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kitkat One does not automatically associate technology with the holiday season but Google maybe starting a trend towards exactly that. Halloween seems to have been quite a busy time at Google Labs. The Nexus 5, designed and manufactured in conjunction with LG, has been officially announced by Google.  Not content with dishing out some exceptional new hardware, the Mountain View giant has also announced that Android 4.4 KitKat will be made available in the coming weeks.. Android KitKat 4.4  will be able to run on inexpensive, low-end smartphones as well as the most advanced devices. kitkat-translucent-bar   Android 4.4 KitKat targets Google’s next billion users. Google, which is known for nicknaming its Android mobile operating systems after desserts, has for the first time chosen a brand-name candy for a version name. This undoubtedly sweet deal between Google and Hershey/Nestle shows that naming a stadium or sponsoring a TV show is quite old school. The latest marketing strategy may be to slap a brand name on an ubiquitous tech product. So what's new? Google has also introduced a number of minor as well as major new features with this update. There’s a new launcher, with translucency effects on the navigation bar and on the top notification bar.  Album art is now displayed full screen behind the lock screen when music is playing  and you can scrub the track without unlocking. kitkat-screenshot-1 ‘Ok Google’ : Now say ‘Ok Google’ to get things done, whether it is sending text, getting directions or anything else which you want your Kitkat to do. Improved multitasking : Google says Android 4.4 betters system performance by optimising memory and improving the touchscreen so that it responds faster and more accurately. Full-screen album art : On Android KitKat album art will display in a full-screen format on the lock screen while listening to music or streaming via Chromecast. kitkat-screenshot-3 Priority contacts : The new phone app in Android KitKat automatically prioritises contacts based on the people users talk to the most. Smarter caller ID : Unknown caller? KitKat intelligently matches the unknown number with those of businesses with local listing on Google Maps. You then have the choice of attending the call at all, thus thwarting those persistent telemarketers. Emoji invasion : Android KitKat brings in the popular Emoji characters to the default Android keyboard. kitkat-screenshot-2 Immersive mode: The new immersive mode gives a full screen experience hiding all controls while reading a book, watching a movie or playing a game. Swiping on the edges brings back the status bar and navigation button. Hangouts: The new Hangouts app on Android 4.4 also displays SMS and MMS messages. Emoji on Google Keyboard: Android KitKat brings in the popular Emoji characters to the default Android keyboard. Wireless Printing:  Developers can now add printing to individual apps, and Google will work with building it out for additional manufacturers, too, something it says is “easy” to accomplish. Right now, any HP wireless printer works with the system, and any printer that already supports Google Cloud Print will also be able to take advantage of the new feature. [tagline_box backgroundcolor="" shadow="no" border="1px" bordercolor="" highlightposition="right, left, top or bottom" link="" linktarget="" button="Project Planner" title="Kick start new business growth. Help your customers go mobile. " description="Launch our project planner to get going in less than a minute. "][/tagline_box] By now Android has an astounding number of features designed to make your phone completely indispensable in your daily life..Here goes.. Android now has Google Wallet, which you can tap to pay with, at more than a million stores. You can enjoy your favorite online entertainment from Netflix, YouTube, Hulu Plus, and Google Play on your HDTV, and includes applications that embed web content now use Chrome to render web components accurately and quickly. If you ever lose your device, you can find it with the Android Device Manager. The Downloads app has been redesigned, giving you new sorting options and list /grid views for all the files you’ve downloaded and has Easy home screen switching. The redesigned Email app has a fresh new look with nested folders, contact photos and better navigation.  There is now a user friendly way to measure your activity and battery usage. Your wallpaper now extends through the notification tray and system buttons. Your camera works better with the new HDR+ photography mode on Nexus 5 which automatically snaps a rapid burst of photos and combines them to give you the best possible single shot. Daytime pictures are vivid with clean shadows, and nighttime photos are sharp with less noise. Access your location settings from anywhere with a new tile in Quick Settings. Android 4.4  lets you listen to music  longer –for up to 60 hours of audio playback on Nexus device and even has feature to access music and movie-seeking from lock screen. Jump to a specific part of a song or video from your lock screen. Just long press on the Play or Pause button and then select the point you want..…. Phew! [separator top="10" style="shadow"] Countdown Android 4.4 KitKat is available today via the Android Open Source Project, and it’s available on Nexus 5 hardware immediately, which also goes on sale today in 10 countries. It will also be available on Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and the Google Play edition of both the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One in the coming weeks. According to Google, this OS update envisions their software running across all levels of all kinds of devices, not just phones. An interesting connotation given everything we’ve been hearing lately about Google wearables.   Reference & Photo credits: 1. 2. 3. 4.



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