The next Android operating system officially has a name, and it is not what we expected. Google’s senior vice president Sundar Pichai took to Twitter on Tuesday and revealed that the newest Android mascot statue currently on the lawn at Google’s Mountain View, Calif. campus is an Android shaped Kit Kat bar.
We now have over 1 Billion Android activations and hope this guy in front of the building keeps that momentum going pic.twitter.com/V0VovgmObl
â€” sundarpichai (@sundarpichai) September 3, 2013
The next Android system will be called Android 4.4 Kit Kat. Upon its announcement an information page went live for the upcoming operating system not only discussing Android’s recently hit 1 billion smartphone activations milestone but also retraces the history of Android operating systems from Cupcake to Jelly Bean.
Android operating systems have notably been named in alphabetical order after desserts and sweets. They are cupcake, donut, éclair, froyo, gingerbread, honeycomb, icecream sandwich and jelly bean. This is the first time that Android has used a specific branding in their naming of its systems. The deal was reportedly a mutual agreement between Android and Nestle, whom is the global owner of Kit Kat. The chocolate bar is owned by Hershey in the U.S. John Lagerling, director of Android global partnerships told the BBC that no money changed hands in the deal, which was confirmed in just 24 hours in late November 2012. The details of the deal were then finalized during a secret meeting which took place in February at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Google and Nestle did a particularly good job of keeping the name Android 4.4 Kit Kat under wraps. The revelation came as a shock for many Android enthusiasts who were certain that the next operating system would be called Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie. The name of the next Android operation apparently was Key Lime Pie at one point and was referred to as such in Android internal documents and by developers Lagerling explained. The Android team decided to change the name when they realized that not that many people know the taste of Key Lime Pie. The name Kit Kat then came up as homage to the chocolate bar, which is supposedly a favorite among the coding crew at Android.
After the name was decided upon, Google notably continued to refer to the operating as Key Lime Pie in order to keep its actual name a secret. Many may remember the Key Lime Pie teasers, which popped up in slide shows during presentations at the Google I/O Conference in May.
Now, Kit Kat branding is visible with both Google and Nestle. In an interesting cross-promotion, Nestle will release Android branded Kit Kat bars, which will include a contest giving away Nexus 7 tablets and Google Play credits in the U.S. and the U.K.
Currently little information is known about Android 4.4 Kit Kat other than its name. According to its information, Google aims to make Android Kit Kat “an amazing Android experience available for everybody.” This could indicate that Android 4.4 will be compatible with many devices outside of smartphones and tablets, or that a wider range of Android devices will be able to update to the operating system. This of course is not confirmed.
Android 4.4 Kit Kat is expected to release in October as per previous rumors when the operating system was still referred to as Key Lime Pie. More information about the system and its release is expected soon.
What do you think about the name Android 4.4 Kit Kat for the next Android operating system? Let us know in the comments below.
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Fionna Agomuoh is a Technology Reporter for the International Business Times, a vegan foodie, and a lover of Electric Dance Music.