With the announcement of the Nexus 5 Android 4.4 KitKat has also arrived! The majority of users are still on android 4.2 Jelly Bean and android 4.3 has barely been around long enough to make it to many devices at all. Android 4.4 is only an incremental update. However, some of the changes are fairly big. Let me explain on short detail for those on the go.
Full-Screen Immersion – this mode will make the notification bar transparent. It will no longer require that the top or bottom navigation bar be there. Developers will be able to tap into the customization of the notification bar. This will be great for watching movies or playing games. Apps will now have a more native feel to them.
Always Listening Google Now – very self explainitory, saying “ok Google” will activate Google Now. It’s unclear if this always listening feature will be available to HTC or Samsung users. My fear is that this will significantly drain your battery. I’m sure they’ve figured out a way around that though.
Support For Lower-End Devices – this has been a huge problem for Google. Fragmentation. Only about 50% of Android users are on Jelly Bean. So that means the other half is having to deal with an old version of Android that just isn’t up to par. So they’ve significantly lowered their requirements for devices. This is good for android. I still have friends on Android 2.2 using GTalk instead of Hangouts.
They’ve also made some improvement with sensors in the phone so that they don’t need to run constantly. Making battery usage better. NFC capabilities have been improved. I’m sure there are many other improvements to the OS, but these were the few that stuck out. These few here I think will make people want to update from Jelly Bean to KitKat.
If I missed anything important let me know. Tell me what you think is the best change coming to Android in the comments below.