Google is in the final stages of preparing Android 4.4 'KitKat' for release, with new information recently coming to light on how messaging will function in the updated mobile OS. Firstly, information on the Android Developers Blog reveals that users will be able to select a default SMS app for the first time, allowing a more tightly integrated experience with third-party messaging apps.
In current versions of Android, only the default and bundled Messaging app is officially supported for SMS and MMS, with third-party applications using workarounds and hidden APIs to access messages. Android 4.4 will bring a public API for SMS, and with some code adjustments to third-party apps, users can select any SMS app they like to be the default.
As far as the official messaging solution in Android 4.4 goes, rumors point to SMS and MMS functionality being integrated into the Hangouts app, with the Messaging app itself being removed. The idea is that the Hangouts app will become a competitor to iMessage, where users have the choice to send messages over the internet for free, or send traditional SMS messages to devices without the app.
KitKat isn't far away from a release, following its announcement last month. It's likely that alongside the new version of Android, Google will also launch the Nexus 5, which has seen a fair share of leaks over the past few months. The LG-made smartphone is said to be similar to the G2, although with some tradeoffs to keep the price similar to the Nexus 4.
Expect more information on the Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 as we head into the traditional November launch frame for new Google devices.