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05 September 20130 Comments by Jon M

Android 4.4 to be named KitKat

chocolate androids

A whole new range of “have a break”-themed puns became possible today as the name of the new version of Android was officially revealed. In keeping with the alphabetical naming system Google have been using (viz. Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, etc.) it had long been referred to as Key Lime Pie. However, it seems that this was not internationally recognisable enough (some differences aside, it’s basically a lemon meringue pie with lime instead) and so they’d entered into an agreement to call it KitKat.

Even the majority of Google employees haven’t known about the new name for Android until this news broke after a giant Android-shaped KitKat was delivered to their headquarters in Mountain View, California. According to reports, the deal was only struck a few months ago at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Tens of millions of KitKat bars around the world will have prominent Android branding but even the production of the wrappers has been kept a secret so that the news didn’t leak.

android kitkatWhy the sudden change and why a KitKat in particular then? Apparently Hiroshi Lockheimer, the VP of Engineering at Android is a bit of a KitKat addict. And it was Google who contacted Nestlé to strike the secretive deal.

However, in announcing this deal that had been kept under wraps for so long, Google unwittingly let something else slip. A promotional video (which has since been removed) posted on an official Google YouTube channel showed footage from the delivery of the giant Android KitKat at Google HQ. In it, several Google employees are taking photos with their Android smartphones including one holding a shiny-looking Nexus-branded model.

Even though you can make out that it is manufactured by LG again, the back of the phone clearly has a larger camera lens than the Nexus 4 and other Nexus handsets leading many to predict that this is a pre-release version of the new Nexus 5. Keep your ears to the ground as we may be hearing a lot more soon…

In other Android news, Google has now reported that there have now been 1 billion Android activations worldwide. If you think about that, it really is quite staggering. And it’s even ahead of Google’s own predictions.

So what do you think the new KitKat version of Android is going to bring? It’s only version 4.4 (up from the current 4.3 Jelly Bean) so it’s not a major revision, but we can expect plenty of updates and new features. We’re just not sure partnering with KitKat was the wisest of ideas…

First of all, who even likes KitKats? Surely they are one of the worst and most boring chocolate bars? Even worse, in the whole of the US (which is still Android’s biggest market), KitKat bars are made with disgusting Hershey’s “chocolate”. That’s right, American KitKats have only 11% cocoa solids which is less than a third of that legally mandated to even label a product as “chocolate” in the EU!

But that’s far from the worst of it. Partnering with Nestlé is pretty dubious from a moral standpoint if you remember their marketing practices in the third world. Put simple, Nestlé dressed up their sales reps as medical professionals so they could use their perceived authority to push their unhealthy baby milk formula on poor mothers. Of course, once they had started using infant formula, the women we no longer able to produce their own breast milk and we trapped having to buy Nestle’s extremely pricey substitute.

Arguably, foreign packaging and lack of clean water in these regions led to millions of children dying just to make Nestlé’s shareholders a bit of cash. To this day, right-thinking people boycott all Nestlé products and Google’s cooperation with them will leave a much more sour taste in the mouth than the infamous vomit taste of Hershey’s KitKats.

What do you make of this announcement? Do you prefer Key Lime Pies or KitKats? What new features will Android 4.4 bring? Do you still boycott Nestlé products? And can Google be forgiven for working with them? We’d love to hear your opinions on all these issues.

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