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

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