Sweet new features of Android KitKat 4.4

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We already wrote about the notable features of KitKat, however this will be a more detailed article about what you can expect in the new version. As you probably know Android operating system powers one billion smartphones and tablets across the globe. But things just got sweeter with the launch of KitKat. In Google's words “Android KitKat brings all of Android's most innovative, most beautiful, and most useful features to more devices everywhere.” While KitKat can work with different RAM, as well as devices with low 512MB limit, this new version is definitely much more agile and responsive to changes. In this article, I will be discussing new features of Android that will help both developers and users alike.

Full-Screen Immersive mode

Now you can take advantage of the very last pixel on the screen. Be it smartphone or tablet, Android 4.4 adopts a full-screen immersive mode that allows you to create UIs reaching from edge to edge, hiding all menu and navigation bars and chrome to create a full screen app for users. This feature simply conceals entire system interface even while users are interacting with your app or game. You can eliminate all forms of visual distraction for richer user experience. It comes across as a very handy feature news app, e-readers, books, videos, and games. KitKat has a new gesture where a user can reveal navigation, menus and buttons by swiping from top or bottom.

Animate Between Scenes

KitKat 4.4 allows developers to animate between different events within the app by utilizing a new transitions framework. This framework allows developers to define and animate scenes based on the time a user enters or exits app. So now you can provide features such as fades, resizing, and much more. You can automatically manage animations and transitions by a feature called TransitionManager which allows you to set specific scenes.

Screen Recording

Now developers can create video of apps from an Android device. The screen recording utility lets you capture video of your app and save as an MP4 file. You can record at any device-supported resolution and share directly from the device to computer for post-production. You can access screen recording function from Android Debug Bridge (ADB) tool in the Android SDK or via Android Studio integrated developer environment.

Near Field Communications Platform Support

Host Card Emulation (HCE) in Android 4.4 supports Near Field Communications (NFC) transactions. This feature enables Android NFC device to be used for secure mobile payments and no provisioned secure element (SE) in the device is needed. Application Identifier (AID) can route various NFC function from the hardware in a device to the right app. While HCE does not eliminate the need for an NFC chip in a device, it essentially makes NFC compliant and widely available.

Print API

Printing with Android gets a lot easier. With KitKat, your Android apps will print content either through a Wi-Fi setup or the cloud. Android 4.4 has introduced native platform support along with application programming interfaces for new types of printer support. Now it will be easy for printer makers to make their devices compatible using APIs and build apps available in Google Play for users to download for specific printers.

Infrared Blasters

Ever thought of controlling your electronic devices from your smartphone? Well, here is your chance. Now developers can tap into the fact that if your Android phone has infrared support, the application programming interface will tune the frequency from the phone to the remote it is pointed at.

New Bluetooth Profiles

Android KitKat 4.4 supports two new Bluetooth profiles that lets apps support a broader range of low-power and media interactions. Bluetooth HID over GATT (HOGP) gives apps a low-latency link with low-power peripheral devices whereas Bluetooth MAP lets apps exchange messages with a device in near location.

Translucent system UI styling

Now you can maximize the impact of your content with all new window styles and themes for translucent system UI. Subtle gradients are shown behind the system bars to ensure that navigation bar buttons or status bar information are legible.

Conclusion: KitKat marks a significant step forward for Android and aims at changing the ways users interact with Android phones and tablets. This new operating system makes Android far more receptive to change and less robotic. It understands pulse of the user and simplify android app developer's life for sure. Certainly so far KitKat is developer's delight.

Author Bio:
Logan Marra works with AndroidAppsDeveloper, a leading Android application development company. He help businesses overcome challenges and bottlenecks by leveraging the power of Android. In his spare time, he writes extensively on emerging trends in the mobile application development industry.