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Android L vs Android KitKat: A visual comparison

Posted: , by Chris P.

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Android L vs Android KitKat: A visual comparison
While Android L is not ready for game time just yet (not least because it hasn't even received a proper name yet), Google nevertheless treated us to a lengthy demo of the new update during the I/O keynote speech yesterday, and the changes are quite extensive.

For one, beyond the troves of new APIs that will allow third-party developers to provide even more immersive experiences within and outside their apps, and even beyond the many new features and performance improvements that are on board L, Google also introduced quite the design overhaul. Indeed, the next Android version will be decidedly flatter, and more minimalistic and colorful than ever before. Google has also labored hard to bring even the smaller details to life through animated feedback, and so far we're pretty happy with what we've seen. 

Design overhauls are always a big deal, especially when you consider how stale Android KitKat has started feeling, despite the minor changes it itself introduced in regards to the platform's design. This will inevitably attract quite some attention from consumers, and many of you will wonder exactly how the next version of the world's most popular mobile OS compares with what we have available right now with KitKat. As you can imagine, we're here to oblige. Take a look!

Disclaimer: Keep in mind that the currently-available Android L Preview build is not final and design is subject to change.

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posted on 26 Jun 2014, 07:26 17

1. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2273; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Why does the "pizza recipes" app in #24 have a picture of cupcakes?

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 07:30 7

6. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5464; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


It is and always be a mystery to you! :D

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 07:36 10

9. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2273; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


I'll refuse to die before I know the answer :)

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 07:56 10

20. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 2689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


I'll hit ya with a 3310, lets see how you refuse anymore. ;)

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 08:08 13

22. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2273; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


You got me there :(

I don't understand why some governments still waste money to develop nuclear bombs. They should just order a bunch of 3310's and save some cash :)

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 08:49 6

28. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 2365; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


LOL... Too funny.

BTW, I liked the new UI very much, so neat and clean and fresh and and flat and simply awesome, eagerly waiting for my friend's Nexus 4 update.

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 08:10 6

23. WahyuWisnu (Posts: 907; Member since: 29 May 2014)


Cupcake is the secret recipes in pizza.

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 09:18

32. IliyaBeshkov (Posts: 240; Member since: 09 Jul 2012)


..in a HowtoBasic video. :D

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 10:45

37. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2273; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


No. He uses eggs.

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 11:41

43. IliyaBeshkov (Posts: 240; Member since: 09 Jul 2012)


It doesn't matter, because his videos doesn't makes sense anyway. :D

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 11:44 1

44. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2273; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


True :)

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 11:24

40. elitewolverine (Posts: 1195; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


cause it will be called droid cupcake?

posted on 27 Jun 2014, 08:40 1

60. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 3766; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


I have to say this new UI looks crazy sexy. I really can wait to see this in action. Just beautiful.

Let's place bets here, how much of Android L will iOS 9 steal?!?

lol

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 07:27 4

2. nomancool (Posts: 20; Member since: 04 Nov 2012)


looks cool .. cant wait for the factory images

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 07:27

3. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 1129; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)


What exactly does the new recents button do? Or is it the same?

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 08:45 1

27. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 2689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Does the exact same, just a new UI.
http://i-cdn.phonearena.com/images/articles/126246-image/New-recent-apps-menu.jpg
BTW I liked the old one better. :)

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 10:44 1

36. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 1129; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)


I also prefer the old one.

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 10:56 1

38. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 2689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


I almost forgot, Chrome tabs are added to Recents too.
http://lifehacker.com/updating-all-the-new-stuff-in-androids-l-release-prev-1595928268

posted on 03 Jul 2014, 05:23

67. vincelongman (Posts: 954; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


I don't really like that, since I usually have quite a lot of tabs open

Personally I like the M8's recents
IMO its faster since it shows more apps on the screen

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 07:29

4. vipervoid123 (Posts: 76; Member since: 27 Aug 2013)


Hmm ~
The Play Music app UI kind of look alike with current Sony Walkman app UI ~

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 07:29 6

5. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3882; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


Love the new refresh. Hurry up with the official release so manufacturers can start developing updates for us, I need this!

