By Toneo Tonderai Rutsito
To most Zimbabweans today, A phone is Android and Android is a phone and i have watched haplessly as the salesman join the charade, much to the confusion of the customer, who atleast even cares about the android version..
Google has announced the arrival of their latest operating system for 2014, the Android 4.4 KitKat to obviously ship in with their new Nexus 5. (Warning, Android is an OS not a Phone, do not be conned)
I should admit, i`m a fan of iOS, but i do heavily use Android devices mainly because here and there iOS is unnecessarily too rigid as they “secure” my device, but for the first time ever i must admit Google has punched a tough one on iOS6
Ofcourse with the i0S 7, this joy is most likely going to be short lived, but we wait and see.
According to Android here are the features:
One tablet, many users.
Just say “Ok Google”
You don’t need to touch the screen to get things done. When on your home screen* or in Google Now, just say “Ok Google” to launch voice search, send a text, get directions or even play a song
It’s your fully customized tablet. And theirs, too. With support for multiple users, you can give each person their own space. Everyone can have their own homescreen, background, widgets, apps and games – even individual high scores and levels! And since Android is built with multitasking at its core, it’s a snap to switch between users no need to log in and out. Available only on tablets.
Android 4.4 takes system performance to an all-time high by optimizing memory and improving your touchscreen so that it responds faster and more accurately than ever before. This means that you can listen to music while browsing the web, or race down the highway with the latest hit game, all without a hitch.
A smarter caller ID
Whenever you get a call from a phone number not in your contacts, your phone will look for matches from businesses with a local listing on Google Maps.
Sometimes words can’t express how you feel. For that, there’s Emoji, the colorful Japanese characters, now available on Google Keyboard.
I found this review By digital trends on the upcoming Android OS, The Kit kat exclusively nice
Print wherever, whenever
Now you can print photos, documents, and web pages from your phone or tablet. You can print to any printer connected to Google Cloud Print, to HP ePrint printers, and to other printers that have apps in the Google Play Store.
Google has announced Android 4.4 KitKat, the latest version of its mobile operating system, and while we know it’ll make its debut on the Nexus 5, how long will we have to wait for it to make an appearance on other phones? Information has been coming through from various sources, and there’s good news almost all round.
Here’s a rundown of all the official announcements, along with any less formal news we’ve heard, to make sure you know when the new version of Android is coming for your device.
Updated on 12/20/2013 by Andy: As the year comes to an end, manufacturers are busily preparing Android 4.4 updates. Motorola in particular has been hard at work, and has now announced the new software for the Moto G and Verizon’s Droid range.
Google and its Nexus hardware
Android 4.4 KitKat has slightly deviated from the tradition of previous versions, which all debuted on Nexus hardware, by deciding to also hit the Verizon Moto X at around the same time. Don’t worry though, Google confirmed Android 4.4 KitKat will come to the Nexus 4 smartphone, plus the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablet. The Google Editions of the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One will also be getting some chocolatey Android goodness.
As of November 12, the Nexus 7 (both 2012 and 2013 models) and the Nexus 10 should start getting the update, and although no official word has come through, reports spread on November 20 that it’s starting to arrive on Nexus 4 smartphones too. Eagle-eyed Nexus fans will notice the Galaxy Nexus isn’t included in the list, and sure enough, the two-year old phone won’t be getting any more Google love.
HTC One updates soon
Moving on to other manufacturers, HTC talked about getting Android 4.4 on its devices almost immediately after it was announced. According to the president of HTC America, Google Editions of the One would be first on the list, and the developer and unlocked versions would join it by the end of November. He went on to say HTC One phones locked to a network should see it around February 2014 or earlier if everything went well.
A tweet sent though the HTC USA Twitter account on November 13 confirmed the update for the Google Play edition of the HTC One was with Google, and that it was responsible for pushing the update. A Google+ post from the official Android account on November 26 confirmed the update was being sent out.
Subsequently, HTC also said Android 4.4 would be out for the Developer Edition and SIM-free HTC One before the end of November. It was right on the money too, as on November 29 it sent out another message saying Android 4.4 KitKat was out for unlocked One phones and the HTC One Developer Edition.
In the UK, HTC plans to have Android 4.4 and HTC Sense 5.5 for the One smartphone ready for the end of January 2014. As for the HTC One Max and One Mini, there’s no date at this time, but the update for both will arrive in the near future.
Samsung’s KitKat updates are coming
While HTC is working hard to keep us informed about Android 4.4, Samsung hasn’t been quite so forthcoming about its plans. In a statement provided to CNet UK, it says it will be announcing rollout plans for Android 4.4, “In due course.” We’d imagine the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy Note 3 will be at the top of Samsung’s list for updates, with the Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3 both prime candidates too.
