Google posted the video of its new KitKat statue being planted on the lawn earlier today, but that's nothing unusual. What was incredibly unusual was the device one of the assembled Googlers was using to snap pictures of the event.
Traditionally, Google has stuck with generic names for Android versions: Cupcake, Donut, Éclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, and Jelly Bean. Thus, when the big unveiling of 4.4, codenamed KitKat, happened out of nowhere this morning, the web was abuzz with questions. How can they do this? Is this a joke? I thought the name KitKat was "trademarked!" Well, there's a very simple answer to all these questions: it's a mutual partnership.
If you missed out on the ruckus Google caused this morning, here's a quick briefing: the upcoming version will not be 5.0, nor will it be called Key Lime Pie. Instead, it's 4.4 KitKat. No joke – this is legit. Sundar Pichai even put a picture of the new statue up on Twitter and G+. This is happening.
The question is, though, what new features can we expect? KitKat itself has taken to YouTube with just that information.
As soon as Android head Sundar Pichai tweeted the image of a KitKat-themed Android statue on the lawn at Google, it was on. The official KitKat twitter account got in on the fun, and the Android KitKat website went live with a confirmation that it was indeed going to be Android KitKat. What's more, this is not Android 5.0. This is 4.4.
The Android KitKat site has a neat little retrospective of the entire Android version history and a bit of info about a contest.
Today Android has officially passed one billion activated devices, according to Google's Vice President of Android, Chrome, and Google Apps, Sundar Pichai. To help celebrate this momentous occasion, there's a new Bugdroid-themed statue hanging out at the entrance to Google's Mountain View campus.
We now have over 1 Billion Android activations and hope this guy in front of the building keeps that momentum going pic.twitter.com/V0VovgmObl
— sundarpichai (@sundarpichai) September 3, 2013
Yup, that's a KitKat Android.
So you're a fan of custom ROMs, but you're not quite ready to live on the bleeding edge (or alternately, your device doesn't have a reliable Android 4.3 build yet). Fear not, cautious Android power user: the CyanogenMod team has a build for you! CyanogenMod 10.1.3 will be the last version of CM based on Android 4.2, and release candidates are now being posted for supported phones and tablets.
10.1.3 is more precisely based on Android 4.2.2, with all the bells and whistles that Google and CyanogenMod could shove into last year's release.
Updates are rolling out to Nexus devices as we speak, but the public changelogs seem to only call for improvements to "Security." However, the latest round of commits just went up on the Android Open Source Project, bringing everything up to date with both JWR66Y (4.3_r1.1), which is going out to most Nexus devices, and JSS15Q (4.3_r2.2), which is destined for the 2013 Nexus 7. Thanks to Google's gracious sharing of the source code, we can comb through each and every little detail of what's new.
I really try to understand that innovation is a process of refining. Of failure and success. You have your good ideas, and your have your not-so-good ones. But the smartwatch market seems to not be learning... anything from the not so good ones. Meet the Omate TrueSmart, the latest darling of Kickstarter's seemingly insatiable smartwatch fetish.
At nearly $50,000 of its $100,000 goal at the time of this writing, mere hours after going live, this is going to get funded.
If you sprang for an HTC One Developer Edition back when the phone was launched and have been patiently waiting for your Jelly Bean 4.2.2 update, you might as well stop waiting. But that's a good thing! According to a Twitter post from HTC's Global Sales President and Head of America Jason Mackenzie, the Developer Edition will skip right over the incremental 4.2.2 update and go straight to 4.3.
@jmwein we definitely care and want you to have great experience.
If there is one thing we all eventually rely on with mobile devices, it's having a sturdy Wi-Fi connection. Whether it's because of a low data cap, you live or work somewhere with a weak cell signal, or like me, the local cellular technology is stuck in the stone age, you probably have a few wireless networks saved on your phone or tablet. While you probably take it for granted that your devices will automatically connect to these networks when they are in range, some people are finding that feature hasn't been working as expected since upgrading to Android 4.3.