Review: Android 4.4 KitKat
Android 4.4 KitKat is a capable operating system that doesn't offer a lot of new user-facing features, but will eventually lead to a broader range of high-quality apps.
Google did little to change the design and appearance of the operating system. The changes it did bother with leaned toward trimming down clutter and reducing noise. The app menu, for example, has fewer graphical elements and is simpler in appearance. Unfortunately, this comes at the expense of several useful features. Android has used the same basic design since it debuted Android 3.0. When Google gets around to Android 5.0, that's when we might see a major shift in Android's design. For now, it's still fresh enough.
Google significantly altered two important apps: the phone and Hangouts. The changes brought to those apps will take time for users to adjust to, that is if they're not overridden by hardware makers. The bulk of Google Apps show few changes in KitKat, specifically.
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When weighed against iOS and Windows Phone, Android has some significant advantages. It offers far more customization opportunities, not only for users but for hardware makers. Users and makers alike are free to tweak the appearance of the home screens and other facets to make each device their own. More than ever, Android and iOS go toe-to-toe and feature-for-feature. Where iOS is simpler to use, it is more rigid. Where Android is more flexible, it's a bit more complex. iOS has the edge when it comes to apps and content, but Android has the edge when it comes to hardware selection and variety.
Since only a handful of devices will ever run the stock version of Android, what matters more is how device makers and developers customize it for their devices and apps. The new SDK and APIs offer developers more freedom to tap into the operating system and hardware features. This is what will, in the long run, push Android and KitKat ahead of other platforms.
Review: LG V30
The LG V30 is a flagship handset that tries to move the needle forward with a stylish design, 18:9 display, and powerful camera features. This metal-and-glass Android slab is a gorgeous piece of hardware that has lots going for it.
Review: Sony Xperia XZ2
Sony's 2018 flagship phone, the Xperia XZ2, sees the company catch up to the competition in terms of design and features. It boasts a metal-and-glass chassis, introduces a 2:1 screen, adopts Android 8, pass the best processor, and includes table-stakes tools such as bokeh photography.
Review: Honor 7X
The Honor 7X is an affordable handset from Huawei that offers modern features in an attractive piece of hardware. This Android smartphone includes a metal-and-glass design, dual cameras with portrait mode, and a large 2:1 display.
Review: Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Google's latest mobile operating system, Android 6.0 Marshmallow, is a tasty treat indeed. New features, such as Google Now on Tap, Doze, Direct Share, Permissions, and Nexus Imprint offer compelling reasons to upgrade.
Review: OnePlus 6
The OnePlus 6 is the company's latest attempt to convince you that ultra-pricey flagships are unnecessary; why spend $800 to $1000 on a phone when you can get one that's nearly as good for just over $500? The 6 is an attractive metal-and-glass device that has the latest design from OnePlus, the latest specs from Qualcomm and others, and the latest Android software from Google.