Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Does Google go the Apple-Way with KitKat 4.4 ?

Important features are missing in updates to +Android 4.4 KitKat. NOt even the launcher is the same. Transparent in status line and soft keys are missing. Is this the start of Google doing it the Apple-way and leaving out features for older devices?
I have to say I'm upset about this. For me the most important updates are the ones I feel and see. Personally I do not care much about the Launcher, which is basically the search app, because of doubts about spying out my usage behaviour, but the transparent status line on top and the ugly onscreen buttons on the bottom. Believe it or not, I want it. It's a totally new user experience and gives you the feeling you just have a new device with a bigger screen.
In addition to this, having the left-swipe Google Now permanently on the desktop is also a main improvement.

This is not cool. The Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 are totally able to handle all the features very well. What is Google doing?
The Google Experience Launche (GEL) is said to be available for those devices afterwards. That is not very soothing. First of all, Google never said officially something about a "Google Experience Launcher". And second, it doesn't sound good to have the transparent effect on launcher level only. This should have been integrated on a deeper level of the OS. And it's not even assured that the GEL really brings transparency to the N4 and N7.
And in the end, people will get totally confused, having to install a launcher to get the latest Android experience. It's okay to make it uninstallable. But it needs to be there by default on a Nexus device. Period!

All in all this is not a good development. I always hating this fraud from Apple, to tell users they have the "new OS" and in reality it's something different than the real devices. +Google , you can do better than this. And by the way, what about the open source status of the GE launcher?


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