Those who have a 4.4 kitkat device- how you finding it?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by The Game 161, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. The Game 161 macrumors P6

    The Game 161

    Dec 15, 2010
    In terms of those of us on 4.3

    how big of a difference is it? when the note 3 gets the update..will it be a noticeable one?
  2. pdqgp macrumors 68020


    Mar 23, 2010
  3. blackhand1001 macrumors 68030


    Jan 6, 2009
    Don't expect too much of a change. Samsung will probably tweak touchwiz though, hopefully making it less bloated. kit kat on my nexus 7 uses under 400mb of ram when doing basic basic browsing vs my friends note 3 which seems to always be using a gig or more of ram. I personally think touchwiz took a step in the wrong direction on the galaxy s4 and note 3. Samsung really should go the Motorola route on future phones. Add a few polished extras to a stock android build. The moto x's software is fantasic. Why reinvent the wheel.
  4. WilliamBateman macrumors regular

    Nov 7, 2013
    I had it for a few days on the Moto X before I returned it. I didn't notice any difference from 4.3 on my Note 3 at all. I can't even comment on speed because my Note 3 did everything faster than the X running 4.2.2 or 4.4 anyways. Android has evolved far enough where now its just bragging rights for tech nerds to be first to get the new updates.
  5. gotluck, Nov 26, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013

    gotluck macrumors 603


    Dec 8, 2011
    East Central Florida
    Fair enough but many people would disagree with you about touchwiz.


    I'm waiting to see more reviews about kit kat on the gs4 GE before I install , just came out today. I'm pissed about the loss of flash support. Hopefully waiting on some heroic dev to find a solution.
  6. ZachsMacDaddy macrumors 6502


    Dec 24, 2007
    My Nexus 7 (2013) got it yesterday morning. I don't use it a whole lot, and so far, with what I have done on it, I have seen no difference.
  7. Technarchy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2012
    Do you have the Google Experience Launcher? Kitkat seems gimped to me without it.
  8. gotluck macrumors 603


    Dec 8, 2011
    East Central Florida
    I believe that must be side loaded for all but nexus5 :-/
  9. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 604

    Oct 27, 2009
    So I just tried the official GEL launcher on my Nexus 7. Doesn't feel completely finish. At least for this device.

    Things I like .....

    Transparent status bar and soft keys bar.

    Dots instead of that line representing home screens. Like iOS.

    New app button and settings icon.

    Wallpaper in Apps and Widgets draw. No more black screen.

    Folders look better(externally)

    Easily rearrange home screens by pressing any empty space. Also has buttons for wallpaper widgets and settings.

    Widgets drawer is now separate from Apps.

    Say "OK Google". It works well.

    Things I dislike .....

    One home screen is the default. Creating a new home screen sucks. It's just like iOS that you need to drag an icon to the edge to create a new home screen. Also no home screen on left of main home screen anymore cause Google Now took it over. A simple add button would make things much easier. Deleting a home screen is just as bad. You need to empty it of icons and widgets. (Maybe I'm just so used to TouchWiz way of things)

    Say "OK Google" only works with the screen on.

    Folders look worst (internally). I don't like the white background. They should have kept it black.

    In portrait mode the Google search bar overlaps any widget or icon put on top. Probably one of the reasons they didn't include GEL update with KitKat for many devices.
  10. thadoggfather macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2007
    Kit kat is delicious.

    Transparent nav bar, swipe left for google now, nice local business integrated phone app, smooth.
  11. slu macrumors 68000


    Sep 15, 2004
    I just got it on my Nexus 4. I find it to be very similar to 4.3 except for the phone app. Not a big change from my perspective.
  12. walie macrumors 6502a

    Nov 15, 2010
    I hated touchwiz on the S4. There was so much bloat and little bitches and niggles. Moving to the Nexus 5 was a breath of fresh air for me.
  13. Ragnarianrok macrumors member

    Nov 22, 2013
    There are the little things of Kit Kat that are great that no one really discusses. Like the dialer. It's brilliantly done. Ditto the entire clock app (the alarms, stopwatch and timer). Both stylish, aesthetics pleasing, and easy to use.

    Kit Kat is also surprisingly bug free. I've heard nothing major so far. Maybe I'm just uninformed?

