Android 4.4 KitKat





“It’s our goal with Android KitKat to make an amazing Android experience available for everybody.”

Android KitKat. Prepare for a sweet new treat. Android is the operating system that powers over 1 billion smartphones and tablets. Since these devices make our lives so sweet, each Android version is named after a dessert: Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich …

That’s certainly a bit vague, but the statement does line up with earlier rumors that suggested Google plans to use its next Android release in smartwatches, gaming consoles, low-cost smartphones, and even laptops.

The latest email from Google gives the upcoming features as:

  • Just say “Ok Google”
    • You don’t need to touch the screen to get things done. When on your home screen or in Google Now, just say “Ok Google” to launch voice search, send a text, get directions or even play a song. (We already have “Ok Glass“, perhaps “Ok Watch” is next.)

  • Google Wallet
    • KitKat will enable Google Wallet without the need for your carrier’s approval because Android is storing your payment information within KitKat, therefore you won’t have to rely on NFC security elements to make a transaction.

  • Faster multitasking
    • Android 4.4 takes system performance to an all-time high by optimizing memory usage in every major component. That means you can run more of your favorite apps and switch between them faster than ever.

  • Project Svelte
    • Project Svelte is designed to make KitKat run smoothly and efficiently even on low-end devices with as little as 512MB of RAM. As a result, Kit Kat uses 16 percent less memory than its predecessor, Jelly Bean, and there are additional features that allow developer to disable any features that use up more memory than needed.

  • The future is calling
    • The new phone app automatically prioritizes your contacts based on the people you talk to the most. You can also search for nearby places and businesses, your contacts, or people in your Google Apps domain.

  • A smarter caller ID
    • Whenever you get a call from a phone number not in your contacts, your phone will look for matches from businesses with a local listing on Google Maps.

  • Hangouts – All your messages in the same place
    • Never miss a message, no matter how your friend sends it. With the new Hangouts app, all of your SMS and MMS messages are together in the same app, alongside your other conversations and video calls. And with the new Hangouts, you can even share your location and send animated GIFs.

    • Emoji, the more elaborate cousins of emoticons, are now included in Hangouts and text-based chats, which have a smooth and cartoonlike feel.

  • Print wherever, whenever
    • Now you can print photos, documents, and web pages from your phone or tablet. You can print to any printer connected to Google Cloud Print, to HP ePrint printers, and to other printers that have apps in the Google Play Store.

  • KitKat ships with Quickoffice
    • Quickoffice lets you edit Microsoft Office documents, spreadsheets, and presentations on the go, without paying a dime, straight out of the box.

    For App Developers

  • WebView in Android 4.4


    KitKat will be pushed to certain devices soon. If you’re in a hurry you could grab a copy from Google’s Factory Images for Nexus Devices page.

    Android 4.4 (KitKat) update for Nexus devices

    Nexus 5 available on Google Play

  • The new Nexus 5 comes with Android 4.4 pre-installed. Note that you will be prompted to install a small update when you set up your device.
  • The Hangouts app is the only pre-installed SMS/MMS app on your device.
  • Verizon’s CDMA network is out of the question, but it is compatible with AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile LTE bands.

    Nexus 4, Nexus 7, & Nexus 10

  • Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 will be receiving the Android 4.4 update. The latest version will be available in the coming weeks. Once the update is released, it can take up to two weeks for it to reach your device.

    Galaxy Nexus

  • Galaxy Nexus will not be receiving the Android 4.4 update, because it was released over 24 months ago and falls outside of the 18-month update window when Google and others traditionally update devices. Perhaps evervolv will come to the rescue.


  • Apps for Kindle Fire & Amazon Market

    Publishing Kindle Fire Apps by



    The Kindle Fire is a tablet device, most Android tablet apps will run on the various Kindle Fire devices, subject to different screen sizes, hardware features, and software implementations. Specifications The current Kindle Fire OS 3.0 “Mojito”, is built from the Android open source kernel (Android 4.2.2 – Jellybean) and runtime libraries. Per Amazon, 75% of the tablet apps tested that run on Android also run on Fire OS, with no Additional Development Required The easiest process of making your app available to the Kindle Fire is to join the Amazon Store. Amazon will automatically scan the app to see if it’s suitable for the Kindle Fire OS. The submission process is similar to submitting to Google Play (Market) or the BlackBerry PlayBook Market.

    Amazon has turned the Kindle into a multi-media tablet from its original incarnation as simply an e-book reader. Amazon promotes their market as having "Powerful Marketing Features: Market your apps to tens of millions of customers using Amazon’s proven marketing and merchandising capabilities. Submit your app once for the potential to reach customers on Kindle Fire, the Amazon Appstore mobile client, and online at the Amazon Appstore."

