Thursday 31 October 2013

Android 4.4 Kitkat to focus on low-cost smartphones & wearables: Report

A report by Amir Efrati of suggests Google’s upcoming Android 4.4 KitKat will be focusing on low-cost smartphones and wearable devices. Amir, who reportedly saw a confidential Google marketing document detailing the changes in KitKat, notes that Google wants Android 4.4 to work well on not only the high-end devices like Galaxy S4, Nexus 5 & HTC One but also on low-end smartphones.

Traditionally, we have seen that low-end smartphones are often powered by older Android versions as the newer iterations of the operating system demand more resources, which are simply not present in an entry-level device. This should change with KitKat, which will reportedly work just fine on phones or tablets with at least 512MB of RAM.

Coming to wearable devices support, Android 4.4 is said to be bringing support for more sensors like geomagnetic rotation vector, step detector and step counter, which will help the operating system be friendlier with a wearable device.

“There is another potential benefit to Android from supporting these kinds of sensors: Google will be able to tell how far someone walked based on the steps they took. That could come in handy as Google tries to map more indoor locations such as malls and airports, where GPS and WiFi sensors don’t always do a good enough job of pinpointing exactly where a smartphone user is located,” Amir speculates in his report.

Here is a look at some other features, which are expected to be a part of Android 4.4:

Better support for Infrared blaster
Support for Bluetooth HID over GATT and Bluetooth Message Access Profile
Ability to emulate payment cards that use near-field communication (NFC)

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