    The overall experience of Kit Kat is more streamlined now. In some ways, it reminds me of iOS. Everything is just neater, cleaner, makes more sense, and smoother (lag is nonexistent and touch input "delay" is utterly imperceptible. I own a 5C. I've compared).

    Ironically, iOS 7 feels the opposite now; things are a little slower (the animations/transitions) and a little messier. The colors (namely the white-ness) is also a little out of hand, in my opinion. It's a very stark contrast in experience when I switch between my Nexus 5 and iPhone 5C. The iPhone/iOS experience really pales in comparison, unfortunately (especially when I attempt to type on it. A combination of the smaller screen size and the sometimes unresponsive/laggy keyboard leads to a very frustrating typing experience).
  14. Vegastouch macrumors 603


    Jul 12, 2008
    Las Vegas, NV
    I am quite surprised that you got a 5C.
  15. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    As some others mentioned, KitKat on a nexus device feels like a big upgrade from 4.3. If you are using a non-nexus phone or do not have the Google experience launcher than it probably would not feel like that great of an update. Coming from the n4 the day I got a n5 it felt a lot different than 4.3 did
  16. eclipse01 macrumors 68020


    May 16, 2011
    Eau Claire, WI
    I seriously notice no change on my Nexus 7 except my lock and unlock sounds have changed.

    people rip on IOS updates as bringing nothing new to the table but I really feel Android really didn't this time around.

    and yes, I know this is not a "full update" like Android 5.0 but for hyping it up and giving it a whole new name I figured it would be a much bigger facelift to Android.
  17. zbarvian macrumors 68010

    Jul 23, 2011
    Android hasn't brought much to the table since 4.2 really, which was a year ago. I think people need to be a little more fair when criticizing Apple, too.
  18. ChazUK macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2008
    Essex (UK)
    Without the Google Experience Launcher on my HTC One:
    • Performance seems fine so far and playing with ART - hoping for big things with this in future.
    • Not much else different. Tamest annual Android update in a long time.
    With the google experience launcher:
    • Really like the exposure Google Now has with the launcher.
    • Adding widgets the classic way (long press) is good to have back. Wasn't entirely sold about having to go into the app drawer to add widgets.

    Without the Google Experience Launcher being able to be installed on other devices, I'd say that Google is simply treading water with KitKat.
  19. AppleRobert macrumors 603

    Nov 12, 2012
    I thought the launcher is included with the install of Google search from what I read somewhere or is that just with the Nexus smartphone?

    Is there an apk file someone can link if that is how to get it for the Nexus 7? Thanks much.
  20. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 604

    Oct 27, 2009
  21. AppleRobert macrumors 603

    Nov 12, 2012
    Thanks. Looking pretty good and Google search is awesome not misinterpreting me and also giving feedback real quick for what you are asking.

    Sorry iPad and Siri, you really ain't that pretty!
  22. sixrom macrumors 6502a

    Nov 13, 2013
    I just loaded 4.4 onto my 2013 Nexus 7. It's a refreshing upgrade, even if it's not a quantum leap. It is a very nice incremental upgrade.

    I'm sure as I have more time with it, the various strengths and advancements will become more apparent and advantageous.

    Now that Android has become well sorted and mature, it's a very useful fast and fun OS.
  23. gotluck, Nov 27, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2013

    gotluck macrumors 603


    Dec 8, 2011
    East Central Florida
    Running 4.4 on my gs4 ge with GEL and ART.

    Feels good. Smoother?

    Attached Files:

  24. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005

    People seem to have skipped this important part of your question / post as it pretty much answers your enquiry.

    Noticeable changes to 4.4 are to the stock launcher.

    So.... You won't notice that in Touchwiz

    Under the hood improvements are good, but again Samsung make changes there too so likely not noticeable.

    The only way we will notice any difference in reality is if Samsung decided to remove GUI elements from Touchwiz and implement Stock GUI elements.

    That isn't going to happen.

    Likewise performance wise we will only notice a difference if Samsung decided to ditch the bloat and focus on optimisation optimisation optimisation....

    This likely isn't going to happen.

