Google’s low-key press announcement yesterday focused on the launch of KitKat and the Nexus 5, but didn’t offer much detail or highlight some of the hidden gems. Google has added more and more features to the Google Now assistant over the last year and with the introduction of Android 4.4, they are going even deeper with more integration. As Android head Sundar Pichai noted, Google is “bring apps and the web together.” Everyone knows what Google is best known for: search and the company is now leveraging that by beginning to look inside your apps on your Android device.
Confused? Ok, here’s an example offered by The Verge: “A search for a restaurant will offer a link directly to that restaurant page in the OpenTable app if you have it installed, allowing you to set up a reservation. Or a recipe search will bring you to the result directly inside of the AllRecipes app — rather than the mediocre mobile website.”
This new feature is a major gem inside of KitKat and “deep-linking” as it’s called will ultimately change the way Android users interact with their devices. Prior to this, in order to find a document or a picture you had to go into multiple apps to hunt it down, now you’ll just pull up Google search and voila, there’s your result. This will be all but continue to solidify Google as the default action move for every user on Android. Search will now provide the absolutely fastest way of accessing every piece of content on your Android device.
Not sold on that? Ok, how about the introduction of the once Moto X-exclusive feature with “Ok, Google” and waking up the device. Yup, that’s on your Nexus 5 and Android 4.4. In fact, the feature will now “engage in conversation” with you in order to clarify your search intentions. If you’re asking for David, it’s going to ask which David and whether or not you want to call my work or mobile number. Boosting this feature is a 25% improvement in speech recognition over last year according to Google.
As TheNextWeb points out, another gem lost in the news yesterday is the inclusion of Quickoffice, the Microsoft office document editor now included with KitKat. Every Android user that receives the Android 4.4 upgrade will get Quickoffice and every Android device that ships with KitKat will also get Quickoffice. Google has long offered the app, and made it free for all Android and iOS users last month. Now, users won’t even have to go out and download the app as Google continues to chip away at Microsoft office dominance.
This is a running list so keep this page bookmarked as more new and exciting features come to the forefront. Also keep an eye on our page keeping tabs on all the devices set to receive Android 4.4 KitKat in the future.