Google reveals KitKat OS update with Nexus 5 smartphone

04/11/2013

Google has revealed the latest version of its Android operating system, named after the Nestle chocolate brand KitKat, as part of the launch of its Nexus 5 smartphone.

Watch the promo video here:

The handset is billed as "the slimmest and fastest" Nexus ever, and features a 5-inch full HD display.

Other key specs of the phone include a Snapdragon 800 2.3GHz processor, wireless charging, two gigabytes of RAM and an eight megapixel camera with image stabilisation.

The 4G LTE device, made by partner LG, comes with 16 gigabytes or 32 gigabytes of memory.

The Nexus 5 phone is available sim-free on the Google Play store, starting at £299. The handset is due to go on sale on 1 November in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan and Korea.

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KitKat- An end to Android fragementation?

Google also revealed KitKat, the latest version of its Android operating system, which follows on from the Jelly Bean version of the OS.

KitKat has a number of new features and refinements, including "Ok Google" - a voice command feature that lets users search, text, get directions and play songs without touching the screen - and 'Immersive mode' - where games and movies take up the whole screen, hiding other icons and navigation buttons.

Google also says KitKat, which was first revealed last month, is less memory hungry and can run on devices with only 512 megabytes of RAM.

The move is an attempt to make its latest features work comfortably on the millions of lower-end smartphones that are popular in emerging markets.

Android KitKat comes pre-loaded on the Nexus 5, but will be rolled out to other phones, such as Samsung's Galaxy S4 and the HTC One, in the coming weeks.

'81% global smartphone market share'

Google chief executive Larry Page claimed last month that 1.5 million Android devices were being activated every day.

The platform claimed 81.3% global market share in the third quarter of this year, according to research firm, shipping 204.4 million handsets compared with 33.8 million iPhones.
However, Apple's expanded phone range, including the recently-released iPhone 5S and the cheaper 5C, is expected to help it win back market share.

In terms of handsets, Strategy Analytics indicated 3.8% of all smartphones sold were LG handsets putting the South Korean firm in third place during the July to September quarter.
By contrast, Apple accounted for 18.8% of all sales and Samsung 29.7%.

Read the official KitKat blog announcement here

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