    Will you notice differences from 4.3 on your note 3 to 4.4 on your note 3 ?
    Yes...... But only when you go into About in settings and look at build number....
  25. OhHaiThere macrumors regular


    Sep 8, 2011
    If you want fast updates, then you need to get a Nexus device or one of the developer phones.

    As far as KitKat and going from Nexus 4 to Nexus 5, there are several changes. I won't talk about the phone changes since you wouldn't care about that, but instead focus on OS changes. This will pertain mostly to DEV devices as Samsung puts their own BS bloatware crap on it. Don't miss Samsung and Touchwiz at all!

    Anyway, with KitKat there's now a preview version of ART (Android Run Time) which replaces the Dalvik VM. It will be the standard runtime in Android 4.5 when that ships. Basically, what it does is pre-compiles all of the apps into native code and improves startup times and battery life. Keep in mind, Android runs ANYWHERE and to accomplish this, you need a virtual machine (VM). I can type more, but this gives you an idea.

    The screen is now visibly as large as it is, since they've made the notification bar and navigation transparent. Nice touch. Previously, in the notification area, the white icons would turn blue when connected. Now they're just a light gray silhouette and turn white when connected. Meh, not a fan. You used to have up/down arrows on the WiFi signal or on the mobile signal to tell you when it's sending data/receiving data. That's gone. Don't know why, but I miss that.

    People say there were performance improvements, I didn't notice any. Jelly Bean was already fast. There are efficiency/battery life improvements (even without switching to ART).

    Quick list:
    - There are more camera options, more editing options of pictures
    - Can take picture with volume up button (is that new? I saw my wife doing that recently on her N5)
    - The icons are now much larger
    - Quickoffice is now included as part of the OS (uses local storage or Google Drive)
    - Alarm & location are now a toggle in the settings drop down (two finger down or swipe down notifications and click settings)
    - Printer drivers are now installed so you can print to your local HP printer or do "cloud print" (whatever that is, I haven't used it)
    - Google Wallet is better integrated
    - Has VPN support (don't remember if the old one did)
    - The dialer has been completely changed (some good and some bad here, but mostly good, just need to get used to it). If you're calling your contacts it's just slightly different, but now google search is built into the dialer so if you start typing in a local business it'll give you a list of numbers - very cool feature
    - Widgets are now no longer part of the app drawer (FINALLY)... they're accessed by long-pressing on the screen
    - Google Now look like it has a few updated cards (not sure if those are available to everyone now though - see below)
    - Location based services now have a better way of grabbing location instead of always invoking the GPS when you have it on (helps that everything is better location aware and doesn't drain the battery)
    - In general, Google seem to be more location and time aware. In the morning when I go to my bus it has all the traffic info as it used to before, but since it asked me if I take the bus to work, it now has my bus schedule, time of arrival and all the other bus routes near by along with times/duration to get to my destination (again, awesome)
    - Google Wallet is obviously location aware. I was buying something at Walgreens a few days ago and it automatically pulled up a Walmart rewards card, etc. Little touches like that.
    - Keep app has notes, time/location based reminders and other crap... but what's interesting is that Google Now has its own reminders when you say "Ok Google, Remind me to walk the dog tomorrow morning" or something like that.. don't get why they're not together
    - SMS is now part of the Hangouts app, so no need for two shortcuts now and Hangouts is heavily revised. Much nicer and you can archive conversations
    - No more "Navigation" link... nav is just part of maps and that also has some improvements that I noticed after upgrading, but for the life of me can't remember what they were
    - Desktops are now dynamic... add/remove as you like, reposition, etc. Add a desktop by just putting something on it if a desktop is empty it's automatically removed. The home screen is now the first screen, no longer the "middle of 5" screen
    - Clock app is much easier to use; a lot more features, easier to set alarms, etc (I don't remember everything I had on the old clock, so hard to comment on specific changes, I just remember it being better)
    - Obviously everyone is aware that Google Now is on every desktop and accessible through voice... "Ok Google"
    - I used to be able to add widgets to the lock screen before (besides camera) and now I don't know if they removed it or I don't know how to add them, but not there (not a feature I used, just something I knew existed)
    - Much more Google+ integration, but really just mainly for your local phone info and contacts

    I'm sure that's not everything and not very detailed, but this post is already too long. Not sure if this helps you or not... :p

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