Google has two exciting news stories entangled today, first is the news Android has surpassed one billion activations, pushing the open source mobile OS further and further ahead in the users race. The second is the next update for Android will be 4.4 KitKat.
At the recent Google I/O, Sundar Pichai said Android had reached 900 million activations, this news was mimicked at the Google Nexus 7 and Android 4.3 launch event, where they again said 900 million activations in 2013.
It seems Google just needed that extra-jolt to 1 billion activations and they have it today. With the pace of Android at the moment and the momentum behind adding new devices and partners, we may see two billion before the end of 2014.
KitKat is set to not be a UI change or a new custom feature-set from Google, but a way to stop Android version fragmentation on the system. KitKat is set to run on almost any Android device, from the 1GHz single-core smartphone to the 2.3GHz quad-core superphone.
This could be a great move for Google, especially when the company is starting to see more Chinese cheap smartphones and higher-end devices pushing the limits of smartphone capabilities. If Google could make sure the user experience is in some way similar on all devices, despite the skinning process, it may stop users having to learn the UI every time they renew.
Google has not set any dates for KitKat, instead they have put a huge droid KitKat tower at their home base in Mountain View, alongside the previous versions of Android. It is surprising to see KitKat 4.4 instead of Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie. It makes us wonder if this will be an interim update before the huge Key Lime Pie upgrade.