Android 4.4 KitKat was optimized for phones with only 512MB of RAM in the past

by Ijlala Maqbool

Remember when Android versions were named after desserts? It would even erect sculptures of those delicacies in front of its headquarters – things were more exciting back then, and every new version brought with it significant enhancements.

Some were significant milestones, such as Android 2.3 Gingerbread, the version that refused to die despite its superiority. Android 4.4 KitKat also brought a slew of improvements that are still relevant eight years later.

First, there’s the name: this is the first release after a specific snack; the rest are all generic desserts. This one was supposed to be named after the “Key Lime Pie,” but a last-minute deal with Nestle resulted in the name we know today. Despite this setback, with the v9.0 release, pies will be honored for their value on the table.

KitKat arrived after three iterations of Jelly Bean, which prioritized a buttery-smooth user interface. KitKat’s focus was on increasing speed on devices with low resources, aside from a few UI improvements of its own.

Project Svelte was out to operate Android on as little as 340 MB of RAM; however, 512 MB was a more realistic objective. According to statistics from 2013, the average phone had 1GB of RAM, with 3GB being the maximum you could get. This implies there were a lot of devices with less than 1 GB of RAM back then, and there are still some now (okay, they are smartwatches, but the point stands).

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