All the rumors of Google announcing the Nexus 5 on Halloween turned out to be true, as the smartphone giant made the Nexus 5 official a few hours ago. The LG-manufactured handset flaunts a 4.95-inch HD IPS display with 445 ppi and 1,920 x 1,080-pixel resolution, plus a 2.3GHZ Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU, 450MHz Adreno 330 GPU, 8MP rear camera, 1.3MP front-facing camera, and of course, the new Android 4.4 OS.
Google also shared details on Android KitKat and its latest software updates: including tne translucent UI, Google Cloud Print, and numerous other features.
Android 4.4 is designed to run fast, smooth, and responsively on a much broader range of devices than ever before — including on millions of entry-level devices around the world that have as little as 512MB RAM.
KitKat streamlines every major component to reduce memory use and introduces new APIs and tools to help you create innovative, responsive, memory-efficient applications.
Android 4.4 introduces new platform support for secure NFC-based transactions through Host Card Emulation (HCE), for payments, loyalty programs, card access, transit passes, and other custom services. With HCE, any app on an Android device can emulate an NFC smart card, letting users tap to initiate transactions with an app of their choice — no provisioned secure element (SE) in the device is needed. Apps can also use a new Reader Mode to act as readers for HCE cards and other NFC-based transactions.
Android apps can now print any type of content over Wi-Fi or cloud-hosted services such as Google Cloud Print. In print-enabled apps, users can discover available printers, change paper sizes, choose specific pages to print, and print almost any kind of document, image, or file.
A new storage access framework makes it simple for users to browse and open documents, images, and other files across all of their their preferred document storage providers. A standard, easy-to-use UI lets users browse files and access recents in a consistent way across apps and providers.
Android 4.4 introduces platform support for hardware sensor batching, a new optimization that can dramatically reduce power consumed by ongoing sensor activities.
With sensor batching, Android works with the device hardware to collect and deliver sensor events efficiently in batches, rather than individually as they are detected. This lets the device’s application processor remain in a low-power idle state until batches are delivered. You can request batched events from any sensor using a standard event listener, and you can control the interval at which you receive batches. You can also request immediate delivery of events between batch cycles.
Android 4.4 also adds platform support for two new composite sensors — step detector and step counter — that let your app track steps when the user is walking, running, or climbing stairs. These new sensors are implemented in hardware for low power consumption.
To get the most impact out of your content, you can now use new window styles and themes to request translucent system UI, including both the status bar and navigation bar. To ensure the legibility of navigation bar buttons or status bar information, subtle gradients is shown behind the system bars. A typical use-case would be an app that needs to show through to a wallpaper.
The Nexus 5 goes on sale “soon” for Sprint and T-Mobile and will be available starting November 8th at the asking price of $150 (16GB), with the unlocked model tagged at $350. Pre-orders begin tomorrow.