Google has named the latest version of its Android mobile operating system after the KitKat chocolate bar.

The company has a history of naming software after confectionery and desserts – previous versions include Ice Cream Sandwich, Gingerbread and Jelly Bean.

Android software is the world’s biggest mobile operating system, driving more than a billion tablets and smart phones, according to Google.

The news is a surprise to some technology watchers as the company had previously indicated that version 4.4 – expected in October – would go by the generic name Key Lime Pie.

A giant Android figure made from KitKats has now joined the Gingerbread and Jelly Bean ‘statues’ outside Google’s California headquarters.

Sundar Pichai, head of Android, tweeted a picture of the creation.

“We now have over 1 Billion Android activations and hope this guy in front of the building keeps that momentum going,” said Pichai.

Some 1.5 million Android devices are activated every day, Google’s chief executive Larry Page said last month.

The KitKat-Android marketing deal will also see buyers of Nestle’s four-fingered bar able to win Android tablets by looking out for 50 million special wrappers.

The idea for the marketing hook-up was reportedly Google’s, with Android bosses approaching Nestle about the idea in November.

Apple will be hoping to claw back momentum from Android-powered phones, which have a 79% of the smart phone market, when it hosts a special event on September 10.

The company is widely expected to unveil the latest iPhone.

It is also rumoured to be launching a second, cheaper version of the device that could broaden its product range and help it tempt budget-conscious consumers.

source: skynews