Advanced Features of the Latest Android Versions

Dec 4, 2013 by

Advanced Features of the Latest Android Versions

In the last six years, the Android operating system has witnessed major transformation with every new version. The first commercial version was released in 2008, and in just five years, there has been several enhancements made, which has helped it in becoming the most popular mobile operating system in the world. The current version is known as Kit Kat 4.4, and is remarkably different from the initial versions. The major version 4.0 (Ice-cream sandwich) was released in 2011, and over the last two years, several minor versions have been released, which includes Jelly Bean and Kit Kat.

However, the 4.0 version has brought in several enhancements over the previous versions. With this new version, the kernel of the Android operating system migrated from Linux 2.36 to the latest 3.0 version. The Android Honeycomb (3.0) versions were specifically built for tablets, and some of the popular features such as the soft buttons were introduced with “Ice Cream Sandwich”. Additionally, customization features were made available for the default launcher, which included the ability to access apps from the lock screen itself. A major modification in the core design was introduced when the concepts of widgets were listed separately from the apps, thereby making it easier to manage the installed apps into folder structures. Moreover, the in-built Chrome browser was redesigned to support up to 16 tabs.

Android Jelly Bean came as a minor version of Ice Cream Sandwich, but there were major modifications made to the user interface with the aim to improve its performance and functionality. The entire graphics framework of the core Android system was re-engineered and enhanced buffering capabilities were introduced. Apart from improving the voice and camera apps, the virtual assistant Google Now was also launched along with this version. It was designed to compete against Apple iPhone’s Siri, but with the years, Google Now has transformed into an innovative, multi-dimensional contextual assistant.

There were three minor versions of the Jelly Bean series, after which Android Kit Kat was released to the public in 2013. The 4.4 version is currently the latest in the market, and comes with an improved user interface along with several other features. The dialer app now supports contextual information, where users can search numbers from the local area. Additionally, Google’s unified messaging app, Hangouts now support SMS messages too, which makes it a one-stop solution for all messaging needs. Several new sensor capabilities were added, with the aim to support greater integration with Near Field Communication (NFC).

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