The two-year old ‘pure Android’ device, that ushered in the Android Ice Cream Sandwich OS in 2011 has reached the end of the end, according to Google’s Spanish support pages.
The decision is somewhat of a surprise considering KitKat has been designed with older, lower memory phones in mind as much as brand new, quad-core powerhouses like the Google Nexus 5.
Due to that back end work, Google sees Android 4.4 Kitkat as its best chance to solve the long-standing fragmentation problems experienced by the OS, which has left many Android users stranded on outdated versions.
“Building a platform that makes mobile phones accessible for everyone has always been at the heart of Android. Until now, some lower-end Android phones couldn’t benefit from more recent Android releases due to memory constraints. With KitKat, we’ve slimmed down Android’s memory footprint by doing things like removing unnecessary background services and reducing the memory consumption of features that you use all the time.
“We did this not only within Android but across Google services like Chrome and YouTube. RAM (or memory) is one of the most expensive parts of a phone, and now Android can run comfortably on the 512MB of RAM devices that are popular in much of the world, bringing the latest goodies in Android 4.4 within reach for the next billion smartphone users,” the company wrote on its official blog.
If Google’s own-branded devices are being ignored from the get go, it raises questions about exactly which smartphones and tablets will be able to benefit from the KitKat update.
So far the company has confirmed only that the Nexus 4 (which succeeded the Galaxy Nexus), the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets today, as well as the ‘Google Play edition’ Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One handsets will get the update, with a host of other devices due to be confirmed shortly.
Galaxy Nexus owners, it might be time to pull the trigger on that upgrade now.