Android 4.4 alert! Google takes the wrapper off KitKat

Android 4.4 alert! Google takes the wrapper off KitKat

Just in time for Hallowe'en, Google takes us all out of our misery and officially launches Android 4.4 -- or KitKat as it is rather sweetly known. As with the Nexus 5, we have known pretty much what to expect from KitKat for a little while now. Google's blog post heralding the arrival of the latest version of the OS is a little understated and doesn't give much away.

One thing is particularly interesting. Rather than blowing its own trumpet and boasting about rafts of new features -- although this will probably follow -- Google has chosen to highlight the fact that Android 4.4 can run comfortably on devices with as little as 512MB RAM. The blog post points out that it is not just the operating system that has been put on a diet (ironic when you consider the origins of the name) but all Google services such as YouTube and Chrome.

We'll have a full look at KitKat as soon as we can, but for now we can look forward to the immersive mode that removes distractions when watching a movie, a global contact search feature and a new launcher for Nexus 5. KitKat also features an updated version of Hangouts which includes support for SMS and MMS in addition to chat and video calling.

KitKat will come preloaded on the new Nexus 5, but will also be made available for Nexus 4, 7, 10, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Play edition devices over the coming weeks. Notable by its absence from this list is the Galaxy Nexus -- it looks as though this device is entering its twilight years.

But for everyone with a compatible smartphone or tablet, expect to receive an OTA update in the near future. Unlike the Nexus 5, there's going to be no shortage of KitKat to go around.

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