    So you might ask why the Amazon Kindle Fire? Well the answer is that PC sales are caving with Smartphone and Tablet sales dominating the Consumer Electronics market. iPad sales are being cannibalize by the iPad mini, and Android smartphone & tablets are dominating the market.

    I went to several stores and asked about the various tablets trying to get an understanding of which devices users were choosing and why. I understand that my observations are very limited but they have the thing of truth. The general consensus was that Apple users wanted the iPad mini. Book readers wanted the Kindle. Users that choose Android wanted the freedom. The 7″ Samsung tablet is currently more popular than the Nexus 7″. The Nook seems dead in the water with little to no sales. The Microsoft Surface tablet has some interest. Many are waiting for expected releases of new tablets for the upcoming Christmas Shopping season. From this I concluded that the Kindle Fire is an important player in the tablet market and that App Developers need to learn to the skills to release their apps for the Amazon Kindle Fire Market.

    10 Tips to Optimize Android Apps for Amazon & Kindle Fire HDX by uTest

    Kindle phone coming soon, but not yet.

    imageC|NET Article: “A bunch of new Kindle Fire tablets are on the way, according to NPD DisplaySearch. Watch your back, Google.”


    Kindle Fire doesn’t use Google services, so it does not have Google Play (Market) installed. Instead, it uses Amazon’s Appstore for Android. Kindle Fire users can add most Android app's via the Amazon Appstore or by Sideloading. Sideloading is basically just going outside the Amazon Market, something most Android users are familiar with. There are fewer apps available for the Kindle Fire but most of the popular ones are available.

    Nexus 7 (2) vs Kindle Fire HDX

    Kindle Fire HDX review

    Kindle Fire review

    Amazon Kindle Fire 6.2.1 Update Dec. 21st, 2011

    Kindle Fire Update Removes Root Access

    Nook vs. Kindle

    Unboxing the Amazon Kindle Fire

    Here and excellent articles that talk’s about the compatibility issues. Nov 15th PCMAG Mobile, “How To Run Almost Any Android App On the Kindle Fire“.

    Getting Started With Kindle Fire Development by tuts+

    In App Purchase

    Install Any App on Kindle Fire

    Tablet Market Share (2Q13)

    • iOS 50.7%
    • Android
      • Google Play
      • PlayBook – Blackberry
      • Kindle Fire – Amazon 4.6%
      • Nook – Barnes & Noble
    • Windows

    Kindle App Development

    • Development Environment – Eclipse
    • Testing Your App
    • Amazon's Developer Program costs: Free, There is no registration cost. You can create an app developer account for free and submit your app.
    • No Google – Kindle Fire has no Google Services.
      When developing Kindle Fire apps you must use the Android API and not the Google APIs version. Any Google specific intents will fail.

      Official Google apps that require logins won’t work. Translate, YouTube and Maps work, because they don’t require logins. However the new versions of Google Maps uses Google Services therefore they won’t work.
      Here’s what doesn’t run.

      • Google Play (Android Market)
      • Google Books
      • Gmail 
      • Google Maps
      • Hint: Use Amazon Maps

    • Hardware & OS
      Kindle Fire apps will runs on devices with different screen sizes, hardware features, and software implementations. To help ensure that your app works well across a broad array of devices, query the features of the device hardware or software and be responsive to the features that are available.



    Amazon’s New Kindle Fires Land in a More Competitive Tablet Market

    iOS Kids Apps Section

    Apple has a new Section in the App Store which means it has amended it’s iOS App Store Review Guidelines.

    Apple’s new guidelines cover four key points:

    * * * *
    24. Kids Apps

    24.1 Apps primarily intended for use by kids under 13 must include a privacy policy

    24.2 Apps primarily intended for use by kids under 13 may not include behavioral advertising (e.g. the advertiser may not serve ads based on the user’s activity within the App), and any contextual ads presented in the App must be appropriate for kids

    24.3 Apps primarily intended for use by kids under 13 must get parental permission or use a parental gate before allowing the user to link out of the app or engage in commerce

    24.4 Apps in the Kids Category must be made specifically for kids ages 5 and under, ages 6-8, or ages 9-11

    * * * *

    For the iOS App Review Guidelines with commentary click here

    So this brings up the question, ‘Do you have a privacy policy?’

    Mobile Browsers

    Using HTML5 Test I was able test the new build of Chrome mobile  browser.

