Android 4.4 KitKatIn this article, written by Carls Hummings, the author  reviews the latest version of Android Mobile Operating System.

Like everyone else I was pretty sure that the next version of the android operating system will be named “key lime pie” but Google surprised everyone by naming it KitKat.

Looking back at the history, android versions 4.0 started with the ice cream sandwich as their moniker and then the next additions came under the jelly bean moniker. Now the latest addition was definitely a major step up but still not major enough to jump to the 5.0 version and hence it had to be included in version 4 line up. But I still feel that a minor 0.1 bump is not suitable for this update, in my view this numbering hardly does any justice to it. A 0.1 bump gives out the impression that it’s a minor update but don’t be fooled as in almost all aspects it’s a major update.

Now many people thought that Google got in to the bed with nestle but according to the official press release by Google, no money changed hands. Google managed to keep it simple, Google and Nestle made a deal in which Google will use “KitKat” as their moniker and Nestle can benefit by producing millions of KitKat chocolate bars with android robot embossed in them. This seems like a fair deal as the KitKat chocolate and the android operating system, both are fairly popular and both Google and nestle benefited from this partnership.

Features:

Android KitKatAndroid KitKat provides for a far more sleeker and enjoyable experience than any of its predecessors. I tested the operating system on Google nexus 5 and it appears to be lighting fast.

The overall appearance is very pleasant with traditional gray and light blue color scheme. The biggest aesthetic change that I noticed and also welcomed was that the black bar that was present in all of the preceding versions has been dealt with; it gives way and allows the time and battery level to hover above the wallpaper. With the solid black bar gone the home screen looks much more presentable.

Recently Google has been trying to make efforts to increase the role of Google Hangouts and this is very evident in the android KitKat too. It started by handling the Google+ text and video chat but since then it engulfed the Google talk and now in the KitKat version it has engulfed the SMS messaging interface as well. I tried it and found it very convenient that I can handle all my messaging whether instant chatting or mobile messaging from one unified interface.

One major upgrade that I noticed was in Google Now, even though it was present in the Android JellyBean too but the way it functions and behaves in the KitKat version surpasses that of the JellyBean’s. It seems like Google has paid a lot of attention to it so that they can make it a competitor to apple’s highly acclaimed Siri. I tested it a few times and it works like a breeze with no problems what so ever.

Pros:

  • Google Now is better.
  • The solid black bar on the top is no more.
  • Faster and more responsive user interface.
  • Better Support for NFC enabled devices.

Cons:

  • Not all major android device take advantage of Google now’s features.
  • Come with a few bugs that have not been paid attention to.

Verdict:

Right now it lacks a direction but that can be forgiven as it’s just an update and not a complete redesign. It will take some time before hardware manufacturers build some devices that use this operating system to its full potential.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Article WritingThis product review of android KitKat is authored by Carls Hummings, Carls has been associated with the development of many android versions and he also owns a firm that focuses on app development for both android and Apple’s ios.

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