Google Pressures Device Makers to Use KitKat Android 4.4: Reports

By Todd R. Weiss  |  Posted 2014-02-18 Print this article Print
Google Nexus

When the KitKat 4.4 operating system updates began to roll out, they were automatically being sent out initially to all Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 devices, as well as the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One Google Play Edition devices.

One of the key features of KitKat 4.4 is that it includes reduced memory needs so that it can run on a much broader range of devices, including entry-level devices that have as little as 512MB of RAM. That big change was meant to help move the Android ecosystem forward as it battles with competitors from Apple, Microsoft and BlackBerry.

The first news about the new KitKat broke in early September 2013, when Google announced that it would go by the KitKat name as part of a marketing tie-in with the famous Hershey's candy bar. The KitKat name displaced months of rumors that the next version of the OS would be named Android Key Lime Pie. What's perhaps more interesting for users is that the new version of the Android mobile operating system was numbered 4.4, and not 5.0 as was also long rumored, meaning that it is perhaps an evolutionary release rather than a revolutionary version.

Users were waiting for the next version of Android since Android 4.1 Jelly Bean debuted in July 2012 on various devices. The 4.1 final release came just a few weeks after its big splash in late June 2012 at Google's I/O developers conference.

An interim Version 4.3 of Android followed the original 4.1 release in July 2013, which included new developer features such as restricted profiles, Bluetooth Smart Support and improved 3D graphics. Android 4.3 was described by Google as a sweeter version of Jelly Bean. Android 4.3 included new APIs and capabilities for developers to incorporate into their Android apps.

In October 2013, Google announced to developers that KitKat would deal differently with Short Message Service (SMS) apps that use hidden APIs, so it began advising developers of the changes so they could adjust their SMS apps for the next version of Android.


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