“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:
• 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.)
• 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.
• 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 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 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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
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.
Nexus 4, Nexus 7, & Nexus 10