In a somewhat surprising move, Google has released both the Nexus 5 and Android KitKat. We didn’t expect a “soft launch”, but we did expect it soon. With Android 4.4 comes some expected news, but now that it’s official, we’re officially excited.
First, changes to the call app have been made. Those with Android 4.4 will now have better access to discovering who they’d like to call. From contacts to nearby places, Google promises that your experience with the call app will improve dramatically. Google Apps users will also see their company directory populated within the app, making office calls that much easier.
Android 4.4 has also slimmed down considerably, with changes having been made to reduce the memory footprint the system needs. Android 4.4 will run on as little as 512MB of RAM, which is clearly an attempt to bridge the fragmentation gap. In what Google is calling their effort to “reach the next 1 billion users”, Android 4.4 will now be available to more phones across the globe, especially in emerging markets.
Finally, Google Now becomes a front-and-center utility. The service is now available from the lock screen on the Nexus 5. By swiping from the lock screen, users have nearly immediate access to Google Now, and all the contextual information it brings. Google also notes that new Now cards are being rolled out, making the experience richer for Nexus 5 owners.
There are more changes involved, and we’ll bring you more in-depth news as we parse it out. For now Android 4.4 has delivered as promised: it’s a slimmed down OS, which opens up a new world of possibilities to both users and developers. Android is changing… for the better.