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There have been rumors about Android 4.4 KitKat launch everyday. We know its coming but there is nothing official yet. There have been several reports about KitKat’s likely features based on leaked screenshots and leaked photos of the Nexus 5 smartphone. But according to “jessicalessin” they have got access to a confidential file that Google shared with the manufacturers to explain the most important new features.
According to the report Google is working hard to deal with the issue of Fragmentation with KitKat. The Android fragmentation makes it difficult for app developers to run the latest versions of their apps across all Android devices. Most of the low end phones are still running on older version of Android. According to the leaked document Android KitKat will work well on low end phones along with flagships.
Android 4.4 KitKat will also be compatible with the already sold low 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.
The question remain about whether the wireless carriers will do a good job of pushing software upgrades to existing Android devices that already have been sold?
Future of Wearable
According to recent rumors, after Google Glass, the company is working on SmartWatch.
Support for new range of sensors
According to the leaked document, Android 4.4 KitKat is expected to support three new types of sensors: geomagnetic rotation vector, step detector and step counter. Which could be Android’s way of answering Apple’s inclusion of a dedicated motion processor in its latest iPhone. It will boost the features of forthcoming Google’s Smart Watch and Glass devices. The fitness tracking apps will also get a boost with inclusion of these sensors.
Another Push for NFC
Google is apparently still working on making NFC a bigger deal, and has also worked internally on improving smartphones’ skills controlling your TV and other devices. Till now developers have not been able to fully utilize the potential of NFC. With Android 4.4 KitKat developers will be able to emulate your credit cards without storing your credentials in secure element.
Google wants your Android device to be a remote control. The next version of Android lets developers build apps that control TVs, tuners, switches and other devices by sending infrared signals.
One standard for all Android devices
But Google’s approach will be different. Rather than the fragmented approach brought by phone makers including Samsung, LG, Sony and HTC Google will try to unify the process of how Android communicate with IR. These companies write different apps to tell their devices to deal with the IR. Now there will be common standard of Android communication with the IR sensor.
Bluetooth is also rumored to see significant improvements, with Bluetooth HID over GATT and Message Access Profile increasing what Android-running hardware can talk with. Now Android will be able to communicate with Joy Sticks, Keyboards, Entertainment Systems and much more.
We’ll hopefully see these features in the upcoming Nexus 5.
Nexus Smartwatch Concept
Google has already been rumored to be working on smartwatch, thanks to some acquisitions and patents. Now as per WSJ the Google’s smartwatch is in final stage of development and the company is already in talk with Asian suppliers .
The device could be ready for mass production within months
The smartwatch will run on Android and its interface will be heavily based on Google Now, the company’s intelligent personal assistant that can answer questions, make recommendations and predict what information users need based on what they are doing. It will most likely be a companion device and will be able to communicate with other devices such as a smartphone. Google has also been working to reduce power consumption on the smartwatch which has been serious concern for wearables.
For Google it will be an effort to secure leading position in wearable sector. We hope the next year will be the year of wearables.
Concept by Hasan Kaymak
According to Bloomberg, HTC is developing a smartwatch that uses Google Inc.’s Android software and that will not be just a gimmick. Well the specs of the smartwatch have yet to be revealed, the timepiece is rumored to sport a camera. This smartwatch will join the growing segment of smart wearable in the second half of 2014, which includes devices from Pebble, Sony and Samsung.
Juniper Research said in an Oct. 15 report that
“Retail sales of Internet-connected wearable devices, including watches and eyeglasses, will reach $19 billion by 2018, compared with $1.4 billion this year.”
“It has to meet a need, otherwise if it’s just a gimmick or concept, it’s not for people’s day-to-day lives,” Chou told FinancialTimes. “That is an opportunity for us.”
So in times of shrinking profits and market share this is a positive move from HTC.
Nexus Smartwatch Concept
According to recent rumors, Google is going to enter the Smartwatch market that has exploded quickly but still have much more to offer.
Basically what exactly is a Smartwatch? Its basically a computerized watch with enhanced functionality beyond just timekeeping to be your personal assistance device. Smartwatch could be to the watch what the smartphone is to the phone, but to make this happen it should be able to do what your smartphones and computers can’t. And what’s that? Adding simplicity to your life. Current crop of Smartwatches includes devices that can connect to your smartphone to show you incoming calls, twitter feeds and can run apps. But they are still not able to generate too much of interest. Reason? They don’t have the single killing feature that can set them apart from smartphones. They are more of a companion devices. “Just mirroring your smartphone’s screen isn’t enough. A Smartwatch needs to add more value, providing the wearer the right information, but also delving into the health and well being potential of a sensor-packed device on your wrist,” said Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight.
So how Google can change that?
If rumors of Google entering Smartwatch arena are true then no company is better positioned to deliver the first ‘true’ Smartwatch that would blow the competition away. Here’s why:
Google is not just a software company anymore
With the acquisition of Motorola back in 2011 Google has plenty of expertise with the smartwatch. Motorola’s first smartwatch MotoACTV acts as a MP3 player and a fitness-tracker – a hardware trend that will probably end up in basically the same place as smartwatches.
In August this year it was also revealed that Google had bought WIMM labs back in 2012 – a firm that was focused on building just one product : An Android Smartwatch with standalone apps and its own marketplace.
Search has been redefined with Google Now
Google Now is the one killer feature that can set the Google Smartwatch apart. Google Now could be the making of an Android smartwatch, with access to a wealth of the user’s data, with user’s permission, to make it intelligent enough to learn what’s required and when.
Google isn’t the only company in a position to create this kind of experience, of course. Apple’s Siri digital personal assistant works in much the same way, but it waits to be asked. With Google Now you can see helpful cards with information you need throughout your day, before you even ask including what you need to do, where you need to go, how to get around,.get the inside track on transit, currency, places of interest, and what’s happening. A smartwatch that can learn from its wearer’s routines, only popping a notification when necessary would truly be worthy of the “smart” moniker.
Having that kind of information on your wrist makes a lot of sense, as long as the hardware is capable enough and inexpensive at the same time. We’ll see what happens.