Together with the official release of its Nexus 5, Google also announced and detailed in a blog posting Android 4.4 KitKat; which is said to deliver a smarter, more immersive Android experience to even more people. According to Google, the first thing users will notice about KitKat is that it had made the experience much more engaging: the book you're reading, the game you're playing, or the movie you're watching - now all of these take center stage with the new immersive mode, which automatically hides everything except what you really want to see. Behind the polish on the screen is the power under the hood. Take the Phone app, which for most people hasn't really changed since the days of flip phones.
Now, Google said it helps making calling easier than ever, by helping you search across your contacts, nearby places, or even Google Apps accounts (like your company's directory), directly from within the app. And with the new Hangouts app, all of your SMS and MMS messages are together in the same place, alongside your other conversations and video calls, so you'll never miss a message no matter how your friends send it. This is just a small taste of KitKat.
With the new Nexus 5 launcher, Google smarts are deeply integrated into the phone you carry around with you, so getting to the information you need is simple, easy and fast. Swipe once from the home screen to get Google Now literally at your fingertips. Put Google to work for you by saying "OK, Google" to launch voice search, send a text, get directions or even play a song you want to hear. And in the coming weeks, Google said it's enhancing Now with important new card types that bring you information about contextual topics that interest you such as updates from a favorite website or blog.
Building a platform that makes mobile phones accessible for everyone has always been at the heart of Android. Until now, some lower-end Android phones couldn't benefit from more recent Android releases due to memory constraints. With KitKat, Google slimmed down Android's memory footprint by doing things like removing unnecessary background services and reducing the memory consumption of features that you use all the time. Google said it did this not only within Android but across Google services like Chrome and YouTube. Since RAM is one of the more expensive parts of a phone, now Android can run comfortably on the 512 MB of RAM devices, bringing the latest goodies in Android 4.4 within reach for the next billion smartphone users.
The devices, which will benefit from Android 4.4 KitKat first are said to be the Nexus 5, the Nexus 4, 7 and 10, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One Google Play edition devices. The availability is said to be "in the coming weeks"; so don't expect a FOTA update tonight. Manufacturers like HTC, LG, Samsung and Motorola, Huawei and ZTE have yet to announce its plans and supported devices.
Cheers ~ Arne