Leaked Android 4.4 KitKat images show a flattened 2D design

By on September 23, 2013, 11:00 AM

With iOS 7, many people said Apple’s mobile operating system became a bit more like Android with live wallpaper, control center and the like. It’s a bit fitting then that the latest purported images of Android 4.4 KitKat seem to suggest a flattened, 2D design that looks strikingly similar to iOS 7.

The changes are most obvious across the stock Android floating dock icons as these have lost most of their detail and shadowing in exchange for a flat 2D look. Elsewhere, the phone application has also been reworked which in this case is heavy on blue with a white backdrop while the messaging app seems to carry over the heavy white theme (apparently white is in this season with regard to UI design).

Collectively, it appears that the status bar changes color depending on the color scheme of the app that is open. It’s unclear whether this is controlled by the app developer or the overall theme used in KitKat.

Android 4.4 KitKat, the new codename for the update which replaces Key Lime Pie, is expected to drop sometime next month alongside the rumored (and leaked) Nexus 5. As per a recent FCC filing, that handset is expected to carry a 5-inch display, a Snapdragon 800 processor, 7-band LTE, 802.11 ac Wi-Fi and of course Android 4.4 KitKat.

Most also expect to see updated Nexus 10 hardware either from Asus or Samsung around the same time that could also debut with Android 4.4 KitKat.




User Comments: 29

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Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I really hope nobody was surprised by this...

1 person liked this | OneSpeed said:

I Really hope nobody was surprised by this...

Nope, not surprised when Apple copied Androids live wallpaper and control centre. What else is new??

1 person liked this | roxxas2 said:

FLATTENED 2D DESIGN?! Oh you mean like METRO?! Maaan, it's everyone is taking Microsoft's work.

lipe123 said:

Lawsuit in 3, 2, 1...

Reiz3rx Reiz3rx said:

According to Androidpolice these images are Fake..

fimbles fimbles said:

Do they have some kind of partnership with nestle going on?

http://www.kitkat.com/#/userexperience

OneSpeed said:

Do they have some kind of partnership with nestle going on?

http://www.kitkat.com/#/userexperience

Yes they do.

2 people like this | NeurotechHD NeurotechHD said:

I really hope this new flat fad goes away soon.

MilwaukeeMike said:

FLATTENED 2D DESIGN?! Oh you mean like METRO?! Maaan, it's everyone is taking Microsoft's work.

Or HTC's Sense 5.0 or iOS 7. Although I'm pretty sure Windows 95 was the first to use flat icons.

1 person liked this | TheBigFatClown said:

Blue on a white background for the phone? That looks like crap. Hell, I guess I'll just start going to some garage sales and looking for really old phones that had LCD displays with two colors. Gray and light gray. I guess 32-bit color is so yesterdays cellphone. 2-bit and 4-bit color phones are where it's at now days baby, yeah!

Excuse me while I look for a long rope to hang myself with. The world has gone mad!

Guest said:

@ MilwaukeeMike : No, I think it would have been Apple's Mac OS (1984) which Microsoft copied and released Windows 1.0 a year later.

psycros psycros said:

According to Androidpolice these images are Fake..

God we can hope.

JC713 JC713 said:

I really hope this new flat fad goes away soon.

I actually like it.

wastedkill said:

Glad to see cryogenmod making headlines even if its being labled kitkat

TheBigFatClown said:

I actually like it.

If you don't get help at Charter, Please, get help somewhere!

dennis777 dennis777 said:

Designs are not a problem in android, they are great launchers in the market. You can even make your phone looks like a windows phone. Great customization is one of the few merits of android in my opinion.

p51d007 said:

That's the nice thing about android...at least you don't have to live with the stock launcher. My Gnote came with touch Whiz....never used it. Have used Go Launcher EX pretty much since day one. Next launcher isn't bad, but for me Go EX is what I use daily.

JC713 JC713 said:

If you don't get help at Charter, Please, get help somewhere!

Ok, what is wrong with the flat look? In my opinion is is really clean looking vs 3D. You dont have to offend people to get your point across.

1 person liked this | Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

If you don't get help at Charter, Please, get help somewhere!

Ok, what is wrong with the flat look? In my opinion is is really clean looking vs 3D. You dont have to offend people to get your point across.

Agreed. There is a big desire for minimalist, and sometimes 2D interfaces. As far as the colors go, the guy making the comment about going to garage sales and finding old phones.... The basic phone functions might be this way, but when you watch videos and surt the web, you'll be thankful you have that beautiful display, even though you are a fan of the minimalist 2D environment.

Personally, I am not a fan of the 2D environment, usually... but I do enjoy minimalist designs in basic phone features, feel and general environment.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

2D less impact on the system than 3D would me more. I just wish they would fix the bugs then just release newer versions of the OS.

TheBigFatClown said:

Agreed. There is a big desire for minimalist, and sometimes 2D interfaces. As far as the colors go, the guy making the comment about going to garage sales and finding old phones.... The basic phone functions might be this way, but when you watch videos and surt the web, you'll be thankful you have that beautiful display, even though you are a fan of the minimalist 2D environment.

Personally, I am not a fan of the 2D environment, usually... but I do enjoy minimalist designs in basic phone features, feel and general environment.

