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Android 4.4 - the KitKat release!

In a very welcome, but rather surprising move, Google announced the next version of Android is to be called ... KitKat! This is of course in keeping with the sweet-tooth themed naming party going right back to Android 1.5 Cupake. It's surprising because although everyone knew it would begin with the letter "K", the popular vibe had it named as "Key Lime Pie". The story goes some Googlers saw a 4 fingered bar in a fridge deep in the Googleplex and, well one thing led to another. It's kinda neat too since the next expected version is 4.4, and that's a nice tie-in with the bar itself. 

Nestle, the massive confectionery giant owners of the KitKat brand, are totally behind the move and are planning future marketing initiatives around the Android theme. These are said to include prizes, special edition bars and various other goodies. In fact the deal suits both Android and Google so well that apparently no money changed hands either way for this venture.

Will the Nexus 5 run KitKat?

So many rumours...speculation is now focused around the "traditional" October Android release, and whether the timing fits for the launch of the next Google handset, which would logically be the Nexus 5. 

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And of course we have the fantastic KitKat giant Androoid model on the lawn with his buddies somewhere outside an office in Mountain View ;-)

What's the software likely to feature? Watchers have been keen to point out the raft of Google-owned App updates such as YouTube, Gmail, Hangout etc which began much earlier in the year with the Keyboard app being delivered as an independent app. Together with the new central Google Play core services app, this all points to addressing the Achilles heel of Android which has been present from the start - fragmentation. In a nutshell, the operators have been slow to roll out their own devices based on the latest Android, so Google is cleverly dealing with this by using a framework common to all versions which these new, modular spins of the regular apps are written against. So the idea is no matter how old your core Android version, if you can run Google Play Services, all these other apps can remain current as they are written for it. Hey presto! It won't matter how slow your operator is in rolling out updates since you'll always have the latest Google apps which matter to you most. It's even been rumoured KitKat can run on some older hardware than ICS was capable of, which works well in addressing third world markets etc.

A year is a long time in mobile, and that's how long Jelly Bean has been around for. Since all the countries Android is aimed at already know what KitKat is, this partnership sounds like a really sweet deal indeed.