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.
Angel L Maymí Rosado (@fakeninjitsu) November 20, 2013
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.
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.
As I come up on a week of use with the LG Nexus 5, a few things become clear:
- 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.
- I hate carrier and manufacturer ‘improvements’ more than ever. Having a ‘pure Google‘ phone is liberating.
- This will likely be my main Android phone for the next the year.
- 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…
The results from our Nexus 5 vs. iPhone 5s photo quality survey are in. The winner is probably not a surprise (the iPhone 5s) but the margin may have been a bit of a surprise after so many people rated the Nexus 5 camera so poorly (and Google subsequently offered promises of fixes).
At the time we turned on the answers, the iPhone won about 55% of the votes overall from over 200,000 votes placed.
Nexus 5 − 89724 (45%)
iPhone 5S – 110828 (55%)
After testing the Nexus 5 camera for a few days, it is pretty clear that it isn’t the best shooter out there, and even the best Android shooter. But it also isn’t that bad. In fact, I think it might be a bit better than other high profile phones like the MotoX. The weaknesses in the survey and in my own testing is in speed (it is slow, especially in low light), Low light images in general weren’t great and paradoxically over-exposure outside in well lit situations (though people in the survey seemed to appreciate that bias) seemed to happen frequently with the Nexus 5.
The bottom line however is that the Nexus 5 camera isn’t the best but it really isn’t that bad – especially for a $350 phone. Full results before we turned on the labels below: Read more
Update: Google has released a full list of what’s new in Android 4.4 KitKat. We’re digging in and we’ll bring you more details as we discover them.
Alongside the official release of its new flagship Nexus 5 on Google Play today, Google is also of course officially taking the wraps of 4.4 KitKat, the latest version of Android that will ship on the new Nexus 5. When will you be able to get your hands on the new OS? Google said KitKat 4.4 updates will arrive for the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and the Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Play Editions in the coming weeks.
Google confirmed that the update will not be coming to the Galaxy Nexus. Since it’s two years old, it now “falls outside of the 18-month update window when Google and others traditionally update devices.”
In the YouTub playlist above, Google walks through some of the new features of KitKat for developers and also highlights a number of user-facing features such as a new “immersive mode” that allows users to automatically hide onscreen controls for a truly full-screen experience. In a blog post, Google took sometime to explain the performance improvements it’s made in KitKat, noting that Android can now “run comfortably on the 512MB of RAM devices”: Read more