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Android 4.4 KitKat is Official, Can Run on 512 MB of RAM

By - Source: Google | B 19 comments

Android 4.4 KitKat is finally here and will roll out to numerous devices over the coming weeks.

Google today celebrated Halloween with two "treats" for Android fans. One was the Nexus 5, which has been driving rumor mills over the last few weeks. The other was Android 4.4 KitKat.

Originally named Key Lime Pie, Android 4.4 KitKat brings a host of updates to Android users. This includes a new Phone app, which Google says will make searching for contacts, nearby places and more even easier. There’s also a new version of Hangouts, which puts SMS, MMS, videos calls, and other conversations all in one place.

Google also worked on making Android smarter, so now you can get to Google Now with one swipe on the home screen and say, “Ok, Google’ to initiate any number of actions (such as voice search, sending texts, getting directions or playing music).

Google has also worked on making Android 4.4 KitKat accessible to those with older devices or devices with memory constraints. This was done by reducing the OS’s memory footprint by getting rid of unnecessary background services and reducing memory consumption of certain features. The end result is that Android can now run comfortably on a phone with 512 MB of RAM.

The Nexus 5 will ship with KitKat, and Google plans to ship the newest version to Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, Galaxy S4 and HTC One users in the coming weeks. Though Nexus 5 orders aren’t shipping for another week, it’s likely those buying the phone will be the first to get the Nexus 5.

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  • 0 Hide
    logox , October 31, 2013 1:03 PM
    Looks like it is time to upgrade my old HTC Vivid. Sure hope prices will drop on the S4 or HTC One soon.
  • 1 Hide
    thundervore , October 31, 2013 1:26 PM
    Hopefull this will come to my HTC One VX. We just got Jelly Bean about a month ago and I know ATT loves to just give users 1 OS update then abandon the device shortly after just like they did with the Aria.

    Hurray for XDA!
  • 7 Hide
    targetdrone , October 31, 2013 1:36 PM
    With all these sweets does Android have an insulin pump app?
  • Display all 19 comments.
  • 1 Hide
    fazzeren , October 31, 2013 2:32 PM
    At the end of the article, you mean "Though Nexus 5 orders aren’t shipping for another week, it’s likely those buying the phone will be the first to get the new OS."

    Cheers
  • 0 Hide
    ern88 , October 31, 2013 2:39 PM
    Wonder if my old HTC one V will rx this awesome update....PROB NOT!!!
  • 0 Hide
    xbom392 , October 31, 2013 3:09 PM
    Galaxy Nexus & Android 4.4 (KitKat) FAQs here:
    https://support.google.com/nexus/answer/3468085
  • 3 Hide
    house70 , October 31, 2013 5:51 PM
    MY SGS 4 GP Edition will have it within a week, probably at the same time as Nexus 4.

    otacon just proved once again his complete ignorance about the subject. ISP? WTF are you talking about, child? Do you know what ISP means?
  • 0 Hide
    Ayaseharuka , November 1, 2013 12:58 AM
    Can Run on 512 MB of RAM?In other words.the gakaxy s can run this operate system?
  • 0 Hide
    memadmax , November 1, 2013 1:04 AM
    My phone maker refuses to update...
  • -4 Hide
    somebodyspecial , November 1, 2013 1:46 AM
    I would rather see an OS that says requires 4GB than 512mb...LOL. Great they turn stuff off that isn't needed but I want manufacturers forced to more ram not less. How much is 1GB vs. 4GB? A crucial 4GB module is $31 on newegg, and I'm sure companies selling 10-40mil phones per model get it far cheaper, laptop memory isn't much more so no matter what they're using here I'd rather see Google start forcing 4GB or something or you can't run their OS (not asking for a pig os just for google to force us to 4GB or be alienated from the ecosystem). How will we ever get better apps if they continue to ship 1 or 2GB models still? Considering people buy 1Billion phones per year now, in little more than 2yrs we could get everyone on 4GB which would change developer directions quickly. Google can easily force this or kick you out of the app system which almost kills most companies (not many can pull an amazon and create all their own apps, store etc). All google did was make room for even lower end models. WHAT FOR? With 20nm 64bit cpus coming shortly shouldn't we be shooting for more ram NOW? Samsung has 3GB modules now, at least make that the min. MORE MORE MORE...LOL.
  • 0 Hide
    jasonpwns , November 1, 2013 6:09 AM
    It's called demand. Smartphones can cause memory shortages which in turn actually increases price of memory modules.
  • 0 Hide
    wysir , November 1, 2013 6:50 AM
    Quote:
    I would rather see an OS that says requires 4GB than 512mb...LOL. Great they turn stuff off that isn't needed but I want manufacturers forced to more ram not less. How much is 1GB vs. 4GB? A crucial 4GB module is $31 on newegg, and I'm sure companies selling 10-40mil phones per model get it far cheaper, laptop memory isn't much more so no matter what they're using here I'd rather see Google start forcing 4GB or something or you can't run their OS (not asking for a pig os just for google to force us to 4GB or be alienated from the ecosystem). How will we ever get better apps if they continue to ship 1 or 2GB models still? Considering people buy 1Billion phones per year now, in little more than 2yrs we could get everyone on 4GB which would change developer directions quickly. Google can easily force this or kick you out of the app system which almost kills most companies (not many can pull an amazon and create all their own apps, store etc). All google did was make room for even lower end models. WHAT FOR? With 20nm 64bit cpus coming shortly shouldn't we be shooting for more ram NOW? Samsung has 3GB modules now, at least make that the min. MORE MORE MORE...LOL.


