Android 4.4 KitKat details announced; includes Project Svelte and full screen mode

by XB on 31st October 2013

in Android, Featured Content


Google Android 4.4Google has finally unwrapped the full details behind Android 4.4 KitKat, its next major iteration of Android. Amongst the changes includes Project Svelte, which is Google’s effort to make Android run on low-memory devices (think 512MB RAM). It has achieved this by removing unnecessary background services and minimising the memory footprint of features not used often. This has also been done across Google apps, like Chrome and YouTube.

This memory optimisation as well as improvements to the touchscreen have also meant that multitasking is faster. The other big change is the full screen immersive mode, to bring greater engagement whilst reading a book or browsing photos. You just need to swipe the edge of the screen to bring back your status bar and navigation buttons.

Calling is also made easier by searching across contacts, nearby places and within Google Apps accounts. A smarter caller ID will also look for matches from businesses if an unknown call is received. There is a new screen recorder feature that allows you to capture high-quality video of your app directly from your Android device.

A new printing framework means that developers can add printing from apps using services such as Google’s Cloud Print. A storage access framework makes it easier for users find documents, photos, and other data across their local and cloud-based storage services. Android 4.4 introduces platform support for built-in IR blasters, along with a new API and system service that let you create apps to take advantage them.

Android 4.4 introduces platform support for hardware sensor batching, a new optimization that can dramatically reduce power consumed by ongoing sensor activities. There is also support for two new composite sensors — step detector and step counter — that let your app track steps when the user is walking, running, or climbing stairs. These are currently only available on the Nexus 5 and is hardware dependent i.e. whether the chipset supports it.

Via Google Official Blog, Android Developers Blog, Android.com and Developer.Android.com (1 & 2).

  • The biggest bummer/likely backlash of this news is people with older phones wondering if they’ll now be able to get KitKat on their devices. Sadly, I don’t see many manufacturers, Sony includes, going back and doing this. Especially when we know about chipset driver limitations (S3 in Xperia S & nothing past 4.1 – thanks Qualcomm!), this benefit of lower resources will likely only affect newer low/mid-range phones. Or allow companies to produce really cheap smartphones.

  • lucasarg

    I want to know which of the xperia 2012-2013 devices will receive the upgrade to 4.4 kit kat, NOW!

  • Hudayfah

    Update Xperia ARC S FOR GOD SAKE

  • Adil

    if they’d keep on giving you latest updates on your 2011-12 phones, why’d you switch to 2013-14 models then? it’d be a long term loss.
    So, not updating older phones is justified.

  • Adrian M

    I want Android 3/4.4 for my Xperia Z1 <3

  • Deki

    Don’t worry, you will surely get it! :-)

  • Doubleyoupee

    Heck, my Droid 3 from July 2011 (which was pretty high-end at the time) didn’t even get android ICS 4.0!!! because it had 512MB RAM.. It’s still on 2.3 today :’).
    (1 GHZ dual core, 512MB, 540 x 960 pixels, 4.0″, 8MP)

  • Asa

    Oh my god, common sense!
    It hurts!

  • DrKrFfXx

    2012… Don’t really think so.

  • Marco Antonio Maza Hernández

    It´s a shame thant we wont have it, at least with Sony

  • Zlatko Jerkunica

    will sp get 4.4

  • Lucian

    Me too, and be assured that Xperia Z1 will get the update though don’t expect anything official until early 2014.

  • Mac

    my Xperia Neo with, I think 380MB RAM, or so, got ICS!

  • hocestquisumus

    look for it around the time the version after the next comes out. i think they should skip 4.3 entirely and upgrade to kitkat right away. 4.3 doesn’t seem to be so great. after all, it was retired after less than half a year.

    however, it’s a rat race.

  • lucasarg

    we don’t know…so far… :|

  • Makiz

    We are still waiting for 4.3? some people for 4.2 you say?? :P

  • Makiz

    They are almost ready to roll out the 4.3 so there is no way they are gonna abandon it and skip to 4.4 …. sorry, I want to feed Kit-Kat to my xperia as much as everybody does!

  • lucasarg

    they’re going to release 4.3 for xperia Z line and Xperia SP in a few weeks… 4.4 in february/march (i think that)…

  • Haris Haa

    does xperia E will recive this update or…..

  • kjmok

    no point waiting. i’d rather get a jump right up to 4.4 without getting 4.3.

