Android L vs. Android Kitkat 4.4 vs. Apple iOS8

Android L vs Android KitKat 4.4 comparison preview: What’s the difference?

Google has announced Android L so we’ve compared it side-by-side with Android 4.4 KitKat so you can see the difference.

Google has announced Android L for smartphones and tablets, so how does it compare to the current Android 4.4 KitKat? Find out what the difference is in our Android L vs Android 4.4 KitKat comparison review. We’ve compared the stock editions of Android so be aware that even though you may have a device running on KiKat, it could look very different due to a manufacturer’s own user interface overlay or skin. We’ve installed it on our Nexus 5 in order to compare it with the previous version of Android, KitKat. Android L was announced at Google I/O 2014 in this Fall and the developer preview is available now.
Android L vs Android Kitkat 4.4
Android L vs Android KitKat 4.4 comparison: Availability

Although it’s simply known as Android L, the new Android will arrive this autumn by which point Google may have given it a name following the alphabetical list of sweet treats. If you have got version 4.4 KitKat then there’s a good chance you’ll get Android L but it’s no guarantee and when the upgrade will arrive depends on many things. Anyway, Google is likely to announce a Nexus device to launch Android L on, probably a Nexus 8. Lollipop is the favourite, but maybe Google hasn’t announced the name yet because it’s working on another partnership following KitKat with Nestle. We’ll have more details on this later in the year, but if you have a Nexus 5 or Nexus 7 you can download the developer preview of Android L now. KitKat is, of course, already available, but that doesn’t mean your phone or tablet is running it. It’s one of the downsides of Android.

Android L design interface
Android L vs Android KitKat 4.4 comparison: Design

Check out Google’s video for Material Design below and see what Android L looks like in the screenshots compared to KitKat – all taken from the Nexus 5.
KitKat is on the left and Android L is on the right – the dialer and contacts list are great examples of what Material Design looks like compared to the old KitKat interface. Android L represents the biggest design change for the mobile operating system in a long time, probably since version 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Android L brings more depth to the operating system’s appearance using shadows, light and also automatically generates touches of colour based on the content being displayed. Google has introduced a new ‘Material Design’ look for Android, which has also been offered to developers for use in their Android apps.

Android L vs Android KitKat 4.4 comparison: Lockscreen

The lockscreen is the first thing you see when you switch on your device and it looks pretty different in Android L with the addition of notifications. You swipe up to unlock, left to launch the camera and right to open the dialer. The latter is a new feature.

Android L vs Android Kitkat lockscreen screenshot
Android L vs Android KitKat 4.4 comparison: Homescreen

There’s little change on the homescreen, although Android L will come with new icons when it is released. The main thing to note is the style change for the navigation buttons which are now a triangle, circle and square for the back, home and recent apps.

Android L vs Android Kitkat homescreen screenshot
Android L vs Android KitKat 4.4 comparison: Multi-tasking

Recent apps have had something of an overhaul. The 2D list of open apps has been replaced with a 3D rotary style view which makes the old one look extremely dated. Each app has a card and can be swiped off to the side to close it as normal, but also tap the ‘X’. A new feature here is that apps like Chrome will have individual cards for each open tab (not working in the developer preview).

Android L vs Android Kitkat multitasking screenshot
Android L vs Android KitKat 4.4 comparison: Notification bar

You swipe down from the top of the screen as per usual, but instead of tapping a button, you swipe a second time to access quick settings – which now includes a screen brightness slider, notifications (including do not disturb), and cast screen. The cog icon will still take you to the main settings menu and the user profile is now a more subtle circle in the corner rather than an entire tile. On the Nexus 7 is depended where you swiped down as to which drop down bar you got, but with Android L it’s the two swipe method. The drop down notification bar has also had a complete redesign with a different layout as well as the Material Design style.
Android L vs Kitkat quicksettings screenshot
Android L vs Android KitKat 4.4 comparison: Notifications

As we’ve already shown, on the lockscreen and notification bar, notifications look quite different on Android L. As well as a new look and getting them in new places, they will be ordered by priority (something which Android L will learn more over time) rather than chronologically. You can swipe them away to the side as per usual, but also double tap to open the associated app.

Android L vs Android KitKat 4.4 comparison: Performance

So design is a massive change in Android L but there are other things too. Google has switched from the Dalvik to ART (Android runtime) which the firm says is up to twice as fast. This is present in the developer preview and although Android L is very smooth on the Nexus 5, it wasn’t as if KitKat was exactly slow. We found nothing to get excited about in benchmarks. We doubt the average user will notice any difference, but things could change by the time Android L is released. The other big performance upgrade is support for 64-bit processors. We don’t have any 64-bit Android devices yet, but they will arrive later this year, probably soon after or with Android L and this will boost performance.

