The 9to5Google top Android stories of 2013

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As the clock continues to click away to January 1st, we’re taking a look at our last top 9to5Google subject post of 2013. This time around we’ve saved the best for last as we look back at the last year in Android and the top 5 most read stories as determined by you, the 9to5Google reader. Perhaps the inevitable news is that 3 out of 5 or 60% of the top stories surround KitKat and its release. There were quite a few happenings in Android this year, but none more notable than the launch of the latest version of Android which has long been known as Key Lime Pie. Ultimately, Google decided on KitKat and announced the release with a partnership with the KitKat candy bar…which is exactly our kind of partnership. Facebook took its own stab at Android this year with Facebook Home and the HTC First, a story we’ll get to a little later on. I think it’s safe to call 2013 more of an evolutionary year in Android more so than revolutionary, but still another year where the platform surged in growth and adoption.

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How Google reconfigured the Nexus 4 to optimize KitKat for the world

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A new report courtesy of the folks at ReadWrite is shining light on the steps and process Google’s engineers undertook to optimize Android 4.4 KitKat before its introduction to the world.

As Google’s engineers believed they reached a “feature parity” point, they turned their attention to performance and optimization, something that began with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and “Project Butter.” The hope was that Android would be faster, more reliable and devoid of the crashes that plagued many Android users.

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Nexus 4 owners look alive, Android 4.4 KitKat now rolling out

Thanks to a tipster tweet, the boys at Android Central are reporting Android 4.4 KitKat is now en route to Nexus 4 smartphones. The update weighs in at a manageable 238MB and will of course add all the candy-tasting goodness Android 4.4 brings to the Android world.

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Android 4.4 KitKat rolling out today to old and new Nexus 7, Nexus 10 (Nexus 4, 3G Nexus 7 soon)

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Google has announced that the new Android KitKat operating system will begin rolling out to Google’s own tablets starting today. The rollout process will likely be completed over a period of time. Android 4.4 will be reaching the Nexus 7 (both last year’s model and this year’s new model) and the Nexus 10. KitKat brings several improvements to Android, including changes to Google Now, SMS integration with Hangouts, and general performance enhancements. Google says KitKat for the Nexus 4 and cellular-enabled Nexus 7 is coming soon.

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The LG Nexus 5 review: Are the downgraded G2 specs offset by pure Kit Kat? (Spoiler: Yes!)


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As I come up on a week of use with the LG Nexus 5, a few things become clear:

  1. Tradeoffs were made to get this phone to $349. After some thought, I probably would have made the same decisions if $349 was my target price.
  2. I hate carrier and manufacturer ‘improvements’ more than ever. Having a ‘pure Google‘ phone is liberating.
  3. This will likely be my main Android phone for the next the year.
  4. This won’t be a best seller, even if it should be because it is the best value phone we’ll see all year.

How did I draw these conclusions? Start the week ago flashback sequence…

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