I find your comments somewhat, how do I say this without offending....absurd maybe? There is a big desire for minimalist cellphones? That's the most ironic statement I have ever heard. If you want a minimalist cellphone go dig up the one you bought 10 years ago. Your dreams will have come true. Were in the era of smartphones now. Where people expect them to do everything under the sun including making phone calls. And you say there is a big desire for minimalist? Just like there is the land of TVs right. "Oh no, I don't want a HD television. 2 million pixels on the screen each scene is just so yesterday. Who wants all that detail? Damn crazies. Give me 640x480 and I'll be happy".

How much money is Microsoft paying you people to troll these forums? To try and convince people that the cellphones they were selling 10 years ago are what everybody wants again today?

@tipstir

They make these cool new chips called quad-core CPUs? So, I think it's safe at this point to use more than 3 colors on the current generation of cellphones.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

2D means UI elements are hard to distinguish. Is it a control, or is it an output? 3D helps to differentiate.

JC713 JC713 said:

I find your comments somewhat, how do I say this without offending....absurd maybe? There is a big desire for minimalist cellphones? That's the most ironic statement I have ever heard. If you want a minimalist cellphone go dig up the one you bought 10 years ago. Your dreams will have come true. Were in the era of smartphones now. Where people expect them to do everything under the sun including making phone calls. And you say there is a big desire for minimalist? Just like there is the land of TVs right. "Oh no, I don't want a HD television. 2 million pixels on the screen each scene is just so yesterday. Who wants all that detail? Damn crazies. Give me 640x480 and I'll be happy".

How much money is Microsoft paying you people to troll these forums? To try and convince people that the cellphones they were selling 10 years ago are what everybody wants again today?

@tipstir

They make these cool new chips called quad-core CPUs? So, I think it's safe at this point to use more than 3 colors on the current generation of cellphones.

What is your problem? Some people like me like the minimalist look.

TheBigFatClown said:

What is your problem? Some people like me like the minimalist look.

Please explain what you mean when you say you like the minimalist look. What does that mean..does the concept of minimalist look carry over to everything in your life...including your operating system? I don't judge people for having preferences. I am more mad at Microsoft than anybody. For thinking everybody is the same. They have decided that nobody is unique anymore. If you don't like complicated things that's okay with me. But the less complicated something is, in general, the less customizable it will be, the less decisions will be available to you, because the decisions have already been made for you by some programmer at might Microsoft who didn't want you to have to make tough decision in life, like choosing a background image for your phone. If the white/blue color scheme for the dial pad on KitKat is not customizable I will not be happy. The color scheme on a cellphone should be left up to me. Maybe I don't like blue on white.

JC713 JC713 said:

Please explain what you mean when you say you like the minimalist look. What does that mean..does the concept of minimalist look carry over to everything in your life...including your operating system? I don't judge people for having preferences. I am more mad at Microsoft than anybody. For thinking everybody is the same. They have decided that nobody is unique anymore. If you don't like complicated things that's okay with me. But the less complicated something is, in general, the less customizable it will be, the less decisions will be available to you, because the decisions have already been made for you by some programmer at might Microsoft who didn't want you to have to make tough decision in life, like choosing a background image for your phone. If the white/blue color scheme for the dial pad on KitKat is not customizable I will not be happy. The color scheme on a cellphone should be left up to me. Maybe I don't like blue on white.

I love how the skeuomorphism is gone from iOS. I hated it (I am one of those guys lol). iOS 7 is just a simpler and cleaner version.

Guest said:

2D means UI elements are hard to distinguish. Is it a control, or is it an output? 3D helps to differentiate.

And that's why I prefer 3D or skeuomorphism over the dreary 2D design.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

@TheBigFatClown is mad because 'minimalistic 2D design' is going against everything user interface design standards teach. He just can't be bothered citing specific examples, is my guess.

No, it's not because it's 2013 and it's time to move on. It's been a push by Apple so they have something drastically different to show for their new model, as the old iOS was literally 5 years old and unchanged. Apple still demands a strong audience, so unfortunately the other players in the market have to slightly adjust towards their direction.

1 person liked this | TheBigFatClown said:

@TheBigFatClown is mad because 'minimalistic 2D design' is going against everything user interface design standards teach. He just can't be bothered citing specific examples, is my guess.

No, it's not because it's 2013 and it's time to move on. It's been a push by Apple so they have something drastically different to show for their new model, as the old iOS was literally 5 years old and unchanged. Apple still demands a strong audience, so unfortunately the other players in the market have to slightly adjust towards their direction.

So in other words, change for changes sake. Just like Windows 8. I guess it's the only way people who write software can keep selling it year after year even when the previous version was good enough. The human nature of people is so funny sometimes. Well, I guess in 10 years, 32-bit color and 3d interfaces will make a comeback. Microsoft will be selling Windows 21 touting a fresh new 32-bit color 3d interface and people will purchase it in droves, saying "Man Windows 21 is so new and fresh. I really like it."

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

So in other words, change for changes sake. Just like Windows 8.

Yes. Apple had to change. No way would a new device and new point release go smoothly with the same UI graphics. Since Apple changed, there will have to be changes made by other people, otherwise the shouts of "L0l look at dat old outdated stuff" will flatten it.

Fortunately, Androids have more avenues of advancement available to them, so there isn't as much of a focus on the UI. In any case, we still have custom ROMs and skins to tide us over.

As to the second half of your comment.. yep, eventually we will go back to 3D UI and be told that it is the latest new thing. A prime example: Samsung edge-lit TV's. They are a HUGE step back in terms of picture quality, but hey, it's got a nice sleek minimal look.

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