Thursday, October 31, 2013

Google officially announces Sweeter taste of Android 4.4 KitKat

Now we don't need to breathe hard. Google has just announced Nexus 5 running on Android 4.4. Yes, this officially puts the end to the rumors of arrival of Nexus 5 and Android KitKat. The name was announced back in September this year, but after seeing numerous leaks and rumors, it was hard to control. Finally, KitKat is official. 

This is a beautiful update to Android. KitKat has a new launcher, more clean look, system apps icon are brighter than the previous versions. Notifications bar become hidden or translucent when opening some full screen app. This version of Android uses maximum part of screen. And when you are using Nexus 5, you get better results. Although, it is still not so serious upgrade, but Google has added some important features. 

Touchless Control like that of Moto X is now a standard part of Android. You don't need to touch your phone, just say "Ok Google" and you're welcomed with familiar screen of Google Now. You can get directions, call a friend, play a song, search for images and links on web etc. Lock screen is also updated. This time on unlocking, if some music is being played or some video is being mirrored via Chromecast, the cover art/ movie art will be shown on the lock screen. 

Google has updated the dialer. It highlights those contacts with which you talk most. If you receive a call from some unknown number, then it searches that phone number on the web and checks out if it is from some business in local area, following by showing you the picture of that business. SMS and MMS integration is made in Hangouts, so you will stay connected with your offline and online friends. It is somewhat like Apple's iMessage. Google calendar, a third party app from Google, is also updated with more Emoji icons. 

Screen's beauty is enhanced by "Immersive mode". This feature is useful for developers who want to create apps that can use every single pixel of the screen. Android 4.4 also brings the feature of recording screen as a video and save it as a mp4 file. Multitasking has been enhanced to a greater extent. App switching works fluidly. 

After iOS, Android is also able to connect with cars enable of Bluetooth can share information with Android devices using Bluetooth MAP (Message Access Profile). This will help developers to create apps like Siri in car. Your Android phone can now be used as a TV controller. By adding IR Blaster support to KitKat, Google has made it simple for users as well as developers to control Televisions using a Android device. 

If you want to save juice of your phone or tablet but don't wanna stop your favorite music, then here's a nice feature: Low power audio playback. This feature consumes lower battery life and thus produce nonstop playback of 60 hrs of your favorite music (claimed on a Nexus 5).

Two new sensors are also introduced with Android 4.4: Step detector and step counter. These counters collect data about the users walking, stepping on stairs, move away or running. This kind of sensors will help developers to create health regarding apps. 

There are not only these features, there's a plenty of it. Even Android 4.4 is not a major upgrade, but it brings a bag full of updates and improvements. What's the good thing is, that all current Nexus devices i.e. Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 will receive taste of the KitKat soon. Wait till Google pushes out the updates. You can check whole changelog on Android Developers page (link given below). 


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