What's new in Android 4.4 KitKat (API level 19)

Google announced Android 4.4 KitKat, internally known as Project Svelte, on 3 September 2013. The release had long been expected to be numbered 5.0 and called 'Key Lime Pie'. KitKat debuted on Google's Nexus 5, and has been optimised to run on a greater range of devices, having 512 MB of RAM as a recommended minimum.

Version 4.4

Release date: 31 October 2013

Version 4.4

Release date: 31 October 2013 Features
  • Refreshed interface with white status bar icons/text, ability for applications to trigger a translucent navigation and status appearance.
  • Optimizations for performance on devices with lower specifications, Low RAM device API
  • Wireless printing capability
  • NFC Host Card Emulation for emulating smart cards
  • WebViews now based on Chromium engine (feature parity with Chrome for Android 30)
  • Expanded functionality for Notification listener services
  • Public API for developing and managing text messaging clients.
  • New framework for UI transitions
  • Storage access framework for retrieving content and documents from other sources
  • Sensor batching, Step Detector and Counter APIs
  • "Immersive" full screen mode, software buttons and status bar accessed with an edge swipe gesture
  • Ability to specify default text messaging and home (launcher) app in Settings.
  • Audio tunneling, audio monitoring, loudness enhancer
  • Built-in screen recording
  • Native infrared blaster API
  • Expanded accessibility APIs, system-level closed captioning settings
  • New experimental runtime virtual machine, ART
  • Bluetooth Message Access Profile (MAP) support
  • Disabled access to battery statistics by third-party applications
  • Settings application no longer uses a multi-pane layout
  • Browser text wrap is disabled.
  • The Wi-Fi and mobile data Tx-Rx indicators are disabled.

Version 4.4.1

Release date: 5 December 2013 Features
  • Improvements for the Nexus 5 to fix issues with auto focus, white balance, HDR+ and other camera issues[135][136]
  • ART-related bug fixes (includes WhatsApp Messenger)
  • The new Photo application is now the default Gallery application when swiping out of the Camera application
  • Miscellaneous improvements and bug fixes

Version 4.4.2

Release date: 9 December 2013 Features
  • Further security enhancements and bug fixes
  • Removal of the App Ops privacy control feature, introduced in Android 4.3