Only few months back many android devices got the 4.3 updates with some extra features and few visual enhancements. Then rumors were rife of a new OS called Key Lime Pie right round the corner. However, in a conference, Google announced that the next OS would be called Android KitKat 4.4 and in Nov 1st, the Nexus 5 became the first smartphone to come with Kitkat and Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 were the first two tablets to get the Kitkat updates. Also, the Google Play versions of Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One, HTC One international, HTC One developer Edition, Nexus 4 and Moto X have already got their 4.4 updates .
There was much excitement at the release of Android 4.3 Jellybean OS but there were only few improvements compared to version 4.2. Android Kitkat 4.4, on the other hand, comes with an arsenal of features. Let’s take a peek at what this latest Android operating system has to offer:
- Better performance: Android KitKat offers better performance for multitasking and also has improved touchscreen response time and accuracy.
- Smart Contacts: The new feature prioritizes your contacts based on call frequency. You can also search for businesses, places and contacts in your Google Apps.
- Smart Caller Id: When you get a call from an unknown number, your device will try to match the number with local listing on Google Maps.
- “Ok Google” voice control: The “Ok Google” voice activation feature popularized by Moto X can now be used in your smartphone. Google glass also uses similar feature where you have to say “Okay Glass” before you begin your voice commands. Similarly, in Kitkat 4.4, simple say “Ok Google” in your Google Now screen and you will activate the so-called “touchless” control (Voice control). You can perform voice search for directions, set alarms or reminders, send texts, play songs or search the web for info. Kitkat even allows you to set your own words to waking up Google Now. Also, according to google the voice recognition is now 25% more accurate.
- Immersive screen mode: This is a very useful feature which allows you to take full use of your screen. Previously, the status bars and navigations would occupy some area of the screen but in Kitkat you can view web pages, pdfs and videos in full screen. To get the navigation buttons back you can simple swipe the bottom or get the status bar back by swiping on the top.
- More hours for audio playback: Kitkat offers more hours for audio playback by making better use of the Digital Signal Processor in your Android device.
- Print from anywhere: Kitkat allows you to print documents, images to printers directly from your Android device to a printer setup using Google’s Cloud Printing service. You can also print to printers connected to the same wi-fi as your Android device. Simply long press the document you want to print and you will get the print option.
- Chromecast support: Chromecast dongle is supported for online video streaming via apps such as Netflix or YouTube.
- Bluetooth MAP support: The Bluetooth Message Access Profile will allow your android device to sync with Bluetooth ready cars.
- New interface for “Downloads”: Now you can sort your downloads as well as view it in either grid or list view.
- Manage multiple homescreens: Easily switch between multiple homescreens via “home” option in settings.
- HDR+ mode: The new Android camera in Kitkat supports HDR+ feature which supposedly takes better picture than the HDR feature in previous Android OS.
- Better looking homescreen with full screen wallpapers: Now your wallpapers will occupy the entire homescreen including the status bar and navigation buttons.
- Redesigned default Email app: The Android Email app has also been redesigned for better look.
- IR control: Now you can use your android devices’ IR transmitter app to control Infrared devices like TV remote controls.
- Attractive Full screen album and movie art in you device lockscreen
Many flagships from Samsung, HTC and Sony are next in line to get their kitkats but older gen android devices will probably never get an official KitKat update. However, Cynogenmod is now bypassing development of CM 10.3 (Android 4.3 custom OS) for Android Kitkat 4.4 custom ROM and even users of old android devices can expect to install those custom Kitkats. Keep in touch with cynogenmod for the latest OS releases for your Android device.