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My Experience with Kit Kat (Android 4.4)

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by nickdalzell, Nov 23, 2013.

  1. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Android Expert
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    Only had a few hours to test drive it, i have it on my rooted Samsung Galaxy S3, and i must say i am loving this. i've never kept the stock launcher before, but the Google Experience launcher fits. it works well, and there are many things they've done to improve the once half-put-together feel of Android (remember, i came from the iPhone):

    1. Notification Bar

    I remember the first time i had used Ice Cream Sandwich and up. i HATED the 'digital/electric blue' status indicators. for some reason, bright, digital/electric blue (most electronics use this color for their power LEDs or digital clock displays) hurts my eyes. then, i preferred the greens of Gingerbread and often downgraded an ICS device back as a result. So the change to neutral white is a welcome and more pleasing-to-my-eyes result. the transparent look is also nice, and doesn't break up the screen or appear to take up space in apps. it fits almost as an overlay on top of an app without shrinking the size down.

    Grouping of the notification icons is also nice, instead of redundant and multiple Play Store icons for each individually installed app update taking up all that space and making my OCD go nuts, they now appear to group most notifications with more than one alert under one icon, expandable in the notification shade. this helps clean it up a bit, although i'd prefer it if they'd just remove the icons and introduce app badges and make the notifications only show when you pull down the shade. it still doesn't take long before the otherwise clean notification bar is filled with icons. all that should be there are things like signal status, wifi, etc.

    2. Google Now is automatic

    I hated having to launch Google Now manually and then saying 'OK Google' to voice control my device. it took an extra step that made no sense. so now i'm extremely happy they made it automatic. no matter what, saying 'OK Google' enables it. you don't have to be in Now or in the search app. as a fan of Star Trek and its voice-controlled computer systems, i'm very happy they made it automatic. Google Now also is on a left-swipe from the center, making it a bit better than holding down Home (especially if you got Home programmed to do something else in a rooted device)

    3. ART!!!

    No, not paintings. the new VM. Dalvik always seemed to be an achillies heel to the Android platform, even causing a bit of lag in Jelly Bean, and making it feel half-put-together if you are used to the smoothness of the iPhone. flagships minimize it a lot, but it's still there. and yes, you can still run out of RAM if you got as many apps installed as i do, and it's not very cool to have your phone randomly reboot itself if you got a lot of things going on (random reboots are kernel panics, often caused by OOM or Out of Memory problems--they're designed to fix the problem without the phone freezing and requiring a battery pull--yes, i'm looking at you, BlackBerry). ART is Android's way of bringing the iOS smoothness to Android. it even goes one level farther and makes apps almost instantaneously start up. no more black screen and 'Facebook is not responding, do you want to close it?' popping up if it takes too long. took them four years but thank GOODNESS!!!

    I'll probably see more, but right now i'm happy, as the only newer ROM i had before was a beta of Carbon, running in Android 4.2, and it was extremely buggy and half the things didn't work well. i was considering going back to iPhone but glad this came out.
     

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  2. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)
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    Well i havent used the launcher (doubt i will) but ART is the big thing for me. it feels like youre overclocked but without the battery drain. Love it :)
     
  3. jackroo

    jackroo Android Enthusiast
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    I liked kitkat as well :) I'm back on CM 4.3.1 but I might go back to kitkat. All the things you mentioned are things I enjoyed --especially "OK Google" and white coloring on the notifications :thumbup:
     
  4. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Android Expert
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    it feels like i'm back to the smoothness and stability of an iPhone but without sacrificing the benefits of Android for an iPhone. If there is something i'd change it's the activation phrase. i'd rather say 'Computer! open Music!' over 'Ok Google [pause] Open music'
     
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  5. ThatOneRearEnd

    ThatOneRearEnd Well-Known Member
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    It doesn't have 4.3 yet either. -.-
     
  6. jackroo

    jackroo Android Enthusiast
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    I came from an iPhone 4S and I completely agree on that
     
  7. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)
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    And to make things better, the latest Xposed Framework works with 4.4 :thumbup:
    But NOT if we're using ART :thumbdown:

    Lol its such a hard decision... custmisation or speed and smootness.... im choosing ART... Xposed and the hybrid roms will catch up soon :)
     
  8. davoid

    davoid Android Expert
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    Problem with ART is that titanium backup won't work.

