Google Brings Features and Visual Upgrades in Android 4.4 KitKat Update

Google Brings Features and Visual Upgrades in Android 4.4 KitKat Update

Every Android version announcement comes with new features, a few visual tweaks and lots and lots of hype. This time, though, things are a bit different as Google has made sure that everyone gets a taste of “KitKat”, rather than just the top 20%.

As a result, you have an OS which runs just as well on 512 MB RAM, as it does on 3 GB. This is not all however.

A Great Feat Visually

Android 4.4 KitKat tries to make the OS even more easier to swallow. It makes several visual improvements, including the departure of the black border at the bottom of the screen in favor of a translucent one. The launcher is also redesigned.

The three buttons also remain hidden in apps, until you swipe them upwards. And performance? The OS is also more intelligent in that it registers touches faster and more accurately which means less errors.

Chromium, the web engine behind Chrome now takes care of the web apps meaning that these apps should perform better than ever. Talking of Chrome, it now uses 16% less memory than before, just like other Google apps which are all optimized.

Software Changes

But it doesn’t only perform and look good. No. It also comes with a lot of software changes, most important of them being the new Hangouts app. The new substitute for the conventional messaging app combines all of the conversation you’ve ever had with your acquaintances in one place, either it be SMS, MMS or Hangouts video-calls/chatting.

The Call app is also tweaked. It automatically highlights those people with whom you’re in touch most. It will also search for businesses in the area around you now, meaning that if you’ll type the name of a restaurant in your area, the app will automatically search the map for its phone number.

The same thing happens when you get a call from an unknown number, as it will try to display a name if the number is from any of the publicly available business in Maps.

The lockscreen features an option to let you fly straight to the camera. It also displays a cover art or any other media highlight when your phone is playing something while being on the lockscreen. Also redesigned is the Downloads app which features even more sorting and viewing options now.

And it isn’t limited to the lockscreen only. If you do a lot of homescreen modifications, you can save and switch between all of them in settings now, without having to sacrifice one in the favor of other.

Search and Google Now

According to Google, it is 25% more accurate than before. You can go straightaway to search from the lockscreen now, just by saying ‘OK Google’ just like in the Moto X.

Now also asks you questions back if your search query isn’t clear to it. One good thing which is added is the ability to search inside the phone or tablet’s built-in app. For instance, if you have a food or recipe app installed on your phone and you want to search the recipe for, like say, Pasta, Now won’t only display web results but also results from your app will be displayed. That would be really helpful.

It also keeps care of your searching history and will redirect you to any of your favourite websites when you’ll call its name. It will also show even more cards of interest to you and can be used to do other tasks, such as playing music, using directions, etc.

Misc

Android 4.4 KitKat comes with a screen recording feature which lets you record a video of the stuff being displayed on your phone, as you use it.

A new feature called AirPrint will allow you to print stuff wirelessly now. This only works with printers with dedicated apps on the Play Store so only HP models will work as of today.

If your phone comes with a dedicated audio processor, here’s the good news: your phone will use it now. What that does is that it boosts playback time, like for example, the Nexus 5 comes with one and it features 60 hours worth music playback, that too on a 2300 mAh battery! Now that, is something.

The Gallery app now supports integration with cloud storage. Developers can now write apps for the IR Blaster while NFC payments are now supported for carriers worldwide.

Availability

The update will begin rolling out in the coming few weeks. The new Nexus 5 will come with it pre-installed while the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 (2014), Nexus 10 and the Google Play editions of Galaxy S4 and HTC One are on the waiting list. We’ll be adding screenshots of it as soon as it comes out.

This update, with all its features and bells-and-whistles, marks the peak for Android. For us, however, it’s not the feature set which makes it so good, but rather its tight integration of everything which it does. That alone makes it worth an upgrade.


  • Azi

    How about battery life, they didn’t do anything for that?

    • Muhammad Zohaib Rizwani

      Certain features are there but most are hardware dependent and well would also need the kernel of older phones to be updated with seems unlikely(I’m talking about the kernel)

  • PeeDroid

    Looks Bakwas.. Will See When It Comes Out!!

    • Shahid Saleem

      Comes out? It’s already out — people are providing custom roms for Nexus 4, Nexus 7, etc etc. We Android users don’t need wait Mama Apple to bless us with their updates, we can do the updates ourselfs! The power of open source: something you can never have.

      • Azi

        Not every android can update kitkat

        • Shahid Saleem

          But with custom roms even older phones and tablets that currently are fixed at 4.0 can go to 4.4. Just like there are people who run 4.0 on 2.3 phones right now.

          Of course not all phones can be easily rooted and upgraded, but many can

          • PeeDroid

            Cry Cry Baby Cry..
            I Hope You Brick Your Phone Permanently Trying To Install Custom ROM.

