Not only the Nexus 5 was launched today by Google,but Android 4.4 KitKat is also celebrating its debut. The new Android version provides many new features, here you will find the most important at a glance.
Reduced memory consumption
Under the code name “Project Svelte”,Google has reduced the requirements of the system memory that it runs smoothly even on devices with 512 megabytes of RAM. This means that in the future many entry-level devices can be equipped with the latest Android version – a 100-euro smartphone with Android 4.4 will therefore be possibility. The reduced memory requirements affect not only the Android system, but also Google apps like YouTube, Maps or Chrome. Google’s mission is clear: Contain the fragmentation and reach more consumers. Android chief Sundar Pinchai explains: “We want to reach the next billion people and we want to use the latest version of Android.”
Hangouts in Android 4.4 is an integral part of the system. There is no separate icon for SMS anymore, but only the Hangouts symbol that combines text, chat and video chats in one interface.
The new Hangouts app. / © Google
Transparent status bar
The status bar and the menu buttons are blurred with the background image, there is no clear demarcation, which looks much more elegant.
The new status bar of Android KitKat. / © Google
New full-screen mode
Kitkat 4.4 comes with new fullscreen mode,what Google calls it “Immersive Mode”.While playing games,or reading books or watching films,The navigation buttons and status bar are hidden automatically and will appear only if you tap with your finger on the edges of the screen.
Improved address book
The contacts in the address book are shown on request in a list that automatically prioritized according to the people with whom you communicate most often. And a new search filter allows people to see places where they reside or are staying.
The design of the phone app has been completely overhauled. And when an unknown number calls, then Google is tries to identify them automatically by entries scanned from local businesses on Google Maps. If an entry is stored, for example, an auto repair shop or pub, then they appear – so you know that is who is calling.
Extended support for printer
Documents or photos can be printed directly from your smartphone or tablet device. This works easily with any printer that is connected to Google Cloud Print. HP ePrint is also supported.
Google Now on the home screen and advanced voice control
Now you can start voice search from your home screen or when your are in Google Now.All you have to say is “OK Google” to launch voice search. This currently only works on the Nexus 5 – and of course at the Moto X.
Lockscreen with album art
It’s just a detail, but visually it looks cool: When playing music (or Stream HD movies using Chrome Cast) Album Cover fills the screen. Controls of course also appear.
Lockscreen with album cover: Looks good! / © Google
The new system makes it possible not only to create screenshots of the screen content, but also video recordings, using a simple key combination.
Android 4.4 comes bundled with the new Nexus 5, which is available now. In the “next few weeks” Kitkat be available 4 via software update on the Nexus 4, the Nexus 7 and the Nexus 10.Google however didn’t mentioned the exact date.
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