  • Arokhantos

    did sony update anything yet to 4.3 ?

  • Arokhantos

    They should probably update some low ram devices to 4.4 as they might benefit quite a lot from it.

  • @atWidget

    I don’t care! Google said 4.4 is good for 512Mb of RAM… OK great! And? My Xperia T with 1Gb of RAM will get 4.4??? >>> NO… but 4.4 is good for 512Gb!!! Great!!!!!!!!!!!! ……….

  • @atWidget

    Lol 4.4 OK for 512Gb devices… I’m sure all brands are now saying in private:
    “Shit we must find an other false reason for NOT update device with 512Gb of RAM…” …or 1Gb! (They will never see 4.4 but they have 1Gb! >>> Xperia T, V, etc…)

  • Rachit Ericsson

    Hopefully the 2011 Xperia’s will be updated to Kit Kat 4.4 ;-)

  • Ankesh Patel

    Its a close one Harris Mahmood, but I reckon it may just slip the net (whether it’s in or out-Sony decides…).

  • Ruslan K

    Sony ZR is waiting for you, sweet kitkat :)

  • Ruslan K

    will update some models in November

  • strs

    Will xperia 2012 phones(especially STE U8500 CPU/512MB RAM)get kitkat update?

  • x-periance

    4.4 ran with the lower ram?? Hurmm how about 3rd party apps??

  • jag

    Translucent system UI styling. Wow… so original.

  • xConjo

    Why the hell people think RAM is the only thing needed to update a phone? you need a cpu and gpu too. The problem is that who makes those cpu doesn’t make newer drivers for use them in the last version of Android

  • Guest

    As much as I hate this, its unfortunately true :(

  • Holy , what kind of mobile device is using 512GB of RAM , dude sorry can hold it

  • Micro

    …and I want to f**k Qualcomm’s CEO, cage his family and make him eat all the mighty Xperias he ruined along with all those shitty cheap plastic samsungs (especially millions of this crap) until he change his mind and let his team to finally make the S4 drivers developed so Sony can make it to bring our precious love made phones have it!!!

  • shekhar mittal

    Now I want 4.4 for my xperia sola. Sony doesnt have any reason now to update xperia sola.

  • Micro

    oh I bet they have a good one

  • APai

    woohoo my sola will finally get 4.4

    /s

  • APai

    they have one – qualcomm are the assholes responsible for not delivering the FW/ drivers that support the hardware, sony and others will have to push qualcomm, but i highly doubt that will happen. both phone makers and qualcomm are busy selling new phones

  • APai

    force close :)

  • Andrie Putra

    even 2011 device ?

  • Micro

    right… say it on the qualcomm’s blog, you will know the true meaning of the god’s sense of humor

  • Micro

    yeah, even the 2002

  • Micro

    or.. “not compatible with any of your devices” ;PP

  • Andrie Putra

    looks like Sony wont hear us about 4.4 running on 512 Mb phones.. they will say ” we want introduce you xperia …. with 4.4 ” , ” We recomend you buy new xperia … with 4.4 ” , for not upgrade phone to 4.1 they will say ” we will investigate this ” or ” no more upgrade further … “

  • Andrie Putra

    its 512 Mb dude … not GB LOL

  • Gitarooman

    or you can CyanogenMod that shit….

  • P9

    if all xperia from 2012 could get this, sony could become king, come on sony, u always rock! Love u best! ;)

  • Quark Gluon

    Leave that to CPU makers, this is Google’s announcement. Well, it’s not only about an update for old phones, but also wider range of incoming phones.

  • MetadonPatient

    I highly doubt that Sony Xperia S/P/U/Sola etc. will receive 4.4.

  • Quark Gluon

    No, it’s worse than that! Sola doesn’t rely on Qualcomm, it relies on the deceased ST-Ericsson.

  • Quark Gluon

    You can erase your doubt on devices with NovaThor chipset.

  • arcu de triumf

    Unfortunately I don’t expect Sony to give us this new Android for Xperias with 512MB, isn’t it? :D Prove me I was wrong, please.
    Great move from Google to offer this version though. Let’s see how it works on 512MB phones.

  • Cristiano de Oliveira

    Xperia L needs kitkat in it! U.U

  • Cristi13

    Sola has novathor chipset.

  • Chetan Reddy

    hope so

  • Babylonbwoy

    Wonder what they are doing at Sony devs, all these version are a real mess, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3,4.4 ! And they say “no more fragmentation of Android market” ? WTF Google ?