    No. A lightweight OS is better than a heavyweight. It gives users the opportunity to run more powerful apps with the extra unused ram.
  • 0 Hide
    ioconnor , November 1, 2013 7:36 AM
    First most carriers do not want to upgrade the OS because it spurs new hardware sales.

    Second Google says their Samsung Google Nexus 3 which is for most people about 18 months old will not ever be running KitKat. Though it meets the hardware requirements. Apparently Google is trying to spur their own buyers to make more purchases.

    Third. Ordered the Nexus 5 last night. Won't be shipped for 3 to 4 weeks according to the email.
  • 0 Hide
    andre2b , November 1, 2013 11:39 AM
    huhu, "result is that Android can now run comfortably on a PHONE with 512 MB of RAM." Remember when your PC had 512Mb of RAM, and that was sort of big enough.
  • 0 Hide
    somebodyspecial , November 2, 2013 5:48 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    I would rather see an OS that says requires 4GB than 512mb...LOL. Great they turn stuff off that isn't needed but I want manufacturers forced to more ram not less. How much is 1GB vs. 4GB? A crucial 4GB module is $31 on newegg, and I'm sure companies selling 10-40mil phones per model get it far cheaper, laptop memory isn't much more so no matter what they're using here I'd rather see Google start forcing 4GB or something or you can't run their OS (not asking for a pig os just for google to force us to 4GB or be alienated from the ecosystem). How will we ever get better apps if they continue to ship 1 or 2GB models still? Considering people buy 1Billion phones per year now, in little more than 2yrs we could get everyone on 4GB which would change developer directions quickly. Google can easily force this or kick you out of the app system which almost kills most companies (not many can pull an amazon and create all their own apps, store etc). All google did was make room for even lower end models. WHAT FOR? With 20nm 64bit cpus coming shortly shouldn't we be shooting for more ram NOW? Samsung has 3GB modules now, at least make that the min. MORE MORE MORE...LOL.


    No. A lightweight OS is better than a heavyweight. It gives users the opportunity to run more powerful apps with the extra unused ram.


    You missed the point: "not asking for a pig os just for google to force us to 4GB or be alienated from the ecosystem"

    I'm ok with lightweight (I noted it's ok they turn stuff off etc), I just want OEM's kicked out for using low ram. Get it?
    "Google can easily force this or kick you out of the app system which almost kills most companies"

    That's not asking google to develop a pig. I just want a statement saying "INCLUDE 4GB in your next phone or you're kicked out of the ecosystem". I don't really care if it can be made to run on 10mb...FORCE HIGHER RAM via telling them include it or you can't run our OS, app store etc in the future. We can't get better apps if there are a ton of 1GB phones out there and even seemingly encouraged here. Having everyone on 4GB gives them room to run, instead of LIMITS.

    I want a higher common denominator, that is all. It's fine that it might run well on old crap, but going forward you should be forced to include more ram even if it runs on junk. Until they do this, I think we just took a big APP step backwards. We will now see 512MB models roll out and if they are major sellers anywhere we'll have to deal with a lot of apps being held back by it for ages as devs create crap for the lowest common denominator just like games aimed at 720p with consoles etc.
  • 0 Hide
    ssddx , November 2, 2013 6:03 AM
    you do realize that your request of "more than 512mb" alienates users of older phones right? if apps start demanding this much ram some of us are pretty well screwed. i'm still on an original droid incredible with 2.3 miui which runs like a champ. i could care less about an android update (2.3 miui works fine for me) but i'd like to be able to use any apps which come out and not be forced out of any options.

    dont get me wrong... i do agree that new phones should be built with better specs. i just disagree that it should be mandatory across the board just so that new users with fancy phones can reap the benefits.

    personally i'd love to see a phone which weighs a good 1/4 pound and has a 5 inch 1080p screen, larger internal memory 4gb of ram, decent camera, removable memory stick, quad core and has a battery 10x the size of what is currently in most phones. screw "new thiner design" or "now lighter weight" i want heavy, durable and a battery where i cant see it ticking down like a time bomb whenever the processor kicks in.

    consoles can support 1080p btw. i agree that games can be held back by consoles but honestly the whole reason why consoles are so popular is that they are much cheaper than gaming pcs. if there were no consoles we would have a bunch of really cheap gaming pcs which would hold back progress as well so really there isnt much point in complaining about it if you think it over. yes if people all used pc they could make it more graphic intensive for people with better computers however if only 10% of users could run it in that way and 50% ran on almost minimum specs it wouldnt be worth the money spent to upgrade the graphics.
  • 0 Hide
    somebodyspecial , November 2, 2013 7:49 AM
    Quote:
    you do realize that your request of "more than 512mb" alienates users of older phones right? if apps start demanding this much ram some of us are pretty well screwed. i'm still on an original droid incredible with 2.3 miui which runs like a champ. i could care less about an android update (2.3 miui works fine for me) but i'd like to be able to use any apps which come out and not be forced out of any options.

