Google KitKat Kills Apple Inc?

Google KitKat

Google has released the newest version of their Android operating system, KitKat 4.4.1 for their Nexus 5 smartphone. The major OS update was released on October 31 for some devices, December 5 for a small number of Nexus devices, and December 6 for the powerful Nexus 5. Is it true that Google KitKat kills Apple Inc and iOS 7?

KitKat promises enhanced touchscreen response, optimized memory and superb multitasking operation, bringing a slick, user-friendly interface to the newest generation of Google devices.

Google continues to focus on the user experience with latest Android release, using its experience and know-how to cram improvements into the familiar apps that users have come to love. Contacts are automatically organized by frequency of use, caller ID will search the web to identify unknown callers, and messages of all types are grouped together by sender.

The Cloud Print app allows Google users to send documents and images to any printer connected to the app, or to any printer with an app in the Google Play Store. Similar functionality allows access to files on Google Drive, allowing Quickoffice and other apps to quickly retrieve recently used files.

KitKat supports Bluetooth Message Access Profile (MAP), which allows Bluetooth-ready vehicles to communicate with devices running the operating system. Chromecast allows a device to broadcast video to TV screens, while Chrome Web increases the speed and accuracy of embedded web content. Devices equipped with an infrared blaster (IR) can now be used by Android as a remote control for TVs and other devices with an IR receptor.

The latest version of KitKat provides a big upgrade for the Nexus 5’s camera. The 4.4.1 push grants the camera faster focusing capabilities, better low-light picture taking, increased shutter speed, improved automatic white balancing and pinch-zoom features for the high-dynamic range (HDR+) picture mode. The HDR+ function is designed to improve image detail and contrast, especially in bad lighting and high contrast conditions, by shooting bursts of pictures at different exposures then compositing them together.

Google also designed KitKat to optimize battery use on devices like the Nexus 5, allowing as much as 60 hours of music playback and battery-friendly step counting using a built-in pedometer with apps like the fitness-oriented Moves.

So will Google KitKat kill Apple Inc in terms of positioning the Android OS to dominate the mobile market?

Well, in terms of market adoption, Apple Inc is currently the hands-down winner, with iOS 7 running on more than 70 percent of Apple mobile devices, compared to only 1.1 percent of Android devices upgrading to KitKat.

Both Apple Inc and Google have streamlined their user interfaces with iOS 7 focusing on a minimalist approach that gets even novice users swiping away in no time. KitKat puts more emphasis on functionality, allowing users to personalize home screens with endless permutations of apps and widgets.

KitKat has the edge in customization, allowing Android users to use third-party apps for live wallpapers, virtual keyboards and interface manipulation. Apple Inc is not known for its openness to user modifications, and iOS 7 is not an exception to this rule.

KitKat and iOS 7 both have very powerful search functions with integrated search bars capable of scanning both the devices and the Web for content with ease. Google, of course, is the undisputed heavyweight champion in the arena of online searches.

Apple Inc redesigned their Notification Center, integrating with the Calendar app and allowing users to choose among myriad possible notifications. KitKat allows notifications to pop into running apps without forcing users to quit the app, meaning that text from Mom will come through without having to leave Candy Crush.

Both smartphones come pre-equipped with a suite of productivity apps, including calendars, clocks and notes. There are minor differences in the functioning of these apps, mostly reflecting the divergent design esthetics of Apple Inc and Google, but both systems will help keep users organized and on time. Of course, users have to actually use the apps to gain the benefits.

Google and Apple Inc have both included game solutions in their OS. KitKat manages games through an app called Play Games, while iOS 7 does the job through the Game Center. Both apps can track achievements, issue challenges and recommend games. Pretty much a draw in this category.

When it comes to user interface, Apple Inc has created a standout brand in the form of Siri, the voice-activated virtual secretary that allows hands-free operation of most the devices functions. KitKat answers Siri’s challenge with Google Now, replicating most of the vocal command functionality, with an additional predictive ability that attempts to answer probable questions before they are even asked.

After a rocky beginning with the Apple Maps app, Apple Inc has stepped up their game and provided a solid app in iOS 7. Google Maps has the advantage of familiarity and the strength of the familiar.

Apple Inc has a similar advantage on the realm of playing music and media, with the ubiquitous iTunes store providing file management, online purchase and streaming capabilities. While KitKat’s Play Music app supplies virtually identical access, iTunes is a slicker and more intuitive interface.

