Android 4.4: because KitKat?
The name chosen for the "K release" of the operating system is rather special . By tradition, each version of the platform is identified with the name of a sweet , whose initials are in strictly alphabetical order : Cupcake, Donut, Eclair , Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb , Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean and precisely KitKat . This is due to a partnership signed by Google with the multinational food company Nestlé , announced in early September. According to official information , neither of them actually had to deal with an economic investment . The benefit is for both in terms of visibility : the Swiss company has organized a contest that is giving away Nexus 7 tablet and credits to spend on Play Store, while bigg promotes the name of the snack by pairing it with one of their own technology .
Android 4.4 : What's new
Android 4.4 KitKat does not upset the operating system. To attend a deep restyling of the interface will probably need to wait for version 5.0. Nevertheless, the news out there, from an optimization of the code and in particular the use of the applications that are memory, so as to increase the overall performance and make the platform is also compatible with devices medium-low . Below is a list that summarizes what changes in this release.
- Ok Google: Android 4.4 with support for voice commands KitKat takes another step forward. Users can pronounce at any time the words " Ok Google" to activate the device and perform an action, from research online to play a piece of music, to send a message alarm setting.
- Full screen : the execution of the app is in a real full screen mode, temporarily hiding the navigation buttons and the notification bar, which can still be called up at any time with a simple touch on the display. This makes the user experience more immersive, especially with games and media.
- Caller ID: news for the Phone app. Thanks to the integration with the Google Maps database, when you receive a call from a number not in your contact list, the system automatically searches for a match to the business, showing both the name and the image plate. In this way it is possible to know with whom you are preparing to speak before answering.
- Transparent rods : thanks to the new API, developers can ensure that during the performance of applications and the notification bar that contains the buttons for navigation are displayed in transparency. This is true both for the individual and for the app homescreen.
- Emotions : standard keyboard built by Google in Android 4.4 offers the KitKat emotions, the emoticons advanced that allow you to enrich your messages and express a specific mood.
- Pedometer : the operating system natively supports the pedometer, so you can monitor physical activities of users without negatively affecting battery life. The functionality obviously requires a dedicated hardware, as in the case of the smartphone Nexus 5.
- Svelte Project : Project Butter if the technology has been introduced in the past to enhance the performance of Android, Svelte Project aims to optimize memory usage by the app, so as to make Android 4.4 KitKat also compatible with devices that equip 512 MB of RAM.
- DSP : when listening to music, the workload for decoding the audio signal is moved from the CPU to the DPS ( digital signal processor). In this way greatly increases the longevity of the battery.
- Drag-and -Release : it is a mode interaction initially launched in the browser Chrome Beta and now extended to the whole operating system. In summary, instead of having to necessarily press the menu button within the app and then select one of the entries by touching the screen again, you can run the entire operation without ever lifting your finger from the touchscreen.
- Bluetooth MAP: improved profile management for the interaction between mobile devices and infotainment systems in cars.
- Bluetooth and volume adjustment : Staying on the subject, via the controls on the remote control or Bluetooth compatible devices (eg, speakers, headphones or earphones ), you can adjust the volume of applications running on smartphones and tablets.
- Support IR : thanks to a new API, Android 4.4 KitKat supports sending signals via infrared. The feature obviously requires dedicated hardware, and can be useful for example to perform the function of remote control.
- Print : Improves support for WiFi printers and those relating to their account via Google Cloud Print technology.
- WebView : improves the responsiveness of applications developed natively for Android, but that simply display a Web page
- File management: the screen for uploading a file within the application has been redesigned to be more intuitive, thanks to the new Storage Access Framework.
- SMS Management : Even if you have multiple applications on the device specifically designed to manage SMS, only one can have the required permissions to enter new incoming messages within the database. This is to avoid problems such as creating duplication.
- Effects UI : Developers have additional tools to aesthetically enrich their app with dynamic transition effects.
- Screen recording: resorting to the use of the SDK package and connecting the device to your computer via USB cable, Android4.4 KitKat allows you to save in video format (MP4) what happens on the screen of your smartphone and tablet. A very useful feature, for example, for those who make reviews or tutorials.
- Payments in mobility: thanks to a new approach in terms of security, mobile payments with your smartphone via NFC module is simpler.
- SELinux : introduced with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, this technology tied to the kernel of the operating system further increases the level of security, providing high protection against malware and other types of malicious code.
- Photo editing : new tools " non-destructive " for editing images, with a brand new layout, a greater number of effects to apply, frames, automatic correction and more.
- Access to notifications in full screen : even when you launch an application in full screen, you can see the menu of the notifications by swiping your finger from the top edge of the screen to the bottom, similar to what happens for some time in the interface personalized Samsung's TouchWiz.
- Covers on the lockscreen : Some applications, such as Google Play Music, see the controls for playback on the lock screen. A change in Android 4.4 KitKat is the portion of the screen reserved for the cover ( or in the case of a movie poster ), no longer limited to a small rectangle but shown on the full display.
- Photo Sphere : improves the panoramic shooting mode to 360 degrees, with a rendering process and a faster algorithm evolved to combine the various portions of the images, able to remove moving objects and impart a more convincing to the final result.