Here's Everything Developers Need To Know About Android 4.4


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After two months of waiting, Google finally unveiled the features its bringing to its mobile OS with Android 4.4. There's a lot of good stuff for users and you can read more about that here. There's even better news though - Google is making developers' lives much easier with the latest incarnation of Android.

On the official Android Developers blog, Google laid out all the new development features coming to Android 4.4, or KitKat. These new features will help developers deliver more immersive apps while adding new functionality.

Without further ado, here are the major new development tools in Android 4.4:

  • New ways to create beautiful apps — A new full-screen immersive mode lets your app or game use every pixel on the screen to showcase content and capture touch events. A new transitions framework makes it easier to animate the states in your UI. Web content can take advantage of a completely new implementation of WebView built on Chromium.
  • More useful than ever — A printing framework lets you add the convenience of printing to your apps. A storage access framework makes it easier for users find documents, photos, and other data across their local and cloud-based storage services. You can integrate your app or storage service with the framework to give users instant access to their data.
  • Low-power sensors — New hardware-integrated sensors let you add great new features to your apps without draining the battery. Included are a step detector and step counter that let you efficiently track of the number of walking steps, even when the screen is off.
  • New media capabilities — A new screen recorder lets you capture high-quality video of your app directly from your Android device. It's a great new way to create walkthroughs, tutorials, marketing videos, and more. Apps can use adaptive playback to offer a significantly better streaming video experience.
  • RenderScript in the NDK — A new C++ API in the Android Native Development Kit (NDK) lets you use RenderScript from your native code, with access to script intrinsics, custom kernels, and more.
  • Improved accessibility support — New system-wide captioning settings let your apps present closed captions in the style that's preferred by the user.
  • If you want to learn more about Android 4.4, check out this new video from the DevBytes show on the Android Developers channel:

    Developers interested in updating their apps for Android 4.4 can download the SDK and related tools today from the Android SDK manager. You can also grab the latest support package here, and the latest Android NDK here.

    [Image: Android Developers/YouTube]