Kit Kat is a chocolate brand produced and marketed worldwide by Nestle. This chocolate bar has found favour in Google and thus become the name for the next Android version, Android 4.4. Google explained in its Android.com website the reason for choosing KitKat as the favoured name, “Android is the operating system that powers over 1 billion smartphones and tablets. Since these devices make our lives so sweet, each Android version is named after a dessert: Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, and Jelly Bean. As everybody finds it difficult to stay away from chocolate we decided to name the next version of Android after one of our favorite chocolate treats, Kitkat®!”
TechCrunch has reported that it seems Google struck a deal with Nestle to use the name ‘KitKat’ for its next version of Android. However, Google told the BBC that it had come up with the idea and that neither side was paying the other. “This is not a money-changing-hands kind of deal,” John Lagerling, director of Android global partnerships, told the BBC.
So next Android will be called KitKat, but what should be unique about it?
Android 4.3 already offers multiple user profiles in Tablets. Multiple users is most suitable for gadgets that are meant for family or group work but personal items like mobile phones might not need it. However someone might want to have at least two profiles, one for work and another for out of office use so maybe KitKat should bring this functionality to mobile phones.
Another cool feature that should be embedded deep in KitKat is phone tracking capabilities. Smartphone theft is on the rise especially in Kenya. Personally I have lost two smartphones in a span of less than six months. The last phone I lost was an S2 which was snatched after at ‘beating point’ within two weeks of buying it. I tried hard to catch the thieves but it seems the thieves got smarter. The user details on the phone, according to Safaricom, are still mine up to date. After failing to retrieve my S2 I made a suggestion to Samsung to ensure that they integrate mobile tracker at the core of the motherboard and thank goodness Galaxy S4 features LoJack tracker firmware. Sadly, using the tracker will require one to pay annual premium of $29.99 which includes the cost of tracking down the phone. However, there are numerous Android tracking apps that are free to use and these should be enabled to access the tracking chipset with the new Android OS.
Adding remote functions could be 50/50. One of the hyped features of iPhone 5S is that it will be able to truly become a Universal remote. Personally I’m not sure how a Universal remote would seamlessly work. I’ve tried using one but pressing a button e.g. 5 could both change the TV channel to channel 5 and at the same time open the DVD player! Well, others prefer a Universal remote phone as many a times the remotes just disappear when you need them the most.
Nokia maps beats Google Maps in one key area, the ability to download maps for an entire country. Imagine visiting a new country and you find yourself unable to access data as data roaming is most of the time over 1000% costly and Wi-Fi access is not guaranteed. With Nokia maps, one can pre-download the map of the destination, a feature that should be available in Google maps. What Google currently offers is ability to make areas on a map available offline which requires one to first browse the interested places first.
KitKat should enable SD card installation. I advise most of my friends to opt for cheaper smartphones. However, the meager memory available in these cheap alternatives means users cannot install many useful apps for them to truly enjoy the benefits of having a smartphone. If Android allowed for apps installation on SD cards, this problem could be solved. I will like KitKat to enable app installation on SD cards as an outright option. What some app creators have tried to do is to enable transfer of the app from phone memory to SD card after but installation.
Finally, as always, KitKat is expected to offer better memory management, better power management, better multitasking, better UI, and easy access to key applications.
Would you now buy more KitKat chocolates?