Android 4.4 KitKat to feature a “Google Experience” launcher, report says

October 13, 2013

    Android 4.4 KitKat

    A new report says that Android 4.4 KitKat will bring a “Google Experience” launcher, a feature that previous reports digging through an older KitKat build log file have also hinted at.

    Android Police has it that Google is working hard on a new launcher for Android 4.4 KitKat which will be called Google Experience. That’s the name found in an earlier build, where the launcher’s packages was called com.google.android.gel, which Android World identified then either as a launcher or a “hub” for Google services.

    Android 4.4 KitKat Google Experience launcher

    Cropped image reportedly showing the Google Experience launcher in Android 4.4 KitKat | Image Credit: Android Police

    According to Android Police, gel is the short version of Google Experience Launcher, and the fact that its name is com.google.android.gel instead of com.android.gel seems to suggest that the launcher will be available in the Google Play Store – the same Android World pointed out a few days ago the same thing about the name of various Google apps which will apparently have a .google in their name, indicating a possibility that those apps will be available as independent downloads from the Play Store.

    Finally, Android Police points out to KitKat’s motto – “to make an amazing Android experience available for everybody” (see top image) – which seems to suggest that with KitKat, Google may want to offer users that won’t immediately have access to the latest OS update some of the latest versions.

    Android 4.4 KitKat Mockup

    Mockup: Transparent navigation and status bar (left) and folder containing “infinite apps” (right) | Image Credit: Android Police

    The publication also offers a cropped image showing a “Google Experience” notification, but also a few mockups of the new launcher, as you can see in the images embedded in this post.

    If you remember an older Wall Street Journal report about Google’s “K release” version of Android – which turned out to be KitKat instead of Key Lime Pie – you’ll also remember that the report suggested Google’s next major Android update will be compatible with older devices.

    Android 4.4 KitKat Mockup

    Mockup: Google Search/Now Home screen (left) and “Google Experience” notification (right) | Image Credit: Android Police

    Maybe Google’s way of doing things is to simply offer users the possibility to download some of the Android 4.4 default app as independent Google Play apps that would work with older Android versions – but we’re just speculating at this point.

    That would be one way to get a “Google Experience” handset, and that’s why getting a new launcher, one that has its own branding (previous launchers didn’t have their own names), would make sense.

    Android 4.4 KitKat Mockup

    Voice input in Android 4.4 (mockup on the left) vs Android 4.3 (right) | Image Credit: Android Police

    Android Police further confirms some of the Android features offered by a recent leak – just a few days ago we showed you a variety of pictures reportedly coming from a Nexus 5 running Android 4.4 – offering other details, as follows:

    • The transparent navigation and status bars are present while in the launcher, not in apps, at which point they return to their regular black color
    • Google Search/Now is integrated with Google Experience
    • The left screen is dedicated to Google Search/Now
    • Google Search/Now has a “one-touch button to set a reminder”
    • Google Search’s voice input is “kind of transparent on the bottom and floats instead of occupying the whole screen”
    • Users can setup more than five home screens (there’s no limit in sight)
    • There’s no app limit for folders, which can now get over 16 apps
    • Widgets can’t be added from the App Drawer anymore, but from the home screen menu by long-pressing menu

    That said, this is just another rumor related to Android 4.4 KitKat, and things may change by the time the final version is launched. Meanwhile, we’re certain we’ll see even more leaks in the days/weeks to come – depending on how soon Google will unveil this new Android update.

    0 53 745

    Via

    Comments

    • Laurence Eckert

      If this rumour is actually true, then I can’t wait. My phone won’t receive the new update but it definitely would be really nice to get the launcher that comes with it.

    • MasterMuffin

      I simply don’t get it, there are Apex, Nova, Holo etc. already in Play Store available for everyone with more customization and they’ll probably get a Kit Kat look soon, so why would anyone need this?

      • Laurence Eckert

        Because it is Google…

      • lil bit

        Because they are big enough to force us. Google and Android is a big BYE BYE.