  • Babylonbwoy

    Of course! Only Z line will get it in H2 2014 maybe.

  • Babylonbwoy

    source ?

  • Pedro Cunha

    If Xperia Z get confirm on 4.4 KK i will by one soon. I think for the price right now its the perfect time to buy it! I dont think Z1 its mucth better than Z so… i ll go for Z

  • logic

    Why this makes sense in a certain regard, I wouldn’t say that’s a clever business idea these days. Apple update old devices, and so do HTC & Samsung. It’s a way for manufacturers to show loyalty to their customers. Not everyone can afford a phone every year, and it is these users who will get annoyed by the policy and change manufacturer. I think 2 years support for a phone is reasonable. I’m thinking of not buying a new Sony phone due to their delay in OS upgrades.

  • épolover

    stop sayin bullshit moron
    it’s not qualcomm fault, but sony.
    sony know from the beginning that qualcomm will not update S3 chip, don’t think that qualcomm is a supermarket where sony buy their chip, there are contracts between them and i doubt that the 4.2 driver update for s3 chip have been in it.
    blame sony.

  • X10 S TX User

    yeah yeah yeah 4.4 4.3 blah blah blah you guys know that you have to get the new device to get that updates shit.

    If Sony support every phone like the X10 it will be awesome.

    PS I think you will see the newest the best of the best xperia smartphone 2014 with android 4.3 and will get 4.4 later like 3 months lol

    sick of it. I will get the nexus next time :/

    I hate being abandoned and compromise from Sony. I will stick with other products from Sony but not for smartphone

    W810 – TX 6 years and no more

  • Paul

    Sony is now shitting on pants..

  • Steven Choon

    Tablet z will get this update?

  • Gj Ramanaa

    will xperia u get update ?

  • Micro

    oh.. my bad

  • lol

    they will release for z1/z ultra next month for 4.3

  • lol

    except e and single sim M, all xperia 2013 already receive 4.2

  • @atWidget

    Loool yeah… sorry… XD

  • chochwe

    Man I thought my X10 is going to get 4.4… damn u google

  • chochwe

    Damn you got it wrong, it’s 512Tb RAM

  • shanefalco

    i’ll waiting kiikat for my xperia u ;) ahahahah sony make.shame!

  • Whateva

    Yeah, because Qualcomm are likely to write in contract a promise of delivering support to future releases before knowing what these versions actually entail…. We are all really being logical here.

    That is like the guy stating “but android supports 512 mb now, then all devices in the whole world should be compatible”. Please keep in mind that Google did not state which cpu and gpu are supported, or anything else for that matter. Heck Google have not even made a proof of concept that low memory devices are actually fully working as of now.

    Imagine loading Facebook on a low memory device, would the device survive?

  • dfq

    i think 2012 devices will receive an update. 4.4 is optimized so that it can run on lower specs so i suppose somebody will be making some effort to bring that better software to the reliable old sony hardware.

  • Gitarooman

    From Sony Xperia News ?@SonyMobileNews
    #Android @KitKat, we’re excited – next week our news on: 4.3, 4.4; products & more..

  • Gitarooman

    512 MB ram support only means one thing for Google, everyone can flood the market with low end specs that runs android smooth and expand the google eco system.

  • Max

    I hope it will come for Xperia S !

  • Kabu

    Sony S needs to get 4.4 !

  • Hgi

    Xperia S and T needs to get 4.4 !!!

  • lucasarg

    Next Week ;)

  • Medve

    xperia sola gets the update?

  • APai

    oops my bad, yeah completely forgot about it. gotta pick from where I buried it to see if some CM goodness can revive it.

  • jassim

    My Xperia V got 4.4 just now thanks sony!!!!

  • jassim

    My Xperia V just got 4.4 thanks sony!!!!!

  • Abhishek Gupta

    Sony Xperia series will be upgraded to Android 4.4 KitKat, with the Xperia line 2012 ?

    Android 4.4 is expected KitKat Google introduced on 18/10 here, this is
    the Android version is expected to make history when Google has promised
    the low profile models also good runs OS version this.

    The question now arises if Android 4.4 runs good low-end machines, the old data series with the Sony
    Xperia 2012 upgrade or not? As usual it will support the product for
    about 18 months. Page ibtimes Australia has published an article about
    potentially shock Android 4.4 update schedule of firms including Sony
    device with a long name.

