Google’s goal with Android 4.4 KitKat is stated as “to make an amazing Android experience available for everybody.” Although isn’t that the goal with every version of Android? What it means is probably the Google Experience Launcher which we’ve seen in recent leaks. But why? Well there’s that F word, fragmentation. We’re always waiting for the next big update.
Android 4.4 is set to be announced later this month, although we have no idea exactly when it’ll be announced. The hypebeasting for the update is in full effect. Complete with rumors of a Google Experience Launcher. KitKat is the first version of Android since Android 4.1 was announced at Google I/O in 2012, to get a new name. Jelly Bean has been version 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3. So that means it’s a pretty big deal, especially compared to the past few updates.
Now back to the Google Experience. This launcher is rumored to be a hub launcher for Google apps and widgets on every Android device. The Google Experience launcher will work just like any other launcher like Action Launcher Pro, Nova, Apex, etc. At least that’s what we believe from the rumors. The definition of a launcher is a skin for your home screen and app drawer. But what would Google Experience mean for users? Well we have heard that Android 4.4 KitKat would support lower-end devices, which would bring the Google Experience to more devices. Which sounds like a good idea to me.
The Google Experience could also be a front-end extension of Google Play Services. Google Play Services is a stand-alone app inside Android which has a ton of features. It also allows Google to send out a ton of updates and features, without having to push out a new version of Android, which in the past can take up to a year to get to many of the flagships or longer. If the Google Experience Launcher is just a launcher in Android 4.4, it’s really going to be awesome. Right now the stock Android launcher is pretty meh. It does what it needs to do, but it’s nothing fancy.
We’re expecting the Google Experience to be backwards compatible. I’d expect it to be compatible with Android 4.0 and above which would cover around 60% or more of the Android population.