Android 4.4 download and Nexus 5 release: Official info roundup

Android 4.4 and Nexus 5:

Want one of those?

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) officially unveils the Nexus 5 smartphone and the new version of Android: 4.4 a/k/a KitKat. The new phone is available today -- kinda -- and the new OS should be rolling out to older phones real soon now -- except where it's not.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers delve into the details.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

JR Raphael unwraps the chocolate:

After months of waiting...Android 4.4, a.k.a. KitKat is finally here. Google announced [it] along with the...Nexus 5 phone.

...

KitKat [has] a new voice command -- "Okay, Google" -- that quickly takes you to Android Voice Search. But the command doesn't wake the phone...it works only when the phone is awake and you're on your home screen. ... A brand new Dialer app with integrated search functionality...caller ID info as available when you receive calls from numbers that aren't in your contacts [and] an auto-populating favorites section.

...

A new SMS/MMS/video chat experience...with a revamped Hangouts app. ... System-wide wireless printing. ... Better cloud storage integration. ... A new full-screen "immersive mode." ... lock screen shows full-screen album art...and provides expanded functions for controlling playback.

...

KitKat is designed to be able to run well on any Android phone -- even...with as little as 512MB of RAM. ... For folks with lower-level phones...that's huge. [This] should lead to even better performance on higher-end devices, too. ... Support for new Bluetooth profiles -- HOGP, MAP, AVRCP. ... A host of added security features geared primarily toward enterprise-level users.  MORE

And Iain Thomson "beholds the mobe":

As for the Nexus 5...only Verizon isn't carrying the handset, and it is also available unlocked in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan and South Korea. [It] comes with a five-inch 1920-by-1080-pixel display...and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor running at 2.3GHz with 2GB of RAM.

LTE and dual-[antenna] Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac)...two cameras – a bog-standard 1.3Mp front facer...and an 8Mp rear. ... [It's] the slimmest [Nexus phone] yet at 69.17 x 137.84 x 8.59mm and weighs in at 130g. Google claims the 2,300mAh battery is good for 17 hours talk time...and 8.5 hours of use with Wi-Fi. ... [It] will cost $349 for the 16GB version and $399 for 32GB...available in black and white only.  MORE

Predictably, Google's Sundar Pichai is "excited":

The first thing you’ll notice about KitKat is we’ve made the experience much more engaging. ... Behind the polish on the screen is the power under the hood. ... With the new Nexus 5 launcher, Google smarts are deeply integrated.

...

Nexus 5 [is] the slimmest and fastest Nexus phone ever. [It's] simple and refined to showcase the 5" Full HD display. ... available today, unlocked and without a contract...just in the time for the holidays.  MORE

Uh, well, kinda. Jordan Kahn can't buy it:

Minutes after launching on Google Play, Google’s new flagship Nexus 5 smartphone is now officially sold out.

...

The black 16GB model is now listed as sold out on Google Play, while the white [and 32GB models have] slipped to Nov. 8.  MORE

Darrell Etherington and Greg Kumparak notes Google's defrag aim:

Google said that Android is growing at three times the speed of developed markets in developing countries; but the phones [there] are mostly running Gingerbread. [It] buil[t] KitKat in such a way that it can bring even those older and lower-specced devices up-to-date.

...

Google wants to get everyone on the same platform...to end the fragmentation problem. [It's] a hugely ambitious goal [but] it seems like it’s finally figured out how to go about doing that [and] not just on phones, which has interesting connotations [for] Google wearables.  MORE

But wait! Brad Molen says that aim is already shaky:

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is not on the list of devices to receive Android 4.4. ... Odd, given the new update's focus on "the next billion."

...

There's still no official word on why this is the case, but sources...pointed the finger at...the Galaxy Nexus...Texas Instruments-built chipset. The company is out of the mobile business.

...

[Is this] the end of the road for the Gnex and its other OMAP-based kin like last year's Kindle Fire HD, Nook HD and Droid Bionic?  MORE

Meanwhile, Benedict Evans is "looking for difficult things to do":

Nexus remains something of a vanity project. It would be much more relevant if it sold for $500 and pushed for real distribution at retail.  MORE

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