SAN FRANCISCO -- The latest version of Google's mobile software is being named for a delectable treat and a favorite of Google engineers: Kit Kat. And be prepared for Android KitKat bars coming to store shelves near you.
Branding Android with the name of the Nestle's chocolate bar (technically made by Hershey in the U.S.) came as a big surprise to Android watchers. Google had said the next version would be called Key Lime Pie.
Since 2009, Google has named each Android release after some kind of treat. Previous versions: Cupcake, Donut, Éclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean. But the names of the treats were all generic.
Most Google employees only found out about the KitKat switcheroo when the statue was unveiled on the company's Mountain View, Calif., campus.
Kit Kat, which has three layers of wafer coated with chocolatey goodness, could be a boon for Android and KitKat. Of course, there are risks to each brand. What if Google's new mobile software is buggy? Or what if Nestle runs into a corporate scandal?
OK, I give up. Hard to think of anything bitter coming from this tie-up. In fact, Nestle plans to deliver more than 50 million Android KitKats to candy aisles in the United States and other countries. Google's equivalent of the golden ticket: a chance to win either a Nexus 7 or a Google Play credit.
Sundar Pichai made the KitKat announcement on Google+, having just wrapped up a trip to Asia visiting Android partners. He also announced a milestone that was less of a surprise: 1 billion Android device activations.