One of the advantages to Android's open source nature is that we can poke around in the source code, looking for interesting stuff. This is how we've become aware of some things Google has planned for the stock camera experience. Code from the Android Open Source Project shows that a new camera API has been in development, but it was pulled last month because it wasn't ready for release with KitKat.
There are a plethora of little visual tweaks in Android 4.4, but few of them will be in your face as much as the new white status bar icons. The decision to move away from Holo blue was a bit surprising, but removing the color-based connectivity indicator? What gives? Well, a Google engineer has chimed in on Google+ to explain the rationale.
A new update to Google+ is currently rolling out, and when it hits your device, not only will it bring along the usual bug fixes and performance increases, it will contain a number of new features. The Photos app now supports Android Beam, so two Android owners can share images with one another over NFC. There is also the new option to set images within Photos as a Daydream that plays whenever a device is docked.
At some point in your childhood, one of your parents may have warned you against making faces - "knock it off," they said, "or your face will freeze like that." That sound advice might not actually be true, but it seems to have a pertinent application for the latest versions of the Hangouts app on Android. Reddit user Recon2012 found an app-killing bug within Hangouts relating to the new emoji functionality in the Android keyboard.
Sprint's network has been undergoing a major reconstruction in the last year or so, but there are still some problems to be ironed out. Suspiciously, it has been Sprint's policy this whole time to pretend that the super-slow 1xRTT network doesn't exist. Instead, its devices just display 3G like everything is okay. The new Nexus 5 is apparently playing ball with Sprint too – if you're in a 1x zone, the phone will still read 3G.
Remember the kinder, gentler YouTube comments powered by Google+? Well, they're finally rolling out across the internet, and the Android app is no exception. Like it or not, Google+ is all up in your YouTube.
It was understandable when early pre-release specs listed the Nexus 5 as having a fictional 802.11nc (as opposed to 802.11ac) Wi-Fi, which many definitely noticed at the time. After all, the Nexus 5 wasn't official yet, and something like that could have been a typo made by a PR person or an intern.
It's been a long time coming, but Google's distributed video advice service is finally live. Helpouts is a video chat service with a Google backbone, built on the interface and servers of Hangouts. But this is no mere chat service: it's designed specifically for users to connect with and learn from experts in their respective field. You can access the videos from the web or, naturally, the Android app.
Since you'll be connecting with individuals and companies that are ostensibly experts, you'll have to pay them for their time, either on a minute-by-minute basis or in a session fee.
As if you needed another reason to lust after the Nexus 5 and/or Android 4.4, Google just announced a huge new feature for the default Phone app in KitKat. The new version of the dialer/contacts app will match incoming numbers against Google's various databases to provide an automatic caller ID for businesses using Google Places, as we've already seen. But starting next year, this feature will be applied to people as well.