Both Google and Apple Inc provide serious gear for tech-junkies, and at this stage in development, it is more or less a matter of choice as to which device and operating system a consumer chooses. KitKat is a solid upgrade in the Android line, just as iOS 7 is a marked improvement over its predecessors. Of course, Google has upped the ante with the introduction of its Google Glass eyeware, which promises to be revolutionary. Don’t be surprised if Apple Inc debuts something along the same lines sometimes soon.

After all, if KitKat was designed by Google as an iPhone and iPad killer, it seems only fair that Apple Inc respond in kind and try to take a bite out of the market-space of Google’s confectionery-themed operating systems. With many Google Android device users are still running the Jellybean OS because the KitKat upgrade is not yet available for their hardware, Apple Inc may have a bit of breathing room to push out their next innovation. Are the analysts predicting a future where Google KitKat kills Apple Inc correct? The industry will have to wait and see.

By Mark Clarke

ZDNet

Android

Phone Arena

24 Responses to "Google KitKat Kills Apple Inc?"

  1. Luca   December 19, 2013 at 3:47 am

    It’s not just made to last a year or two … Two comments

    A_
    For double of the price they have to last for double of the time.

    B_
    iPad 3 ?? I upgraded iPad 1 (which was a pioner) with a iPad 3 in 2012 but they sort out to launch iPad 4 in less than one year because the processor is not powerfull enough for Retina, now with iOS7 and demandfing app is running into serious problem

    Everything ok but not for the price of apple !!

    I’m now an happy Nexus 7 insteand of iPAd mini retina

    Reply
  2. Robert   December 11, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Apple continuous improvement in the software section is increasing its Sale in the Market.//bit.ly/AppleAnalysts

    Reply
  3. Corn   December 9, 2013 at 11:15 am

    The reason Apple is doing so well is that their products are quality. And now with the 64bit architecture, an iphone 5s for instance will last for years before any buyer will physically have to “upgrade” the device to stay on top. The point is if you do purchase an apple product, it will last. It’s not just made to last a year or two.

    Reply
  4. M Laval-Lindley   December 9, 2013 at 7:56 am

    The fact that the author totally ignored the 64-bit difference with Apple shows a remarkable lack of understanding of the future functionality iOS 7 will have over any Android system no matter how sweet the name. With 64-bit processing, iOS7 on an iPhone 5S gives you all the power of a desktop or laptop computer in your hand. If 50% of iPhone 5C purchasers are switching from Android, that alone is proof that it isn’t a list of features in a phone that makes for happy customers, it’s the phone doing what you expect it to do and what it promises to do that makes the difference. Android is a cheaper alternative in every way, and KitKat will most likely not change that reputation.

    Reply
  5. Stuart Kurtz   December 9, 2013 at 6:25 am

    The first rule of journalism is that the correct answer to any headline’s rhetorical question is “no.” This article is no exception to that rule. Android and iOS will continue to evolve, and compete, and improve. People who hope (or expect) the triumph of one platform over the other are idiots, because competition drives innovation, which occurs on both platforms to the benefit of both the platforms and their users.

    Reply
    • Ed   December 9, 2013 at 1:58 pm

      I could agree on more and keen to looking forward to it.

      Reply
  6. sulixe   December 9, 2013 at 5:54 am

    You should have mention the insane amount of bugs in kitkat like the wifi dropping, the email not syncing or random battery drain. Just google something like “nexus 5 problem” if you want more example. Some of them are hardware but a lot are purely software..

    Reply
  7. Paul   December 9, 2013 at 1:42 am

    How can Software kill a company (Apple) or even a device (iPhone)? Shouldn’t it be more: kitkat kills iOS 7. And why the f*** do you always you Google INC. – we know what Google you mean even without the INC.

    Reply
  8. Chris   December 9, 2013 at 12:22 am

    “Google Maps has the advantage of familiarity and the strength of the familiar.”

    He pretty much ran out of good things to say?

    Reply
  9. jb   December 8, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    Stupid title written by idiot?

    Reply
  10. vic.m   December 8, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Nope. Android had it almost 2 years earlier.

    Reply
  11. vic.m   December 8, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Android 2.3 beats iOS 6 and in almost all aspects iOS 7 as well. Kitkat is version 4.4. You draw the conclusions.
    64 bit is nice in theory, but as tests have shown, it is not put to use (and not even close with current CPU capacities in the phones), and only serves to drain the battery faster in the iPhone 5S.

