Google Android KitKat – what’s new and top 5 little known features

multitaskingWith the arrival of Google’s latest smartphone, the Nexus 5, so does the freshest version of the all conquering Android operating system, known as 4.4 KitKat. Here’s some key points of the new operating system.

On first glance, you’d be hard pressed to see much difference with KitKat. It still has the same basic layout, with multiple homescreens, live widgets, an app menu and navigation buttons along the bottom.

The good thing about this is that existing Android users will feel right at home.

Delve deeper and look closer, however, and you’ll start to find some key updates.


The phone dialler now has a new, simpler design, as does the contacts page. Your contacts are organised based on who you speak to the most (I am guessing that you can still order this alphabetically too) and you can search for contact details of businesses in the area straight from the same search bar.

The Hangouts app is getting an update too. It’ll now combine your hangout conversations, text and MMS messages in one conversation thread.


Games, movies and ebooks will now display at full screen, hiding the status bar and navigation buttons in order to make full use of big-screen phones like the Note 3 and Xperia Z1. When listening to music, the album art will display in full screen on your lock screen, also allowing you to seek through the song. Nice touches there.

full screen album art and ebooks
Saying, “Okay Google” will activate voice control when you’re on your homescreen or in Google Now, letting you perform voice searches or dictate text messages.

ok googleOther features include emoji icons in the keyboard, easier printing with Google Cloud Print-connected printers, support for all NFC payment services and a step counter built in to link up to your fitness apps to track how active you are.


With Android KitKat it apparently now uses 16% less memory than Jelly Bean.

This should mean that budget phones with less powerful processors and as little as 512MB RAM should be able to handle the OS better. This also means that there’s more resources to run apps on better powered devices.

KitKat’s more efficient memory use also allows for smoother multitasking. Demanding games should still be able to play at high frame rates, even while you’re playing music in the background. This still depends on what phone you’re using, of course 😉

Get it

Naturally, the first phone to run KitKat is Google’s own Nexus 5 – that will be your quickest route to the land of KitKat.

Google has said that the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 tablet will get KitKat “within weeks”, so try and stay patient if you’re already a Nexus user.

HTC has said that its One smartphone, with the One Mini and One Max following closely behind, will receive KitKat “very very soon”.

Samsung, meanwhile, has said it will announce its plans for upgrading its phones to KitKat “in due course”.

GadgetyNews top 5 new features in Kit Kat

  1. Android 4.4 offers support for screen recording, and includes a screen recording utility that lets users capture video as they use the device and store it as an MP4 file. This also allows developers, reviewers and end-users to create walkthroughs and tutorials for apps, testing materials, and marketing videos, among others.
  2. A KitKat-powered smartphone can recognise when you are near a movie theatre and automatically pop up film times.
  3. KitKat also takes into account what most people do at a certain spot and will predict what a smartphone user might want.
  4. If an incoming telephone call is from a business and you haven’t the number listed in your phone, information from its website will be displayed as the handset rings.
  5. The phone’s contact list allows users to find phone numbers of their personal acquaintances as well as of local businesses, such as restaurants and dry cleaners

smart caller id

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