Google Details Android 4.4 KitKat

Posted by at 1:43 am on November 1, 2013

Google today fully revealed Android 4.4 KitKit, the latest version of its mobile operating system.

According to Google, the big changes in KitKat are meant to help the OS run better on a wider range of hardware, including entry-level devices. Google took pains to optimize the code so that KitKat delivers nearly all its features to devices running on as little as 512MB of system memory. In addition to streamlining the code, Google added a number of features to KitKat that make it a more powerful operating system. The system and its associated developer tools will let apps take advantage of the entire screen, as well as provide new animations and transitions. Developers will be able to add printing features to their apps, and users will be able to find content on their phone and in their cloud storage easier thanks to improved search tools.

The OS adds support for low-power sensors that can be used without draining the battery, and also adds a step detector/counter to help improve fitness and health apps. KitKat enjoys new media capabilities, such as a screen recorder that captures apps in action, as well as native support for IR blasters and Miracast. The operating system makes improvements to accessibility functions as well, such as new captioning settings.

Other features include improved support for NFC radios, user-defined SMS clients, more informative notifications, audio tunneling to a digital signal processor, loudness enhancer, GPU acceleration, OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics support, and additional Bluetooth profiles, such as Bluetooth HID over GATT (HOGP), which gives apps a low-latency link with low-power peripheral devices such as mice, joysticks, and keyboards. Android 4.4 ships on the Nexus 5, and will be delivered to the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 devices, as well as the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Play Edition devices in the coming weeks.

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