    Accordingly, Sony is still growing Android 4.3
    for some selected models in the Series Z line (Xperia Z, Xperia ZL,
    Xperia ZR, Xperia Tablet Z, Xperia Z Ultra, Xperia Z1), but an updated
    list of the samples to Android 4.4 longer than that. Specifically, the
    following models are expected to upgrade.

    Z Series

    Sony Xperia series will be upgraded to Android 4.4 KitKat

    Xperia Tablet S, Xperia Tablet Z

    High and low Xperia M, Xperia C, Xperia M, Xperia L, Xperia S, Xperia SL, Xperia U, and many other models

    The source is unclear where they got, but if this really happened,
    perhaps Xperia user community will be a phen “boom” with Sony. No one is
    “taxed dream,” knows that the magic happens. The Google says the
    low-level flow is still running fine (with 512MB ram sources say), the
    Android 4.4 will be demonstrated for the old models by current
    manufacturers do not develop single-core models, 512MB ram again.

    Source: ibtime

  • BCHILD

    Sounds perfect fir the Xperia Play!

  • Roger W.

    And let’s not forget about the Cyanogenmod!!

  • John

    i don’t think the 2012 devices will receive 4.4 mainly because Sony can’t be bothered. Why would their waste time and resources on older models? also the nova thor chipsets in the U/P/Sola have very limited support

  • s7

    why? They are developing 4.1.1 upgrade for xperia p so, it would be really embarrassing for sony to come up with another excuse because kitkat is ram friendly…..I expect them to use it’s already 18 months as excuse………….

  • 3rdflyleaf

    This is sad, but true. :'(

  • Amimanot

    Actually, all xperia 2011 (inc. Your neo) has 512 MB of RAM. Its just that only 380 MB is usable for the system since the other 200-ish MB is used by the mobile bravia engine. Source – the sony ericsson developer website (they really posted about that, its just that since now it is the sony developer website, I doubt that the post even exists right now)

  • lol

    i have a sony ericsson s500 with 512mb of micro sd ram,can i melt down a kitkat(4.4) on it?

  • Quark Gluon

    Because normally you don’t expect chipset drivers from the vendor that doesn’t exist.

  • InspectorGadget80

    Well i would love to buy a SONY 4.4 KITKAT BAR PHONE. but purchase my Z1 couldn’t wait any longer to get rid of my poorly XPERIA GO

  • InspectorGadget80

    Z,Z ULTRA Z1 and probably some of their lower end models

  • johncena

    lol samsung s3 mini use novathor too..

  • Cristiano de Oliveira

    Hope xperia L receive 4.4 I think is so much possible. x)

  • Rohan Joshi

    are there any chances of kit kat update for xperia tipo single and dual sim????

  • Knowles2

    They better not use, “we will investigate this” Sony has access to Kitkat code as it in development. They should know what they can and cannot do with it.

  • The Z(1) will get it next year I guess

  • Mac

    Oh I see, nice information, I probably saw it somewhere back then yes. I would love 2 have a new neo with better processor like s600 or 800, 2 GB RAM, 16-32GB internal, and 720p screen. DAAAYM!

  • mobilestrck

    Fuck qualcomm and sony fuckers dosnt make an update for xperia s sl even acro s fuk qualcomm and sony thumbs down!!!!!!! I will Never buy a dony and qualcomm product again

  • Adarsh

    I have an xperia e. . .will it get the android update? :

  • Raghava Bhargav

    How many months does Sony Support their newly launched devices? as I know about 18 months if it’s ture every 2013 devices should be get android 4.4 definitely

  • nelizmastr

    Then its up to Sony to find a way to use ICS CPU drivers in Kitkat, since STEricsson is defunct. Their NovaThor chipsets (Xperia P,U, Sola, as well as some Samsungs like Galaxy S Advance) don’t have any support anymore. That’s why I unlocked my Sola’s bootloader and loaded CyanogenMod10.1 on there (Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean).

  • LOL

    LOL

  • Aniket Galande

    as per google technical papers…android 4.4 can support RAM upto 512 MB also…lets see how many models sony will consider then !!

  • JebMojang

    When the FUCK is kitkat coming out for Acro S !????

    For FUCK SAKES!!! I’ve been waiting 8 months for this shit and yet NOTHING new!!!

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