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Android 4.4 KitKat: Will It Hit Small Businesses' Sweet Spot?

Android 4.4 KitKat: Will It Hit Small Businesses' Sweet Spot?
Android 4.4 KitKat offers several features business users will love / Credit: Android 4.4 KitKat image courtesy of Android

Google is rumored to unveil its new operating system, Android 4.4 KitKat, on Monday (Oct. 28).

Although Google has kept a tight lid on exactly what the new operating system has to offer, the crafty Android-inspired KitKat website and the very few leaked photos that Android enthusiasts have compiled give several hints on what to expect from the tech giant. 

Here are the four Android 4.4 KitKat features business users can look forward to.

Got your hands tied? On the candy maker's website, KitKat 4.4's candy tech specs claim to have "unlimited standby time, ready to help you go from zero to break in a snap." Although, on its face, this statement refers to the candy bar, it may also be hinting at Android 4.4 KitKat's new Google Now instant voice command capabilities.

According to Slashgear, a leaked build indicates that Google Now — Google's version of a mobile personal assistant — will be available by voice command straight from the home page, so users can go from standby to phone calls, search results, directions and other activities in a snap. Whereas Google Now voice commands were only available via the Google Search widget and within Google Search itself, KitKat will be "always listening," such that users can just say "OK Google" or "OK Google Now" to activate a voice command. Currently, this feature is only available on the Moto X, but is expected to be available to all KitKat devices.

KitKat claims that its candy bar has "a taste sensation that will leave you up in TheCloud" on its website, but the candy maker may not just be referring to the chocolatey wafer goodness. According to several reports, Android 4.4 KitKat will feature a host of Google business apps right at your fingertips. This includes Keep, a note-taking, organization and to-do list app, and Quickoffice's word processing, spreadsheet and presentations productivity suite, all of which can be stored, shared and synced using Google Drive cloud-based file storage.

[The Best Small Business Apps For Improving Productivity]

Based on screen grabs by the Gadget Help Line, who "managed to get [their] grubby mitts on the new software," Android 4.4. KitKat may also be able to print natively — meaning doesn't rely on third-party apps — via Cloud Print, which will have printing options such as paper size, number of copies, orientation and color or black and white.

According to LAPTOP, leaked screen grabs also indicate that Android 4.4 KitKat will have wireless near field communications (NFC) mobile payments built into the Android system. This means that Android users will no longer have to rely on third-party apps to complete transactions using mobile payments. Given that many merchants and consumers aren't ready to adopt mobile payments, this move by Google to process transactions natively has the potential to address security concerns people may have and further encourage mobile payment transactions.

Much like most Android devices, KitKat boasts that the candy bar has edge to edge display, providing "maximum user enjoyment for work and play." Following the trend, The Verge said that all indications point to Android 4.4 KitKat being released with the Nexus 5. For business users who use their mobile phones as an extension of their computers on the go, the Nexus 5 is a mobile powerhouse that boasts a 5-inch, 1080p display for optimum screen quality and maximum app real estate.

KitKat also says that KitKat 4.4 is "compatible with all liquid accessories," such as coffee, tea and water. So will the Android 4.4 KitKat-powered Nexus 5 be waterproof? Maybe. Maybe not. The Samsung Galaxy S4 is advertised as waterproof, as the Galaxy S5 is rumored to be. Most say, however, that a truly waterproof device is highly unlikely. Soon, Android fans may find out whether a waterproof device is a mobile dream come true.

Sara Angeles

Sara is a tech writer with a background in business and marketing. After graduating from UC Irvine, she worked as a copywriter and blogger for nonprofit organizations, tech labs and lifestyle companies. She started freelancing in 2009 and joined Business News Daily in 2013. Follow Sara Angeles on Twitter @sara_angeles.