Google recently held an event in San Franciso revealing the latest update to their Android operating system: the Android 4.4 KitKat. Contrary to countless reports about a marketing ploy, the name does not just stand for limited-edited candy bars or gimmick to gain as much attention - Google brings considerable changes to the table with the KitKat update. What should people expect?
It is evident the new OS went through a number of design tweaks. The new Android 4.4 KitKat looks simpler and cleaner compared to previous updates. The notification and status bar now appear translucent. The bars disappear once the user switches to a full screen app. Google lessened Chrome ll throughout the OS and provided more space - at least in the part of the Nexus 5.
Users will also come across a new launcher. This is a compacted version of Roboto font from Google. It complements the cleaner and lighter look of Android. The overhaul is nowhere near iOS 7 but KitKat bears similarities to Jelly Bean. Both the iOS 7 and Android KitKat seem to head in the same design direction.
Hangouts and Messaging
One of the primary features of Android 4.4 is Hangouts. The messaging platform is now more than integrated to the Android OS compared before. Previous Android updates featured Messages icon, this time, KitKat only offers Hangouts. The update integrated voice calling and SMS better. Hangout now becomes a part of people's messaging system. Think of combining iMessage and FaceTime, Google has Hangouts.
Fragmentation Problems Solved
Android 4.4 KitKat's updates were not meant to be apparent. They focus more on under the hood enhancements. The update also focused on optimizations and tweaks intended for lower-end devices. KitKat seems to be Google's answer to their fragmentation problem. Since the OS will supposedly work on a larger range of products (old and new), Android ecosystem will be more coherent.
Chrome accounts for 16% percent less compared in KitKat than in Jelly Bean. Google apps were also tweaked to take up less memory. This means the task-switching US is easier and lighter. Pichai describes KitKat as "a cutting-edge operating system designed to run on cutting-edge phones." Despite such approach Google also made sure the OS will have a single version across different Android devices.
Google also claims that Android 4.4 KitKat will be more flexible to other types of devices like watches and similar wearable technology.
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