Google engineer tells why KitKat hides connectivity
0. phoneArena 18 Nov 2013, 09:54 posted on
One of the more odd changes to that came in Android 4.4 KitKat was the choice to make all of the status icons in the notification bar pure white. Ever since way back in Android 2.3 Gingerbread, the behavior with those icons was to show as a certain color (green in 2.3, and blue in later versions of Android) when the device had a usable Internet connection...
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1. Dastrix (unregistered)
White = looks like iOS 7
6. Doppiadi (Posts: 15; Member since: 18 Feb 2013)
Come ooooon there are lots of OSs that used white icons. One for all, even my Nokia n73 had them in 2006, and that's even before any(non-Apple--designer)one had seen a iPhone in his life :)
15. Finalflash (Posts: 2167; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)
Calm down dude that's an Apple fan, learn to ignore it. They think apple invented white and possibly the apple fruit as well.
27. squallz506 (banned) (Posts: 1075; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)
Great article Michael. I especially enjoy the inclusion of sources. Keep it up kid.
2. PapaSmurf (Posts: 9846; Member since: 14 May 2012)
The white icons are killing my battery on my S3. Time to put a black and blue theme!
16. Finalflash (Posts: 2167; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)
Lol good one, its a conspiracy to lower the battery life of Samsung phones.
3. _Bone_ (Posts: 2149; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)
So if it's for power saving, why the hell the Nexus 5 sucks in battery life? Look at all these batteries out there, the G2 and Butterfly S around 3000mAh, the Lumia 1520 and Oppo N1 around 3500mAh(!), and the Nexus 5 on the demanding HW gets 2300mAh... it's not those animations you should've taken care of Google, but battery life at the core.
8. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2693; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Clarified that. Didn't mean "power" as in battery, meant "power" as in CPU cycles.
17. TerryCrowley (Posts: 194; Member since: 31 Jul 2011)
Your post meant no sense at all. If the color changes meant for better battery, along with other battery life tweaks in the software, that would allow for the Nexus 5 to have a smaller battery and still be on par with the other flagships. Which...it is. You're either a retard or a child.
34. jeff1434325 (Posts: 95; Member since: 07 Aug 2012)
I beg to disagree.
Take a look at this...even my GS3 w/c has a smaller 2,100mAh battery has higher score.
4. marbovo (Posts: 658; Member since: 16 May 2013)
Please google don´t turn android into iOS!!!!
5. imMature (Posts: 87; Member since: 04 Sep 2013)
Talking about Android changing to iOS.. Did you guys realized that the new Google Experience Launcher is quite similar to the iOS springboard? A search/Google Now page at the right, automatically adding new pages..
9. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2693; Member since: 26 May 2011)
The layout may be similar, but the functionality isn't.
26. blingblingthing (Posts: 501; Member since: 23 Oct 2012)
Thank you mike. Simple put. Instead of having to gesture start Google now. You just swipe to the right to up the Google now live widget.
36. imMature (Posts: 87; Member since: 04 Sep 2013)
Yeah, I was just stating how similar it is. Anyway this is way out of topic.
11. mattkl (Posts: 194; Member since: 01 Feb 2010)
I don't like this. At least I found out before I get the OTA. And where did Google get the data for this vocal minority stat? I never got surveyed about this, did anyone else?
19. buccob (Posts: 2039; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)
I agree... for once I hope the manufacturer of my future phone will override this "feature" with its own theme keeping colors and arrows...
I know Sony did away with the colors, but kept the flowing arrows... I do not want to do a gesture or tap or even unlock anything just to know if my phone has internet connection
Vocal minority my a$$
30. downphoenix (Posts: 2766; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)
they get this data from their ass. That's how they do it with any changes they do on Youtube at least.
12. starandmountain (Posts: 53; Member since: 01 Apr 2012)
Google let people decide which colours they want. If you think that it confuses the customer then just hide it somewhere. The people who really want to change it are then able to do it
24. buccob (Posts: 2039; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)
Exactly... maybe under "Developers options"
35. 14545 (Posts: 1272; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)
That was actually my thought when reading this. I'm am really surprised light theming isn't built in.
13. tomn1ce (Posts: 119; Member since: 12 Mar 2012)
It would be nice if they would just make it customizable and let it up to the users to change the colors if so desire. Many if not all custom roms allow the user to change the colors.
25. andynaija (Posts: 649; Member since: 08 Sep 2012)
Well even though I'd like to see color changes so I can know if something is up, I can get used to it being one colors. But at least they really should have kept the flowing arrows upfront like buccob said, because it is kind of a little hassle to do gestures, tap, or unlock the phone just to know if it has an internet connection.
28. jjjsong (Posts: 74; Member since: 27 Dec 2011)
Should have made it an option... I find the up/down arrows with the signal icons very helpful as I know when I'm uploading and/or downloading data.
It is also a very easy way to tell if my connection's having issues since if I'm constantly uploading things but not getting any downloading that means I'm not getting any responses back.
29. mike2959 (Posts: 426; Member since: 08 Oct 2011)
There is no denying that Android is becoming more like IOS. The "integration" of once optional Google products, Quick office, Google Earth, just to name a few. The once "vanilla" Android isn't so vanilla anymore.
31. GeekMovement (Posts: 1941; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)
While many claim that android is becoming more like iOS, iOS itself is also becoming more like android with all the notification settings, gesture swipes, multitasking features, bigger screens (yes, I did say bigger screens since apple apparently created rectangles and the color white), it's own google maps/google earth app, dynamic wallpapers, etc. etc. etc.
Seriously it's a give and take now in competition. These features make it more convenient for users on both platforms.
32. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2693; Member since: 26 May 2011)
It was never really "vanilla". It's always been Google.
37. laheelahee (Posts: 213; Member since: 09 Apr 2012)
wait, so if i have a white bg/wallpaper...?
38. MyJobSux (Posts: 87; Member since: 01 Apr 2012)
Why not default to white but allow the option to change the color. Then allow the option to add the SSID, network and data arrows if you want them. If you want the colors to change based on connectivity type (such as with on wifi with or without data) you can select the color type. This will allow basic users to recover those lossed precious cpu cycles while more savvy users will have a more customizable experience.
39. Geoffrey (Posts: 2; Member since: 30 Jan 2014)
I really missed having my blinkenlights! I understand why they were removed, yet often find myself sitting there wondering if anything is happening at all - for this purpose (calming neurotic geeks) I created an app that adds them back: It's called BLINKENLIGHTS on the Google Play Store.