Funny things usually happen. When you are rich those things happen when you have a billion users at your mercy. What do you do with 1,000,000,000 users? Feed them. Feed them with some nice chocolate called Kitkat. Its official: the next version of our dessert-inspired beloved mobile operating system will be called Kitkat.
For starters Kitkat sounds weird. Really weird. Then again Key Lime Pie, which is what we all hoped and anticipated that Google will name its next version of Android, had already become too mainstream. Some purpoted Google designer cum engineer even released an image showing the various Androids eating desserts with the last one feeding on key lime pie. (We’ll have to forgive the designers/engineers who leaked the KLP news to us. KLP is what KitKat has been known as internally at Google for the entire period it has been under development and reports indicate that the KitKat name was kept secret till the very last minute when the new mascot was brought to the Googleplex ready for erection outside.) It would have come as no surprise. We were left with suggestions that maybe the next Android version will not be called Kandy Kane. Someone actually dug through the code of Jelly Bean and found some bar that was thought to signify the next version of Android. Still that was not what Google had in its sleeve. It is quite a pleasant surprise that Kitkat (I preffer calling it KK) is what the next version of Android (expected to be version number 4.4) will be called.
Where does the KitKat name originate from?
Remember Android 2.1? It was named Éclair. Now we all know that Éclair is a worldwide brand in the confectionary industry don’t we? Things here are repeating themselves.
In an interesting twist of conventional naming and mixed marketing, KitKat is actually a registered trademark of Nestle. The KitKat Android pictured at the Googleplex front lawn actually has the writings “KitKat” in the same exact way as the trademark of the chocolate bar maker signifying the blessings of the former to Google’s latest Android iteration. This will obviously be huge. It is a lot of marketing bearing in mind how popular Google’s mobile operating system is. The BBC reveals that deal apparently does not involve any exchange of money. It is just a “scratch my back I scratch yours” kind of deal. Google will use the KitKat name and the makers of KitKat (Nestle in many parts of the world save for the US where it is under Hershey Chocolates) will in return feature some promotional items on its candy bars offering Google/Android related stuff like Nexus devices for grabs from buyers of KitKat wafers and candy bars. Android will also be marketed on the packaging. There will be some other goodies like Google Play credits alongside the Nexus devices. These will be available in the US and UK as well as 19 other international markets like Brazil, Japan, China and others. Obviously there are no hopes of Kenya being part of that but maybe South Africa could be among the 19 international markets.
Interestingly, it is coming out that the decision to name the next Android version KitKat was considered as early as last November when we were all busy speculating on the Nexus 4 and sealed early this year at MWC when invitations to the Galaxy S4 announcement event were just being sent out. Thumbs up Google, that was a well-kept secret.
The next question we need to ask ourselves is what #AndroidKitKat will bring to the table. With all the iterations of Jelly Bean (4.1, 4.2 and lately 4.3) Android has come of age. It is hard to imagine what else needs to be added. With all fingers (the most reliable being the KitKat website homepage – kitkat.com and the Android website – android.com/kitkat) pointing to KitKat being Android 4.4 and not Android 5 as was widely expected, it means there is just some little stuff added to the core Android base necessitating a name change from Jelly Bean to something else (KitKat in this case).
It’s time to start wondering what dessert the next version of Android will be named after. It’s letter L. My friend Ken thinks it is Lollipop. LOLing Sandwich anyone?
Just a recap, here are the previous versions of Android vis-à-vis their dessert names:
|Android Version||Dessert Name|
|4.0||Ice Cream Sandwich|
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
See Google head Sundar Pichai announce KitKat here.