Many users are waiting for the update to Android 4.4 KitKat, but many will be waiting a long, long time. There's not much you can do about the software improvements yet, but you can at least get the look of KitKat on your smartphone. If you simply can't wait any longer, here are three ways to get the KitKat look right now.
Theme for your custom ROM
Do you already have a custom ROM like CyanogenMod 10.x, AOKP or Paranoid Android running on your smartphone? Simply load the free KitKat Android 4.4 CM10 Theme on your device. Then open the Android Settings, go to the "design" section and choose the KitKat theme from the list of installed themes. Should you receive an error message, enable anyway and then re-start your phone to see if the design take effect. You will now have the KitKat wallpaper, new icons and more.
Note: While this theme is compatible with AOKP, Paranoid Android, and CyanogenMod 10.x, depending on the custom ROM you're using, some elements will not be changed. CyanogenMod, for example, cannot change the system bar color, so they will remain black.
Launcher theme for Apex, Nova & Co.
If you have no custom ROM on your smartphone but you still want the KitKat look, your can simply apply a theme with launchers like Apex, Nova, Holo, ADW, GO Launcher, Launcher Pro Action, Next or Nemus, because for all of these, there is a free theme available. Just download the KitKat HD Multilauncher Theme and start the app. Now you only need to select your specific launcher from the list of supported launchers and the design will be applied automatically. But again, sometimes not all KitKat design elements are applied in each launcher – it depends on your specific launcher as to exactly how much KitKat you get. I tested the theme with Apex and found no problems.
Install KitKat Launcher
Kris has already shown you how you can manually install KitKat's Google Experience Launcher that was pulled from the Nexus 5 firmware. If that was all a bit too difficult, there's an even easier version available now in the Google Play Store. Just install the KitKat Launcher, press the home button of your smartphone, select KitKat Launcher from the list and confirm your selection with "Always" to set the launcher as default. The only thing missing is a dedicated Google Now home screen, but otherwise the launcher is almost identical to that found on the Nexus 5.
Although these tips won't get you the complete KitKat system on your smartphone, for anyone who just wants to get the look and feel of KitKat, or simply wants a change of scenery, these custom ROMs, themes and launchers should satisfy your curiosity until the real deal becomes available.
Are you running any of these ROMs, themes or apps? Do you like the new KitKat look?