Personal Finance

Google’s Android system gets a sweet name

Sweet system

Gimme a break, Google. Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar. The tech giant, which is known for nicknaming its Android mobile operating systems for smartphones and tablets after desserts, has for the first time chosen a brand name candy for version 4.4, which expected to launch this fall: Kit Kat, the chocolate candy bar with the “Gimme a Break” jingle. Kit Kat packaging will show Android’s green robot mascot breaking a Kit Kat bar.

Colorful Apple

Apple has sent a colorful invitation for an event next Tuesday at its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters amid speculation that it may show new colors for the latest iPhone. The invitation has a picture of the Apple logo surrounded by multicolored polka dots and the sentence “This should brighten everyone’s day.” The iPhone 5, which went on sale in September 2012, comes only in black or white.

Kindle upgrade

Amazon is upgrading its Kindle Paperwhite electronic book reader with a sharper display, expanded dictionary and faster computer hardware. A version that includes ads is now available for pre-order for $119 and will begin shipping Sept. 30. Amazon also said that customers will be able to get books they bought from Amazon in paper form on their Kindle, for prices ranging from free to $3. The MatchBook program covers book purchases since 1995, but it requires the book publisher to enroll their books in Kindle’s program.

H menswear

Your grandfather called them his long johns. At Hennes Mauritz these days, they’re trousers. The Swedish retailer has introduced a menswear line that pays homage to the company’s history. H dusted off material from Mauritz Widforss, one of its two predecessor companies, to create the Mauritz Archive, a collection that includes $39.95 long underwear meant to be worn by today’s man as pants.

Home prices up

U.S. home prices jumped 12.4 percent in July from a year earlier, reflecting a housing market that is increasingly favoring sellers amid a tight supply of available homes. Real estate data provider CoreLogic said home prices in every state but Delaware were up from a year ago. CoreLogic said U.S. home prices are now within 18 percent of their peak levels reached in April 2006.

Uncomfortable discussion topic

Parents would rather talk to their kids about drugs and alcohol than life insurance. Just 38 percent of parents said they’re extremely comfortable talking about insurance, while 55 percent are fine discussing the intoxicants, according to a survey released by State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. Three in 10 parents said they’re extremely comfortable chatting about sex and puberty, but “it’s hard to talk about dying, and that’s the natural place that talking about life insurance will go,” said Nancy Behrens, a State Farm vice president for product development and pricing.