Android L vs Android KitKat 4.4 comparison: Battery life

A more tangible performance upgrade which we’re already experiencing is improvements on battery life. Something called Project Volta allows developers to identify where their apps are draining battery power so they can make improvements. On top of this a new battery saver mode promises to add 90 minutes battery life to the Nexus 5, so it will be a similar story for most smartphones. In fact, the Nexus 5 has been tested with Android L and showed an improvement of more than 120 minutes which is very impressive.

Android L vs Android Kitkat 4.4 comparison: Security

A new feature which has been announced for Android L is location and proximity based levels of security. Not present in the developer preview, it will enable users to unlock their smartphone or tablet without entering a PIN, pattern lock or similar, but only when they are close enough for a device like an Android Wear smartwatch or in a location like their own home.  

Android L vs Apple iOS 8 comparison preview: Apple vs Google Software Comparison

Apple and Google have both recently unveiled their upcoming mobile operating system updates, both set to be released this autumn. Google’s offering is Android L, while Apple’s is iOS 8. Here, we compare the two in our Android L vs iOS 8 comparison preview, to determine what’s in store for iPhones, iPads, Android smartphones and Android tablets later this year. Android and iOS are actually getting closer than ever, so there are many similarities to discuss in addition to the differences between the two rival operating systems. Read on to find out more about how they compare.

Android L vs Apple iOS 8 difference
Android L vs Apple iOS 8 comparison: Availability

You’ll have to pay to join Apple’s developer program if you want to start using iOS 8 (it’s £60 per year) but you can get your hands on Android L for free. There are ways to get your hands on Apple iOS 8 and Android L now, though they’re both in beta or preview versions, so it’s advisable not to install them on your main device. To run iOS 8, you’ll need an iPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPad mini or later, and for Android L you’ll need a Google Nexus 5 or Nexus 7. As mentioned above, both iOS 8 and Android L will be released to the public this autumn, probably in September or October.

Android L vs Apple iOS 8 comparison: Design

Android L brings more depth to the operating system’s appearance using shadows, and also automatically generates touches of colour based on the content being displayed. Google has introduced a new ‘Material Design’ look for Android, which has also been offered to developers for use in their Android apps. This year, it’s Android’s turn for a bit of a design change. The dialer in Android L is a good example of the new design. Apple iOS 8 has that ‘flat’ design, ditching all signs of skeuomorphism in favour of minimalist aesthetics. The design of iOS 8 is mostly unchanged from the design of iOS 7, which is no surprise as it was iOS 7 that brought the major design changes. Additionally, there are new animations and touch feedback, so the overall look and feel of the operating system is smooth and responsive.
Android L screenshot dialer contacts
Android L vs Apple iOS 8 comparison: Features

When it comes to new features, both Android L and iOS 8 has many. We’ll go through some of them here, and discuss how they compare to one another.
Android L vs Apple iOS 8 comparison: Notifications

They’re now interactive, so you’ll be able to reply to text messages, accept calendar invitations, snooze reminders and even Like Facebook statuses you’re tagged in without even having to leave the app you’re in. You can swipe them away if you want to dismiss them, or double tap to open the relevant app. We’d say Apple iOS 8 when it comes to its new notification features, and we’re particularly excited about the new interactive capabilities they’ll offer. You can already swipe them to automatically go to the relevant app, but you can’t swipe to dismiss them. You’ll be able to get them on your lock screen, and they’ll be automatically ordered in priority. In Android L, you’ll find new, enhanced notifications.
Android L screenshot notification card

Apple iOS 8 screenshot notification card
Android L vs Apple iOS 8 comparison: Lock screen

In addition to being able to see notifications, you’ll also be able to swipe up to unlock, swipe right to launch the dialer or swipe left to launch the camera. In iOS 8, the lock screen is unchanged from iOS 7, offering notifications, slide right to unlock and slide up to access the camera.
Android L vs Apple iOS 8 comparison: Multi-tasking
Multi-tasking in iOS 7 has been already pretty good, but Apple has taken it a step further by adding recent and favourite contacts to the screen when you double click the home button to access the multi-tasking menu. For example, if you’ve got multiple tabs open in Chrome, you’ll see each of them as an individual card on the multi-tasking screen. Now, open apps will appear in cards in a carousel, which you can flow through by sliding up or down on the screen. These contacts appear in a swipable list along the top, to allow you to quickly and easily call, text or FaceTime call that person. What’s cool, and something that iOS can’t do yet, is some apps will show multiple cards depending on how you’re using them. Android L brings multi-tasking to a new level for its users, too.
Android L screenshot multi-tasking

Apple iOS 8 screenshot multi-tasking
Android L vs Apple iOS 8 comparison: Security