    The ROM (Temasek unofficial CM11) is very fast anyway thankfully.
     
  9. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)
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    Totally man. Aparently Rom Manager Pro will do backup and restore with ART though!
    I bought it ages ago just for changing font and boot animation (which, ironically DONT work with either 4.4 or ART (i dont know which) :-D
     
  10. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)
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    Gona try Temasek's soon. Did he build the kernel? his kernels seem to fly on i9300 :)
     
  11. Mikestony

    Mikestony ~30% Carbon Black ±
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    Next to you
    Moved to the Android Lounge ;)
     
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  12. Thom

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    I'm using 4.2.2 on a Droid Maxx. As I reported in that arena I didn't like the phrase either and trained it with "OK Droid Now". I then simply say "OK Droid" to activate it ... like "OK Droid weather".

    Bottom line ... play with different phrases and rember the Now trick I discovered.

    ... Thom
     
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  13. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Android Expert
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    How do you change the activation command? wasn't sure that was possible? it won't even respond unless you say 'OK Google' or tap the icon.
     
  14. bjacks12

    bjacks12 Android Expert
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    I'm sure on a rooted device, OK Google might could be replaced.

    Stock, however, it recognizes OK Jarvis....so that's what I use.
     
  15. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Android Expert
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    I just want to say 'Computer' to enable it. then i can do like Trek and say 'Computer! Weather report!' or 'Computer! Open Play Store'
     
  16. Thom

    Thom  
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    With 4.2.2 Maxx you have to go to Settings |Touchless Control and hit Train launch phrasese. It tells you to us OK Google Now three times. I used OK Droid Now three times.

    I don't have 4.4 so I don't know your process.


    ... Thom
     
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  17. bjacks12

    bjacks12 Android Expert
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    Touchless control is a Motorola exclusive. This always listening feature is a Google Now thing. I don't believe you can change it. Perhaps a ROM developer can do it
     
  18. Thom

    Thom  
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    Easy to tell ... do you have ... Settings |Touchless Control and Train launch phrase?

    ... Thom
     
  19. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Android Expert
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    Nope.I got settings, language and input but that's it and no option to change the command, as stated didn't think it was possible even with rooted phones running a custom ROM.
     
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  20. Thom

    Thom  
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    Thanks for checking ... odd that Motorola (a Google company) would have it and KK doesn't. It will be interesting to see the solution in KK on the Maxx.

    ... Thom
     
  21. bjacks12

    bjacks12 Android Expert
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    It's because of hardware limitations. The Moto X and it's brothers have extra cores dedicated to touchless controls in order to save battery
     
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  22. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Android Expert
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    Them calling themselves a 'Google' Company is a gimmick. like Samsung's S-Voice and that eye tracker thing on the S4, i am sure Motorola has certain exclusives as part of their modified take on Android (bloatware like Sense, TouchWiz and Motoblur). if they truly were a 'Google Company' they'd keep it stock like the Nexus and Google Experience phones.
     
  23. bjacks12

    bjacks12 Android Expert
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    They are closer to stock than anybody else(except Google, obviously).

    Motoblur was tossed out a year or two ago. They take stock android and add a few USEFUL features like touchless controls or active notifications without raping the UI.

    I think Google is just fine with that IMO. That's product differentiation accomplished via common sense.
     
  24. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)
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    The moto x special features arent part of aosp, nor is photosphere etc. Its googles prerogative to keep things open or not same as its samsungs.

    I just respect the 3rd party devs a LOT same as you should Nick for giving us Kitkat so fast and the devs in the coming weeks that will add great open source features that google will never provide.
    Ive said it plenty times but im an android fan, not a google android fan :beer:
     
  25. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Android Expert
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    touchless controls are part of KitKat's Google Home that is/was a Nexus 5 exclusive. (it's on my Galaxy S3 on a ROM, which i wasn't aware was possible). I still would love a way to change the activation phrase. 'OK Google' isn't working for me. i keep getting blank stares from folks. i do hope they will one day give us full voice control that works inside of apps so i can scroll down, go back a page or enter an URL into Chrome without the fingerprint-smudging touching all the time. Or at least a voice-unlock. that one swipe mark on my screen from unlocking the phone makes me cringe. if i keep wiping the screen off each time i return my phone to my pocket folks will think i got OCD
     

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