Get ready to experience SMART GooGle… with the Android 4.4 KitKat OS Version, as it holds stunning Google features and more that are worth to discuss. If interested, checkout them in depth here.
Cupcake … Donut … Eclair … Froyo … Gingerbread … Honeycomb … Ice Cream Sandwich … Jelly Bean… and now KitKat. Google has finally exposed the most awaited version, Android 4.4 Kitkat. This is the first time that Google has used most popular brand name to depict its operating system version. But Android 4.4 KitKat, itself, is talk of the town; as Google made it light weight so that it can nicely work in all devices instead of loading the OS with more features. Generally being a new OS, we expect more memory to perform; however things are reversed here. Android 4.4 is light on memory usage and to my surprise; it can nicely work on low end mobile phone with just 512MB ram. Android keeps on improving as usual. This time, major improvement is memory management… also fans will get smarty Google features experience like translucent Google search bar, Google’s own Hangouts app, Google Now, instantly launching of the voice command bysaying OK Google, Emoji icons, and so more. This is just minor highlights, if curious to know about the rest…keeps on reading ahead.
1. Control device by saying OK Google
No touching! Yes, this is true; now things get done without touching the screen. Voice command helps you to talk and get information directly. just say “Ok Google” on your home screen* or in Google Now to launch voice search, to listen to the music, to send text messages and even search for directions to a place.
2. Music Player art on Lock Screen
Gone plain and simple lock screen, also that where you can control the audio from lock screen by adding simple widget. However there is more in Kitkat, as it brings a full screen album or movie art together with the toggles to control the played media. You can do this when a song is being played or you are projecting movies to a Chromecast.
3. Do not disturb
With the new immersive mode, you can automatically hides everything apart from what you really want to see… it may be the book you’re reading, the game you’re playing, or the movie you’re watching. Just swipe the edge of the screen and get back your status bar and navigation buttons.
4. Faster multitasking
To respond quicker and more accurately, Android 4.4 takes system performance to an all-time high by optimizing memory as well as developing your touchscreen. Now, you can listen to music while browsing the web, or race down the highway with the hottest hit game, very smoothly.
5. Phone app
You will find the modified phone app that is generally used for making call, for checking call logs and accessing contact. This is more improved as well as great in terms of handling. Having some additional benefits, the app keeps the most contacted people on the top list. So you don’t have to search them in the contact again and again, as the contacts area shows a prioritized list where such regular contacts are listed on the first page itself. From the same place, the app allows user to search for the nearby places and businesses, your contacts, or people in your Google Apps domain, keeping your gps on.
6. Phone App Caller ID:
Caller ID is a very familiar feature, which comes in Lumia device. TrueCaller is one of the widely used apps for such assistance in searching for the information about the phone number; but it affects the phone performance. Now Google is doing something related, as Kitkat has an integrated Caller ID in Phone App that searches for the phone number and if the number is unknown as well as not saved in your phone the app makes search within the local listings of Businesses in Google Maps. Accordingly whenever you make or receive calls, you will get details listed on the home screen also you can easily recognize spam calls and block them.
7. On-the-go Printing
Till date, only iOS users can get benefited with the wireless printing…now Android KitKat offers an optimized solution regarding this, wherein the OS comes with Google Cloud Print support. It means, you have to just hook your printer on your Gmail account using Google Cloud Print; followed by, you can print photos, documents, and web pages anytime, and anywhere you want from your phone or tablet. Very simple! So, no need to rely on third party application. Just configure printer on the app, and this lets the smartphones to print to the Google Cloud Print, to HP ePrint printers or to the other printers that have the well-suited apps in the Play Store.
8. Quickoffice Integration
Get a complete office solution with Android Kitkat, as it comes with the latest version of Quickoffice app. This lets you open, create, edit as well as save documents, spreadsheets and presentations directly on Google Drive, other cloud storage services, or your device from your phone or tablet with the newly redesigned Quickoffice files. Also with direct access to the recent used files, it becomes really easy to pick any file as well as send the file you were just working on. Moreover, anyone can take complete advantage of it with the direct insertion in the OS. As the latest version is integrated in Android Kitkat, it can work with all file formats. Editing office files becomes quiet easy on tablet and smart phones; also you can read and transform the files directly. So now, you can easily do anything with your word, excel and ppt files as well as share the same with your friends.