In iOS 7, it was only able to unlock the device or be used instead of entering Apple ID details, but it’ll be opened up to third-party developers with iOS 8, so users will be able to use their fingerprint to access other apps such as banking applications, for example. Google has introduced a new personal unlocking feature that’ll enable users to unlock their smartphone or tablet without entering their passcode, but only when they are close enough to a device such as an Android Wear smartwatch. Both Android L’s and Apple iOS 8’s new security features won’t be available to everybody, of course – if you don’t own an iPhone 5S or an Android Wear smartwatch, you won’t be able to use them. Apple has its Touch ID fingerprint sensor, which is built-in to the home button of the iPhone 5S.
Android L vs Apple iOS 8 comparison: Battery life
We don’t yet know exactly how Android L and Apple iOS 8 will affect the battery life of the devices they’re running on, but both let you identify how individual apps are using the battery, and make improvements based on that information. Google claims that the new battery saving mode coming with Android L will give the Nexus 5 90 minutes more battery life. We’d like to see Apple introduce a similar feature, as iPhones are notorious for their poor battery life. Android L has an additional battery saving mode, which iOS 8 doesn’t.
Android L vs Apple iOS 8 comparison: New developer features
Apple is keen to keep its operating system secure, and won’t allow developers to release apps that are just widgets, or just keyboards (yep, iOS 8 allows third-party keyboards for the first time). Google has added new features in Android L for developers, such as direct links to apps from Google searches in the Chrome browser (something that has been available for a while, but only for select developers until now). Both Google and Apple have added some new tools for developers that could mean exciting new abilities will arrive on Android and iOS devices soon. Android has had home screen widgets for a long time, so Apple is bringing itself in line with its biggest rival with this feature. There are many more new features for developers in both Android L and iOS 8, but we’d argue that iOS 8’s changes in this area are more exciting, even if they are playing catch up in some cases. It’s particularly surprising that Apple has opened up iOS to developers a bit, as it’s a company that has always been known for its closed nature. Another element of Apple’s extensions is ‘Today extensions’ which are actually widgets that can be chosen to appear in the ‘Today’ view in iOS 8’s Notification Centre. For example, using ‘Action extensions,’ Safari could gain a Bing translate feature, taking advantage of the Bing app’s capabilities. Apple has introduced what it calls Extensibility, which basically means that apps in iOS will be able to ‘talk to each other’ like never before. Widgets and other extensions are much more restricted in iOS 8 compared with Android, though. The possibilities here are endless, and extremely exciting for iOS users and developers.

Android L vs Apple iOS 8 comparison: 64-bit
For Google, however, Android L represents the first time the operating system has been compatible with 64-bit devices. Apple used last year’s iOS 7 to introduce 64-bit compatibility to the operating system, and that continues with Apple iOS 8. We expect to see many more smartphones and tablets with 64-bit chips to emerge in the coming year following the announcement. This should mean speedier and smoother performance and a big power boost for Android devices.
Android L vs Apple iOS 8 comparison: Health & Fitness
Healthkit and Google Fit are platforms for developers to take advantage of, but Apple’s Health app is a bit like Passbook, pulling together data from other health and fitness apps into one, easy to access place. Both Apple and Google have unveiled fitness and health tracking platforms for their upcoming operating system updates. Both have similar purposes: they’ll help you keep an eye on your health and fitness data thanks to the sensors on your mobile or wearable devices, and also some input from you. Apple’s offering is called Healthkit, which works with the new Health app, while Google’s is called Google Fit for Android.
Android L vs Apple iOS 8 comparison: Hey, Siri. Ok, Google.
There’s no doubt that Apple’s new ‘Hey, Siri’ trigger to activate the voice assistant hands-free is a feature borrowed from Android’s ‘Ok, Google’ activation for Google Now. It can search the App Store, iBooks Store, Wikipedia, Maps, iTunes and more, and it’ll bring up local movie showings, news trending among your friends etc. However, this works only if the device is running on external power or if Siri is already open on screen. Plus, also like Google Now, Spotlight in Apple iOS 8 will let you search more than just what’s on your phone.
Android L vs Apple iOS 8 comparison: Handoff
Some of these features are available for Android, too, though third-party apps are required and it’s not quite as seamless or refined as Apple’s Handoff. If you own a Chromebook, though, Android L will automatically unlock your laptop when your smartphone or tablet is close by, and your notifications will appear on both your laptop and your mobile device. Also new in Apple iOS 8 is ‘Handoff,’ a feature that’s going to be a huge boon for anyone with multiple Apple devices. Most Apple apps that work across both OS X and iOS will work with Handoff. It’ll mean that, if you‘ve been writing an email on your way home and have just arrived home, your Mac will automatically ask whether you’d like to pick up that email on OS X instead.
Handoff Gallery Mail
Android L vs Apple iOS 8 comparison: CarPlay & Android Auto
With Android L, Google has introduced Android Auto, which is similar to Apple’s CarPlay feature unveiled alongside iOS 7 last year. They are both very similar services, using your smartphone to offer you information and controls on your dashboard’s screen including maps, music and other apps. You can find out more about Android Auto here, and more about CarPlay here.
Android L vs Apple iOS 8 comparison: Compatibility
If you own a flagship phone or tablet from Samsung, HTC, LG, Sony, Motorola or any other big name brand, you should get the update quite quickly. HTC has said that HTC One M8 owners will get Android L within 90 days of its release, but we’ve not yet heard from other manufacturers. Those with Android devices might have more trouble getting Android L straight away. Those with Google’s Nexus 5 or Nexus 7 should get access to it immediately when it’s released to the public. Another factor to take into consideration when comparing these two upcoming updates is compatibility. Apple iOS 8 will be able to run on the iPhone 4S or later, the iPad 2 or later and both generations of iPad mini.
Apple iOS 8 vs Android Kitkat 4.4 comparison preview: The key differences

