KitKat Coming Soon To Additional Android Devices
Along with the arrival of the highly anticipated Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Nexus 5 smartphone Thursday came news of the equally anticipated Android 4.4 KitKat operating system.
While KitKat (the OS, not the candy bar after which it was named) is loaded onto the Nexus 5, it is not yet available for other Android smartphones or devices. That will soon change.
Techradar reported that Google promised the new OS would become available “within the coming weeks.” It is expected that the OS update will be pushed to devices at that time.
Thursday, 9to5 Google published a running list of devices that would get the update, along with expected wait times based on information received from manufacturers.
To no one’s suprise, a large number of Motorola devices, including the Moto X, Droid Ultra, Droid Maxx and Droid Mini, will get the upgrade although no timeframe has been announced.
The HTC One Google Play Edition will be upgraded within 15 days. The regular HTC One will probably get its update within 90 days.
The Nexus 4, 7 and 10 will all be eligible for the update, but so far, the only period announced has been “within coming weeks.”
The Samsung (OTC: SSNLF) Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition will get the upgrade “within coming weeks” and there was speculation the regular Samsung Galaxy S4 would get the upgrade some time later – probably within 90 days.
According to 9TO5Google, the Galaxy Nexus will not get the upgrade. Nor will older devices like the Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) Kindle Fire HD, Nook HD or the Motorola Droid Bionic.
For those who do get the new OS, there’s much to celebrate including:
- Improved touchless operation in which you only have to say “OK, Google” to launch voice search, send a text, get directions, or even play a song.
- Added emoticons (emoji) to Google Keyboard for those who like to use them in messages or prefer to write in rebuses.
- Immersive mode, a new feature that automatically hides everything except what you want to see – for example, a book you are reading.
- A new phone app that prioritizes contacts based on frequency of use. It also allows you to search for nearby businesses and contacts.
- Caller ID that attempts to match an unknown number to a business that is listed on Google Maps.
- Chromecast support which allows you to link up to the popular dongle that streams music, videos, and other online content to your television.
- Improved Hangouts app that handles both SMS and MMS messages along with video calls. It also lets you share your location.
- Printing from your phone or tablet.
Also included are a built in pedometer, NFC capability and improved touch screen.
A full list of new features is available on Google's Android 4.4 KitKat page.
At the time of this writing, Jim Probasco had no position in any mentioned securities.
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