Android KitKat 4.4 – 3 Features for Business Users
If I told you that Android is the most popular ecosystem used by mobile consumers today, would it surprise you? Many people I talk to still don’t realize how popular Android is worldwide. To further put this into perspective, consider this: there are currently more than 1 million apps available for download from the Google Play store and more than 50 billion apps have been downloaded to Android smartphones and tablets.
The latest update Android 4.4, nicknamed KitKat, is set to change our expectations of what Android devices can and should do. KitKat made its debut on the Nexus 5 smartphone and virtually all Android smartphones and tablets being released in 2014 will be built based on KitKat 4.4 and not JellyBean 4.1.
As a business owner, there are significant changes to Android that you need to know about, so let’s unwrap KitKat and take a bite out of it.
Most small business users have contacts stored on multiple social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Google Hangout is revamped to sync your contact list with all your social networks and account types. By syncing everything into the Hangouts app, contact details and profile pictures from various social networks are linked together to each of your contacts. The end result is a clean and organized contact list complete with profile pictures.
Hangouts is also the default messaging app within KitKat. By default, all text, SMS, and MMS messages now work within Google Hangouts. In many ways, it’s Google answer to Apple’s iMessage. Android users on older phones can update the Hangout app and use it as their default SMS app. Expect to see your Android-using employees, customers and vendors use Google Hangouts more often for all their text and video messaging.
New printing framework
More and more people want to print directly off their smartphone or tablet to a printer without the assistance of a computer. With KitKat, Google has created a new printing framework to print any type of content over Wi-Fi or cloud-hosted services like Google Cloud Print. Within print-enabled apps, users can discover available printers within a small office, change paper sizes and choose specific pages to print. Virtually any kind of document, image or file can be printed on newer smartphones and tablets running KitKat.
The printing API has been opened to developers to manage printing and add new types of printing support. If you share a printer in the office, the new platform offers a print manager that provides shared services and a user interface for printing. The end result is consistency of printing jobs across multiple printing apps and security of content as it moves from an app to a print service within your office.
New storage access framework
With KitKat, a new storage framework makes it simple for users to access documents, images and other files across various cloud storage providers. KitKat offers a standard, clean user interface to browse and access recent files across apps and providers.
This is great for office environments that create and access files across multiple devices and cloud storage providers. Business users no longer have to worry about consolidating data into one place for easy access. Regardless if data is stored in your local gallery or on the servers of a cloud storage provider, files can be presented in a consistent experience on KitKat devices.
The bottom line
With Android KitKat, business users will appreciate how contact lists and SMS conversations are synced into Google Hangouts. Finding customer contact details across various social network on an Android KitKat smartphone has never been easier. In addition, the new printing and storage access framework allows business users the ability to find and print the files they want directly off their mobile device and seamlessly send print jobs to the office printer.
If you are a fan of Android or you’re considering making the switch in your business, now’s the time to move into the Android KitKat operating system.
Have you tried the new KitKat OS? Tell us your favourite feature.