Gimme a break: Next Android called 'KitKat'

The next version of Android will be called KitKat, as in the Nestle chocolate wafers, and comes with a contest to win Android and Google Play swag.

Purchasing Android Kit Kat bars could win you some Google Play credit or a Nexus 7. Screenshot by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET

Google has announced that the upcoming version of its Android mobile operating system will be called KitKat, licensing the name from Nestle.

Android chief Sundar Pichai, in a Google+ post, revealed that Android has passed 1 billion activations and noted the KitKat branding of Android 4.4. This is the first time that Google had gone with a branded name for Android, which in the past have been generics like "Eclair" and "Jelly Bean."

Google says that the idea for branding Android 4.4 was developed internally, and that no money was spent either by Google or Nestle on the deal, according to a BBC report.

Google chose to change the "K" release of Android to KitKat from Key Lime Pie in part because, "we realized that very few people actually know the taste of a Key lime pie," said John Lagerling, Android's director of global partnerships. The flavor of Kit Kats, he said, is more familiar to programmers than Key lime pie, which happens to be the official Florida state pie.

The deal, which will involve Nestle shipping more than 50 million Android-branded Kit Kats across 19 countries, was finalized at a secret meeting earlier this year at Barcelona's Mobile World Congress. In an age of news leaks, the deal was kept secret by both companies, despite the fact that packaging production began more than two months ago.

According to the official Android KitKat site, there will be opportunities to win Android swag when you purchase soon-to-be-released Android-branded Kit Kats, including a Nexus 7 and Google Play credit.

Android KitKat joins the other Android candy-themed statues at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Google

Updated at 11:32 a.m. with additional details from the BBC.

 

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