Google is widely expected to unveil the latest version of its operating system for tablets in the near future. Fortunately for those who are impatient, some of the details of Android 4.4 (KitKat) have leaked out already.
There are mixed signals from Google about how significant an upgrade this will be. Android 4.0 – 4.3 have all been dubbed “Jelly Bean” and the fact that KitKat is getting a new code name could indicate that this will have major new features. On the other hand, designating it 4.4 rather than 5.0 could mean that Google feels this will have only minor improvements.
The images and videos that have leaked out so far bear up the “minor improvements” theory. They seem to indicate that Google is making a number of small enhancements to its operating system, but no major changes have shown up yet.
For example, Google supposedly is following in Microsoft’s and Apple’s footsteps by making Android look a bit “flatter”. Icons are being redesigned to be simpler, and items in the status bar that previously were blue will be white.
The homescreen wallpaper will allegedly carry over to the App Drawer at the bottom of the app launcher. And the unlock screen is apparently being tweaked to make it clearer how to jump immediately to the camera.
Many of the bundled apps are supposedly going to be updated in KitKat, including Email, Gmail, Google Play Store, Gallery, Hangouts, QuickOffice, and Cloud Print. However, exactly what changes have been made to these and other built-in software is not yet known.
A New Nexus 10?
The first Google Nexus 10 launched last fall along with Android 4.2. A year later, it’s possible successor to this full-size tablet is in the works. There have been some rumors about this device, but not very many.
In any case, the Google Nexus 7 II will certainly get an upgrade to KitKat, and it’s almost as likely that the original Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 will as well.