It’s official: Google has teamed up with Nestle for its next Android update, which is to be called Android KitKat. This will be the first version of Android to be named after another company’s brand rather than a generic food stuff. The Android mascot has already appeared in its chocolate fingered form at Google HQ and will also appear on over 50 million special edition KitKat wrappers in more than 19 countries including Brazil, Japan, Russia and India.
Android versions are named alphabetically after treats and deserts and it had long been expected that this latest version would be called Key Lime Pie. Previous versions have included Cupcake, Donut, Éclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich and the most recent Jelly Bean.
But while Google and Nestle have been keen to make a big song and dance about their latest collaboration, little information has been made public about what new features will actually be added to Android KitKat. Unfortunately, the only hints have come from Nestle via a tongue in cheek comparison of the KitKat to Android. Just don’t put too much expectation in an edible Nexus phone.
Phone manufacturers have experimented with various materials in recent years, including more traditional plastic, metal, aluminium, and glass, but no company has yet attempted to make a phone out of chocolate. Alas it seems that the partnership between Google and Nestle is purely one of marketing, and Google has not turned to Nestle as a source of new build materials. Besides which, a chocolate phone may be tasty, but would make a complete mess of your pocket or bag.
This is not the first time that a phone company has teamed up with a chocolatier however. In 2011, Japan’s NTT DoCoMo teamed up with Gramme and its Q-pot chocolate brand to launch the Q-pot Phone SH04D. While this phone wasn’t edible, it did come in the form of a chocolate bar, with buttons styled in the shape of chocolate segments. Perhaps this may be a more realistic expectation if Google plans to go down this route.
It is unlikely that Google will adopt a Brown colour scheme for the next Nexus phone either. It would tie in well with the chocolate branding, but most consumers prefer a choice of Black or White, or various other bright colours. Likewise, releasing a chocolate inspired Android theme will not sit well with the customisable nature of the OS or the desire of many manufacturers to add their own styles.
The limited edition Android KitKat bars that will be launched by Nestle are rumoured to feature Willy Wonka style hidden tickets which will entitle the winners to the next Nexus device or various Google Play downloads. They could also possibly use collectable wrappers which could be redeemed for Google Play vouchers.
It has been revealed that Android KitKat will be version 4.4 rather than 5, which suggests that this will be a relatively minor update rather than a full system refresh. Expect some performance tweaks and minor interface changes rather than a major overhaul and dazzling new features.
For now, Google and Nestle are keeping fairly tight lipped about what Android KitKat will offer, with only a few teaser videos and webpages available, and a full launch date for the new OS has yet to be announced.
Simon Drew writes for UK money saving community Suppose.com, which features discounts, sales, and voucher codes, and prizes to be won for members who share the best deals.