Oct 28, 2013 04:55 PM EDT
After months of anticipation surrounding a 5.0 release of Android OS codenamed “Key Lime Pie,” many fanboys and girls were taken aback when Google instead announced that 4.3 Jelly Bean would be followed by another incremental update codenamed “4.4 Kit Kat.”
A month later, relatively little is known about what the update might entail, but everything that’s been revealed so far has been aggregated below.
Most rumors point to a late October or early November release date for Android 4.4 Kit Kat. Nestle, which will be involved in a series of cross-marketing promotions with Google, indicated on its Facebook wall that the launch would take place in October. As far as exact dates, the most likely are October 28 or 31, based on posts by prominent Android bloggers.
This probably goes without saying, but Android 4.4 will be a free update.
We’ve heard relatively little about what Kit Kat will do for your smartphone and it’s starting to become clearer why that might be. New Bluetooth technology, an updated keyboard and a shift to the Linux 3.8 kernel doesn’t quite seem to warrant an update, but 4.4 Kit Kat might actually have more to do with Google’s television products rather than smartphones.
According to a report from Korean news site ETNews, the new version of Android will have an impact on the way connected TVs and Android devices work together. This could mean anything from an upgraded UI to full mirroring to your television set from an Android-based smartphone.
This strategy would make a lot of sense in light of Google’s somewhat unexpected success with the $35 Chromecast dongle. Rumors are even beginning to spread that Mountain View will rebrand its underperforming “Google TV” business as “Android TV.”
"Google TV is moving forward in a major way," Chrome and Android chief Sundar Pichai told CNET.
Beyond the potential Google TV updates, a series of screenshots leaked to 9to5Google show redesigned phone and messaging apps with lighter colors and grey icons.
In any case, we don’t have very long to wait until Google puts the rumors to rest and officially releases 4.4 Kit Kat into the wild.
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