After the announcement of the new Nexus 5, Google also revealed full details of their newest and greatest OS – Android 4.4 KitKat. We all know Android is the most popular mobile OS now. I think everyone now has an Android phone. But comparing to iOS, not all smartphones and tablets are running the latest version. In fact, there are smartphones still running the 3-year old Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Google now aims to update 1 billion active Android smartphones worldwide to Android 4.4 KitKat. The company even claims it will run smoothly even on smartphones with 512MB RAM.
This means if your phone is still running Android 4.0 or even 2.3, big change will come to your devices soon. In 2014, Google will give their OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) like Samsung, HTC, LG, Sony, etc the choice to ship one version of Android (that means no customized UI like Samsung’s TouchWiz or HTC’s Sense UI) to keep all their users updated with the latest software.So let’s see how Google will work this out with their top OEMs.
Here are some of the new features of Android 4.4 KitKat posted on tech website CNET:
- The revamped phone dialer app will evaluate which contacts you talk to most and automatically prioritize your phone book accordingly. Also, integration with more Google apps such as Maps will let you search for nearby places and businesses right in the phone dialer.
- Caller ID gets a boost as well. For incoming calls that don’t match a phone number not in your contacts, Google apps will scan and display any matches from local businesses listed in Google Maps.
- The immersive mode will clear up clutter on your screen by automatically hiding everything except except the one item that you really want to see. When you’re ready to move on, you can bring back your status bar and navigation buttons by swiping the edge of the screen.
- A new Hangouts app consolidates all of your text and mulitmedia messages, conversations, and video calls into one place.
- You’ll be able to print photos, documents, and web pages from your phone or tablet. Any printer connected to Google Cloud Print will be compatible, along with HP ePrint printers and other printers with Google Play apps.
- Smaller details range from a uniform color for status bars to a new condensed font.
- Google Now will be accessible via one swipe from the home screen. After saying “OK, Google,” you can use voice search, send a text, get directions, or play a song. Also coming are new card types that give you more information specific to your interests.
As usual, devices with Nexus (Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10) branding will get first taste of Android KitKat. The newly announced Nexus 5 is the first smartphone running the said OS.
Here is CNET’s hands on with the Nexus 5 including Android KitKat’s new features: