Android 4.4 KitKat optimized for wearables and low-end phones, leaked document claims
A new report based on purportedly leaked Android 4.4 KitKat document reveals that Google’s intention with the new mobile operating system is to make it available to low-end devices but also to wearable gadgets. Other features are also briefly described.
The news was published by former Wall Street Journal Amir Efrati, and sort-of resonates with a previous report from the publication that said Google’s “K-release” Android version will be compatible with older devices and other devices than just smartphones and tablets.
Efrati has obtained the information from a “confidential file that Google shared with the companies that make Android devices to explain the most important new features.”
The document apparently reveals that Google wants KitKat to “work well” on low-end phones, just as it would on high-end devices:
KitKat “optimizes memory use in every major component” and provides “tools to help developers create memory-efficient applications” for “entry-level devices,” such as those that have 512 megabytes of memory, according to the document.
In addition to running on older devices – the kind of smartphones and tablets that have never made the jump to Jelly Bean for example – Efrati speculates that KitKat will run on wearable gadgets including smartwatches and Google Glass, considering that the OS will support new types of sensors that seem to be related to wearable devices: geomagnetic rotation vector, step detector and step counter.
Furthermore, KitKat will apparently offer users new NFC functionality, allowing developers to “’emulate’ physical cards that let people make payments, earn loyalty rewards, enter secure buildings and public-transit system,” without requiring access to a secure element.
The document has also revealed that “Google wants your Android device to be a [TV] remote control,” which means support for infrared-based actions will be included in KitKat. Of course, this isn’t the first time we hear that KitKat will have TV-related features, is it?
Finally, the Bluetooth-related features will also receive a “boost,” Efrati says:
Google wants Android apps to be able to interact with a wide variety of devices using Bluetooth technology. Those devices include joysticks, keyboards, and in-car entertainment systems. In KitKat, new support for something called Bluetooth HID over GATT and Bluetooth Message Access Profile will allow Android to talk to more devices than before.
With all that in mind, we can’t but wait for Google to confirm these features in the near future. We’ll hopefully be back with more details very soon.