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Google gives us a break

Google gives us a break
Special to The Prospector

Google has revealed the details to its latest update to the Android operating system, Android 4.4, which they have named KitKat. Google has decided to stay with their obsessive nature when it comes to naming Android operating systems after things that you and I would normally eat during a movie.

The most noticeable and useful addition to KitKat is that it will use less power from the phone processor—making the updated operating system available to a larger range of phones models. In the past, lower end phones had to wait long periods of time to upgrade their software and customers were stuck on the Android version their phone came with.

Bigger name phones, like Samsung’s Galaxy line up or Google’s Nexus, were able to upgrade right away, but other phones couldn’t, because of slower processors—hardware and software-related problems. Google, however, hopes that KitKat will fix that problem, by making it possible to ship all new phone models with the same operating system by 2014. As an effect, phone manufactories and cellular companies will no longer have to ship phones with separate or downgraded operating systems.

KitKat will be available to more device’s due to the fact that the update will use 16 percent less operating power than Android’s previous operating system—Jellybean. Along with the operating system boost, KitKat will be 12.9 percent more efficient when using the pixels in phone displays. Although this might all sound great, there is still no  promise that all existing smartphones and tablets will be able to upgrade to Android 4.4 or that Google will encourage phone and tablet manufactures to ship all their new devices through this new system. However, if Google doesn’t push companies to ship the new operating system, new phones will ship with older versions of Android.

Some other features of KitKat include a revamped keypad that keeps track of who you dial frequently, and allowing you to use Google maps right from the dialer. Customers will also have the opportunity to search for businesses that aren’t on your contact list straight from the dialer. With updated Hangouts, all your texts, MMS, calls and video chats are in one place. Google Cloud Print was also upgraded to allow the printing of documents, web pages and photos to all supported printers from Android. More upgrades include Google Voice Search, which brings a much more fluid response time and interface. Minor changes were made in the appearance of the operating system that include color schemes and dock appearance.

Android 4.4 KitKat brings only a couple of new features, the most impressive being the operating system’s compatibility with a much larger range of devices.. The Nexus 5 is already running Android 4.4 along with other Nexus lineups, and the Samsung Galaxy S4 will receive the upgrade in the next few weeks. Other phone and tablet models will also be receiving the software upgrade in a few months. Overall, Android 4.4 KitKat is a small, but necessary upgrade to Google’s operating system.

Marcus Seegers may be reached at [email protected]

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Google gives us a break