Google releases Android 4.4 "Kit Kat"
- Google's latest version of their mobile operating system
- What's new to the table?
- Can "Kit Kat" compete with iOS7?
Google’s new update for their mobile operating system brings a plethora of upgrades and new features to the table. Dubbed “Kit Kat”, Android 4.4 focuses on a delivering across the board increases of speed, stability and battery life. The new update brings a much welcomed refresh to the look of Android: gone are the flashes of blue on solid black which are now replaced with a more translucent white look. Following the major release of iOS7, Google has a big show to follow as a far design and user experience goes. Apple’s release last month saw the iPhone interface receiving a major facelift. Initially debuted to an overwhelming negative reception due to it’s radical changes, iOS7 has now become an appreciated update from the Apple community.
Google’s new version of Android isn’t as quite as radical as iOS7 but it has tweaked a few things to keep itself up to date. Kit Kat feels less robotic with rounded edges and a softer user interface palette. Following iOS7’s theme of translucency, Kit Kat drops the solid black menu and navigation bar expressing a more open interface and giving the appearance of increased screen real estate.
A big improvement brought by Kit Kat is the performance tweaks. It’s not just the high end handsets such as the Nexus 5 that will benefit from the new update. Android 4.4 will run faster on older handset due to a new technology from Google called PROJECT SVELTE which reduces the amount of memory needed to run the operating system. Developers can activate a “low-memory” mode that detects when the application is on a lower specification handset and adjusts the memory allocation to run faster. In addition to this Google has reduced the overall size of the OS and Applications to make to slimmer for devices with smaller storage.
There are also reports that Google has increased the performance of the touchscreen input on the operating system meaning better typing using the on-screen keyboard and better interactivity overall. Another feature included with Kit Kat is improvement of NFC. Near Field Communication (NFC) is a technology widely used in the US and now slowly being adopted over here in Australia. Essentially the technology allows people to use their phones as a replacement for tap-on cards such as PayPass credit cards and Myki’s. The Commonwealth Bank has recently announced their support of NFC cards for their customers being released in the coming months. CommBank and Android users can look forward to a fast and efficient way of using their mobile for credit/debit card payments.
Android 4.4 is out right now for developers and will be rolled out to most Android based handsets over the next few months.
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