Samsung has announced update schedules in the past, then been burned by missing self-imposed deadlines, so it’s no surprise to see them keeping quiet. We also wonder if maintaining compatibility with the Galaxy Gear smartwatch will slow things down, as Android 4.3 is still only just rolling out to some S4 owners.
While Samsung hasn’t provided any official statements, French network SFR hasn’t been able to control itself. In a brief blog post, it says an update to Android 4.4 will be coming for the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy Note 3 in late January or early February next year. While it’s talking about its own devices, if network locked updates for those two devices really are coming at that time, we should see unlocked phones getting Android 4.4 around the same time, if not a little before. We doubt Samsung will share any news until it’s ready to be sent out, but at least this gives us hope.
As for the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition, a post on the official Android Google+ page confirmed the new version was sent out on November 26.
Motorola Moto X and Moto G top of its list
Moto G Side
Thanks to Motorola’s website dedicated to software updates, it confirms the Moto X will be getting Android 4.4. The first Moto X’s to get a taste are those connected to Verizon, and Motorola has confirmed a staggered rollout will begin on November 19. Those with Moto X phones on other networks should be getting good news very soon.
Digging through Motorola’s upgrade list, Verizon’s Droid Mini, Droid Ultra, and Droid Maxx are also all scheduled to get the new software, and the newly released Motorola Moto G is also getting Android 4.4 KitKat before January 2014.
On December 19 via a tweet, Verizon announced it had started updating the Droid Ultra, Droid Mini, and Droid Maxx to Android 4.4 KitKat. It says the new version is being delivered in stages, so if it’s not already waiting on your phone, it will be coming very soon.
Motorola is ahead of schedule with its Moto G update, having confirmed in a blog post that U.S. versions of the phone will be receiving Android 4.4 updates from December 19, and not next year as originally promised. It says phones purchased through Amazon and Motorola are first on the list, while Moto G phones bought from networks will follow soon.
Sony to update modern Xperia hardware
Sony has talked about its plans for Android 4.4, and it’s all good news. The company will be updating its Xperia Z, Xperia Z1, Xperia Z Ultra, Xperia Zl, and the Xperia Tablet Z to the latest version of Google’s mobile OS. Like most others, it doesn’t provide an arrival date, and says the launch will be “phased” and depend on where you live and the network on which you’re registered.
LG’s on a diet, avoiding KitKat until March 2014
As LG is responsible for the Nexus 5, we’d been expecting to hear something official about Android 4.4 KitKat for the LG G2 quite quickly. Instead, there were a few vague rumors from a French network about it coming in the new year, which were redacted soon after publication, before Canadian site MobileSyrup.com said it had been informed by LG that Android 4.4 wouldn’t be coming to the G2 until March 2014 at the earliest.
On December 15 we got our first piece of official news. LG published a short press release on its blog, saying the Android 4.4 KitKat update for the G2 was, “In progress,” in Korea. However, no specific release information was provided for international devices, only that we should expect another announcement in the future. It’s looking like the March 2014 estimate will, sadly, be accurate.
Huawei to update flagship Ascend P6
Huawei has confirmed on the Sina Weibo social network it would be skipping Android 4.3, and instead working on having Android 4.4 KitKat ready for the Ascend P6 smartphone. It’s hoped the software will be ready by January 2014, but it’s not clear when it’ll be distributed internationally.
It’s important to remember the dates provided by manufacturers are rarely set in stone, and can change. Along with any issues which may turn up as the software is worked on, we shouldn’t forget that updates must also pass through the networks for approval, a process which can take several weeks. Even when it gets the green light, distribution is usually staggered to help identify any previously unseen problems, meaning it could take a while to get to your phone.
Updated on 12/19/2013 by Andy: According to a French network, Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 will be getting an Android 4.4 software update in the new year.
Updated on 12/16/2013 by Andy: LG has officially spoken out concerning Android 4.4 KitKat coming to the G2, and the news falls in line with previous rumors, as international owners shouldn’t expect the upgrade until next year.
Updated on 12/03/2013 by Andy: Added a timeline for the LG G2 with a date which won’t please owners, and confirmed Android 4.4′s arrival on unlocked and Developer Edition HTC One phones, plus the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition.
Updated on 11/20/2013 by Andy: Although there has been no official confirmation, some Nexus 4 owners have reported the arrival of Android 4.4 KitKat on their phones. We’ve added this news in, along with an update on the UK HTC One.
Updated on 11/19/2013 by Andy: Added information on Motorola and Verizon releasing Android 4.4 KitKat for the Moto X.
Updated on 11/18/2013 by Andy: Rewrote article to include more information, and easier to keep you up to date with news on Android 4.4 KitKat updates.