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Android 4.4 KitKat leaked document indicates boosts for low-end hardware, wearables


Amir Efrati reports that Google has been working to make Android 4.4, codenamed KitKat, work on as many devices as possible, according to a leaked internal document. Those devices would include low-end smartphones with limited RAM, wearable devices such as smartwatches, smart TVs, and anything else that needs to run an operating system.

Google has reportedly been working with developers of smartphones at the lower end of the hardware spectrum to ensure that KitKat uses its resources wisely, essentially allowing it to run on a variety of phones that may not have been able to run Jelly Bean. If Google can overcome limited hardware to put KitKat—and future versions of Android—on every new device that ships and many that are already available, the company finally stands a chance of defeating the fragmented experience that has long plagued users and software developers alike.

The document also includes details about KitKat’s improvements to Bluetooth that will allow the use of new types of accessories and input devices, utilize infrared signals to control televisions and other related devices, and store certain user data for use with a new NFC-related system for emulating credit cards, bus passes, and other types of cards users would normally keep in their wallets.

With all of these changes in the pipeline, Android 4.4 could be one of the biggest steps toward eliminating the fragmented Android ecosystem and putting one common software package on a host of household electronics.

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