Google has unveiled Android 4.4 KitKat. The main focus is to reduce Android’s memory footprint across the board, allowing KitKat to run comfortably on devices with 512 MB of RAM.
OEMs building the next generation of Android devices can take advantage of targeted recommendations and options to run Android 4.4 efficiently, even on low-memory devices. Dalvik JIT code cache tuning, kernel samepage merging (KSM), swap to zRAM, and other optimizations help manage memory. New configuration options let OEMs tune out-of-memory levels for processes, set graphics cache sizes, control memory reclaim, and more.
In Android itself, changes across the system improve memory management and reduce memory footprint. Core system processes are trimmed to use less heap, and they now more aggressively protect system memory from apps consuming large amounts of RAM. When multiple services start at once – such as when network connectivity changes – Android now launches the services serially, in small groups, to avoid peak memory demands.
In addition, Google unveiled the Nexus 5 – quite possibly the most leaked device in human history. It’s only $349 off-contract. Insanity.