Android crosses 1 billion activations, Sunder Pichai announces next version of Android, Android 4.4 KitKat along with Nexus 7 giveaway

It's great to hear that Google's Android has now crossed 1 billion device activations recently. This is up from 900 million activations figure, which Google shared at Google I/O Keynote 2013 earlier this year. On this big occasion, Android boss Sunder Pichai has announced the next version of Android, the Android 4.4 KitKat. Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie was the rumoured next Android update, but Google has renamed it to Android 4.4 KitKat.

Android 4.4 KitKat

The KitKat Android statue has arrived on the Google campus in the Mountain View to join the rest of the statues, and Google has set up a landing page of Android KitKat showing the history of Android nicknames all the way through to KitKat. Sunder Pichai has posted a photo of Android KitKat statue on his Google+ and Twitter account (above).

"All this Android innovation is driving tremendous ecosystem momentum and I'm excited to share that together we've now passed 1 Billion Android device activations. Huge thanks to the entire Android community from the hardware manufacturers, chip makers and carriers to the developers and content creators to all of you - our Android users around the world - for making this possible," Sunder Pichai noted on his Google+ post.

Nestlé quoted the following text on their official website.

Android has been developed by the company's engineers under sweet-themed names ever since the release of Android Cupcake in 2009 and continuing in alphabetical order until the most recent version, Android Jelly Bean.

The news that the letter 'K' will be dedicated to Nestlé's KitKat will surprise most technology commentators, who had widely thought the latest version would be 'Android Key Lime Pie'.

"We couldn't imagine a better name for our Android K release than the tasty chocolate that's been a favourite among the team since the early days of Android," said Marc Vanlerberghe, Director of Android Marketing.

"We're excited to announce this partnership with Android, the world's most popular mobile platform, which will help us to enable even more KitKat fans to enjoy their break," said Patrice Bula, Nestlé's Head of Marketing.

To mark the release of Android KitKat, more than 50 million specially branded Android KitKat bars will be available in 19 countries including Australia, Brazil, Germany, India, Japan, Dubai, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The packs will lead consumers to the website, where they will have the opportunity to win prizes including 1000 Google Nexus 7 2013 tablets, 150,000 $5 Google Play credits, to spend in Google's online store for apps, games, music, movies, books and more, and 20,000 coupons for a free bag of 8 ounce bag of KitKat Minis.

A small number of Android robot-shaped KitKat bars will also be offered as prizes in selected markets. These packs will kick off from September 6th and run till January 31, 2014.

Android 4.4 KitKatAndroid 4.4 KitKat

Android 4.4 KitKat

Android 4.4 KitKat

Source - Sundar Pichai & Nestlé

Story behind Android 4.4 KitKat name

According to marketing executives that talked to BBC from both the companies, there is no money exchanging hands between the companies for this tie up and it is a mutually beneficial deal.

John Lagerling, director of Android global partnerships, confessed to BBC that the Android 4.4 release was initially planned to be indeed called Key Lime Pie but sometime late last year, they decided to switch to the chocolate bar name.

"We realised that very few people actually know the taste of a key lime pie," Lagerling said. 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?'

Lagerling added that he contacted Nestle sometime in November last year and the deal was confirmed in less than 24 hours of the first call to Nestle.

"Very frankly, we decided within an hour to say let’s do it," Patrice Bula, Nestle's marketing chief told BBC. The nitty-gritties of the deal were later completed at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona.

Android 4.4 KitKatAndroid 4.4 KitKat

Android 4.4 KitKat

Source - BBC
Via - AndroidOS (ST)