Android 4.4 to be officially called KitKat

No Key Lime Pie in Android's future

Android named the next version of its popular mobile OS KitKat, after the chocolate bar. The next version of Android will be called KitKat after the Nestle chocolate bar, and not Key Lime Pie, as was predicted for months, Google has announced.

The news was an unexpected twist to many Android fans, who had expected the next big release would be numbered Android 5.0 and would be called Key Lime Pie, in keeping with Google's pattern of picking an Android update named after a sweet treat, starting with the next letter in the alphabet.

Google's Android Web site says the next version will be Android 4.4, called KitKat, with no mention of when it will be released or what it will include. Google had not officially ever called the next version Key Lime Pie, although it had used KLP in some written materials.

"Google didn't actually tell us much of anything today," wrote Computerworld blogger JR Raphael. "We got a name and a number -- and that's it."

Previous versions have been called Cupcake (Android 1.5), Donut (1.6), Eclair (2.0), Froyo, short for Frozen Yogurt, (2.2), Gingerbread (2.3), Honeycomb (3.0), Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) and Jelly Bean (4.1).

Google has also erected an Android KitKat statue on its corporate lawn, pictured in a short Google Plus post by Sundar Pichai, Google's senior vice president of Chrome and Apps.

"Love the new #AndroidKitKat statue and can't wait to release the next version of the platform that is sweet as the candy bar that's one of our team's favorites J," Pichai wrote.

Separately in Google Plus, Google said to watch for tickets to win a Nexus 7 tablet inside a limited edition of Android Kit Kat bars. Nestle uses a space between the words Kit and Kat for the chocolate bar, according to its Web site, but Android will run the two words together as one: KitKat, according to Google.

The Android KitKat statue on Google's corporate lawn.
The Android KitKat statue on Google's corporate lawn.

Why so much coverage and concern over a name for a smartphone and tablet operating system? Probably because Android now controls nearly 80% of the smartphone market and half of the tablet market, according to IDC and Gartner. That means Android already powers more than 1 billion smartphones and tablets.

When you're that big, you can choose any name you want, analysts said.

A few analysts couldn't resist poking fun at the name. "Now you can call your phone -- here Kitty!" quipped Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates.

KitKat is apparently a better name than some alternatives, even Key Lime Pie, or KoolAid, KrispyKreme donuts, Kahlua or Klondike, the ice cream bar, Gold said. "Maybe it's not so easy to find a K and this way they get a name brand to co-market with," he said.

Some brand experts have said that if Android 4.4 has any problems, it could tarnish the Kit Kat chocolate bar brand, but apparently that's not a concern for Swiss-based Nestle.

Google and Nestle decided on the name last November, and Nestle's marketing head, Patrice Bula, told the BBC that the decision took Nestle only an hour, even though he recognized there might be risks if Android 4.4 is vulnerable to malware. The name was kept secret for the past nine months so it would come as a surprise when it was finally revealed.

Google's John Lagerling, director of Android global partnerships, told the BBC that no money changed hands with Nestle and that picking the KitKat name was designed to do something "fun and unexpected" even as Google workers internally were still calling the next Android release Key Lime Pie.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Mobile/WirelessGoogleconsumer electronicsNetworkingwirelesssmartphonesAndroidmobileGingerNestle

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Hamblen

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

D-Link TAIPAN AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Modem Router (DSL-4320L)

Learn more >

D-Link PowerLine AV2 2000 Gigabit Network Kit

Learn more >

Crucial® BX200 SATA 2.5” 7mm (with 9.5mm adapter) Internal Solid State Drive

Learn more >

ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q – Reign beyond virtual world

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >


Learn more >

Family Friendly

ASUS VivoPC VM62 - Incredibly Powerful, Unbelievably Small

Learn more >

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Best Deals on Good Gear Guide

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.


Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?