    Test results: ” your browser scores 429 AND 11 BONUS POINTS out of a total of 500 points. You are using Chrome Nightly 30.0.1599.82 on an Acer Iconia Tab A100 running Android 4.0.3″

    For additional Mobile browsers scores check this link.

    50% of desktops still run Windows XP that will no longer be supported by Microsoft as of the end of 2014. This means that the stock XP browser, IE, will no longer have security patchs and the computers will be sitting ducks for malware. Google is coming to the rescue by supporting the Chrome browser in Windows XP thru April 2015 as a replacement browser of the stock browser. Mozilla’s Firefox and Opera Software’s Opera desktop browsers will also support XP after Microsoft stops patching IE on the OS.


    Call the Skype Echo / Sound Test Service

    Skype URIs

    For a Skype URI to work, a Skype client must be installed on the user’s device, and the user must have an active Skype account. Certification of applications or webpages using Skype URIs is not required, since all interaction—specifically all audio and video—is through the Skype client.

    Currently supported Skype URIs include:

  • switching focus to the Skype client.
  • initiating audio calls to other Skype users, phones, or mobiles—both one-to-one dialogs and multi-party conferences.
  • initiating video calls to another Skype user.
  • sending instant messages to an individual or establishing a group multi-chat.

    People love Skype, why not it’s free.
    No Skype is not a Freeimum product. Few if anyone will upgrade when they use Skype. The paid Skype users will usually sign up for a paid account upon initial registration. Most of these users are in the USA and in Europe.

  • Google Glass – “Ok Glass”



    image Glass Sim

    Glass development without Glass

    imageGoogle Watch, A Rose by another Name. Interesting take on Google Watch.

    Driving while Google Glass

    Google Glass: Yes, it’s that bad “I craved a Google Glass until I wore one, when I found out it’s an idea whose time hasn’t come yet.” Appears Andrew C. Oliver isn’t happy with Google Glass.

    imageGoogle Glass Apps coming to Google Play

    imageHello Google Glass Sim

    Be careful where you point that Google Glass especially if there’s a QR code sight.

    Google Glass coming soon to a face near you, for the small sum of $1,500 (if you were invited to the party). Glass is a work in progress, with test versions now being released to 2,000 developers. Another 8,000 “explorers,” people handpicked by Google, are also getting a pair.

    Per an April 22nd, 2013 BBC interview Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt stated they’re only about one year-ish away, but if you can’t wait, might I suggest eBay? Google Glass on eBay for the small sum of $90,000 (Item was removed).

    Before you buy a pair from a 3rd party, you might read the TOS, “You may not resell, loan, transfer, or give your device to any other person. If you resell, loan, transfer, or give your device to any other person without Google’s authorization, Google reserves the right to deactivate the device, and neither you nor the unauthorized person using the device will be entitled to any refund, product support, or product warranty.”

    If you do get one, the TOS (Terms of Service) prohibit commercial resell.

    Google Prescription Glass(es)

    Wish to understand Google Glass?

    A YouTube Video presentation on Google Glass (starts at 1:19:05 runs to the end 2:06:53). It’s an excellent overview of Glass and touches on the file system (it’s Android baby!).

    Glass Apps, known as Glassware, will be Cloud apps. So the “Native” app vs “Webapp” argument will be irrelevant. Questions about privacy and social acceptance remain, in addition how additional interruptions (multi-tasking) will affect you.

    Google Now will be front and center.

    Google+ Actions

    Interactive Posts


    Unboxing Glass – YouTube

    “Glass wearers, using their voices, fingers or by moving their heads, can search the Web, take pictures and view walking directions, for instance. The screen is directly in front of the wearer’s eye, but in the wearer’s perception, appears to be a 25-inch high-definition screen eight feet away. The battery generally lasts a day, according to Google.

    In addition to restricting advertising in apps, Google is also limiting the amount of access app software has to the devices. The apps, which will be called Glassware, will be cloud-based, like Web apps, as opposed to living on the device like cellphone apps. Developers will not be able to change the display or access the sensors on the device.” Google Releases Details About Glass for App Developers, NY Times, April 16, 2013.

    “When the wearer of Google Glass says out loud that he or she wants the specs to start recording – . . . – then the spectacles start recording video from a tiny camera over the eye. . . . a light flicks on over the right eye of the wearer. . . If you’re wearing the glasses you won’t even notice, but ‘the person being talked to will see a little white light near the right eye, and’ you’re left with no doubt that you’re being recorded.” C|Net Feb. 13, 2013

    Google Glass & iOS (You’ll wish you had an Android)

    “Google Glass will be intimately integrated with Google Now, Google+, YouTube and other Google Services.

