Seriously, the next version of Android is called KitKat

Google has made a surprise announcement -- the next version of Android is called KitKat, not Key Lime Pie. Yes, like the chocolate bar.

Joe Svetlik Reporter
Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.
Joe Svetlik
2 min read

Now here's a turn up for the books. The next version of Android will be called KitKat, after the famous four-finger chocolate bar. Google made the surprise announcement last night, hot on the heels of Apple sending out invites for its event next week. Trying to rain on its parade, perchance?

Android 4.4 was widely thought to be called Key Lime Pie, but Google opted to use the name of Nestle's chocolate bar instead. The decision was made late last year, so it's to Google's credit it's kept it under wraps all this time.

Apparently the key lime pie dessert isn't well-known enough, according to John Lagerling, director of Android global partnerships. "We realised that very few people actually know the taste of a key lime pie," he told the BBC. "One of the snacks that we keep in our kitchen for late-night coding are KitKats. And someone said: 'Hey, why don't we call the release KitKat?'"

Google got in touch with Nestle, and less than 24 hours later the deal was done. Though no money will change hands, according to Lagerling. The two businesses -- giants in their fields -- finalised the deal at Mobile World Congress in February. Nestle will deliver more than 50 million chocolate bars featuring the Android mascot to 19 countries, including the UK.

In keeping with tradition, Google rolled out a statue at its HQ to commemorate the latest version of the OS. Previous builds have all been named after sweet treats too: Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, and Jelly Bean.

The link-up could prove risky for both companies, though. Nestle has been criticised for how it's promoted powdered milk in the third world, and has a somewhat chequered human rights record. If the KitKat version of Android is susceptible to bugs and hacks, it wouldn't reflect too well on the KitKat brand, either.

Google also announced it has more than a billion Android activations. There's no news on what features Android KitKat will bring, but you can sign up to receive notifications on the next OS.

What do you think of the partnership? Is it the start of a whole new era of Android names? Or will it do more harm than good? Let me know in the comments, or on our sweet and tasty Facebook page.