Flashback: Android 4.4 KitKat optimized the OS for phones with just 512MB of RAM

23 January 2022
This sugary treat changed how Android works on the inside to improve the user experience on low RAM devices.

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  • ?
  • Anonymous
  • 70d
  • 24 Jan 2022

Cyberchum, 23 Jan 2022Sorry, but your reading comprehension skill is deficient. T... more"so such a scheme wouldn’t have worked as well as zRAM."
This strongly implies that zRAM was replaced and is no longer being used, which is not true.

    I would love to see a modern smartphone flagship run old android software and see how blazingly fast it'll handle demanding tests

      • 4
      • 4mag
      • XxT
      • 24 Jan 2022

      Anonymous, 23 Jan 2022Android 4.4.4/Kitkat was and will be my favourite version.Me too
      It was buttery smooth and reliable

        • ?
        • Anonymous
        • sUS
        • 24 Jan 2022

        LyleJP, 23 Jan 2022Android peaked with Oreo. Everything since has been bloat.Bloating while removing or restricting features from older version.

          • M
          • Mar
          • SXm
          • 24 Jan 2022

          Nexus 5 with parandroid kitkat best phone, still miss some of features of the rom.

            • ?
            • Anonymous
            • n{k
            • 23 Jan 2022

            Android 4.4.4/Kitkat was and will be my favourite version.

              bazsy, 23 Jan 2022> "ZRAM ... This is different from the virtual RAM ... moreSorry, but your reading comprehension skill is deficient. There's no way in the article it is said that there's no zRAM in recent phones. It's simply said that zRAM is different from the recent RAM expansion done today, obviously for clarity sake. Just that: it's different, not that it no longer exists.

                Android peaked with Oreo. Everything since has been bloat.

                  Best Nexus for me: Nexus 5 (came with KitKat)
                  Best Pixel for me: Pixel 3 (came with Pie)

                  Design from Material You is horrible. Pixel already peaked with the 2 and 3. The 2 XL being peak Pixel design. The 3 being the peak in hardware comfort with software and no awful display the 2 XL was plagued with.

                  Pixels have gotten a little worse ever since whether no fingerprint sensor on the 4, cheaper materials and weaker SoC on the 5, or just being too large and heavy with an ugly and buggy Android 12 on the 6.

                  Pixel 2 and 3 also came with the last two versions of Android named after a dessert or something sweet. I remember when the new name of an Android version was exciting to find out. No more. Just call it Android 10, 11, or 12. No more excitement for a dessert name.

                  Nexus One (Eclair)
                  Nexus S (Gingerbread)
                  Galaxy Nexus (Ice Cream Sandwich)
                  Nexus 4 (Jelly Bean)
                  Nexus 5 (KitKat)
                  Nexus 6 (Lollipop)
                  Nexus 6P & 5X (Marshmallow)

                  Pixel (Nougat)
                  Pixel 2 (Oreo)
                  Pixel 3 (Pie)
                  Pixel 4 (10)
                  Pixel 5 (11)
                  Pixel 6 (12)

                    • ?
                    • Anonymous
                    • XS4
                    • 23 Jan 2022

                    Transperant Status bar was so hyped back then , it was totally worth it. Lollipop introduced Camera 2 API I guess that was another major upgrade. So much nostalgia with android still it got so much to offer.

                      One of the biggest reasons why I no longer want to keep upgrading my phones every 2 years or so is because I hate what Android is becoming. Most phones I want these days are older ones that never got updated to Android 12.

                      I'm trying to avoid 12 for as long as possible. And it seems 13 has the same hideous design of 12. I want my foldable clamshells to be on 11 forever like my Pixel 3 and Essential PH-1 on 9. I find software updates overrated and tends to usually ruin my initial great experience with a phone.

                        I recall that Android KitKat 4.4 came with my Galaxy Note 4. This was my first Galaxy Note Street buying the Galaxy S2 - S5 phones. It was an enjoyable experience. Android Lollipop was less so.

                          Man this takes me back, can remember getting both the Nexus 5 and 7 delivered. The 5 didn’t last too long with me as despite being pretty decent otherwise, the battery life was awful. I loved the 7 though, had it for years, a classic Android device.

                          Jeez it feels way longer than 9 years since those days……….

                            • ?
                            • Anonymous
                            • 4r3
                            • 23 Jan 2022

                            more ram, more pub globally?:)

                              • R
                              • RoaBaLang
                              • 6cm
                              • 23 Jan 2022

                              Android is now very hungry for RAM because there are too many hidden goals both from Google itself and from application developers. As an easy example that even fools should understand, when you run an application on an android phone, you only have the option to "go back" and there is no option to terminate it in any way, except "force close" from the application manager. And all the applications you've ever run will continue to run in the background, use the network, access and even send your personal data, doing whatever they want. Not to mention the apps that you have knowingly or unknowingly allowed to "auto-start" and access whatever they want.

                                KitKat was the best Android version pre-Material Design era. The best from the Holo era. The Tron: Legacy design that Ice Cream Sandwich brought from the Galaxy Nexus. Actually, Holo really came from Honeycomb (Android 3.0) for tablets.

                                KitKat was my favorite until Marshmallow, then Nougat, and now Pie. The much maligned Android 9 is my personal favorite. Kept my Pixel 3 and Essential Phone on Pie and they still run smoothly. I wasn't on Oreo long enough to really care about it because battery life on my OG Pixel got worse from it.

                                9 (Pie)
                                7 (Nougat)
                                6 (Marshmallow)
                                4.4 (KitKat)
                                4 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
                                4.1-4.3 (Jelly Bean)
                                8 (Oreo)
                                5 (Lollipop)
                                2.3 (Gingerbread)

                                Android 12 would rank in the bottom 3 just based on looks. I hate its design. I just try to tolerate Android 11 enough but a few of my apps became broken after 9. I guess Android 11 looks to be the last version not catered for teenage girls who are obsessed with TikTok Snapchat, and try to be Instagram models (AKA call girls for rich athletes).

                                  • ?
                                  • Anonymous
                                  • sUS
                                  • 23 Jan 2022

                                  Anonymous, 23 Jan 2022And now people need to pay for useless 8/12/16/18/20GB just... moreYou know what is funny? Phones are anti geeks these days and most consume half the resources with the user barely doing anything. Literally the exact opposite of what you said.

                                  People who max out their phone capabilities are few compared to those who overpay for flagship and then use those flagship like a budget phone.

                                    So that's why my galaxy alpha was godlike back when it had android 4.4. It didn't get android 6, after that android 5 disaster. Man I miss those times. Probably this one, android 2.3 , android 6 AND android 8 were the best versions ever made.

                                      • P
                                      • PKM1
                                      • Dk3
                                      • 23 Jan 2022

                                      Nice article,you really brought back memories.

                                        • ?
                                        • Anonymous
                                        • jmI
                                        • 23 Jan 2022

                                        YUKI93, 23 Jan 2022I remembered how laggy it was when running multiple apps. A... moreUnless it was a crappy phone it was not that laggy. And ios as well as wp were not free of lag either.