Have a break, have an Android: Five rumours and facts about Google’s upcoming KitKat OS

Google is expected to launch its fantastically named Android KitKat this month - here´s a round up of the rumours and a few facts...

30 Sep 2013


What is it with Google and sweets?

First we had operating systems called Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean. Now we know the next generation of its Android mobile operating system (4.4, if you're counting) will be called KitKat - another name to really make your belly rumble.

Android Kit Kat

(Credit: Google)

But other than evoking a nation's memories of four-fingered, break-time snacks, what else do we know about the KitKat OS?

We've given you a break by rounding up a few of facts and rumours doing the rounds as well as some KitKat-themed banter which made us all chuckle…

Fact - it's not called Key Lime Pie

For months and months we expected the next version of Android to be called Key Lime Pie - and why not? It continued the theme of tasty, naughty sweet treats and reminded us all of holidays to Florida. Google itself had referred to the name too. However, it decided the creamy, citrusy treat was not well known enough and instead pulled out KitKat like a white rabbit from a magician's hat. As we reeled at the sheer genius of it, Google told us it had struck a deal with KitKat-maker Nestle, with the serious folk at the BBC even calling it a "surprise move".

John Lagerling, director of Android global partnerships, told the BBC: "We realised that very few people actually know the taste of a key lime pie. 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?'"

Google contacted Nestle and a deal was announced 24 hours after a conference call between the two firms. However, the deal has nothing to do with dollar, with Google saying neither side was paying the other.

Rumour - it's set to launch in October

The tech press are currently suggesting the foil will be unwrapped from the KitKat OS sometime this month. Cnet reported that Nestle Germany had revealed an October launch date for the next generation of Android for phones and tablets. Meanwhile, a leaked release date reported by Ausdroid suggests October 14 - remember Google has confirmed nothing yet though.

It's been a rollercoaster few months for the next generation of Android. Back in the summer when the KitKat name was but a dream in Sergey Brin's brain we had all expected Google to give details of a new OS called Key Lime Pie at its I/O Developers Conference. How wrong we were.  

Fact - your Nexus 7 tablet should update to KitKat soon after launch

Nexus 7 Hand

(Credit: AP)

If you've recently bought a new Nexus 7 tablet you can bet your bottom dollar it'll be among the first devices to update to Android KitKat once it's launched.

The Nexus 7 boasts the world's sharpest seven-inch screen. With 2.3 million pixels in the palm of your hand, watching TOWIE on the train and reading Cosmopolitan on the couch have never been sharper. Just can't stop watching Breaking Bad or reading the new Bridget Jones? Don't worry - the Nexus 7 offers 10 hours' battery life. 

Also, its svelte seven-inch size means it can be slid in your bag with ease too, right alongside your KitKat. And when it gets updated with the new OS it will probably be even smoother than the chocolate it's named after.

Rumour - Nexus 5 phone will boast wireless charging

But enough about tablets. Each new Android update coincides with a new smartphone, so it's no surprise we're getting ourselves in a lather over the reported Nexus 5. It is thought the new phone - said to be made by LG - will be the first time we encounter Android KitKat unwrapped in all its glory.

Screenshots spotted by MyCE suggest the new phone will feature wireless charging, as well as a five-inch screen with eyeball-spanking full HD resolution.  

Fact - Nestle gives KitKat the Android treatment with 4.4 snack

Who says tech can't be funny? Nestle has knocked together a tech-spec spoof detailing its latest KitKat 4.4 as though it's a new Nexus tablet. Expect tongue-in cheek dimensions, edge-to-edge display banter and jokes about your KitKat's universal compatibility (it can be eaten anywhere across the globe) and Unlimited Standby Time (it can go from 0 to break in a single snap). It's not just a KitKat, it's an "immersive and multi-sensory experience". And it tastes good too.

Rumour - Android set for less powerful devices

Previous rumours suggested Android 5.0 would be able to run on less-powerful devices, but that could actually arrive with KitKat (4.4). Android Central claimed earlier this year that Google was working with the Linux 3.8 Kernal in a move which would demand lower RAM usage. This chimes with Google's pledge that with KitKat it aims to "make an amazing Android experience available for everybody".

Fact - You can enjoy an Android-themed KitKat

Android Kit Kat 2

(Credit: Google)

If you told your mate to 'do one' when he sidled up to you down the boozer and said he'd seen pictures of KitKats shaped like the Android logo there are two things you need to do. 1) have a word with yourself for hanging around with someone who wants to talk about tech-themed confectionary on a Friday night, and 2) apologise. For as boring as he may be he was at least correct.

Nestle is knocking up some 50 million specially-branded bars that will be available across the world to commemorate the deal. Upon unwrapping you'll see a regular shaped KitKat with solid chocolate interpretations of Android's head, leg and arms welded onto the sides. At least it'll give you something to talk about on your break.

So there we are, a few facts and rumours about the new chocolaty OS - but what would you like to see from Android KitKat? Let us know in the comments below...