Ten cool features of Android 4.4 KitKat on the Google Nexus 5

Ten cool features of Android 4.4 KitKat on the Google Nexus 5

Summary: The Google Nexus 5 is now available running the latest version of Android. Unlimited home screen panels, integrated Quickoffice, and more are included.


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  • Unlimited home screen panels

    One reason to purchase the new Google Nexus 5 is to get a smartphone running Android 4.4 KitKat.

    There are many new features discussed on the Google Android website, but here are ten things I like about the latest OS so far:

    1. Unlimited home screen panels: With no ability to create folders in the application launcher, Google provides you with the ability to create as many home screen panels filled with app shortcuts, folders, and widgets as you desire.
    2. Support for integrated pedometer: The Nexus 5 now has sensors to support pedometer functions and KitKat enables the hardware through apps like Move. You may soon leave the Fitbit behind.
    3. OK Google voice control: While not as sophisticated as what Motorola has in the Moto X, the Google search voice control capability lets you control your device from the home screen panels.
    4. Immersive mode: Reading books is now a great experience in KitKat with the ability to hide everything but the text. Application support is still limited, but we are early in the KitKat rollout.
    5. Caller ID by Google: You will see Google Search being integrated in more ways and one of these is through caller ID.
    6. Quickoffice integration: Google purchased Quickoffice a couple years ago and it is now getting integrated into the OS.
    7. Google Wallet without carrier restrictions: Google now provides you with Google Wallet without NFC carrier restrictions so you should be able to tap and pay with a Nexus 5 on any carrier.
    8. Emojis in Google Keyboard: I text a lot with my daughters and this is a fun feature to have.
    9. Album art on lock screen: Another feature that is a nice touch is the ability to see your album art while controlling your media right from the lock screen.
    10. Integrated print support: I don't find the need to print much from my phone, but if you do then it is integrated into KitKat.

    I am sure you will find many more things you like about KitKat and many that you don't. Stay tuned for my upcoming article on why my HTC One with Sense and Android 4.3 is still a better option for me.

    Related reading

  • Support for hardware pedometer sensors

Topics: Mobility, Android, Google, Smartphones

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  • QuickOffice integration

    Now if only QuickOffice was any good.
    Michael Alan Goff
    • What,

      Wrong with it?
      • A couple of things

        The UI is laughable and the "compatibility" is lacking as well. It's been known to eat heavily formatted pages and spit out something unreadable.
        Michael Alan Goff
        • clearly you haven't used it

          I agree with your comments a few months back. Though the current version really works.

          Using it with larger workbooks (mega byte files) has proven to be effective and fast. The same on other similar consumer platforms become unusable. Close second Kingsoft.
          • I used it about a couple weeks back

            But, hey, whatever makes you feel better about your choice. :)
            Michael Alan Goff
          • Same for Me

            It sort of works for some files, but other (often very simple Word) files just won't open. The worst problem was saving an Excel file then trying to open it on my desktop machine. The desktop reported that it was out of memory. Obviously that's a problem on desktop side as well, but it shows a weakness of Quickoffice. That was a while ago, so maybe it's been fixed. The Word problem was this week.

            I find I need a selection of the Office apps, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
    • Quick Office Lets Me Edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint

      What else do you want in a mobile device. Sure if you are using Applied Math to The Max, e.g. simulating Star Wars Engagements in Excel you might want more. Or if you are more interested in constraining what other users can do (like Dilbert's boss) than doing the job.. well, then, you need MS/Office.
      • Better cross your fingers

        and hope that QO doesn't decide to eat your documents.
        Michael Alan Goff
        • perhaps it's just hungry?

          have you fed your device lately? Those MSO formats are so cruuuunchy :)
          • Sadly, no

            I follow a strict "don't feel my devices" regimen.
            Michael Alan Goff
  • Point 3

    is probably the only one I would want from that list.

    I've been using Android for 3 years and I have 4 panels on my launcher (Samsung), 1 is a 100% widget, the others have 1/3 to 1/2 sized wigdets on. I never felt the need for folders, but I only have the apps I use the most on the panels. The ones I'll use less than once a month are relegated to the app screen.
    • Point 3?

      Point 3 is concerning 'OK Google' access.. not folders and panels ..

      On a side note concerning Point 1, (and call me wrong, as I still have ICS on my Note phone)
      has the ability to create folders been removed and are they the same as app groups?? Or am I just reading this wrong ...?

      Sorry probably having a senior moment... lol
  • Meh

    Incremental update, nothing exciting here. The additional home screens will be nice but that isn't something I absolutely needed on my HTC One. Its good to see google continue to move forward though.
  • GoHome Launcher

    Unlimited home panels, scrollable dock, folders in the dock, changeable icon grid dimensions.
    Part of the joy of Android - Pick your own launcher app that you like.
  • The smartphone wall???

    Not picking on Android or Google but it seems to me ALL the smartphones have sort of hit a wall on what a smartphone can (should do). If you aren't a fan boy of one flavor or another you quickly come to realize that just about any last gen. smartphone will do the job for about anyone.

    I think we are quickly approaching the point that cost (cost of phone and cost of access) along with what is offered by the carriers will become the deciding factor for new purchases. That's not a bad thing, competition on costs is a good thing for consumers.
  • Huh?

    I can create folders just fine in the application launcher. Just drag one icon onto another. Guess the author missed that.
  • Beware the Google Nexus line of products

    Beware the Google Nexus line of products

    Google initially claimed that the Nexus line of products would be the Android devices "first to receive updates". Yet, just two years after the Google Galaxy Nexus phone (by Samsung) was released, Google has stopped support for Android updates. Worse, Google has posted that they will only support updates on Google Nexus devices for 18 months (check the website yourself - https://support.google.com/nexus/answer/3507867?hl=en&ref_topic=3415518)

    There are thousands of frustrated and isolated Nexus owners that have bought into the Google ecosystem. Now the Nexus phone is obsolete. Read more here - http://www.change.org/petitions/google-update-the-galaxy-nexus-with-android-4-4-kitkat

    Shame on Google. And prospective buyers of Google products should take heed.