Android Key Lime Pie is DEAD. Long live Android KitKat

News Richard Goodwin 11:12, 4 Sep 2013

Google confirms Android KitKat and accidentally leaks LG-built Nexus 5

What a day! First, Microsoft and Nokia. Then, Apple sending out its iPhone 5S invites. And now, just in case you hadn’t had enough, Google announcing that the next iteration of Android (version 4.4) will be known as Android KitKat, not Key Lime Pie.

Sundar Pichai first alluded to the incoming announcement on Google+, and shortly thereafter an official announcement hit android.com. Referring to above picture, Pichai said:

‘On my return from Asia, I was also thrilled to find this guy waiting to greet me on the front lawn -- love the new #AndroidKitKat statue and can’t wait to release the next version of the platform that is as sweet as the candy bar that’s one of our team’s favorites:)’

And here’s the official statement via the official Android website:

“Android is the operating system that powers over 1 billion smartphones and tablets. Since these devices make our lives so sweet, each Android version is named after a dessert: Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, and Jelly Bean. As everybody finds it difficult to stay away from chocolate we decided to name the next version of Android after one of our favorite chocolate treats, Kitkat®!”

Nexus 5 leaked in Android KitKat promo video

And it wasn’t just Android KitKat that made an appearance yesterday either. No, Google’s upcoming Nexus 5 handset – likely first handset to carry Android KitKat – was also spotted inside a promotional video that accompanied the announcement. 

In the video we’re treated to a side-by-side comparison of the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5. The Verge snagged the video as soon as it popped up online (it has since been removed) and published the images of the Nexus 5, which you can see below:

'The employee in question is holding what looks like a new Nexus device, with the rear of the device featuring a horizontal Nexus logo — just like the new Nexus 7— and a matte finish and large camera lens that hasn't appeared on any existing Nexus devices,' said the report.

The mystery device also features an LG logo, all-but confirming that Google and LG have teamed up once again to build the Nexus 5. 

Android KitKat – The Egalitarian Update

It seems that Android 4.4 is going to be all about bringing a unified experience to all Android handsets – bringing the top and bottom together, so to speak. Whether this means addressing the gapping security hole created by Android’s fragmented nature, however, or simply a more unified set of features remains to be seen.

Google has yet to pass on any really juicy details as yet, but it would seem that Android KitKat is aimed at being the search giant’s most egalitarian update thus far. 

Presumably, Nestle is cool with all of this. 

Nestle is cool with all this!

Google has just been intouch to provide us with some official comment about the naming convention – and don't worry, it's perfectly legal. No one's getting fingered out of a trademark, if you'll excuse the pun. (Sorry, we couldn't resist.) 

'KitKat has been a favorite chocolate among the engineering team for some time, so for the K release, we asked Nestle if they’d be willing to lend the iconic bar to its name. We also worked with them to create a limited edition Android KitKat bar coming soon to a supermarket aisle near you,' said a Google spokesperson. 

Speaking to the BBC, John Lagerling, director of Android global partnerships, had the following to say about the naming convention of Android KitKat:

‘We realised that very few people actually know the taste of a key lime pie. 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?’ 

‘We didn't even know which company controlled the name, and we thought that [the choice] would be difficult. But then we thought well why not, and we decided to reach out to the Nestle folks.’ 

Nestle apparently okayed the use of its brand name within 24-hours of receiving Google’s enquiry about using it. 

Here's the official line via Nestle: 

'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,' said Patrice Bula, Nestlé’s Head of Marketing.

'KitKat is one of the world’s top ten fast-moving consumer goods brands in social media in terms of fan numbers and engagement,” he continued. “We continue to build on its strong digital presence with interactive, creative branding campaigns.'

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