Search engine giant Google has unveiled the latest version of its mobile operating system – Android KitKat.

Bringing to an end months of speculation, the internet organisation confirmed the new offering would be named after the popular Nestle chocolate and wafer bar, coming as part of a partnership between the two companies.

Surprising choice

News of the new title came as a surprise to many in the technology industry, as it had previously been indicated that the 4.4 version of the operating system would be called Key Lime Pie.

However, the decision to brand the software with the name of Nestle’s snack bar is likely to be viewed as a marketing opportunity for the Swiss food and beverage maker.

In an interview with BBC News, John Lagerling – director of Android global partnerships – said Google has come up with the idea, but neither company is getting paid for the move.

android caseBranded chocolate

Set to launch in the UK, Android KitKat will join 18 markets including Brazil, Germany, Australia, Japan, India, Russia, the US and the Middle East in a scheme to allow consumers to win prizes through more than 50 million specially-branded KitKat bars.

UK consumers can take part in the promotion through special packs of KitKat Four-Finger and KitKat Chunky multipacks, which are available in Asda, Sainsbury’s Morrisons and Tesco.

Here, members of the public will be led to a website where they will be given the opportunity to win a series of prizes including 1,000 Google Nexus 7 tablets or one of 50,000 £5 credits for Google Play.

Emerging trend

Ever since 2009, Google and its partners have condenamed each Android release after a type of treat, with major updates progressing a letter along the alphabet. Previous versions have been called Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean.

Although developers had referred to the upcoming version as Key Lime Pie in internal documents, Mr Lagerling said the decision was made late last year to opt for the KitKat title.

“We realised that very few people actually know the taste of a key lime pie,” he explained.

“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.”

Keeping the Android 4.4 Kit Kat hush

Executives from Nestle and Google met during a secret meeting at the Mobile World Congress, which took place in Barcelona in February, to finalise the details of the deal.

Despite the fact the packaging for promotional products had to be kept behind closed doors, the companies have successfully managed to keep details away from prying eyes until the official launch. Android officials also took steps to preserve the element of surprise, notifying a “tight team” about the decision.

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