Android is having its fifth birthday in November 2013 and Google readies up the mega celebration with 4.4 KitKat, Nexus 5, Nexus 10 2013, new services and firmware optimisation among older devices.
New User Interface
Google isn't going to give a major redesign on the user interface of Android 4.4 KitKat but instead to make it better and stable compared to previous generation. Reports from TrustedReviews, points the aim of Google to make Android 4.4 KitKat "an amazing Android experience available for everybody," instead to full UI change in contrast with Apple's new iOS 7.
Android 4.4 KitKat will remain to somehow look like Android Jelly Bean except for the palette colour scheme depending on app used, Android Key Lime Pie new icon, new transition animations and other technical enhancements.
Android 4.4 features smoother screen orientation, UI touch responsiveness and more major bug fixes on the system.
Applications and Services
Play Store support Play Books where you can purchase electronic books online for your smartphone and tablet. But Google will add more apps for Android 4.4 KitKat and it includes:
- Google Now option to save images as PDF file with direct sending to printers.
- Printing integration on the Settings Menu
- Android native wireless payments via NFC connectivity
- Preloaded applications such as Google Keep and Google Drive
Next-generation Nexus 5 and Nexus 10
Nexus 5 is confirmed to run Android 4.4 KitKat then followed by the second-generation Nexus 10. It is also expected that Nexus 7 2013 co-created by ASUS will receive firmware update as soon as Google launches the new OS version.
Nexus 5 features 8MP MEMS camera technology, 5.0-inches of full HD display resolution, Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 3GB of RAM and 4G LTE connectivity while the Nexus 10 is speculated to be under ASUS based on the leaked image of @evleaks, showing product label as "Google ASUS Nexus 10."
New Linux Kernel
Another major improvement on the Android 4.4 KitKat is the updated Linux kernel 3.8 which will allow the open-source mobile OS to do the following:
- Support for open-source processors such as NVIDIA Tegra and Samsung Exynos DRM drivers
- Flash-friendly File-System support
- Lower memory requirements
Since Android openly uses Linux OS as part of its system, upgrading the Linux kernel will bring optimal enhancement to Android OS.
Optimisation for Older Devices
Google leaked that Android 4.4 is going to be friendly among older devices by making it the firmware available. It is unclear in what way Android 4.4 will become friendly as manufacturers have include branded UI on their devices but some speculations indicate that Google may push the firmware in segments to allow owners to download and gain the latest features.
Due to the lower memory requirements of Android 4.4 KitKat using a new Linux kernel, many devices with 512MB of RAM running 2.3 Gingerbread, 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and 4.1 Jelly Bean are expected to get full features from the upcoming OS revamped.
Google Play Store may become the main download area for users who wants the segmented version of the new OS instead of waiting from manufacturer firmware push.
System Improvements in Network and Battery Life
According to the KitKat Web site, Android 4.4 will bring wider global coverage and better network compatibility across the globe. Moreover, it is also noted that the new OS will improve overall battery standby time for long lasting work and play.
- Signal coverage improvements
- Easy switching between regional networks in different territories
- Probably compatibility with the two LTE network versions
- Longer battery standby time with better background application management
- Better support of new processors optimise battery life
October 14, 2013 is the speculated launching date of Android 4.4 KitKat alongside with Nexus 5 and Nexus 10 2013.
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