Android 4.4 KitKat Features Explained – For Novice Users

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The internet is full of articles appreciating the latest and greatest Android 4.4 KitKat. You’ll find people discussing about Android 4.4 KitKat features and what it has to offer. But if you are not so techy, I certainly believe you might find yourself lost in all this technical talk, Bluetooth MAP support, chromecast, low power audio playback, etc.

Android 4.4 KitKat

If this is true then read on, I have tried to simplify Android 4.4 KitKat as much as I can, keeping in mind what you, as a user, are most interested in. Alright let’s begin.

Always On Voice Command

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 had a very unique feature wherein even while screen was turned off, a hot word viz. “Hi Galaxy” would initialize Voice Assistant guide allowing you to do some of the very basic tasks without even touching the phone. The very same is applicable and embedded within Android 4.4.

Google Voice

With Always On Voice Command, you don’t even need to touch the screen to get things done. All you have to say is “Ok Google” when on your home screen or in Google Now to launch voice search, send a text, get directions or play a song! Simple and convenient 🙂

Full Screen, Transparent Album Art On Lock Screen

Whatever version of Android you are using right now, while playing songs and your phone locked, you would have noticed that either the currently playing song is only shown in notification bar or upper half of screen displays basic controls with miniaturized album art. With KitKat, the things are a little different and better (duh!).

Google Lock Screen Art

Google has included a full screen album art (and movie art while using chromecast) on the lock screen. This essentially means that while listening to music on your device you’ll see a beautiful full-screen album art when your device is locked. Add to this you’ll also be able to play, pause, or seek to a specific time!

Improvised Application Switching

Android is known for fast app switching, multi-tasking especially the Nexus devices with their dedicated app switching on-screen button. Now this is more of a subtle change.  Android 4.4 takes system performance to an all-time high by optimizing memory and improving touchscreen responsiveness. What this really means is that you should notice a faster and robust application switching.

Enhanced People App

Ever wondered if your android device was intelligent enough to recognize which people are the most contacted and automatically increase their priority in phonebook? Well, I certainly did and seems like Google recognizes this as well! The new phone app in Android 4.4 KitKat automatically prioritizes your contacts based on the people you talk to the most and displays them intelligently.

Productive Caller ID

Traditional caller ID’s display number of the caller and some custom ROM’s also include the area from where call has generated. But that’s about it. If in case you do receive a call from a number not present in address book then you are left wondering, staring at the digits wondering who it might be?!

Google Caller ID

With Android 4.4 KitKat, Google has spruced up things. Now, whenever you get a call from a phone number not in your contacts, your phone will look for matches from businesses with a local listing on Google Maps and displays the same. Smart and useful.

Unified Messaging With Hangout App

With the integrated Hangouts app, you’ll be able to view all of your SMS and MMS messages together, alongside your other conversations and video calls. No need for separate SMS app. It’s all unified into one application for your convenience.

Google Keyboard Emoji Support

Add to this Hangouts app has also been updated to support location sharing and animated GIFs. Plus there’s added Emoji support on Google Keyboard eliminating need for 3rd party keyboard or other apps altogether.

Cloud Printing

This is more of a external application and hardware dependent feature. With right combination of hardware and software, you can print photos, documents, and web pages directly from your android device.

Google Cloud Print

You’ll be able to print to any printer connected to Google Cloud Print, HP ePrint printers or to other supported printers that have respective apps in the Google Play Store.

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