Next version of Android has a name: KitKat

Google has announced that Android 4.4, the next version of the mobile operating system, will be named after the Nestlé snack KitKat.

Michelle Starr Science editor
Michelle Starr is CNET's science editor, and she hopes to get you as enthralled with the wonders of the universe as she is. When she's not daydreaming about flying through space, she's daydreaming about bats.
Michelle Starr
2 min read
(Credit: Google)

Google has announced that Android 4.4, the next version of the mobile operating system, will be named after the Nestlé snack KitKat.

Although Google had never said anything even vaguely confirming it, everyone expected the next version of Android, following in the dessert naming tradition of the operating system, to be called Key Lime Pie. Overnight, the web giant surprised everyone by announcing that Android 4.4 will be called KitKat, teaming up with Nestlé to do so.

Marc Vanlerberghe, director of Android Marketing, said in a press release, "We couldn't imagine a better name for our Android K release than the tasty chocolate that's been a favourite among the team since the early days of Android."

Android 4.4 KitKat joins 1.5 Cupcake, 1.6 Donut, 2.0-2.1 Eclair, 2.2 Froyo, 2.3 Gingerbread, 3.0 Honeycomb, 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and 4.1-4.3 Jelly Bean.

(Credit: Google)

According to the BBC, no money changed hands; the KitKat is simply a favourite snack in the Google offices, and the director of Android partnerships wanted to do something unexpected. Plus, the flavour of Key Lime Pie is not as universally known as that of KitKats.

"We realised that very few people actually know the taste of a key lime pie," Lagerling told the BBC. He reached out to Nestlé in November last year, and the deal was finalised this year at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.

To celebrate the release, 50 million Android-branded KitKat bars will soon be available in 19 markets around the world, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, India, Japan, the Middle East, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. The wrappers will direct KitKat munchers to the Android KitKat website, where they can win prizes, such as the new Nexus 7 tablet and credit for the Google Play store.

The new direction is an interesting one; Nestlé is essentially grabbing a bunch of free advertising from Google, and we suspect that the company will be inundated with offers for future iterations of the operating system. We hope Google continues to go its owe way, though — we were rather looking forward to Android Musk Stick.

Meanwhile, we're eagerly awaiting news about what the new OS will actually bring users — apart from chocolate bars, that is.