Google reveals that the next Android version will be 4.4 ‘KitKat’

You can stop rubbing your eyes and yes, you really are reading that right. It’s not April 1st either, trust us we’ve checked. Google has confirmed that the next version of Android will be dubbed ‘KitKat’, as in the chocolate covered wafer bar from Nestle.

Sundar Pichai, Google’s head of Android and Chrome, revealed the news earlier today which left many in the tech world scratching their heads in a perplexed manner. Google has always used sweet things to name its Android versions and in an alphabetical manner too, but it has never used a branded product – Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Froyo, Jelly Bean and Donut are all examples of generic desserts used as Android version names.

But now we’re preparing for KitKat, which will be version 4.4. Since Jelly Bean came out we’ve been almost certain that the next version, already assigned to the letter K, would be Key Lime Pie. We also believed that it would signal version 5.0, but again we were wrong.

So why KitKat, then? In an interview with the BBC, Google’s John Lagerling told of their Android developers’ love for the chocolate snack. Although Google itself had referred to the next version of Android as Key Lime Pie internally – and even dropped subtle hints in official videos and slideshows at events – the company decided to reach out to Nestle and came to an agreement within just 24 hours, though he insists that it’s not a deal with money at the core.

On the official Android Google+ page, a new post earlier today revealed that the partnership would extend further than simply using the snack’s name for a new version of software. It looks as though Nestle will be releasing limited edition Android KitKats which could contain a type of golden ticket which the winner can redeem for prizes such as Google Play vouchers or even a Nexus 7 tablet – pretty sweet, if you’ll pardon the pun.

Of course, Android 4.4 is likely to still be a way off, but with Apple today confirming that a new iPhone will be revealed in just a week’s time and numerous new gadgets coming out of IFA in Berlin, we suspect Google wanted a share of the limelight.

What do you think to the new name, cool or crazy? Perhaps Android 4.5 will be KitKat Chunky…