    dont get me wrong... i do agree that new phones should be built with better specs. i just disagree that it should be mandatory across the board just so that new users with fancy phones can reap the benefits.

    personally i'd love to see a phone which weighs a good 1/4 pound and has a 5 inch 1080p screen, larger internal memory 4gb of ram, decent camera, removable memory stick, quad core and has a battery 10x the size of what is currently in most phones. screw "new thiner design" or "now lighter weight" i want heavy, durable and a battery where i cant see it ticking down like a time bomb whenever the processor kicks in.

    consoles can support 1080p btw. i agree that games can be held back by consoles but honestly the whole reason why consoles are so popular is that they are much cheaper than gaming pcs. if there were no consoles we would have a bunch of really cheap gaming pcs which would hold back progress as well so really there isnt much point in complaining about it if you think it over. yes if people all used pc they could make it more graphic intensive for people with better computers however if only 10% of users could run it in that way and 50% ran on almost minimum specs it wouldnt be worth the money spent to upgrade the graphics.


    You do realize I said it would take two years to get most over to this size, so having said that how old is your phone now? How long do you expect to use it? Considering the blistering pace at which phones move (mobile in general) is it so bad to be asked to upgrade at 5-6yrs? Note they won't start programming for 4GB until it's the common denominator as I noted. It's like Gsync. It's announced now but for a long while we'll probably only see low lag, stutter free and tear free gaming. They won't bother programming for the extra perf on the fly that your gpu has for years (as they basically said on stage, noting that they would do this at SOME point down the road when it's everywhere, on mobile etc). I expect a 4GB mandate to START to alienate users in 2+years. Not tomorrow even if they decree all new phones to have it next gen, it's 3yrs from being everywhere.

    It was released on April 29, 2010 (your phone I mean), so 3.5yrs in already and even at 2 more years if they force all from now out, your phone will be 5.5-6yrs old right? How far after that before you start getting "screwed"? :)  I think you're safe for a while even with my suggestions. We are currently having the same problem with vid cards. Very few games show anything over 2GB memory used because so many having less than 3GB. At some point you have to say "our game won't work on your 2GB card" and I say that as a radeon 5850 owner who welcomes being run over by this decision when it comes...LOL.

    I don't see new users with fancy 4GB phones getting anything out of it for a few years at best, they'd really just be setting the stage for the next wave of power. Devs don't create for what may come and get burned, they dev for what they know is out now or confirmed shortly basically.

    Totally agree with BS thinner crap. I have need of bigger batteries, if not for more power than longer usages. Thinner means NOTHING to me. I prefer a mix of both more cpu/gpu power and longer use, but with so many oems you should get some of everything if they'd just reverse trends from thin. Also you can still upgrade the os (as kitkat runs on old junk), thus keeping you app compatible for must stuff and only being shafted by very specific apps (clearly you can do most of what a phone needs now in 1-2GB) and even then only after they have moved to 4GB massively. I'm not asking for apps to be made for 4GB mandatory, just that the ram be there if someone desires to make something work with it and of course lead to 4GB only apps at some point down the road.

    I was talking current consoles. But even the new gen upscale to 1080p as already shown by BF4 and COD Ghosts (one runs native on ps4). I might not be so critical of them if they'd shot for full on smoking 1080p no matter what you did ($50 more bucks in gpu/cpu? or waited for kaveri versions?). But I'd rather have your PC situation, at least everything would get developed ON a PC and with a PC totally in mind, instead of ported which for the most part is a crapshoot on quality right? Also I wouldn't have to see "console exclusives" like today. So I'll take your consoles are dead/pc only route as better all around anyway ;)  A die shrunk Kaveri should make the bottom run pretty dang good on even junker PC's (1080p easily doable in almost everything). Not the one about to be released, but the shrink surely coming before xmas 2014.

    Anyway, good points...I get ya...I didn't mean to pronounce doomsday for your phone...LOL...Not quite yet... :) 
  • 0 Hide
    BulkZerker , November 3, 2013 6:10 AM
    I'll have to see if this will work on my og moto droid. And not be a lazy apple product user. Expecting my service provider to port it for me like otacon.
  • 0 Hide
    urbanman2004 , November 5, 2013 9:10 PM
    From what I read from other sources, the default text messaging app will be merged as Hangouts even though it should have been left as isn(if it aint broke don't fix it)... Moving on, I can commend Google's effort to get users on the same level when it comes to the OS playing field but some of these outdated devices they're attempting "relapse" on were meant to phase out for a reason. I just got my Nexus 7 in July and my S4 in Sept and that was the first time I ever encountered Google Now. I really have no use for it and now Google is supposed to be trying to force it my screens with a search bar to boot which kind of irks me. They better make an option for it to be removable.