When BGR reviewed the HTC One earlier this year, we found the best Android smartphone on the market. Seven months later, the HTC One is still among the best options for Android users, but it’s missing Android 4.4 KitKat, the biggest update of the fall. KitKat shipped with the Google Nexus 5, and has since rolled out on other Nexus devices and even the Moto X, but HTC had been relatively quiet up until Tuesday, when the company finally shared release details for Android 4.4. According to HTC USA on Twitter, the company had to delay Android 4.3 for Verizon Wireless customers, but this “does not impact delivery of 4.4 by end of January – still on track.” It looks like the wait is nearly over for KitKat on the HTC One — HTC just has to finish pushing out the final Jelly Bean update first.
Google’s Android is still free for anyone to use but the company has started asserting more control over the mobile platform by making its default home screen into a giant Google search app. As Ars Technica’s Ron Amadeo points out, Google has changed its platform with Android 4.4 KitKat by turning “all home screen functionality over to the Google Search app,” which means that “the wallpaper, the icons, the widgets, and the app drawer — are all drawn by the Google Search app.” Amadeo says that joining the search app to the home screen at the hip is the same strategy that Facebook used with Facebook Home: Just as the Home overlay turned Android devices into Facebook phones so does the KitKat strategy turn them into Google phones first. More →
Google hasn’t released a major new version of Android for more than a year now and has instead been content to make some minor adjustments and additions to the Jelly Bean iteration of its popular mobile platform. But it looks like Google is aiming big with Android 4.4 KitKat, according to a leaked document shown to reporter Amir Efrati. Writing at Jessica Lessin’s blog, Efrati reports that the next version of Android will look to expand its reach beyond smartphones and tablets by optimizing it for use in wearable computers and by adding features that will help it interact with televisions. More →
As the release of Android 4.4 KitKat approaches, leaks are springing up more often. The latest batch of purported KitKat photos comes courtesy of Italian Android blog Tutto Android. The photos appear to confirm several rumored features of the Android update, including Tap & Pay, which will allow users to manage their Google Wallets and complete NFC payments. There are also several improved location-related settings, such as choosing between high accuracy and battery saving location modes, and seeing which apps have recently requested location services. Also worth noting, the images appear to show Android 4.4 running on Google’s unreleased Nexus 5, which will reportedly launch alongside the OS update next week. The leaked photos can be seen below. More →
We know that Google is planning to release a new version of its mobile operating system in the near future called Android 4.4 KitKat and now we might have a better idea of what it could look like. GadgetHelpline has posted some leaked pictures of an early Android 4.4 build back when it was still known internally at Google as “Key Lime Pie.” Droid Life points out that there are very few changes to Android’s user interface in the leaked build, which makes sense because the company has already done a lot of work refining the UI through its releases of Android 4.1 through Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. More →