Published On: Mon, Nov 4th, 2013

Android 4.4 KitKat: 8 Key Innovations

Google has released a new version of its mobile operating system – Android 4.4 KitKat. Today we’ve picked 8 features of Android 4.4 KitKat, which immediately attract the attention and that can help in making a decision about installing it on your device.

android kit kat

#1 Design and navigation

The traditional Android top and bottom navigation bar is now transparent, allowing a background image take the entire screen. Android KitKat also returned to the call of widgets screen with a long press on the start screen.

The new OS also has a mode of “immersion” that automatically hide all objects on the screen, except the content that the user needs – for example, video. When finished, the user can hold the edge of the screen and back navigation buttons and lists of applications.

#2 Low system requirements

Google is positioned the new OS as a very ” unpretentious” for system requirements. Android 4.4 KitKat reduced the required RAM amount, which will expand the number of smartphones and tablets where the OS can be potentially installed. It is done by getting rid of some background processes and optimizing other Android components.

#3 Tight Search Integration

In the new version of Android version Google search bar is located on the top panel of the desktop pages, although previously it was only on the main home screen. In addition, the search now aims not only to relevant sites, but also on the apps installed.

Search can be run not only by the traditional “manual” input, but also by an «Okay Google» voice command. Using the same command, followed by a voice instruction, users can send the message, get directions, or play a video.

#4 Updated Calling Program

The program performing the basic function of any phone – calling – has also undergone changes in Android 4.4 KitKat. The contacts are ranked according to the frequency of calls. Moreover, the user can type in a search bar the name of any organization  nearby and Android will allow direct dial its number thanks to the Google Maps integration. If the system cannot identify the number of the incoming call from the contact list, it will also look for it among the local business organizations listed in Google Maps.

#5 Hangouts

Hangouts Service, which Google was initially positioned as an alternative to Skype, is now tightly integrated with Android 4.4 KitKat. The application replaces the traditional program for the SMS exchange and now allows you to exchange with text and multimedia messages, to create chat rooms, and make video calls with other Android-users.

#6 Google Now Assistant

Google Now, a virtual assistant, which provides the user with relevant information, depending on the location, plans and actions in the form of information sheets, now is always located at the left page of the desktop. Previously, it was necessary to call for the application by moving from bottom to top of the screen and clicking on the appropriate circle with the word Google – but this invocation method is remained  in the new Android as well.

#7 NFC

This feature is becoming increasingly popular. Android 4.4 KitKat simplifies the creation and work of the apps involving payment via smartphones with NFC. The apps  can also go into read-only mode, where the user can check the emulated cards and NFC- transactions.

#8 Screen Recording

The user can record high-quality video, which shows the work of an app for Android-device. For example, a user can record a game play, a developer – a how-to on the use of the applications, marketers – the basic functions of the new software, and save it in the MP4-file.

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About the Author

- This post is written by Katerina Merzlova, a tech writer who is in charge of Nasty Creatures' blog, a blog about recent news in mobile app development and epublishing world. To find out more about the team she works with, follow them on Twitter @Nasty_Creatures.

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