Google's New Android: KitKat

Version 4.4 comes with candy bar tie-in

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 4, 2013 2:28 AM CDT

(Newser) – Will Google's new version of Android be chunky—or breakable? The company has given the tech world a sweet surprise by announcing that version 4.4 will be called "KitKat" instead of Key Lime Pie as previously signaled. The move is seen as a marketing coup for the candy bar, made by Hershey in the US but owned by Nestle, though "this is not a money-changing-hands kind of deal," a Google exec tells the BBC. The new OS will be unveiled next month.

The plan was to do something "fun and unexpected", the exec says—and KitKats happened to be among the "snacks that we keep in our kitchen for late-night coding." The KitKat name, which Nestle plans to promote with 50 million bars featuring the Android mascot, was kept a secret even from most Google employees to preserve the element of surprise, he says. Previous Android versions have been called Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, and Jelly Bean, so "L" is a good place to start guessing for the next one, Engadget notes.

A new KitKat bar Android statue sit outside Google Inc. headquarters in Mountain View, California.
A new KitKat bar Android statue sit outside Google Inc. headquarters in Mountain View, California.   (AP Photo/The Hershey Company)
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