9. Hangouts App: message center
Now, all of your SMS and MMS messages are collectively in the matching app, along with your other conversations as well as video calls, with the new Hangouts app. An outdated messaging app is moved out and now you will catch all the messages at one convenient place – Hangouts. Little by little, Google had changed the Google Talk to Hangouts, and for this time; Google made Hangouts as the only messaging app included in the KitKat version. Getting message details in the notification bar in Jellybean is removed and Hangout is a central place to get all the messages. To make it better again, Hangouts lets users to share your location and send animated GIFs to your contacts.
10. Emoji in Google Keyboard
A picture is worth a thousand words – this is truly works. Sometimes words can’t express what we really feel. Don’t worry, now we have Emoji icons, the colorful Japanese characters, which now available on the plain and boring Google Keyboard. Now the default keyboard has Emoji support so they can be directly chosen. That means you can put in your favorite graphics to show up your mood and feelings. However for this, the person on other side is required to have the same keyboard.
11. Support for Chromecast
Chromecast is the tiny dongle to stream the content directly to the HDTV. This compatibility comes with all devices which run the Android 4.4 version. This feature is not supported by existing mobile phone with Jellybean, but Kitkat will work with it. Now, content from Netflix, YouTube, Hulu Plus, and Google Play can be directly streamed to the HDTVs with the help of Chromecast. Google Chromecast is simple to configure and allows you instantly share your phone content on HDTV, without any third party app.
12. Web Components Support:
Nowadays, websites comes with different web component and because of this page could be messed up sometime in Chrome. In this new version, you will find additional web component apps support. In order that now whatever page you open, correction is displayed on the mobile screen. And the page usage becomes more and more accurate and quick. This feature was missing in the old OS so causing various issues while site loading.
13. Built-in Android Device Manager
Device Manager is very useful to give you information about all active services, CPU and ram usage as well as provide you instant information about ongoing activity as well as boost your system performance through that. Kitkat has Device Manager but little different. This app helps you to find the lost phone or run a remote wipe in case the phone is lost.
14. Improved download manager
With default download manager, browser usually crashes completely. But now the download manager has got a redesign to give you decent output along with more options. For ex. sorting of the downloaded files either in the list or grid view.
15. App switch
Earlier, changing the home screen was somewhere deep in the settings where you had to change to defaults, otherwise go to the App settings and clear the defaults for that particular. Now, there’s a direct setting for that in Kitkat called as easy app switch. It allows you to access this thing directly from the home screen. Just go to Settings > Home, and you will get the easy switching options.
16. Refreshed Email App
Those who only have Gmail account can use the Gmail app but if you have multiple then you should have the Email App. It is completely tailored and now works smoother like trouble-free and smooth navigation through the conversations, nested folders; also you can see photos which are pulled from your contacts.
17. HDR+ photography
HDR+ photography is only offered for Nexus 5 mobile phone and because of limited hardware, other device cannot use this. When you enable this feature, camera will take a few quick shots, offer you option to select the best among this as well as combine them to come up with a single best possible shot. Even it is believed that this would be ideal for taking photos in night.
18. Location Mode:
One major issue behind battery consumption is GPS. Your battery life is reduced around 1 to 2 hrs when it is on. Considering this, Google cares about your phone’s battery and has done certain changes in Location Mode setting for this time. Making it more accurate and offering battery saving location mode, the gpu settings are now smart enough to select from wifi, mobile network and gprs whichever is existing. No need to keep running around the settings to toggle between them… it’s the job of your OS.
This is a kind of health app and already available in Galaxy S4 and Note 3. Yes, only Samsung had this for now. If you determined to burn your extra calories, this app would be quite handy.
A major improvement – NFC. Google has improved the NFC and added payment authorization regarding. This allows you to pay through your NFC tag. It works with most of the mobile carriers and just a simple tap with the NFC tag would be sufficient to authorize the transactions on the cloud, and pay with Google Wallet or other apps.
21. IR Blaster:
IR Blaster adds an Infrared control on your phone to control your TV also nearby devices, which have an infrared support. The new version of Android supports the same applications. So, this would be handy if you have multiple remote control devices in your home.