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Friday, November 1, 2013


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Well Google just rather quietly announced their latest Android OS. The Android 4.4 KitKat marks a big change like IceCream Sandwich (which introduced the Holo UI), JellyBean (which brought in the "Project Butter"). Android KitKat brings in a lot of subtle changes, the biggest being the Project Svelte which aims to reduce the degree of fragmentation in the Android by optimizing the new Android OS to make it less resource intensive as it is and capable of being used on devices with only 512MB of RAM.
Besides the Project Svelte, Android 4.4 KitKat also brings the following changes;

Project Svelte reduces RAM Consumption For low end Devices
   Project Svelte reduces the amount of resources required to run Android. Android has taken a lot of heat for being too resource hungry that it requires quad-core processors and large amounts of RAM to run properly especially when compared to the likes of iOS and Windows Phone and that's what Google seeks to address with Android 4.4.

The Messaging app is being replaced by Google Hangouts
   Google is replacing the regular built-in messaging app with the Hangouts app. I don't really think it's OEM partners would go down this route we would probably see Samsung and others replace the app with one of their own.

Cloud and Wireless Printing is now baked in the OS
  Wireless Printing has really moved forward from just being a mere fad, having had the chance of making use of this feature on my android device, one thing i can say is that this is a really essential feature to have in offices and homes and Google is taking it one step further by making cloud printing a native feature in future android devices.

Built-in Infra-red Blaster support
     HTC and Samsung have made a big deal once more with the HTC One, Galaxy S4 and Note 3. But they had to overcome a small obstacle by writing their own API since android didn't support it as of then. The Android would now see these APIs built into stock android thereby making it easier for developers to write IR Remote apps that would work across a range of android devices and perhaps manufacturers of home appliances would also work on apps that would allow phones and tablets to be used as remote control devices in the near future.

Screen recording
   Android 4.4 would now come with an easier way of sharing screen recording, which basically allows one to record a video of the screen and whatever is showing on the screen as a video. this feature is great for tutorials and also a good developer tool

Built-in Emoji support in the keyboard
    The keyboard app would be updated to allow direct selection and with more emoji characters which would come pre-installed as opposed to the way it is in the current keyboard app that requires you to download the emoji.

Translucent Status bar and Navigation bar
    One of the features found in custom ROMs is the translucent status bar and now with the new Android 4.4 this would come by default and can be called up by apps without rooting.

Full Screen mode available to all apps
     Full screen mode has been limited to a select few apps and games but the Android 4.4 would see a streamlining of the process to allow all apps hide the status bar easily.

“Ok Google”: Quick Access To Voice Commands
      Motorola recently introduced an "always listening" voice command into their Moto X phone and now Google is bringing a similar feature in the new Android 4.4 KitKat, which would push Google Now into the forefront of Android devices but unlike the way it is implemented on the Moto X, it would only listen to you when the screen is on.

The Phone app just got more smarter
    The Phone app in Android 4.4 KitKat has just gotten more smarter, if someone calls you with an unknown number, the app would look for the number in the public directory and show the owner to you and this works best if it is registered to a business. And it also works when you are looking for a nearby business, the Phone app would search look up the numbers of the shops, restaurants etc. and show it to you.

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