Google brings the ‘Experience’ back home (and to your wrist)
One of Google’s biggest assets in Android is also one of their most infuriating challenges - its openness. It’s that which allows manufacturers to skin their devices how they like; making it all the more appealing (and more functional out-the-box.)
Yet all of this also takes power away from El Goog to control the experience - especially in terms of aesthetics. When the average consumer looks at an Android OS; they are generally put-off by its skeletal-look. Unaware it can be customised.
With Android 4.4, or ‘KitKat’, it looks like (as we’d predicted) one of the main focuses will be around improving the stock design. Leaked screenshots show subtle, but effective changes such as adding transparency and flattening many elements in the same respect as many of Google’s apps as-of-late.
But what’s the point in a great design, if (mostly) only Nexus users get to see it?
Well in the same respect as how the brainboxes in Mountain View got around compatibility with the many older Android versions using Play Services; now it appears they’re about to circumvent their own system through use of a ‘Launcher’.
There are many launchers available on the Play Store today (including one pretty special one we’ll be reporting here tomorrow) such as Nova Launcher, Everything.me, and Apex.
Each of these can radically change how your entire phone functions; representing the easiest way to customise your phone how you want. Google looks like they’ll be launching their own to the Play Store, alongside KitKat, which will give the stock Android experience to skinned devices.
The findings were made by Artem Russakovskii over at Android Police; who heavily wants to ensure people are aware this could potentially turn out to be false – but has gathered convincing evidence.
Yet all the evidence really needed is KitKat’s official tagline “to make an amazing Android experience available for everybody.”
So that’s how Google looks to be creating a stock Android experience for all; how are they bringing it to your wrist? Through the much rumoured, and now close to reality, Google Watch.
According to Seth Weintraub at 9to5Google; his sources say the watch is close to release and (I’m pretty sure we all guessed this...) Google Now is set to be its biggest feature. The service, which gives you information at a glance when you need it, has been growing consistently in functionality.
My initial (and personal) thoughts are Google will be rushing plans forward at this stage now Samsung has announced their Galaxy Gear smartwatch; as to ensure the market is not saturated uncontrollably by the one manufacturer. “The tail wagging the dog”
What do you think about the Android launcher rumours? How about the idea of a Google Watch?