Earlier this year, much to the surprise of everyone Google announced that the next iteration of Android will be called KitKat. Moments ago, along with launching the much-awaited Google Nexus 5, Google also released Android 4.4 KitKat. Here s what s new on the new OS. Also Read - Google might be working on a 'Find My' network clone for Android users
Support For Older Devices
Though overall the OS looks very similar to Jelly Bean, there are quite a few noticeable changes. First and foremost, Google shows that it hasn t forgotten about the cheaper devices running Android. It has opened up the new OS to such phones with support for devices with less than 512MB of RAM. Google will also be providing developers with tools to create apps under such limitations.
With KitKat, Google has improved the phone dialer by adding a search bar. The search works across contacts, Google accounts, etc. hence finding people is easier than before.
Android s Very Own iMessage
As announced a couple of days back, support for SMS on Hangouts app basically turns it into something similar to Apple s iMessage. Now all SMS, MMS, conversations and video chats are saved under one roof.
Deeper Integration of Google Now
Do you fancy the voice feature on Moto X, wherein you can say Hello Moto to wake up the device? You can do something similar with Google Now. Saying Ok Google now brings up voice search and you can use voice commands to send SMS, play music and much more.
Google Cloud Print
The integration of Google Cloud Print in the OS means you won t have to worry about shifting documents or pictures to a PC to print them out. Using Bluetooth or NFC, you can connect to a wireless printer with Google Cloud support to print on the go.
For those changing phones every other month or if you just want to reset your phone, you won t have to worry about losing data. With a new backup solution, Google ensures all apps, app data, saved game states, settings and other data and saved on the Play Store and hence can be synced with new devices easily.
Wearable Devices Are the Future
Google has added wearable devices support into the OS, paving the way for the much rumored Nexus smartwatch. KitKat now supports sensors like step detectors, step counters, and geomagnetic rotation, which are generally used on fitness devices and location-based apps.
In addition to the above, there are a host of other changes including support for IR ports, full screen more widget and music controls on the lock screen, transparent background for the app drawer, an improved storage access framework and an OS-level support for NFC.