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Android KitKat is Google’s next sweet update

The new Kit Kat label for The Hershey Company featuring Android's green robot mascot breaking a Kit Kat. Google is naming its new Android operating system after the chocolate bar. The Android 4.4 KitKat system is expected to launch in October 2013. (AP Photo/The Hershey Company). (uncredited/AP)

Google’s sugar addiction continued Tuesday, as the company announced the name of its next Android operating system will take its name from, of all places, the KitKat bar.

The company, which has been naming the versions of its system after sweets ranging from cupcakes to jelly beans, had widely been expected to give key lime pie the nod for its latest version, but threw a curve ball by announcing the chocolaty name and a promotional deal with Nestle to boot.

Google and Nestle will be launching more than 50 million special “Android KitKat” bars in 19 countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, Germany, Russia and Japan. Apart from packaging featuring Google’s Android mascot, the special chocolates also will direct users to a special Web site, that offers them the chance to win prizes such as Google Nexus 7 tablets or credits to the Google Play Store. The companies did not release any information on how they struck the deal, but Google confirmed no money was exchanged.

Also in keeping with Google tradition, the company has created a statue of a KitKat-inspired version of its Android mascot to put on the lawn of its Mountain View, Calif. headquarters.

Sundar Pichai, senior vice president in charge of Android, Chrome and Google Apps, posted a picture of the new statue on his Google+ page, along with a brief explanation of how the name game to be.

“[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,” Pinchai wrote.

In his post, Pichai also said that Android has now passed 1 billion activations on devices across the world, and promised that there would be “a lot more coming” from the Android team soon.

Google has yet to announce an official launch date for its new version of Android. Rumors put the launch date in October. In any case, with a name on the books, chances are that more details aren’t far behind.

Related stories:

Android executive leaves Google for Chinese firm

Follow The Post’s new tech blog, The Switch, where technology and policy connect.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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