Android 4.4.3 brings some Gmail flair to Dialer and People apps

by: Bogdan PetrovanJune 3, 2014

android 4.4.3 dialer

Factory images and binaries of Android 4.4.3 are now on Google’s servers, and the first OTAs are hitting Nexus 7 (2013) units, but what exactly does the change from 4.4.2 to 4.4.3 bring users?

The changelog is just the obligatory bug fixes and performance improvements, but it looks that Google took advantage of the opportunity to refresh the Dialer and People apps as well, bringing them in line with the design of the Gmail app.

Starting with Dialer, Google changed the way it displays the thumbnails of recent contacts – instead of the three most recent contacts at the top followed by a list of other contacts, Dialer now shows the last call at the top, followed by a Speed Dial interface made of two larger card columns, showing the name of the contacts and – in case they had one – their thumbnail picture.

dialer screen

If the contact doesn’t have a picture attached, the card shows the initial of the contact name on a colored background, just like on Gmail. Along with the new bottom bar, which went from gray to blue, the change makes the dialer app a little more lively and colorful.

You can drag and drop the cards to rearrange them in the Speed Dial, and the All Contacts button is now on top, so you no longer have to scroll down to reach it. It’s a nice little change, though the button is still not as prominent as we think it should be.

Clicking on the history button in the bottom action bar, shows the list of recent calls, like before, but now the header is blue, instead of grey and the clock icon on the right now lets you drill down in the calls list. Before, there was a phone icon on the right, which let you call the contact; now clicking on the contact itself does that.

The dialer itself is cleaner and features a white background, instead of the dark theme from before.

dialer screen 2

Overall, the functionality changes are rather small, and this update just brings the Dialer’s UI in line with Gmail. We expect that similar styling (specifically the colored letter thumbnails) will hit Hangouts in the close future as well.

Google also brought the Gmail-style cards to its People app, but apparently made no other visible changes.

  • Marius Balanuca

    fluturas :))

  • MasterMuffin

    That’s big for a x.x.X update. Often they’re just bug fixes

    • Corbin Crutch

      Yeah! Nice to see though

  • Kamal Qara’in

    Slightly off topic, but I would like to know if the update has rolled out to everybody because my Nexus 5 keeps saying that my system is up to date despite the fact that I am still running 4.4.2

    • It rolls out in stages, so you just have to be patient.

    • Saddam Fazal

      Wait man :P

    • Edwin Walker

      Waiting for this update has made me realise that Motorola changed the font on the update checker while I wasn’t looking.

  • keenmay

    I hope they fix the nexus 5 camera hissing noise issue. Problem exist since its release, it’s now been six months, I will return it if they don’t. Anyone waiting for the hissing noise fix?

  • Saddam Fazal

    Waiting :)

  • DarxideGarrison

    Anyone have a link to the 4.4.3 update folder for N5?

    • vraj

      I updated 4.4.3 on nexus 5… I have lot of issues now. Gmail , Outlook, google play doesn’t work. It says ‘Unfortunately Google Play has stopped’.. frustrated.

  • Dialer seems to be the only real consumer facing change. Rest is all inside the hood. Nevertheless bug fixes are always good.

  • Cezar Constantin Cociorba

    Ah lol. Nu stiam ca este un roman in echipa. Nu stiam de ce mi se par dubioase screen shot-urile :)). Salutari dom’le si spor la treaba!

  • companyemails

    not sure how to feel about the white background on the dialer. I’m kind of partial to the dark one. Sure wish they give you the option to choose the them.

  • Anthony Johnson

    I just updated the latest 4.4.3 version on my Nexus 5 and like its new features such as eye-catching dialer. Well, not able to explore other features as due to long hours of updating it, the battery almost fully drained out. So once I charge it on wireless charging pad, I will definitely explore more features in this latest
    version. Now I am not facing any camera bug.

  • Denny

    The numbers on the dialer are way too small unless you’re a 3 year old. Never had problems dialing with my old stubby fingers until this version.

  • Valerie Chaplin

    when will my BQ ELCANO GET UPDATED. Am still on 4.2.2