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

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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1 of 10 Matthew Miller/ZDNET

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

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Support for hardware pedometer sensors

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Advanced voice control in Google Search

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Immersive mode for full screen reading

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Caller ID by Google

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Quickoffice integration

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Google Wallet without carrier restrictions

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Emoji in Google Keyboard

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Lock screen album art and media controls

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Integrated print support

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