Launched with the new Google Nexus 5 mobile phone, KitKat is now being rolled out for Samsung, Motorola and HTC handsets with Sony and other brands soon to follow. Here are 5 new and improved features for Android KitKat 4.4.
New Dialler – a super quick and very easy way to look up businesses and phone them directly from your dialler. All you need to do is open up the dialler on your handset, search for the type of business you’re looking for e.g. an Italian restaurant nearby and you can then call the restaurant you choose from your list of search results. There’s also a new Caller ID which will try and match any unknown incoming calls using information from Google search.
Google Hangouts – a new app which replaces Google Talk and has been fully integrated into Android KitKat. Google Hangouts is home to all of your messages and conversations which include SMS, MMS, and video chat. It can be synched across all of your devices so you only get one notification and you can pick up messages and conversations no matter what handset you’re using. You can also use photos, emoji and animated GIFS to keep in touch.
Cloud Printing – Android KitKat comes with a built-in feature which means you can print using Google Cloud Print. No more having to email yourself documents to print or juggling cables, all you need to do is set it up and then you can get started. Essentially Google Cloud Print lets you to print off files and documents to whatever printer you choose from wherever you may be. To set it up you need to have a Google Account, a PC or laptop which runs Chrome connected to your printer and a cloud-printing enabled device e.g. a smartphone which runs Android KitKat.
Immersive Mode – a great new feature which hides the status bar which usually appears at the top of your screen and also navigation buttons which on Nexus devices appear at the bottom of your screen. Immersive Mode is ideal for when you’re playing games, reading an eBook or watching video content as it lets you use the full screen without any buttons or bars on display. The hidden icons can be swiped back onto your screen again once you’re ready to use them.
Improved Handset Performance – one of the great things about Android KitKat 4.4 is that it will work on devices with a small amount of RAM as it requires less memory to work. In fact KitKat only requires 512MB of RAM so it could breathe new life into older and cheaper devices which are running old versions of the Android operating system. Essentially it means that older handsets will now perform more quickly and effectively and newer top-end devices also benefit as it’s faster and uses up less battery power.