KitKat: The new Android operating system

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The new Kit Kat label for The Hershey Company featues Android's green robot mascot breaking a Kit Kat. Google is naming its new Android operating system, which is expected to launch in October, after the chocolate bar. (Photo by The Associated Press.)
The new Kit Kat label for The Hershey Company featues Android’s green robot mascot breaking a Kit Kat. (Photo by The Associated Press.)

Google recently announced the name of a new version of its Android mobile operating system: KitKat.

Few details of the upgraded operating system’s features  have come forth. Google has only said, “It’s our goal with Android KitKat to make an amazing Android experience available for everybody.”

Google acknowledged in a press release that the name of its new operating system could come as a surprise to many tech industry followers. The company had been expecting the release to be called Key Lime Pie.

Marc Vanlerberghe, director of Android marketing, said, “We couldn’t imagine a better name for our Android K release than the tasty chocolate that’s been a favorite among the team since the early days of Android.”

The Android KitKat continues Google’s trend of naming versions of Android after desserts in alphabetical order. Per tech blog Engadget, previous versions of Android have been named Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean.

When questioned about why versions of Android are named after desserts, Google spokesperson Randall Sarafa told CNN, “It’s kind of an internal team thing and we prefer to be a little bit — how should I say — a bit inscrutable in the matter, I’ll say.”

The new Kit Kat bar Android statue sits outside Google Inc. headquarters in Mountain View, CA., representing Google's new Adroid operating system called Kit Kat. (Photo by The Associated Press.)
The new KitKat bar Android statue sits outside Google Inc. headquarters in Mountain View, CA., representing Google’s new Android operating system called KitKat. (Photo by The Associated Press.)

Google is using the KitKat name with the permission of Nestle, which owns the name of the candy worldwide. Google is also working with The Hershey’s Company, which licenses the KitKat name in the United States.

Google and the chocolate manufacturers will partner for a special promotion. Fifty million KitKat bars with the green Android robot on the packaging will be produced. The candy bars will be shipped to 19 markets across the world. Buyers of these chocolate bars in some markets will be eligible to win credit for the Google Play Store and Nexus 7 tablets. A limited number of robot-shaped KitKats will also be manufactured.

KitKat’s website has been redesigned in light of the announcement; Kitkat.com now advertises the chocolate as if it were a sleek new electronic device being released.

Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president, also announced that more than one billion Android devices have now been activated, putting Android well ahead of where Google thought they would be at this time of the year. In April, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt predicted at a tech conference that there would be one billion activated Android devices by the end of the year.

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