    Reply
    • Dog Breath   December 8, 2013 at 1:33 pm

      64-bit is also nice in practice. The 5s is the fastest smartphone on the planet, yet it has only 2 cores and a slower clock than other manufacturers’ flagship smartphones. What you and your Fandroid brethren have failed to realize is that “64-bit” isn’t only about memory addressing. It’s also about efficiency (and file system addressing, where flash memory already reaches 128 GB). Just for example, Apple’s A7 processor has twice as many registers (integer and floating point) than even Intel’s latest and greatest X64 processor. All of Apple’s iOS apps run 64-bit, and an increasing number of third party apps do as well. The A7 also supports “secure enclave” memory storage for fingerprint data. The Android copycat system is going to have great difficulty matching Apple’s achievements. The flexibility of Android also leads users to waste time perpetually customizing the interface and shorter battery life from supporting unnecessary features.

      Reply
      • Bk   December 9, 2013 at 6:53 am

        WELL SAID

        Reply
  12. Matt   December 8, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    I like both

    Reply
  13. Rick (@ActuallyRLM)   December 8, 2013 at 11:46 am

    . . . and in your paragraph about messages, you seem to elude that iOS 7 doesn’t have a non-intrusive messaging system; the BANNER notifications for email and text from iOS 6 and now 7 does that just fine thank you; As a matter of fact, I think Apple had that feature first.

    Reply
    • Sven   December 9, 2013 at 5:26 am

      You’re wrong. Android launched with banner notifications. It was years before they showed up in iOS.

      Reply
  14. Mark Clarke   December 8, 2013 at 9:59 am

    No third option?

    Reply
  15. Tansel   December 8, 2013 at 8:33 am

    no mention of 64 bit architecture , no mention of fingerprint sensors .
    are you a joker or an advertising agent .

    Reply
    • Richard Torcato (@rtorcato)   December 9, 2013 at 4:32 am

      Android needs to be rewritten for 64 bit. The fandroids think 64bit is over kill for phones and laptops. Meanwhile Apple’s OS keeps pulling forward at providing lag free desktop quality software on any device.

      The reality is most people can’t name one feature in kitkat that is worth upgrading to and only 1% of android devices will ever qualify for a new android update. Let’s face it android is for poor people that don’t know any better.

      Reply
      • Richard Douche.   December 9, 2013 at 4:52 am

        And with that kind of statement,have you proven yourself as a douchbag.

        Reply
        • Richard Torcato (@rtorcato)   December 9, 2013 at 5:19 am

          and with that statement you have proven you can’t argue with my statement.

          Reply
          • Mzster Mann   December 9, 2013 at 9:44 am

            This is the dumbest comment I read in a long time. Apple’s OS is not pulling forward. Actually Apple’s OS lost market share last quarter. They went from 14% to 12% but you wouldn’t know that. I would paste proof but your are probably too stupid to read it.

            About your poor statement, I guess you really are a dummy. Who can’t buy an iPhone if you can afford an Android? Both have similar prices once you sign a new contract. You are the epitome of stupid. And the guy before me was right. You are a douchebag.

          • BC2009   December 9, 2013 at 10:15 am

            Considering that 80% of Android devices are in the 3.5-inch to 4.3-inch size range (according to Google), it is a safe bet that the majority of Android’s market share is not coming from “flagship” Android phones like GS4 or HTC One being sold in developed countries, but rather from bargain-basement pieces of junk purchased by people who would have otherwise bought a feature phone in countries where the average annual income is $2000.

            Market share as a metric for who is “winning” the smartphone race only matters if including the dumbest of the smartphones running 2-year-old versions of Android mattered. It does not matter.

            Apple and analysts and most consumers shouldn’t care about that low-end market one bit. It’s like saying that somebody should purchase an off-brand television over a Samsung, Sharp, LG or Sony TV because that off-brand sold the majority of TV’s in third-world nations. Nobody cares what kind of device is being purchased by the people who don’t care about what they are buying.

            When you compare flagship devices, Apple is dominating in sales and usage. Samsung thought they would sell 100M GS4 units this last year and instead Samsung had to tell investors they sold a total of 100M “Galaxy devices” (smartphones, tablets, and watches?) combined. Apple sold 150M iPhones last year. If you want throw iPad and iPod in that mix it is close to 200M. HTC is still losing money because of anemic sales and so is Motorola.

            The people who buy flagship devices use their devices. Usage stats reflect the Apple advantage as well. No doubt people buying flagship Android are using them, but the 5-inch screen size and up only makes up a sliver of Android’s base (10% to 15%). You can look up the numbers on Google’s Developer portal.

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