Android 4.4 KitKat supports devices with just 512MB of RAM

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Android is not really known for smooth OS updates, except for people using Google's Nexus devices that guarantee a sure-shot ticket to an almost instant, and smooth update process. However, of late, we've been seeing a number of mid-range and even some economy devices offer a recent version of the OS. But minimum hardware requirements still prevent entry-level devices to offer newer versions of the OS.
 
All this is about to change with Android 4.4 KitKat. According to Google, Android 4.4 KitKat has been designed to run fast, smooth, and responsively not only on high-end devices but also on entry-level ones that have as low as 512MB of RAM.
 
The company informs that KitKat streamlines every major component of the OS to reduce memory use and introduces new APIs and tools to help developers create new, responsive, memory-efficient apps.
 
(Also see: Android 4.4 KitKat - Top 10 new features)
 
Google says that OEMs that are building new Android devices can leverage the targeted recommendations and options to run Android 4.4 efficiently, even on low-memory devices.
 
"Dalvik JIT code cache tuning, kernel samepage merging (KSM), swap to zRAM, and other optimisations help manage memory. New configuration options let OEMs tune out-of-memory levels for processes, set graphics cache sizes, control memory reclaim, and more, " said Google in a blog post detailing the changes.
 
If multiple services need to start simultaneously, Android 4.4 KitKat launches the services serially, in small groups, to prevent peak memory demands, as per the company.
 
Google adds that changes across the system now improve memory management and reduce memory footprint and that core system processes have been 'trimmed to use less heap, and they now more aggressively protect system memory from apps consuming large amounts of RAM.'
 
This essentially means that processes that are essential for functioning of Android, now use less RAM, freeing up more RAM for other apps, resulting in improved performance and enhanced user experience.

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