The next version of Android: KitKat [Update]

The next version of Android, 4.4, will be named KitKat, a statue outside of Google HQ has revealed. This name replaces the much rumoured 'Key Lime Pie' moniker that Google seemed to be using previously.

Surprisingly, KitKat is a trademark owned by Nestle, so it is likely that some money has changed hands along the way - this is definitely an interesting marketing move for both companies.

Sundar Pichai, the SVP for Android, Chrome & Apps at Google also announced in a Tweet that there have now been "1 Billion Android activations":

Google have also updated their website, which now includes a teaser for the next version, and reveals that it will be Android 4.4, rather than the hotly anticipated 5.0. This next version's features are expected to be announced in the coming months, following the earlier announcement of Android 4.3 and the new Nexus 7.

Update: A Nestle press release has confirmed that while no money was in fact involved in the decision, the makers of KitKat will embrace the partnership, with competitions and limited edition Android shaped KitKats as prizes. There will be specially branded packaging in 19 countries including the US, the UK, Australia and Germany. Patrice Bula, Nestlé’s Head of Marketing commented:

We’re excited to announce this partnership with Android, the world's most popular mobile platform, which will help us to enable even more KitKat fans to enjoy their break.

Source: Google | Image: Sundar Pichai on Twitter

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116 Comments

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Great move!

I'm also rather impressed (although not necessarily surprised) at how quickly Google has associated the search term 'kitkat' with Android.

Even http://www.kitkat.com has gone all high-tech!

I haven't had a KitKat in years, however used to be partial to the dark chocolate 'Chunky' variety, in addition to the various Japanese flavours.

In my efforts to actively boycott all things Nestle, I'll be making sure my phone does not
download Android 4.4 ... assuming it's supported. Furthermore, following this news, if
my phone can't get a slice of Key Lime Pie when that eventually comes out then I'll be
going with WP8 for my next smartphone, provided they get the static IP issue fixed.

Nestle is a thoroughly EVIL company. All their products are banned in my household.

DJGM said,
In my efforts to actively boycott all things Nestle, I'll be making sure my phone does not
download Android 4.4 ... assuming it's supported. Furthermore, following this news, if
my phone can't get a slice of Key Lime Pie when that eventually comes out then I'll be
going with WP8 for my next smartphone, provided they get the static IP issue fixed.

Nestle is a thoroughly EVIL company. All their products are banned in my household.


???

Maybe the next main feature has something to do with the kitkat tagline.. Have a break or enjoy your break. I dunno.. Just can't get my head round it

I tweeted about this to Neowin over an hour ago.
Was half naked otherwise would have made a list.

BBC were pretty quick on this too!

Is Key Lime Pie known well outside of the US? I first heard it on House only last year.

panacea said,
Kit Kat for 4.4

Lie Pie for 5.0


everything is on track, while google bags a bunch of cash from nestle on the way

No money is being exchanged.

ashpowell said,
wtf? makes it sound cheap and crappy in my opinion...

Next Android is going to be called Snickers. Bad move imo

in my opinion.. lol

I dont think it is a bad move. KitKat is a well known candy and has a catchy tune. Probably a better move on Nestles part tho.

I'd say it's brilliant marketing on Nestle's part. Free marketing and publicity every time the name is mentioned in tech press and circles.

ashpowell said,
wtf? makes it sound cheap and crappy in my opinion...

Next Android is going to be called Snickers. Bad move imo

Eat a Snickers, you're turning into a right diva.

Considering the naming of their systems runs alphabetically, it won't be called Snickers.

*snickers at you*

techbeck said,

I see no difference than naming it after desserts.

The Web SEO implications on their own make this a dumb idea.

Trollercoaster said,

The Web SEO implications on their own make this a dumb idea.

Its great marketing no matter how you look at it. Someone says KitKat, you think candy bar. Nestle is helping to market the next version of Android buy giving away candy bars in the shape of android. Win/win no matter how you look at it.

Trollercoaster said,

Naming your OS after a chocolate bar? Really?


All Android versions are named after a sweet.

Better than naming your OS after cats....

ilovetonetwork said,

All Android versions are named after a sweet.

Better than naming your OS after cats....

Sure they've all had dumb code names or editions but naming after actual brands? nah.

I get it: Google gets the brand name lent to it, and Nestle gets some free promotion.

I like KitKat bars, and I also like Android.

I also like that we're still in line for another Android release this year (well, I hope that's what it means).

And yes, I will be looking for those specially-marked KitKats for a chance to get a free Nexus 7 (I already own a Nexus 10)!!

Maybe they were pulling their hair trying to figure out how to make an android shape with key lime pie and they ran out of ideas.

freak180 said,
Since when jelly bean is consider a desert name?? >.< think before you post
You can make Jelly Bean desserts... You can also make Kit Kat desserts. Who knew? I've seen JB desserts, but never Kit Kat's. You're right, silly me for not googling Kit Kat desserts, and silly you for not knowing that JB/Kit Kat could be used for desserts. You should've thought it out too. Internet trolls never cease to amaze me.

tsupersonic said,
Kit Kat? Seriously? What happened to Key Lime Pie, and sticking with dessert names?

Never was deserts but rather sweets/candy. Donut isn't really a desert either.

Karanlos said,

Never was deserts but rather sweets/candy. Donut isn't really a desert either.

I think it is? Plus we had Cupcake and Eclair as well... Jelly Bean was the only one to deviate a bit. I know I far preferred Key Lime Pie... Kit Kats are 1) trademarked and 2) rubbish

Spicoli said,
That might be a first. Using the name of an OS release to advertise a 3rd party product?

Its ironic that Google makes bulk of its revenue via advertising, and with KitKat they are actually advertising a 3rd party product.

I preferred key Lime Pie, maybe they weren't happy with the statue designs. And definitely preferred them not associated with Nestle

Nestle must have paid a pretty big chunk of cash to have their product being the name of the next android.


I hope key lime pie will be android 5.0 as promised and this 4.4 is a small update (with sponsored name)

panacea said,
Nestle must have paid a pretty big chunk of cash to have their product being the name of the next android.


I hope key lime pie will be android 5.0 as promised and this 4.4 is a small update (with sponsored name)


No money involved.

panacea said,
Nestle must have paid a pretty big chunk of cash to have their product being the name of the next android.


I hope key lime pie will be android 5.0 as promised and this 4.4 is a small update (with sponsored name)

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the need for a partnership. Does anyone really care what the name of the next version is. Am I naïve to think that a name is a name, especially for an OS revision?

SharpGreen said,

No money involved.

No money involved supposedly for the initial deal. You are crazy to think there's no deals in place otherwise.

NathanLiu said,
Me too, must be very confusing to some customers.

not really.
name change = big changes under the hood.
The version number is pretty much irrelevant otherwise (can anybody here tell the difference between 4.1 and 4.2 without looking up on Google?)

Yes, small but noticeable changes off the top of my head: quick settings in notifications, new camera interface, expanded notifications (I think)

gonchuki said,

not really.
name change = big changes under the hood.
The version number is pretty much irrelevant otherwise (can anybody here tell the difference between 4.1 and 4.2 without looking up on Google?)

Yes it is confusing. Most people that are not techies have no idea what version of Android they are using; hell even some techies get confused as to what version they have.

Although I don't have anything of contributory value to post now, I just wanted to thank each of you in your responses, it's nice to have replies that don't insult a user for not knowing something, especially nice when you're prepared to be understanding in your responses, thank you