Google’s next iteration of its Android OS, KitKat, has been designed specifically to accommodate budget smartphones, in a move that could see the tech giant another bite out of its closet rival.
KitKat, or Android 4.4, will be more efficient and removes the memory constraints that have restricted lower-end phones from benefiting from newer Android releases, Google said in a blog post about the firmware.
Google has reduced Android’s memory footprint by removing unnecessary background services and reducing the memory consumption of features that users frequently use.
“We did this not only within Android but across Google services like Chrome and YouTube. RAM (or memory) is one of the most expensive parts of a phone, and now Android can run comfortably on the 512MB of RAM devices that are popular in much of the world, bringing the latest goodies in Android 4.4 within reach for the next billion smartphone users,” said Google.
Google’s aim to target budget phones with its new OS should be of particular concern to Apple, whose iPhone 5C, which had long been expected to be the handset maker’s first ‘true’ budget iPhone, has so far failed to spark sales among consumers with tighter budgets.
Along with the new Android OS, Google announced that it will be releasing the Nexus 5, a new Nexus phone developed with LG, in the coming weeks.
Google said it is “the slimmest and fastest Nexus phone ever made”, and features a five-inch HD display, 4G/LTE internet connection and a new lens for capturing sharper photos. The handset is currently available unlocked on the Google Play store in two models: 16GB for £300 ($349) and 32GB for £340 ($399).
Android 4.4 will be available on the Nexus 5, and will be coming soon to the Nexus 4, 7, 10, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Play edition devices.