Android 4.4 KitKat could be one of Google’s most important mobile operating system versions to date, if recent leaks ring true. Tech reporter Amir Efrati has sifted through confidential documents outlining plans for the search giant’s imminent, major Android update, and found that the OS is designed to work well on mid-level to entry-level Android devices as well as the flagships.
According to Efrati, KitKat “optimizes memory use in every major component,” providing “tools to help developers create memory-efficient applications” for low-end Android phones and tablets. The documents also allegedly say that KitKat could support devices with memory as low as 512MB, Efrati says. This could prove to be a boon for Google, with fragmentation being one of the major pain points for Android. As of Oct. 2, just 48.6 percent of Android devices are running Android Jelly Bean since its July 2012 release, ranging from versions 4.1 to 4.3. Apple’s iOS 7, on the other hand, is installed on over 60 percent of iOS devices, and it released on Sept. 18.
In addition to a move to get KitKat on as many devices as possible, Efrati lists Google’s preparations for a new wave of wearable tech, including support for three new sensors: geomagnetic rotation vector, step detection and step counters. This could be Google’s answer to Apple’s fancy M7 motion co-processor found alongside its 64-bit A7 chip in the iPhone 5s, iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display. According to Efrati’s recent tweets, other marked boosts include a new fullscreen mode for interfaces that developers can utilize. On Google+, the reporter mentioned power management improvements, such as sensor and Wi-Fi batching to help batteries last just a little longer. KitKat is expected to launch alongside the alleged LG-made Google Nexus 5, which if the rumors are correct, drops tomorrow, Nov. 1.