Apple’s iPhone 6 comes preloaded with iOS 8, the iPhone’s most advanced operating system to date – but how does it compare to Google’s Android Kitkat?

Apple iOS8

Overall Design

Much like iOS 8, Android Kitkat features a (larger) dock, folders and the ability to have several screens of apps. More airy and vibrant than before, the latest version of Android takes a different approach to Apple, using non standardized icons and shadows to give a fun, 3D effect.Apple iOS 8’s now familiar home screen features a number of apps, with a dock of three to four apps at the bottom. Apps can be moved around and put in themed folders, such as Photography or Social Media, but Apple’s system still has limited scope for customisation. Tweaks of the font coupled with transparency in menus all make using Android 4.4 Kitkat an effortless experience. Essentially key elements of apps, widgets allow you to perform tasks without launching an app or even leaving your home screen. Kitkat’s home screen also changes orientation based on how you’re holding your device. The homescreen also changes orientation, with the icons and dock moving round if you’re device is being held horizontally or vertically. Android 4.4 Kitkat also features a cleaner design than its predecessor. What’s more, Android also allows users to drop widgets straight onto their home screen. Android’s home screen can be customized to a vast degree, and with enough tinkering, it’s possible to get things just how you want them. Taking a more minimalist approach than before, iOS 7 dispensed with skeuomorphic design and moved to a more flatter, less 3D look.Apple iOS 7 represented one of the biggest overhauls to Apple’s iOS since its release, with all aspects of the system getting a visual redesign. With uses ranging from weather forecasts, to calculating exchange rates, or keeping up to date with Twitter, these will often come in handy.


It may not have the depth or exclusivity of Apple’s store, but most apps are now available on both Android and iOS, with Vine, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp, Viber being some popular examples. In the event in which he announced the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch, Apple boss Tim Cook announced that the App Store has 1.3 million apps, with the number still continuing to grow. Featuring apps for health, education, games and much more, the App Store makes iOS 8 compatible with a wide range of applications, for iPhone as well as iPad. Android 4.4 Kitkat still doesn’t have as many apps as iOS 8, but there are now more in the Google Play store than ever. iOS 8 benefits from Apple’s industry leading App Store.

The Cloud

iCloud now acts more like a virtual hard disk drive, so it’s easy to organize your files, and see which apps are taking up space. Apple’s iCloud has lagged behind other cloud-based solutions such as Dropbox and Google Drive, and iOS 8 re-addresses the balance. Allowing you to access your documents on a browser, and share your documents with friends and colleagues, it’s incredibly easy to use. In addition Handoff functionality now means that it’s possible to work on files across multiple devices. If you’re on your mac, working on a document in Pages, Handoff will allow you to continue working on the same document via iPhone or iPad – exactly where you left off. Android 4.4 features Google Drive, one of the best solutions for productivity on the cloud.


This new interactivity affects a range of apps, so it’s now possible to Like Facebook statuses, accept iCal events and much more – without leaving the app you’re in. Android Kitkat features notifications, but interactive functionality isn’t as widespread. Apple iOS 8’s notifications have got a massive upgrade, and are now interactive. Android L, the next iteration of Google’s mobile OS, should bring it more into line with Apple iOS 8.


Using Google Drive, it’s simple to work on the files between devices, but the ability to text or call using anything other than your phone isn’t as seamless. With Apple’s next desktop OS, Yosemite, you’ll be able to answer and make calls as well as text all your friends – all without picking up your phone. Although Google produce Chromebooks, and have some of the most widely used software and services in the world, Android Kitkat does not yet enjoy the same amount of synchronization as iOS 8. You’ll also be able to easily tether your iOS 8 powered iPhone to your mac, so you can surf easily even if you’re not near WiFi.

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