Android 4.4 KitKat: The Key Features
We’ve already known that the next version of Android will be called 4.4 KitKat for more than a month now, but what we didn’t hear about were the features and the glitters that the update was gonna pack. Coming alongside the new Google Nexus 5, here is a rundown of things to look forward to in Android 4.4 KitKat.
- Visual changes – While it’s not as big of a redesign compared to iOS 7, Android 4.4 KitKat updates a lot of its UI elements. Translucency is now more evident from search & notification bars to the app drawer. Also, Google has updates a lot of its app guidelines to shift away from the previous Holo UI and into the cleaner Cards UI.
- Dialer – The new & redesigned dialer app also integrates search into its functions. Not only does it suggest your contacts, but it also gives you numbers of places nearby, e.g. a pizza joint. Also, when someone you don’t know makes a call, Google quickly searches for any local numbers to give you a caller ID.
- Faster & smoother! – KitKat aims to improve optimization and responsiveness among the lower powered Android devices. Sadly, Google chose to not update the Galaxy Nexus & older Nexus devices to show it as an example, but nonetheless we’re expecting future low-end smartphones to run smoother than before.
- New Storage Access Framework – From cloud storage to local storage, Google will be providing a better way to manage your files.
- Hangouts & other app updates – The Messaging app is getting dropped on KitKat and Hangouts swoops in to integrate SMS functionality for it. Other updates include Emoji, which is coming to the stock keyboard, and the Downloads app which is getting a better interface as well.
- “OK Google” – So far only available to the Nexus 5, this new feature will allow users to access Google now even from the homescreen itself just by saying “Ok Google”. No need for any button presses or whatsoever anymore.
There are a lot more than that coming in the next version of Android. Other features include Immersion Mode, Screen Recording & Wireless Printing. It also opens a lot of possibilities & dev improvements just as usual, from IR Blasters & sensors to NFC payments. For a full list of features, you can go over Android’s KitKat page here.
The update looks neat we have to say, but we’ll have to experience it for ourselves to see if it actually delivers. The update is said to be ‘coming soon’ on Nexus devices, so once it arrives on our devices, we’ll be providing more coverage so stay tuned!