        • Kash Gummaraju

          please leave

      • https://plus.google.com/117965295509267254340/posts Dean Wisener

        Because some people don’t want a “stock-ish” launcher. Myself included.

        • MasterMuffin

          They’re 100% stock and more

          • https://plus.google.com/117965295509267254340/posts Dean Wisener

            I know. Nova is my daily driver and Trebuchet on CM is similar. But I’d like to know what the stock experience is like, too. It’s kind of a curiosity thing, you know?

            • MasterMuffin

              But, but it’s exactly the same but with less options! :)

            • https://plus.google.com/117965295509267254340/posts Dean Wisener

              I know, I know. Like I said, it’s just curiosity. I want to know Google’s implementation.

            • MasterMuffin

              Ok fine :)

            • https://plus.google.com/117965295509267254340/posts Dean Wisener

              I know it’s weird :P

            • MasterMuffin

              Not as weird as this lil bit guy trolling this comment section :D

      • leo98918

        Because Android is Google’s OS. If its theirs, don’t they have the right to change the look of it? They are not going to rely on 3rd Party Devs to “create” Android for them. 3rd Party Devs are welcome to customize it as they please, but in the end, it is Google’s OS.
        How did Apex, Nova, and all those other “Stock” looking launchers become popular, sure the customization helped and all, but it also gave the “Nexus Experience” to others who didn’t have a Nexus phone.

        • MasterMuffin

          Your comment made no sense. My question is: why would anyone need this.

          • leo98918

            Better yet, why wouldn’t anyone need this? Its just a few UI changes… Don’t understand what the big problem is. Its Google’s, so they do as they please, and they are also trying to cater to the people. If they changed the UI, it was probably they saw something that they thought would add to their Nexus Experience. Companies do things that they feel would “better” their products, so this is what Google is doing.

        • Epic Tea

          I’m sorry but a launcher is only a small taste of the nexus experience your missing a lot unless u flash a ROM. Nova launcher on CyanogenMod 10.2 is way more enjoyable on my GS4 than using it with touchwiz.

          • leo98918

            Yeah I flash ROMs, haven’t had a Nexus device yet, Nexus 5 will be my first.

      • John Locke

        Not everyone knows about Nova, Apex and other launchers that offer a stock Android experience, I think Google will advertise this launcher more…

        • John Locke

          That was me, I accidentally deleted my comment :S

      • Epic Tea

        Good point.

      • Rahul Nebhnani

        we can’t change the notification panel on OEM skins , i hope we get a
        stock notification panel !! ^_^

    • lil bit

      Google experience just means more forced google services, im so ready for Firefox OS. This is bad. Android is phasing itself out. Waiting for a FF OS ROM for my Xperia Z, i need a way out. Android = iOS, thats our future.

      • MasterMuffin

        It’s just a launcher FFS people calm down

        • lil bit

          Well, lets see about that shall we?

          • Brandon Jiang

            are you serious? what could it be besides a launcher? it’s a single apk….

            • Tim

              OH NO FIREFOX, THEN FIREFOX WILL FORCE YOU TO USE FIREFOX (SARCASM)

              Its a troll, dont comment

      • Dinso

        If you don’t like Google, go and make your own OS and ecosystem and live inside that. Don’t cry here. And just fuck off from here.

        • will24

          Nice one!!!

      • Dinso

        And Android not equal to iOS. Apple force you to use their own apps and not let you to select default app. Google wont force you to use any apps as default. And apple wont allow other companies to make an app better than the default apple apps on iOS with applying restriction and policies.

    • lil bit

      The trend is so clear now! This is exactly why i was hesitating to adopt Android back in 2010 coming from Maemo5, Google is forcing itself into our phones. Guess what Google, i newer used your services, and i never will. What is the search provider of my phone and PC? Yahoo. What about Google Now? Google+? DISABLED.

      • MasterMuffin

        Yahoo? Seriously? Good for you…

        • lil bit

          Its better now, but only a year ago it was virtually IMPOSSIBLE to find free programs on Google. I searched for AUTOSCREENRECORDER FREE (Wisdom Soft) and Google didnt even have ONE hit. Instead they displayed all the useless payware they could find. Of course i changed to Yahoo, i mean, why would i not want freeware to show up in my search results? You know it was not for nothing that EU fileed a case against Google, they had VERY good reasons. Sponsored links were all over the place, and if it wasnt for EU it still would have been that way, how is that consumer firendly? Google is enemy and has always been.

          • MasterMuffin

            K

          • Tim

            have you ever used android since it was released… you can install/uninstall what you want and apps has been always free and paid options.

            A troll i guess.. Why did i post this comment…

            • lil bit

              Then explain why EU filed a case against Google in the first place.

            • Brandon Jiang

              what makes the EU so great? why hasn’t any USA, Asia, Africa, Australia, South America done anything?

            • https://plus.google.com/117965295509267254340/posts Dean Wisener

              The EU has it out for Google anyway, because they’re an american company dominating the global tech market. In fact, France is leveling extra taxes against google specifically because of this. The EU’s opinion here is actually worth less than nothing.

      • _jliu

        Where does it say in the article that all other non-Google services would be blocked? You’ll still be able to use Yahoo on Android if you want. You’ve always been able to.

        • lil bit

          Yeah sure, the average user will change that? thats a big DUUHHHH! and its nothing peronal

          • Brandon Jiang

            im sure the average user is capable of searching for yahoo mail in the app store and downloading it… you seem to underestimate people and take them for an idiot

            • lil bit

              WHAT? Your reply is so out of topic. This isnt about yahoo at all.

            • Brandon Jiang

              he said,” You’ll still be able to use Yahoo on Android if you want. You’ve always been able to.”

              then you said “Yeah sure, the average user will change that? thats a big DUUHHHH! and its nothing peronal” like they can’t.

              so i said sure, the average user can download yahoo if they want. nothing is forced. hell, they can even disable gmail and make yahoo the default email app. that’s certainly within the scope of an “average user”

          • _jliu

            If the “average user” wants to change it, it’s simply a matter of downloading the app. If they don’t want to, they don’t have to.

            • lil bit

              no no no no… Get real before you reply. Thats very out of the topic. Im not talking about yahoo.

            • _jliu

              Google isn’t forcing their launcher onto our phones either. If you don’t want to launcher either, don’t download it.

            • lil bit

              Really, so the trend is not pointing towards forced Google Services?

            • Brandon Jiang

              this isn’t iOS bro. you can change the default email app, default launcher, default messaging app, etc. just disable and set default

            • Anders CT

              No it isn’t. On iOS, Windows Phone, and Kindle OS you have very little choice but on Android you have a lot. If you don’t want to use Google you don’t have to.

            • Brandon Jiang

              you are the one who brought up yahoo… stop saying we are off topic.

            • lil bit

              I simply said i use Yahoo. Because i dont want to filter out free stuf.

      • https://plus.google.com/117965295509267254340/posts Dean Wisener

        Why are you so bitter?

        • lil bit

          Bitter? Sorry but what are we talking about here? We are not on the same page.

          • Brandon Jiang

            no. everyone is on the same page but you. we are talking about yahoo here while you claim we are not. just because you are the idiot driving the wrong way on the highway does not mean everyone is the one driving the wrong way

            • lil bit

              Im using yahoo so i can get relevant search results, why did EU file a case against Google if they were not biased??

            • https://plus.google.com/117965295509267254340/posts Dean Wisener

              They’re allowed to be biased because… they. own. the. search. engine.

            • Brandon Jiang

              what is wrong with being biased? so tripadvisor results show up above expedia results… not a big deal bro. just scroll down a lil more.

            • Hacker For Hire

              Using Yahoo for relevant search results? Wow, you really are an idiot. What are you? A winTard troll or an iTard troll?

          • https://plus.google.com/117965295509267254340/posts Dean Wisener

            Dude, you’re railing against Google all over this page. You’re obviously bitter about something. I’m not saying your concerns aren’t valid, though they are questionable. I’m just wondering what Google did to make you so pissed at their products.
            And if you want Android without Google, just buy an uncertified device.

            • lil bit

              Its trending, and its getting crystal clear. Just wait, you see it too.

            • https://plus.google.com/117965295509267254340/posts Dean Wisener

              Yeah… i don’t mind if Google worms their services into certified android. I use them. And uncertified android has no connection to google, so…

          • martin carlosena

            Google is not forcing anything… It gives you the option doesn’t it?

      • Hacker For Hire

        Get a dumb phone, you idiot.

      • Jose Roman

        What a liar, have you never use Google search for some info? Or your fan boy of bing or yahoo search, lol

      • Kash Gummaraju

        of course they’re going to do that, android is a google product, by using android you’re already using their services. This is for people without stock android preinstalled on their phones- like those with touchwiz, sense, motoblurr, and etc. This is a stock launcher

      • Ap

        Someone give this guy a sneaker

      • Anders CT

        You can remove all google apps and services from an Android phone and still use it. You can change the browser, the default search, install third-party appstores, sideload software, and replace the entire OS in many cases.

        You can NOT remove Apple from your iPhone, Microsoft from your Windows Phone or (easily) remove Amazon from your Kindle. Android is the only open OS that allows real user choice.

      • https://plus.google.com/111019692970182387850 Carlos Sarthou

        Well to be fair, you don’t HAVE to leave Android behind if you’re ditching Google. AOSP Android =/= Google Android. Just flash custom firmware on whatever device(s) you own and DON’T flash any Gapps packages. Then sideload F-Droid, the Amazon app store (can you actually install this on a non-Kindle though?) and maybe some other non-Google marketplace for apps.

    • Imran Bukhari

      does that items in folder is scrollable??

      • MasterMuffin

        Yes, infinite scrollable folders is a rumored feature

    • bt

      Nooo, they can’t take the widgets out of the app drawer again, this is not gingerbread back again!

      • https://plus.google.com/117965295509267254340/posts Dean Wisener

        I imagine they’ll still be there, just not place-able from there. Though it makes little sense.

        • bt

          Oh, I know the widgets will still be there, but they’re so handy being in the app drawer, and half of androids don’t even have menu keys any more…

    • lil bit

      Im off to the Firefox OS forums. Google is no less than ridiculous, if only Apple had a bigger display i wouldnt have this problem.

      • Brandon Jiang

        and being forced to use apple services is better than having the option of using ymail or gmail on android? wtf….

      • MasterMuffin

        You need to calm down a lil bit (ba dum tzz)

      • John Locke

        Dude what are you doing on Android Authority?

        • Kash Gummaraju

          John Locke!

      • Kash Gummaraju

        ok leave then, if you don’t want the stock launcher no one cares, for every user that leaves about 1000s more take their place.

      • Abhishek Kumar

        Nobody forced you to stay here. Why don’t you just get lost?

    • #HateLilBit

      lil bit, please go leave and never come back.

    • lot bit

      lil bit SOOOOOOO MAAAAADDDDD hahah

    • Oli72

      looks great google.

    • John Locke

      Wow I actually predicted this on Android Authority a few months ago!

    • ongboy

      Note 3 os 4.3 have many problem with application and moive player
      Please fix all applications already so
      Many days not improved

    • http://www.androidrootz.com/ Anuj Patel

      Glad that Google is constantly trying new things and changing em up! I would hate to have the same look every major update.
      http://www.androidrootz.com/

      • Brian Shieh

        maybe they held on JellyBean for iOS to catch up, and then shoot up again…publicity?

    • Tcv4

      I think google is going to release a launcher. Perhaps it will just be a stock android esk launcher, like nova or apex.

    • raj

      I just love these leaks
      Want to try 4.4 on my Xperia Z Ultra beauty

    • Groud Frank

      Just can’t wait for Google to finally release the thing to see what we are actually getting.

    • Amsakanna

      The camera icon needs a makeover now

    • RanRu

      You mean I can have stock features and manufacturers can’t take them away?

      I could just cry….

    • frobisher

      i just hope it has a decent camera app which is as good as samsung’s

    Popular

    Latest