Jul 18th, 2016 publishUpdated   Jul 20th, 2016, 9:11 am

Google’s always been big on Easter Eggs, hiding little surprises in everything from their online services to Android itself. In Android 5.0 Lollipop, this took the form of an elaborate Flappy Bird clone found buried deep inside the actual OS. Although we were somewhat disappointed to see it making a return inside Android 6.0 Marshmallow (only with slightly tweaked Marshmallow obstacles), we were hoping Google had something new up their sleeves for Android 7.0 Nougat. Turns out, they do.

Now, we’re still in the Developer Preview phase until the official Android 7.0 Nougat rollout begins “later this summer,” so anything can change from now until then. That being said, the Android team has built an entirely new Easter Egg for DP5, a hidden mini-game that appears to be a take on the popular “Neko Atsume Kitty Collector” virtual cat collecting game. It’s a lot less frustrating and so easy anyone can play it. Here’s how you activate Android Neko in the latest dev preview (and we’re sure will include the official release of 7.0 Nougat when it’s available):

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Select About phone
  3. Tap on Android version 3 times (fast)
  4. Tap on the big “N” a few times followed by a long press
  5. Wait for the cat emoji to appear below the “N” — that means it worked

Then…

  1. Pull down your notification panel twice to expose the Quick Settings toggles
  2. Tap on Edit
  3. Long press on the “???? Android Easter Egg” tile (with the cat head) and drag it up to add to your current tiles
  4. The “???? Android Easter Egg” tile will now be shown as a “Empty dish
  5. Tap on it and to pull up the option to choose between 4 items: bits, fish, chicken, or treat
  6. Select whichever one you like and they’ll replace the empty dish
  7. Wait for the notification “A cat is here” from Android Neko (the name of this weirdly awesome mini-game)
  8. Tap on the cat notification to view your cat collection
  9. Tap on a cat to rename it, or long press to share a high resolution image of the cat to whichever app you like

And that’s pretty much it. We’re not entirely sure how many of these funny little felines there are hiding inside the OS (we’re sure someone will dig into the OTA zip and find out soon enough), but that’s what we’re looking out for this year’s hidden Android Easter Egg. Fun stuff.

Thanks, Justin!

local_offer    Android 7.0 Nougat   Easter Egg