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 07:33 9

7. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 2689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


I like 70% of new L UI, the rest 30% I still prefer the Kitkat holo UI. Hey sounds like ios 6-7 crisis :D

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 15:25 1

50. TheGenius (Posts: 266; Member since: 06 Mar 2014)


Yeah.. search and maps were better in kitkat IMO

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 07:33 7

8. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2273; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


BTW Sony will sue Google for using triangle, circle and a square. (no really)

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 07:37 2

10. tiara6918 (Posts: 1324; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)


Kinda looks the same as what htc did with sense 6

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 07:37 10

11. DonkeySauce (Posts: 154; Member since: 03 Dec 2011)


Not fond of the "triangle, circle, square" looks like some generic kids' educational software.

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 07:42 7

15. redmd (Posts: 860; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


Would you prefer "A" and "B" or "X" and "Y"?

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 07:52 4

18. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2273; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


He would probably prefer the ones that are on kitkat

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 07:57 3

21. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 2689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


I'll take the sense 6 buttons over this and kitkat :)

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 09:59 2

34. Tsoliades (Posts: 206; Member since: 22 Dec 2012)


Yesterday, I was using the Sense buttons, today I'm using the Android L buttons. Download SoftkeyZ.
The beauty of Android- customization. :]

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 11:09 1

39. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 2689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.janis605.softkeyz&hl=en
Thanks mate, will try this, my devices are rooted already. Indeed beauty of android. :D

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 07:37 5

12. SemperFiV12 (Posts: 684; Member since: 09 Nov 2010)


Would you look at that... Android taking a page out of Windows phone aesthetics... Must say, looks good.

posted on 01 Jul 2014, 09:24 1

64. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3267; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)


It definitely looks inspired by WP, especially the way they left out the separating lines, and used more large rectangles, and squares... WP'S original design, Metro, just works, and looks great...
...............
I like this new look for Android. It's way more clean, and modern, and although it does resemble iOS, and WP,, very much it still looks like Android, so I commend Google on that... I would even say that theirs a touch of BB10 in there.. It's definitely not original, or a style of it's own, but it looks great! The best I've ever seen from Android.. Pretty cool, and I don't blame Google for using the most modern design cues no matter if they didn't innovative them... That's just the way it works. The auto industry does it, the clothing industry does it, and that's just how art trends.. It's really just the time period we live in... It really doesn't matter who was first with it, first never matters, but the fact that it's evolving...
.................
I'm just interested to see who creates the next big trend in UI design in the future... Can MS do it again? Maybe apple? Who knows.... Amazon?.. Lol!

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 07:39

13. hamza14860 (Posts: 14; Member since: 30 Sep 2013)


HTC Sense 6 and Android L are exactly the same :)

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 07:41 2

14. Nexus4lifes (Posts: 60; Member since: 13 Feb 2014)


Eagerly waiting for factory images to flash my nexus 5........

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 07:44

16. Quezdagreat (Posts: 412; Member since: 05 Apr 2012)


Looks cheap, yarn

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 07:52 6

17. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5464; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Don't be jealous. :)

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 07:54 5

19. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 2689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Just like ios ;)

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 08:19

24. LikeMyself (Posts: 206; Member since: 23 Sep 2013)


Everything looks very fine tuned! Preferred the older keyboard though!

posted on 01 Jul 2014, 09:26 4

65. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3267; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)


That's the good thing about Android.. You can choose your own keyboard... A very smart feature I would like to see WP implement.

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 08:28

25. MINDoSOUL (Posts: 16; Member since: 28 Feb 2014)


I still don't like the keyboard whether be it on kitkat or on L, and my God those ugly navigation keys. What i don't get is why there is still a need for on screen navigation keys or even physical keys its all a waste of space if you haven't used gestures yet you should its more natural and easy to remember after a couple of times, i use GMD gesture control and i am not trying to promote the app but gestures is the way to move forward.

