Android Kitkat – What developers should take note of ?

So , what has google got to offer with the brand new android, KITKAT. Here is a list of the new features that come bundled with kitkat. The full differences report  is available here.

1. NFC by Host Card Emulation:

NFC is near field communication usually requiring a distance of 4cm to establish a connection. Previously a mobile device needed a secure element in the NFC chip to make a payment transaction. But with the new Host card emulation built in with kitkat, even the android phones without secure element can make NFC payments.

dual-mode

 

2. Printing framework:

Kitkat supports one click printing with the new set of printing framework APIs. There are three tutorials of how the printing api’s work for image , html documents and custom documents.

This printing framework is included in the Support Package (r19) which means that this can be used in the older versions of android.

3. Storage access framework: 

With the new storage framework, android has encapsulated the reading and writing files from storage. This makes it easier for apps to access the files from storage.

storage_dataflow

 

4. New App Permissions:

INSTALL_SHORTCUT : Allows an application to install a shortcut in Launcher

UNINSTALL_SHORTCUT: Allows an application to uninstall a shortcut in Launcher

TRANSMIT_IR: Allows an applicaiton to use the device’s IR transmitter, if available

The write and read_external_storage is no longer required to access the app specific files using the getExternalFilesDir().

5. New supported device features:

FEATURE_CONSUMER_IR: Device  capable of communicating with consumer IR devices. 

 FEATURE_DEVICE_ADMIN: Device supports device policy enforcement via device admins.

 FEATURE_NFC_HOST_CARD_EMULATION: Device supports host- based NFC emulation.

 FEATURE_SENSOR_STEP_COUNTER: Device includes a hardware step counter.

 FEATURE_SENSOR_STEP_DETECTOR: Device includes a hardware step detector.

Developers working on SMS based app should make their apps ready for kitkat, which allows only one default app for all the SMS. Others apps can only read the content provider.  With some minor bugs with the kitkat version, we all can expect a new minor release 4.4.1 very soon.

 

 

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Amal Chandran

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1 Comment

  1. Awesome… Brilliantly creative!!!

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