Google used custom 512MB qHD dual-core Nexus 4 to refine KitKat Android 4.4

Google used custom 512MB qHD dual-core Nexus 4 to refine KitKat Android 4.4Even Android diehards would be hard pushed to argue that there’s much of note going on in KitKit Android 4.4 – certainly not as far as features go. Instead, the focus was very much under the hood, on making KitKat Android 4.4 play well on flagships and entry-level devices alike.

Dave Burke, head of engineering for Android, reveals how Google achieved that goal, specifically with a watered down Nexus 4.

In an interview with, Dave describes how the KitKat Android 4.4 engineers used modified Google Nexus 4s as their default phones.

The Google Nexus 4’s RAM was cut from 2GB to just 512MB, while the resolution dropped from 720p to qHD (960 x 540). Finally, it was reduced from four cores to two. Voila! An entry-level phone.

Dave jokes that Jelly Bean's Project Butter made Android smoother, but also caused it to put on unwanted weight. KitKat encompasses something called Project Svelte, where the goal was to lose that weight while maintaining the smoothness.

It’s been written countless times that KitKat Android 4.4 will consequently reduce Android fragmentation, but handsets will of course still be at the mercy of a) the manufacturers, and b) the networks.

Inevitably KitKat Android 4.4 will have a positive effect on distribution, but don’t expect it to leap to 100% any time soon. Just saying.

Read more about: Google Nexus 4Android

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