you must navigate through have Marshmallows on the end of them. It's still a frustratingly difficult game; access it by tapping your device's software version until a Marshmallow appears and then long press it.
Android 7.0 Nougat has just landed and it features an Easter egg where the goal is to attract cats to eat plates of food you serve up (yes, it's as ridiculous as it sounds). To find this Easter egg, go to your settings menu and to About phone. Tap the Android version repeatedly until the letter N appears.
A cat's head will emerge below the N – this means the Easter egg has been activated. Now, open your quick-settings menu (drag down from the top of your display twice) and tap the edit button: you will see a new icon is now available. Place the Empty Dish icon in your notifications bar and tap it to select some bait.
Continue to use your phone as you normally would and you will be notified if a cat comes to your plate.
Did you know of all of these Easter eggs? Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments.
Written with contributions from Lia Martos of AndroidPIT.com.br.