Google’s latest iteration of its smartphone platform is a sleek and stylish offering which could well be making its way to your handset soon. Bringing in a raft of fantastic features, Android KitKat is the best version of the OS that we’ve seen so far.
So what are the greatest features that Android now has to offer? We take a look at the ten best things about KitKat.
1. Caller ID
The way in which Google’s search functions are deeply integrated into KitKat makes for some very interesting touches. If you get a call from an unrecognised number that belongs to a company, Google will search through its listings and bring up the name of that firm, giving you a good idea of who’s on the other end of the line.
2. OK Google
Simply uttering “OK Google” at any time the handset is unlocked and on the homescreen will activate voice recognition of a degree never seen before. The device can then be controlled hands free, searching, sending messages and looking up information at your will. It’s an impressive feature, and one that’s particularly good for in-car use.
3. As many homescreens as you like
While this is one that may end up being altered by specific manufacturers, the stock version of KitKat lets you add as many homescreens as you wish. Now you can spread out all the apps and widgets you want across your device without ever being forced to compromise on space.
A simple touch, but Google has added the capability for developers to not show the top and bottom bars of the Android interface when apps are open, allowing a more full screen experience. At the moment, this can be most prominently seen in the Play Books app, where a page of a novel covers the entire display, and hopefully the idea will spread further.
5. Battery economy
On a technical level, Google does some very clever things with the way in which its OS processes data, ensuring optimum battery life. This means that a handset’s chip isn’t constantly running at full pace, allowing it to take a bit of a breather and not eat up so much power.
6. Fast multi-tasking
Android KitKat is fast, faster than anything we’ve seen from the platform before, and its multitasking capabilities have improved no end. There is little hang up even when running loads of apps at once, so you’ll have no problem listening to music while also following directions on a map or downloading loads of things from the internet.
7. Location features
Battery power can be a worry to any smartphone user, and location-based features can be a big drain on this. KitKat gives you the option of turning off specific location-based things in the settings menu, and also allows you to switch between different ways that the handset has of working out where you are.
8. Lockscreen controls for music
Many platforms bring up music player controls on your lockscreen, saving you the trouble of unlocking the device just to skip a track. KitKat goes a step further, spreading the album’s artwork across the entire screen to create a brilliant interface for your device.
9. Low power requirement
Google is aiming to bring its new OS to Android devices across the board, rather than just the high-end which can normally boast the latest software. To this end, KitKat will run on handsets with as little as 512MB of RAM, reaching right down into the budget market.
10. Contact prioritization
Tired of rooting through your contacts to find the person you call five times a day? Kitkat intelligently works out who your most-contacted people are and lists them at the top of the app, making it very easy in get in touch.
Are you using Android KitKat already? If so, take a look at a few surprises that are hiding away within Google Now.