    We learned this week that Glass will will get an iOS app to facilitate messaging and other features via iPhones. However, unlike the tight integration Glass will likely have with Android phones, the iOS app will mainly just give Glass access to the iPhone’s GPS data and Internet connection.

    The real magic will occur when companies design Android apps to work with cloud-based Glass apps to do a bazillion currently unpredictable things — and iPhone users will almost certainly be left out of all of that.”

    Driving app? That may not be in the cards.

    Fullscreen Beam – YouTube App

    image Gestures:
    Wink, Pinch, Nod

    NY Times Glass App

    dSky9 Glass Apps (3)

    Technical Specs

    Display – High resolution display is the equivalent of a 25 inch high definition screen from eight feet away.

    Photos – 5 MP
    Dimension: 2048 x 1510
    File Name:
    File Size:
    Exposure: 0.002 sec (1/422)
    Aperture: f2.8
    Focal Length: 2.8 mm
    ISO Speed: 60
    Exposure Bias: –
    Flash: No

    Videos – 720p

    Battery – One full day of typical use. Some features, like Hangouts and video recording, are more battery intensive. (Translation: 30 minutes to 3.5 hours)

    The headset includes Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, but uses the slower 802.11b/g standards. Google Glass will Tether, so will you need a “Tethering Plan”? One user in moderate use of Glass went through 30 MB on her first day.

    Weight: 60 grams (sunglasses = 25 grams)

    Google Glass FAQ’s by Dustin Mosely

    MyGlass Android Companion App enables GPS and SMS messaging but works only with Android 4.0.3 or higher. The iOS Companion App will allow some features. image



    Google Glass API
    Section 1. Developer Policy
    Section 2. No Ads & User Data can not be used for advertising
    Section 3. No Fees
    Section 4. Submission of Content

    Find a Emulator on GetHub MAE (Mirror API Emulator)

    Google Glass Voice Commands:
    Record video “ok, glass, record a video.”
    Take picture “ok, glass, take a picture.”
    Use Google Now – “ok, glass,

    Start Google+ hangout – “ok, glass, hang out with [person/circle].”
    Search – “ok, glass, google [search query].”
    Search photos – “ok, glass, google photos of [search query].”
    Translate – “ok, glass, say [text] in [language].”
    Give directions – “ok, glass, give directions to [place].”
    Send message “ok, glass, send a message to [name].”
    “ok, glass, send [name] that [message].”
    “ok, glass, send [message] to [name].”
    Display weather none/automatically (Google Now) – “ok, glass, how is the weather in [location]?”
    “ok, glass, do I need an umbrella today?”
    Give flight details none/automatically (Google Now)
    “ok, glass, when does flight [flight number] depart from [airport]?”


    Menu Items – YouTube

    Google Mirror API: Guidelines (YouTube)

    Design for Glass – Glass is a unique platform that is mobile but fundamentally different than existing mobile platforms in both design and use. Build your application with this in mind, design it specifically for Glass. Ensure the user experience is appropriate for Glass by testing on the device.

    Don’t get in the way – Glass users expect the technology to be there for them when they want it and out of the way when they don’t. Make sure your application supports this by not being too frequent and loud with notifications when users don’t expect it. Provide appropriate controls for the optimum experience.

    Keep it timely – Glass is a platform that is most effective when in-the-moment and up-to-date. A real-time notification system is provided to inform you about updates to data including deletion and actions performed. Where your application responds to user actions on Glass or reflects data from Glass, do so in a timely and expected manner.

    Avoid the unexpected – Surprising the user with unexpected functionality is bad on any platform, but especially on Glass, given how close it is to their daily experience. Be honest about the intention of your application, what you will do on the user’s behalf, and get their explicit permission before you do it.

    Mirrow TOS

    Apparently Glass ignores profanity because of Google’s desire to avoid potential mistranslations.

    Strip clubs getting ready for Google Glass assault: ‘Not on our watch’


    Google Glass Android Process & File System

    White Men Wearing Glass

    Google X Lab
    The Google Glass Team:

    Babak Parviz

    Steve Lee –
    It’s my expectation that in three to five years it will actually look unusual and awkward when we view someone holding an object in their hand and looking down at it. Wearable computing will become the norm

    Sebastian Thrun

    Thad Eugene Starner

    Ray Liu photo wearing Google Glass

    Further Reading:

    Running Android Apps on Glass


    image Google Glass=Jailbroken

    image Argumented Reality, GPS & Google Glass ?

    Steve Mann: My “Augmediated” Life


    Is Glass intercepting your phone calls?


    SNL Google Glass Sketch May 4, 2013

    image Glass ban signs


    Glass Collective