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9/3/2013
03:02 PM
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Google's Next Android Called 'KitKat'

Google announces 1 billion global Android activations and a contest for free Nexus 7 tablets, Google Play credits and Kit Kat candies.

10 Hidden Android Tips, Tricks
10 Hidden Android Tips, Tricks
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Google's Android operating system has surpassed 1 billion activations, an increase of 100 million since Google last disclosed activation figures, on May 15 during its annual developer conference.

The milestone is more or less consistent with the Android device activation rate revealed by Google's former Android chief Andy Rubin in June: 900,000 per day, and the passage of 111 days since Google I/O.

Google SVP of Android and Chrome Sundar Pichai made the announcement in a Google+ post. He also disclosed that Google will continue its dessert-themed naming convention for Android by designating Android 4.4 KitKat, after the Nestlé-owned candy brand. No details about forthcoming features were provided.

Using a protected trademark for Android release names is a first for Google. Previous major Android releases have been known by generic desserts: Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean. Maintenance releases such as the recent Android 4.3 have brought only a changed version number.

[ Looking for a sweet deal on your old iPhone? Read Apple Launches iPhone Trade-In Program. ]

Until now, the name "Key Lime Pie" had been the expected designation of the next major Android release. Given the alphabetical progression of Android code names to date and the arrival of a "K"-based name, it appears that Key Lime Pie is no longer in the running.

To mark the occasion and avoid litigation, Google is working with the Hershey Company, which licenses the Kit Kat brand from Nestlé, to distribute co-branded Android Kit Kit candies. The sweets provide buyers with a chance to win Google Nexus 7 tablets, Google Play credits and free Kit Kat Minis.

An undisclosed number of the limited edition candy bars will include a special code inside the wrapper. Consumers must then visit the Android Kit Kat website and enter the code to participate in the promotion. Presumably, personal information will be collected.

Google declined to provide information about the chances of winning. A spokeswoman said in an email that 50 million specially branded Kit Kat bars will be made available in 19 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Germany, India, Japan, Middle Eastern countries, Russia and the United States.

In the U.S., the Hershey Company plans to distribute tickets for 1,000 Nexus 7 tablets, 150,000 $5 Google Play credits, and 20,000 coupons for a free 8 oz. bag of Kit Kat Minis.

The promotion begins Sept. 6, which just happens to be a few days before the Sept. 10 media event at which Apple is expected to announce its iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. The Android KitKat promotion runs through Jan. 31.

Learn more about BYOD, MDM and other topics by attending the Interop conference track on Mobility in New York from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4.

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D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
9/3/2013 | 9:51:51 PM
re: Google's Next Android Called 'KitKat'
Wouldn't Nestl+ have something to say about the use of its brand name? Next thing you know we'll have a Scotch Tape or BandAid operating system. Or, if you're trying to appeal to developers, how about a PBR? I liked the less brandish names like Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean. But how about something less calorific while we're at it?
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
9/3/2013 | 10:35:55 PM
re: Google's Next Android Called 'KitKat'
Presumably, Google is working with Nestl+ outside the U.S. The heavy-handed branding is a bit irksome, but there's also something endearing about the Wonka-like aspect of the promotion. If the tickets were golden, I'd be completely sold on the idea.
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
9/4/2013 | 2:52:21 PM
re: Google's Next Android Called 'KitKat'
BBC reports http://bbc.in/15AUoLX that Nestl+ is behind the naming and is even putting the Android bot on candy wrappers. They're calling it a marketing coup!
GiffordB149
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GiffordB149,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/4/2013 | 12:00:37 AM
re: Google's Next Android Called 'KitKat'
Key Lime Pie was meant to be for Android 5.0... Android 4.4 will just be another incremental update, a major update has almost always come with a new version number. So Key Lime Pie may still be used.
This guy might want to do a bit of research before jumping to conclusions!
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
9/4/2013 | 9:06:53 PM
re: Google's Next Android Called 'KitKat'
Research isn't the issue since Google hasn't said anything authoritative on the subject. But the company has been using an alphabetical naming convention. That ends if it elects to call Android 5.0 "Key Lime Pie." "K" has been used now. Unless Google breaks with its dessert-themed naming convention, the next Android, whether 4.5 or 5.0, will be given an "L" name. Android Lollipop, anyone?
Cara Latham
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Cara Latham,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/4/2013 | 9:38:27 PM
re: Google's Next Android Called 'KitKat'
I actually think this a creative name for the campaign -- one that benefits both companies. As I clicked the story to open it, I wondered how Google got around the trademark issue. But partnering with Nestle seems to be a win-win in marketing for both.
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