            • Saqib Kazmi

              Jealous Detected.iOS don’t give you anything and takes about 100,000 from your pocket.

      • Basher

        And due to unofficial roms you the Android user gets problem like stable but Wifi not working.. blue tooth not work.. camera, navigation or volume key not working etc… battery drainage.. alas you can’t fix that because your updates are dependent on a forum member posts for custom roms.. Wah!.. Get a life, and let the work done by them who know how it works, so you would get a device that’s just works.

        • Shahid Saleem

          sorry dude but it works, and for most people it works just as well if not better than standard phone rom (because with custom they can uninstall/not install lg/htc/etc skins, launchers, etc etc).

          do you also need apple to hold you while you pee?

          • Basher

            Whatever you say.. in reality its not that flawless you are trying to elaborate here.. And what else you can comment rather this filthy ending while you have no more words to deny this fact..

          • PeeDroid

            Oh. Baby Wants Skins, Themes, Widgets.. Oh. Baby. Okay

            • Shahid Saleem

              I can also write apps without paying your mama apple $99/year and buying a mac. Woo hoo!

              • PeeDroid

                Maybe All You Want Is 18+ Apps..
                LMAO SOB Douche..

              • Basher

                Does it matter for me .. a normal user, who have almost same number of quality apps on iOS as well as Mac? .. Why you forget rest of the world when you comment.. ? I don’t care if someone having problem to develop for Apple.. i have many apps already. If developer wants to earn more he himself should develop for iOS, better for him.

            • Saqib Kazmi

              Yess!! That’s called a Smartphone with lots of costumizations. If not….what to do with apple? One can use “Qmobile Soaps”.

      • PeeDroid

        Get Off That Little Green Robot’s D…

    • TomTom

      @PeeDroid Dude start wearing pampers…I guess besides peeing in bed you have diarrhea issues as well due to excessive apple dosage, try Kitkat now ;)

      • NutDroid – PeeDroid

        @TomTom Before I Do That, I Will Nut On Your Face First :D
        Enjoy That Creamy Syrup.
        HaHaHaHaHa..

        • Shahid Saleem

          How many years will we have to wait for that? I mean obv from your comments you’re not “mature” yet.

          • PeeDroid

            Was I Talking To You??
            Oh You Are Trying To Get My Attention..
            *Ignored*.

        • TomTom

          @PeeDroid…you’ll have to wait for another 10 years to reach that stage you popoo baby … look my kitkat is better than your apple …nain na nan naein :P aaaawwww dont cry you little baby…
          ProPakistani should have some age limit criteria..such as only 10+ or should have some IQ level testing simple as 2+2 = ? and that too with multiple choice options.
          hahaha…peepoopeepoopeepoo and dont forget to change your pamper kid, check its already smelling :D

          • PeeDroid

            I See You Interested In My PeePee Pipe More Than KitKat!!
            Maaaaan..

            • TomTom

              Yeah very much interested in your impotent pipe peepoo kid… :D

              • PeeDroid

                Well Damn..
                You Are Under Estimating The Power Of That Pipe..
                BTW You’re Very Much Intrested In It!!

                • aamir7

                  Sir, comments are checked by a human being. Please — everyone — use better language to defend your opinion.

                  • PeeDroid

                    My Bad!!

                  • Saqib Kazmi

                    Hahaha.It will be better implimented if moderated by a robot.

        • TomTom

          And ask your baby sitter Siri … “Siri is it time to change my pamper” :D

          • PeeDroid

            Ima Do That Too & Then Ill Tell Her To Sprinkle Her PIMP Juice On You, So You Wake Up & Get Of That Lil Robo’s D_|_K…

            • TomTom

              Awww peepoo boy why don’t you join me in this fun…oh how can i forget, you are under age peepoo baby, under age to play with GREEN ROBOTS. Your mind is not mature enough to understand how much fun a green robot can give with a flavour of kitkat ;) play with your apple till your peepoo see sunshine :D

              • PeeDroid

                Lol Underage?? WTF
                Your Sister Told You That Or Your Brother In Law Shahid Saleem??
                Apple Is THE Best, iOS Is THE Most Advanced Mobile OS!!
                And I Have Already Used Android Crap Buggy Phones & I Own A Tablet Android Sucks..
                You Know What Android Is Good At Eating RAM & Installing Malware!!

              • PeeDroid

                Ay Go Change Your Always Ultra.
                Then Come Back With The Facts, Not Your Corny Bullshit!!

  • Saeed

    It can run even on 512 MB RAM smartphones..which smartphones are they upgrading? Only high-end flagships! What is the point of telling people that your product can run on lower end devices when you only provide the updates for high-end ones?