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Android 4.4 KitKat: the curtain finally falls

4.4 Android KitKat, launched way back in 2013, marked an era. Over time, it has become to Android what Windows XP has been to the PC world: despite our attempts, it has endured, remaining on many devices even after the arrival of Android 5.0 Lollipop and later versions. Today, however, we can say that it is permanently gone down.

The end of an era: Google discontinues support for Android 4.4 KitKat

This release was the last major update that leveraged Google's Holo design language, before Lollipop introduced Material Design. Currently, KitKat is present on less than 1% of active Android devices. Android 4.4 KitKat will no longer receive any updates for Google Play Services beyond version 23.90.99, which means that official Google support for this operating system has ended. If we are still using a device with this version, be prepared to see some features start to break.

Google also has ended support for Jelly Bean (4.1-4.3) two years ago, which means that all 4.x versions are officially obsolete. To be clear, this is not news that will affect many people. Our smartphone may not have the latest version of Android, but it should at least have Android 9 or a newer version. And if it's an older model, it will have Android 8.0, Android 7.1, Android 7.0, or Android 6.0 from 2015. These are all outdated versions, and usually among the lowest versions most developers support on their apps at the time of writing. Many apps have long since stopped working on Android 4.4. KitKat, so we were already battling developers dropping support for their apps on our device. This is just Google pulling the plug to an operating system that was already on life support.

If you're in that sub-1% group, it probably is Time to buy a new smartphone. If your device is indeed running KitKat, even one of the many excellent budget phones might actually be faster performance-wise.

Gianluca Cobucci
Gianluca Cobucci

Passionate about code, languages ​​and languages, man-machine interfaces. All that is technological evolution is of interest to me. I try to divulge my passion with the utmost clarity, relying on reliable sources and not "on the first pass".


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