Android_KitKat4.4The roll out of the new Android KitKat 4.4 operating system is just around the corner with some of Google’s Nexus devices, including the new Nexus 5, already running on it. Google have rather cleverly designed KitKat so it can also run on older mobile phones as it only requires a minimum RAM of 512MB. So what can we expect from the latest Android OS? We take a look at 5 features which we think you’ll like.

1. Redesign

One of the first things you’ll notice is the changes to the look of your screen once you’re running KitKat 4.4. The design of the Android interface has been upgraded with new button bars, semi-transparent backgrounds and easier access to Google Now which can be quickly swiped up enabling you to search for information more easily. When you’re playing your music on your device and your handset is on lock screen, KitKat will also display some rather lovely album art work on full screen.

2. Immersive Mode

If you’re using your handset to read a book or watch a film, it can be irritating if you’re screen is cluttered up with icons or status bars. KitKat now has an Immersive Mode which basically means that you can pull up an app and use it on the full screen without any on-screen buttons getting in the way. If you want the status bar or navigation buttons back on your screen, you have the option to swipe your handset to bring them back again.

3. ‘OK Google’

Google’s search functionality has also been enhanced so all you need to do is say the words ‘OK Google’ from the home screen or from within Google Now to get the voice activated Google search up and running. As well as looking up any information you may require, you can also get directions, check on the traffic near you, make a phone call, send a text message or play one of your tracks.

4. Fast Multitasking

KitKat has been designed to maximise efficiency and battery power. It optimises your smart phone’s memory and works with your device’s touchscreen which means its significantly faster than Android Jellybean and will run several apps simultaneously without any lags or delays in responding. You can now surf the web and listen to your music at the same time and use your handset for gaming where lightening reactions are essential.

5. Manage your Calls and Messages

The phone app has also had a makeover with your contacts now displayed according to the most frequently used numbers. Caller ID is now a smart version so if anyone is calling who isn’t in your contacts list, your handset will automatically try and match the number against businesses listed on Google Maps so wherever possible you know who is calling. There’s also a new Hangouts App which displays all of your messages which includes SMS, MMS and video calls in the same place which makes it easier to keep in touch and to spot any new messages from your contacts.