Google is finalizing a new interface for Android and it the redesign could possible fall into the Android 4.4.3 update scheduled to be rolled out. New features to fully integrate Google Now into the Android experience, the disappearance of the application drawer (much like iOS), and a ton of other new programming features could be rolling out to an Android device near you soon.
The guys and gals over and AndroidPolice were the ones to first report this little bombshell. What was initially thought to be just an overhaul of the backend of the Android operating system could actually turn into a completely new interface. One of the first things that could get a makeover is the navigation buttons:
Of course, the biggest change here would be the giant Google button in the middle. While we’re not completely sure of what the function of it will be, you can most likely bet that it will be used to either perform specific searches and link Google Now into the Android experience. The other two icons would replace the back button (left) and multitasking button (right).
New multitasking menu
Apparently, a rework to the multitasking menu is at the heart of the new system refresh. According to the source, you’ll be able to simple slide down to access the multitasking menu for applications. It is unknown, however, whether this will be available for all apps currently open / running or whether it will be just for some Google Apps.
Application Drawer and Widgets
Android may finally move towards a model that doesn’t incorporate the application drawer and could move more towards an iOS or MIUI style of managing applications, having them all laid out on different home screens. The implications could be that you could soon lose some prime real-estate for widgets and space on the home page unless you spend some time organizing applications around on your own. As such, we could possibly see widgets relegated to the lock screen, although nothing has been confirmed as of yet.
According to AndroidPolice, notifications are being called “nowtifications” internally at Google and as such, Google Now will be integrated more deeply into the heart of things with the new Android. As you can see in the below GIF, which showcases how notifications would be ordered in terms of importance.
Like the multitasking menu, Google Now will be updated to be accessible from any screen on your device. As well, the command “OK Google” will be integrated into the overall system and moves more towards transforming your Android device into a personal assistant that can be accessed at any time.
While it should definitely be noted that the above information is just pure speculation and rumor right now, internal reports indicate that the majority of these changes or features are currently in the works. Whether these will see the light of day in Android 4.4.3 or a subsequent release of the operating system, no one can tell for sure right now. If indeed Android 4.4.3 is just simply a maintenance release to cure the woes of continuing bugs and issues with the KitKat release, you could most likely see these features roll out in Android 4.5 or 5.0.