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 08:36

26. jacobxtyler (Posts: 26; Member since: 02 Oct 2012)


This looks amazing, I can't wait!

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 08:57

29. duartix (Posts: 33; Member since: 01 Apr 2014)


What is clear here is that Google finally realized that displays are getting bigger! Way bigger!
Everything in the new interface says: BIG SCREENS. :)

Is that why I feel iOS's interface is getting old fast?

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 09:17 2

30. tokuzumi (Posts: 236; Member since: 27 Aug 2009)


Google, please pull your head out of your butt, and separate the notification and ringtone volumes. There is no reason for this to not be an option in Android. Every major rooted rom has this feature. At least Samsung was able to figure out people want this option, and offer it on their Galaxy phones.

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 09:17 1

31. Andrewtst (Posts: 294; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)


New android L is soon beautiful!

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 09:37 1

33. deathgod (Posts: 119; Member since: 23 Nov 2011)


Sometimes I wish that I could just get the performance improvements without the UI changes. The navigation buttons change are really unnecessary and will be confusing to some people. The contacts app shows less detail (phone number, whether its a mobile number etc), the email app isnt color coded or labeled making it harder to sort thru emails. I like the music apps new UI tho.

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 10:05

35. R-vjn (Posts: 161; Member since: 07 Jan 2013)


That top color thing (different for different activities) is so similar to the UI of the LG G3.. But I like it...!!!
I just hope my still beautiful Nexus 4 gets it... (though I'm worried about the 18 month crap thing)

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 11:34 1

41. PBXtech (Posts: 966; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)


Music, Keep, calendar, and gmail, the L is better. For everything else, I'll take KitKat.

Give me a black theme and keep all the white would be even better than all this color.

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 11:56 1

45. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 2689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Not keep though i'll replace it with People. The New keep looks like WP tile UI, I just darn hate it. I agree on black theme part, this colorful childish UI is simply not of my taste. It was the main reason I found Android more elegant than iOS and WP.

posted on 03 Jul 2014, 07:33

68. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5536; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


+1 on not liking the childish UI. This is the first time I have been hoping the manufacturer skins tone down the stock Android UI.

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 11:35 1

42. neilmc1983 (Posts: 35; Member since: 17 Jun 2014)


xda here we come

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 11:58

46. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 2689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Snapdragons first or should I say only Snapdragons HEHE (Insert troll face here).

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 12:30

47. Dude2014 (Posts: 103; Member since: 12 Feb 2014)


This new look is highly inspired by HTC sense 6.0. Look at how notification panel's color change with apps.

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 12:34

48. Hammerfest (Posts: 362; Member since: 12 May 2012)


So much white... iOS moment I guess...

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 15:02

49. Leo_MC (Posts: 479; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)


I'm glad to see that Google came to it's senses and ditched the blue color (I still wonder how could it change HTC's beautiful green in Android 2 with Samsung's nasty blue).

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 16:51

51. Blazers (Posts: 187; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


I prefer the look of the current google keyboard over this new one. Hopefully there's an option for a dark theme, or I'm going back to Swiftkey.

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 17:55

52. mildorzalost (Posts: 13; Member since: 03 Jun 2014)


Loos a LOT better, google finally work in design, still, windows phone (and in the worst case iOS7) looks better

Now with 3 new mobile operative systems would be cool a comparation between the 3 of them

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 18:21

53. gigaraga (Posts: 502; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)


It seems like the 'flat' and 'simple' is going to every manufacturer or company for their UI these days...looks nice, very classy...

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 19:14 2

54. NICEBOY_1373 (Posts: 5; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)


Actually not as beautiful as iOS... . It just about design.

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 22:04

55. nomancool (Posts: 20; Member since: 04 Nov 2012)


just installed it on my n5 ... its amazing

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