Android 4.4 KitKat may be unveiled Thursday evening, but that isn’t stopping the rumor mill from churning out many reports about Android 4.4 before the operating system is official.
Reports out of South Korea indicate that Android 4.4 KitKat will be greatly compatible with television sets. According to ETNews, Google plans not only to implement Android 4.4 into the user interface on TVs, but also plans to rebrand its already released "Google TV" platform as "Android TV."
The Google TV operating system was introduced in 2011, and Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt insisted most TVs would ship with Google TV by the summer of 2012. Several television manufacturers including LG Electronics and Sony, have released televisions with the Android OS-based Google TV, but Google now appears to be in a period of transition and wants to differentiate its television operating system as a globally dominant platform. Tech website GigaOm previously reported about the name change to "Android TV," which has not yet been officially announced by Google.
Pundits and fans alike were surprised at the announcement of Android 4.4 KitKat as the next Android operating system as they were expecting a completely overhauled OS with a tell-tale change in the version number series. The continuation of the 4 version number series indicates that Android 4.4 may be a minor update by way of smartphones and tablets. It is believed that the primary focus of Android 4.4 will be usability with smart TVs.
Many note the motto currently displayed on the Android KitKat splash page; “It’s our goal with Android KitKat to make an amazing Android experience available for everybody.” It was initially believed that Google planned to decrease fragmentation between the Android operating systems and make Android 4.4 available to a larger range of smartphones and tablets. Now many believe Android 4.4 may somehow be the liaison between mobile devices and televisions. Android 4.4 has reportedly streamlined the large-screen Android UI/UX and improved interactions between TVs and smaller Android smart devices. Developments many also include improvements to the TV app environment.
Notably, there has been little to no leaked information about Android TV during the Android 4.4 pre-release. But we may have only a few more hours to wait in order to learn the truth.
What do you think about Android 4.4 possibly being connected to Android TV? Let us know in the comments below.
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Fionna Agomuoh is a Technology Reporter for the International Business Times, a vegan foodie, and a lover of Electric Dance Music.