By November 3, 2013

What is in KitKat?

What exactly is in KitKatIt looks like the new 4.4 KitKat version is the most significant upgrade for Android in a quite some time. It includes a massive array of new features.

Here’s a quick breakdown of many of the features:

  • Now supports lower-end devices and can run on just 512MB of RAM.
  • It will now have a new launcher.
  • Translucent system UI styling.
  • Enhanced notification access.
  • Includes faster multi-tasking.
  • More advanced caller ID.
  • new white/gray color scheme and fonts.
  • There is a new sensor batching technology. This is meant to cut down on sensor power consumption by grouping and prioritizing requests. Google claims it is now 25% more accurate, and can ask back for clarification.
  • It will now have wireless printing functionality.
  • Includes support for IR Blasters natively. It is limited to sending functions only for now. It can’t learn or receive yet. This is probably just a feature that is in progress since it is mostly not very useful yet.
  • Native screen recording and can output in MP4 format.
  • Now supports Moto X-style “OK Google” voice commands. For now this only will work with the Nexus 5. Supposedly this feature is hardware dependent, although Google hasn’t shared what is required.
  • Bluetooth devices will now be able to control the system volume directly instead of having to adjust two different volumes.
  • There is a new lock screen which includes a camera shortcut. You can also rearrange your homescreen.
  • Built-in Chromecast support.
  • Chrome web view.
  • Full-screen wallpapers with preview.
  • HDR+ photography.
  • Location in Quick Settings.
  • Low-power audio playback.
  • Music and movie-seeking from lock screen.
  • The NFC payment system doesn’t require using the secure element anymore. It uses a software based emulation work around. Because of this, carriers can no longer use this as an excuse to not support Google’s NFC payment functions.

Even at that, there is more. Little tweeks and drops of oil to make things run better. Google have put together a pretty terrific package and from what I can gather, here is a list of a few device that will see 4.4 arriving:

HTC phones to get Android 4.4

  • HTC One – sometime in 90 days
  • HTC One mini – sometime in 90 days
  • HTC One max – sometime in 90 days
  • HTC One Google Play Edition – sometime in 15 days

Nexus Devices to get Android 4.4

  • Nexus 4 – “the coming weeks”
  • Nexus 7 – “the coming weeks”
  • Nexus 10 – “the coming weeks”

Samsung Devices to get Android 4.4

  • Galaxy S4 – “in due course” end of 2013 or early 2014
  • Galaxy Note 3 – “in due course” end of 2013 or early 2014

Sony Devices to get Android 4.4

  • Xperia Z
  • Xperia Z1

Others Devices to get Android 4.4

  • LG G2 – “soon”

Annoying, despite the promise that KitKat will run nicely on low end devices Google have dropped the Galaxy Nexus from the update schedule.

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About the Author:

Seasoned tech blogger. Host of the Tech Addicts podcast.
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