Android 4.4 KitKat: Best Android OS, And Lots Happening Behind The Scenes
Android started as a very meek OS to be honest. Compared to the first iteration of iOS, Android was to use the right word, half baked. It was akin to what Apple maps were at the launch. However, it was under Google, a company known for iterative improvements at a brisk pace. Android got even more love from Google than any other product (perhaps besides search).
Thus we stand now at Android 4.4 (Kit Kat) which is being considered the best OS a phone can have. That is some serious praise and as I have a Nexus 4, I can tell you most of it is justified. The speed of the phone has increased and the changes have been made in UI at multiple places. If I have to review the OS in few words, it would be this-
It is the best Android OS out there but it is not what Google is showing but what is under the wrap that is even more exciting.
Let me take a few examples:
1. Integration of Hangouts:
Messaging has been integrated with Hangouts in this iteration. I did not like it and most people share my views. Most probably the basic reason is that we were accustomed to the previous habit. This means that in a few iterations ahead (probably a 5.1 maybe) we will be happy with this and even dependent on it. It also is an indication of the Google integration that is increasing in our Android phones.
The technology is great for experience and it will be something that I can say will be a well-loved feature without any doubts. There will be some time before many apps use the feature. Even more so, this feature is most useful in phones which have less than 4.5” screen and those phones are not getting 4.4 anytime soon. By the time these phones take part in the 4.4 fiesta, Google would have launched the next iteration.
3. Decrease in system requirements:
The idea is a great one and in theory should have a huge impact. It is to be remembered though that this advantage is of no use if the next iteration also does not follow exactly same system requirements or even less so. Else, we will be back to square one. This gives a direction to Google’s work on the next iteration.
4. From Davlik to ART:
Probably the most important one, this change is so raw right now that even Google has put it under developers option and kept Davlik to default. A wise move too, as my experience with ART told me. Many apps are not compatible with ART as of now, including some very popular ones like Whatsapp. Even ART needs some improvements. It speeds up the processes immensely though and next iterations of Android which will have ART by default will be much faster than the current crop.
This makes me feel that despite all the claims of this Android version to reach many people, I think it will act more like Honeycomb (Android 3.x). It is bringing big changes that people will become comfortable with in due time and when the next version comes (Android 5.0 probably), that would be what Ice Cream Sandwich was to Honeycomb.
What is your opinion?