Google has finally launched its highly anticipated Android v4.4 KitKat OS. Last September, Google announced that its next Android version will be Android 4.4 KitKat instead of the rumored Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie.
Android 4.4 KitKat comes with more polished design, improved performance, and new features. Here are some of the new features that Google added to its KitKat upgrade:
1. Ok Google: The feature which was first shown in Motorola's Moto X comes to native Android. When on the home screen or in Google Now, users just need to say “Ok Google” to launch voice search, send a text, get directions or even play a song.
2. Full-screen album and movie art: While listening to music, the KitKat OS displays full-screen album and movie art when the device is locked. Users can play, pause, or seek to a specific moment.
3. Immersive mode: While reading a book, playing a game or watching a video, the new immersive mode hides all the controls and gives a full screen experience. Swiping the edges brings back the status bar and navigation button.
4. Faster multitasking: The new KitKat OS comes with an improved system performance by optimizing memory and improving the touchscreen. It also responds faster and more accurately than ever before.
5. New Phone app: The new phone app automatically prioritizes contacts based on the people users talk to the most. It also allows users to search for nearby places and businesses, contacts, or people in their Google Apps domain.
6. Smart caller ID: For calls from other than contacts, Android 4.4 KitKat OS will look for matches from businesses with a local listing on Google Maps.
7. The New Hangouts app: The new Hangouts app integrates SMS and MMS messages alongside the conversations and also allows users to share their location and send animated GIFs.
8. Emoji on Google Keyboard: KitKat OS gets the popular Emoji characters in the default Google keyboard.
9. Improved File access: The new android 4.4 OS allows users to open and save files on Google Drive, other cloud storage services, or on their device using apps like Quickoffice. It also gets quick access to recently used files.
10. Printing: Printing is made easy with the KitKat OS. Users can print photos, documents, and web pages from their phone or tablet. It also allows users to print to any printer connected to Google Cloud Print, to HP ePrint printers, and to other printers that have apps in the Google Play Store.
Other notable features are:
- Bluetooth MAP support
- Chromecast support
- Chrome web view
- Easy home screen switching
- Full-screen wallpapers with preview
- HDR+ photography
- Infrared blasting
- Low-power audio playback
- Music and movie-seeking from the lock screen
- Built-in pedometer