Android’s newest operating system is likely to be released along with the Nexus 5- but the date hasn’t been set for either unveiling. Whispers indicate we could see it at the end of October, but no official word. The only thing that’s certain is that it will be released before the official holiday season, when the new phone will be in many a letter to Santa.
Google has had some difficulty in the past with the rampage of new operating systems. When Jelly Bean came out last year, it was introduced into an environment in which its predecessors, Ice Cream Sandwich and Honeycomb, were far less popular than Gingerbread, which was released in 2010. Particularly because Jelly Bean couldn’t even run on some still-popular phones (namely the Nexus S), users won’t always care about the newest Android incarnation because it just isn’t feasible for everyone to upgrade with every cycle. Many play the waiting game for something truly exciting instead of slavishly replacing their device and interface every time Google rolls out a new version.
Jelly Bean was well- received, keeping pace with the newest trends and advancements. 4.3’s improved graphics capabilities, camera, and DRM made it popular with casual users and professionals alike. KitKat will likely follow suit, upgrading the capacity for high quality video and sound.
What’s on many people’s wish-lists for KitKat is a less disjointed Google experience. There’s been buzz that there might be a new cloud system for Android and possibly also more global compatibility in general. KitKat might also answer calls for better responsiveness and more network coverage. I, myself, would like to see more UI customizability. For business owners, better integration of Google Drive, Now, and Chrome would increase productivity from handheld devices- something previous incarnations of Android phones have been sorely missing. Especially Google Drive, with its helpful spreadsheeting and cloud accessibility, would make a lot of lives easier.
The Price of Progress
Android has provided plenty of opportunities for innovative software development- particularly in the app department. Apps have taken over the culture of smartphones, making business and entertainment easy (and now essential) on the go.
In a lot of ways, however, this is an unhealthy trend. The ubiquity of the smartphone means that we’re now expected to be available, even working, 24/7. Android’s modernizations are encouraging the habits of sleeping with your smartphone under your pillow, which is great for businesses but not for sleep schedules.
What’s in a Name?
Now about the name- sure, Android has named all previous versions alphabetically after sweet treats, but this time it’s different. What was once rumored to be called Key Lime Pie now dons the name of a popular candy bar owned by Nestle. This is unwelcome news to many who are concerned about ethical business practices, as Nestle has over a hundred years of controversy associated with its name. Some have expressed concern at the continuing trend of corporate giants falling into cahoots. We’ll have to see if KitKat comes with any preinstalled Nestle-themed apps.
Whatever October brings, there’s sure to be a treasure trove of updates and tech goodies in the KitKat basket. Whether all of the changes will be positive is less certain, but you can’t stop progress. The times, they are a-changing.
More Tech articles from Business 2 Community: