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Android 4.4 vs. Android 4.3 – Here are the Changes So Far From the Leak

kitkat vs jellybean2

After this morning’s mega-leak of Android 4.4 “Kit Kat” and the Nexus 5, we decided to do some comparison shots of the leak to the most current version of Android 4.3 running on a Nexus 4. If the differences weren’t immediately clear in that other post, this should help  you see it all. From the new transparent background of the navigation buttons and notification area, to the new icons (and some missing) in the app drawer, there are actually quite a few changes. Sure, they are mostly subtle, but damn do they look good. 

So in the top image and the one directly below, we are getting a comparison of the lock screens and the swipe action to quickly jump into the camera. As we mentioned before, you can see that Google has added a camera icon to the lower right corner to make it more obvious to everyday users that you can access the camera this way. From the leak, we know that you can grab the camera icon and slide it over, but can also swipe from the edge of the display as you have done in the past.

We’re also getting our first look at the new transparent notification bar and white icon set. Personally, I’m a fan of the white now that I’ve seen it next to the Android blue that has been a part of our lives for so long.

kitkat vs jellybean7

In this next screenshot, we get a side-by-side comparison of the home screen setup. This is our first look at the transparent navigation button background, but we’re also seeing a new phone icon and launcher button. Google has also done away with the dock separator and instead gone with a home screen indicator set of dots. That wallpaper may be new to Kit Kat as well.

According to the leak, users can add as many home screens as they’d like and are not stuck with the 5 that Nexus devices have been locked to for some time. They even mentioned that the device may ship with only a few, but that you can add more later on. We aren’t sure if the Camera and Phone icons are the only ones that are going to be allowed in the dock or not, but that would be extremely disappointing if Google locked that area to these two and wouldn’t allow you to add in a folder or Gmail, for example.

The leak also mentions Google Now accessibility coming in two forms. The first, is your typical swipe-up from the Home button. But their source mentioned that if you are on the farthest home screen to the left, that another single swipe from the left will  get you into Google Now. We imagine this being similar to what Motorola was doing with their quick toggles in Blur on devices like the Atrix HD and RAZR HD.

kitkat vs jellybean5

In the next comparison, we’re seeing the revamped app drawer, which also now has a transparent background. Missing are the Apps and Widgets buttons up top, so we’re not exactly sure how Google plans on handling widgets going forward. Hopefully, we see the long-press-to-add-from-home-screen return.

In other changes, we’re seeing the removal of Gallery, Local, Messaging, Movie Studio, and Navigation (Currents gone as well, but can be downloaded through Google Play). If Messaging is no longer a part of the experience, does that mean Hangouts will finally become the all-in-one messaging platform we were hoping it would become?

The grid size is back to a 4×5, but that more than likely has to do with the screen resolution than anything. The Nexus 4 carried a wider resolution than most, so we saw it switch to a 5×5 grid.

Last, there are new icons for Google Photos (formerly G+ Photos), Google Settings, and Google Search.

kitkat vs jellybean8

From the settings menu, the only real difference we are seeing here is the addition of a “Tap & pay” section. These was previously seen as “Payments” in another leak, so we’d assume this has to do with built-in NFC payment apps, more than likely Google Wallet.

kitkat vs jellybean4

And finally, we get a look at the new enhanced location settings menus. We can see that Google is going to give you the power to adjust location modes to either enhance accuracy or work less regularly to save battery life. They are also including a section for recent location requests and giving you quick access to location history.

kitkat vs jellybean3

This seems like quite a bit of change, but part of me gets the feeling that there is far more to see than what these pictures has shown us.

What do you guys think? See anything else?

  • Danyslsj

    I’ve seen changes in my contacts, phone and sms/hangout-talk menues too!

  • chris_johns

    im…disappointed….i dont like all these bright colors and transparency….this is android not ios7’s pastel garbage mess…

    • DevilsAdvocate

      yeah! Despite ios7 being influenced by Android’s look by going flatter and simpler in design, now that Apple’s done it, to even keep everything the same would be imitating Apple. It’s not like Android’s stock wallpapers have ever been colorful or pastel. Google overall has always lacked vibrancy. Just look at their logo. To be classic android, things should have to look more like ios3, all black with rows of detailed icons. Custom roms with transparent menu/drawer element should be ashamed of trying to be Apple.

      • chris_johns

        I love android n hate apple more then anything… Im just not blind or in denial as you appear to be

  • artsr2002

    1. Buy Sprint Nexus 5
    2. Flash it to Verizon MVNOs (Page Plus or Selectel Wireless)
    4. Profit!

    Nexus 5 on Verizon, although limited to 3G speeds but meh who cares. I have wifi access at home and work so its fine for me. Verizon’s coverage is still better than most in rural areas including Sprint.

  • EvildaddyRBLX

    Come on Google! Your better than that! Don’t copy stupid iOS 7.

    • lol wow you are dumb…

      • EvildaddyRBLX

        That’s your opinion and I don’t care. Don’t waste your time hating me. Cuz I love haters!

    • chris_johns

      honestly ima have to agree with you…lil disappointed with all these bright colors and transparency…jp looks more refined in my opinion

    • Moku

      Google’s Android 4.4 did NOT copy iOS 7. Google has been pursuing this direction for Android since Android 4.1. So now that Google’s going a bit further into this direction means that they’re copying iOS 7? As another commenter said, you could be considered “dumb”.

      Oh, and that “Cuz I love haters!” stuff? No. Just no. Absolutely pathetic excuse.

  • Mondy

    I’m suing Google if widgets will be long press on home screen



  • Jeff Martinez

    I can’t wait, my Nexus 4 is hungry for some KitKat!

  • carluverdrm2004

    Ah, the “No Service” icon on the notification bar. I see it every day until turning my phone off and on a few times and/or turning my airplane mode off and on a few times on my Galaxy Nexus. Cannot WAIT until Motomaker comes next month to Verizon….

  • spickle

    it’s funny, my G-Nex looks just like 4.4. with Nova i use the transparent notification and navigation buttons so my screen looks bigger. but minus the white icons.

  • amulya

    So I like most of it, but the app icons seem too large in the drawer and the phone icon sucks now. Not a big deal, but just aesthetically it doesn’t look too good.

  • jeyfrrey

    The little dots to show which page you are in is like gone back gingerbread ,and i ain’t goin back’ …hope the rumors aren’t true ,or its not goin wise

  • John Fibonacci

    iOs 7 users be like, its colorful android copied us again! LOL!

  • vs8

    I’m digging the new navigation bar and status bar look.

  • Fadzil Mohd Ashari

    no more hot seat..lol

  • Bojan Tomic

    The font in the app drawer seems much thinner.

  • Turb0wned

    Wonder how fast the DE moto x will get this.

  • Bruce Wayne

    That phone icon looks like shet compared to 4.3 phone icon.

  • Guest

    I’m wondering where the “widgets” tab is?

    Surely they they wouldn’t do away with that?

    • Guest

      Don’t call me surely.

  • RXG9

    N5 needs removable battery ;

  • Richard Giordano

    hope Motorola gets geared up to release kit kat for there new DROID line soon for wen google releases it

    • needa

      considering verizon still has not released the camera update on the x… i wouldnt hold my breath on kit kat for the droids.

  • Ricardo Da Silva

    isn’t the action bar different in settings ?