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Android 4.4 to be dubbed KitKat rather than Key Lime Pie in shock Google move

The next version of Google Android will be called "KitKat," not "Key Lime Pie," as was widely rumoured.

Android chief Sundar Pichai revealed the new moniker in a Google+ post, and KitKat owner Nestlé has confirmed it via Twitter. Since version 1.5, each iteration of Android has been named after a sweet treat, including Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, and Jelly Bean.

But with Android 4.4, Google is entering new territory, naming the mobile operating system after an actual brand.

"KitKat has been a favourite candy on the team for some time, so for the 'K' release, we asked if they'd be willing to lend their iconic candy bar to its name," a post on the Android Google+ page explained.

As part of the partnership, Google has not only named Android 4.4 after the crispy-chocolatey treat, but also given its iconic green mascot a new KitKat coat. For its part, Nestlé will be releasing limited edition KitKat candy bars, with a "lucky few" containing a winning ticket for a new Nexus 7 tablet or Google Play app store credits.

There's no word yet as to when Google will release Android 4.4 KitKat, but you can sign up on the web giant's announcement page to receive more information about the next version of the mobile OS.

Up until now, techies have been referring to the upcoming version of Android as Key Lime Pie. That name first surfaced way back in March 2012, when it was reported that Jelly Bean's successor would be named after the tart dessert. More recently, rumours have swirled that Google will be releasing the new version of Android in late-October, possibly alongside a new flagship smartphone, the Nexus 5.

At this point, Android now powers more than one billion smartphones and tablets, Google said. About 40.5 per cent of Android devices are currently running Jelly Bean, followed by Gingerbread at 33.1 per cent, and Ice Cream Sandwich at 22.5 per cent, according to Google's most recent stats.