The latest Android Flavour is Marshmallow, and blame Android Fragmentation if you must, but most users are still using Android KitKat (37%). Almost all new releases are coming with Android 5.0 Lollipop, and we are aware that within next 3 to 4 months this question might be futile, but still there are several compelling smartphones selling with Android 4.4 KitKat as of today for discounted prices.
So basically in India, it is that particular time of the year where budget smartphone buyers are stranded between Good deals on KitKat phones and Marshmallow options being nowhere in sight. Besides, updates for budget buyers have never worked as they should.
So exactly how much will I be missing with KitKat?
Depends on what phone you buy. If you opt for phones with a heavily customized ROM, say EMUI 3.0 or MIUI6, you will have the same consistent UI design and most features irrespective of the Android version, but you won’t be able to use apps in Play store compatible with Android 5.0 and above.
On the other hand, if you are opting for a phone running anything close to stock Android, KitKat will feel primitive, especially one year down the line, so nope, we don’t recommend you to buy any such device as of today.
Will many apps be incompatible?
When the world transitioned from Jelly Bean to KitKat, there were several KitKat exclusive apps on Play store in the year that followed. Lollipop was a major overhaul compared to KitKat in everyway, but still we didn’t spot many Lollipop exclusive apps in the subsequent year. Even today, most popular apps are readily compatible with Android KitKat.
This might not be the case with Marshmallow. With new included Marshmallow APIs and features, we are expecting aggressive support from developer community, which should lead to more Marshmallow exclusive apps in near future.
Here are 5 Apps reserved Only For Android 5.0 Lollipop or Marshmallow
AZ Screen Recorder
Recording your Android screen is equally fun and useful. You can share tutorials, help a friend with an Android issue using a video demonstration or simply record your Clash of Clan sessions. A handy UI integrated with Lollipop allows you to accomplish this without rooting.
AZ Screen Recorder has a simple and unobtrusive UI which lets you make 720p Clippings. This one works best for us, but there are several other alternatives like ilos screen recorder, One Shot screen recorder, etc. (All apps are exclusive to Android Lollipop and higher).
Whenever you get bored with your Android phone, trying a new launcher is a great way to break monotony. HomeUX Beta is a Lollipop exclusive launcher with great animations, handy features and loads of sumptuous material design. Pro version is the one which works best.
Rest of the apps in our list are Marshmallow exclusives. Yup the list is pretty short for Lollipop.
Custom Quick Settings
Custom Quick Settings takes advantage of the hidden UI Tuner feature in Android Marshmallow. The app allows you to customize quick-settings toggles. You can add URLs for websites you frequently visit, setting options, Apps and even assign icons to each. You can also assign long press action to each quick-setting tile.
This can be very convenient as it cuts out a few steps for things you frequently do on your device.
Doze is one of the best features of Android Marshmallow, which silent works in the background and lets you extend your battery life when you are not using your phone. Naptime is an app which lets you toggle and personalize doze settings.
This means you can decide after howmuch time your device goes into doze mode, or when it goes inactive, after how much time it wakes again to check for updates and so on. The app is great for those who like to take things in their own stride, but requires root access. Doze settings editor is another similar app, but it is currently not listed on Play Store, but you can download and sideload APK from XDA forum page.
Google Camera 3.1
Latest update to Google Camera brings a new UI for Marshmallow devices. The app reportedly performs a tad bit better and includes improvements like easy switching between still and camera mode, easy toggle for flash and HDR+ and more.
As far as Apps future-proofing goes, basic users won’t be missing out on much between KitKat and Lollipop. However, If you are anything more than basic user, we recommend you to opt for a phone which will be timely updated to Android 6.0 Marshmallow sooner rather than later.