Google just quietly announced the next version of Android, version 4.4 KitKat! Here’s a quick overview of some of the new features Google has in store for us.
Users can now simply say the magic words “Ok Google” to initiate voice commands from the device’s home screen or from Google Now. This will allow users to initiate a search, get directions or even play a song with ease.
KitKat will display full-screen album and movie art when listening to a song or watching a movie on the device’s lock screen, and will include play, pause and seek controls as well.
The New Immersive mode automatically hides the status bar and other notification icons when reading an e-book, watching a movie or accessing other media. A simple swipe to the edge of the screen will make the status bar and notification buttons re-appear.
Android 4.4 optimizes a device’s memory and improves touchscreen responsiveness, allowing users to listen to music while surfing the web, navigating to the nearest coffee shop or checking the weather.
Redesigned Phone App
The redesigned Phone app will automatically prioritize a user’s contacts based on who you talk to the most, and allows for searching of nearby businesses and contacts.
When receiving a call from an unknown source, the caller ID will now look for matches from local businesses based on Google Maps listings.
SMS Support in Hangouts
Thanks to added SMS and MMS support in the Hangouts app, users will be able to see all of their messages in one convenient place. Location and animated GIFs are now shareable as well.
Colorful Emoji are now available for your enjoyment.
Printing form a mobile device is now baked in, allowing users to print photos, documents and concert tickets directly to any printer connected to Google Cloud Print, as well as HP ePrint printers and other printers which have Google apps.
Google Drive Integration
It’s now easier than ever to save and access files from Google Drive and other cloud storage services.
Phew! Nice job Google! And those features scratch the surface of what is included in Android 4.4 KitKat. We’ll be diving into the rest of the features in a more detailed post, but for now just let these ones sink in.