Android KitKat likes low-end phones and wearable tech

Android KitKat likes low-end phones and wearable techThe Android KitKat launch is stupidly imminent, to the point where it might’ve been announced by the time this very article sees the light of day.

In the meantime, a leaked document intended for manufacturers - marked CONFIDENTIAL - reveals what's next for Android, specifically a focus on sexy performance on low-end devices, and compatibility with wearable tech.

In all likelihood, the next version of Android won’t mark a massive leap for the operating system, as implied by the iterative numbering. Jelly Bean currently takes us up to Android 4.3, while KitKat will officially be Android 4.4. The next major release will likely be Android 5.0.

On the KitKat Android 4.4 micro-site, Google says: “It's our goal with Android KitKat to make an amazing Android experience available for everybody”, suggesting it’ll play well with low-end devices, which have of course been vital in establishing Android as the world’s most popular smartphone operating system, though they're generally last on the list when it comes to updates.

The leaked document adds that KitKat Android 4.4 “optimizes memory use in every major component”, while providing “tools to help developers create memory-efficient applications” for “entry-level devices” – including those with just 512MB of RAM. At the other end of the scale, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has 3GB of RAM, but it’s hardly wallet-friendly.

In addition, the document says KitKat Android 4.4 will support three new sensor types, namely geomagnetic rotation vector, step detector and step counter. That immediately brings to mind wearable tech, and indeed Google is tipped to be prepping its own smartwatch for imminent release.

Other KitKat Android 4.4 features will supposedly include the ability for phones to “emulate” physical cards for payments, though NFC (Near Field Communication) adoption has been fairly slow in the west.

With KitKat Android 4.4 you’ll also be able to use your device as a TV remote, while Bluetooth wants to get hot and heavy with devices like joysticks, keyboards and in-car entertainment systems.

Like I say, KitKat Android 4.4 is set to touch down any moment now – alongside the Google Nexus 5 and possibly an Asus-built Google Nexus 10. The latest whispers suggest November 1 i.e. tomorrow.

via: Jessica Lessin's temporary site thingy

Read more about: Android

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Stelph  Oct. 31, 2013 at 16:05

Good idea, I think Android will be starting to feel pressure from WP8 now since although it trounces WP8 with regards to number of apps and customisation, WP8 is amazingly usable even on the "weakest" hardware, where as Android seems to be a bit of a resource Hog and can turn into a chugasaurs

On the other features, still hitting up a large amount of MEH to contactless payments (especially now we are hearing of complaints of contactless payments being registered a considerable distance away from the sensor

Harryisme  Oct. 31, 2013 at 16:39

Yeah hopefully the Android OS finally gets a much needed optimisation. While I might be a Android user, i've always thought as far as performance and reliability goes Googles OS is the worst of the lot, it gets allot of love from the community because it's customisable and free, but as far as an effecient OS goes, it trails behind both Win8 and iOS, though this could largely be blamed on having more hardware to support than the other two.

nutnut  Oct. 31, 2013 at 20:18

nexus 5 showing on uk google play store! £299 for 16gb £339 for 32gb comes with kitkat and leaves the warehouse 8th November
Nexus 5

SpeedyG  Oct. 31, 2013 at 21:55

I'll skip Kit Kat and try a tasty Android Lemon Meringue instead.

I think it's the last update to get as many as possible on esp. the cheapies on new software before 5.0 touches down.


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