The system dump of Android 4.4 KitKat has been properly dissected and dug through over the last 48 hours. Thanks to that, we have all the core Android 4.4 apps like the Google Experience launcher, the new Hangouts app and even the Nexus 5’s own wallpapers.
In case you have not already grabbed the wallpapers and the apps from the various sources all over the internet, here is your chance to do so
Download them here.
They are nine in total and you get to enjoy all the glamour that you have been seeing in the Nexus 5 press renders from whichever device you are using.
Here’s what is on my home screen at the moment as the wallpaper.
They are several:
Google Experience Launcher (Google Home)
All these are the new or updated apps that Google bundled with Android 4.4 KitKat on the Nexus 5.
I have tested all of them for over 24 hours now and can confirm that they all work, at least.
Hangouts once installed becomes your defualt messaging app and takes over from any other messaging app(s) you may have installed before. I found that after installing Hangouts, Facebook Messenger’s pop out chat heads stopped working automatically and had to be activated manually on every reboot of the device. The same is the case with all messaging apps. The explanation for this behavious is highly technical but in case you like using other apps for your messaging needs, do not be afraid, they will stll work only that Hangouts takes precedence over everything. Notifications will only be exclusive to the Hangouts app. Your phone’s stock messaging app (if it is a not a Nexus) still remains functional but is more of a skeleton without the active notifications. Since I receive a huge number of texts thanks to the various Twitter accounts I subscribe to for quick updates when I’m offline, it seemed that Hangouts was struggling to handle that huge amount of messages. It felt a bit laggy but generally works well and I love the unified messaging. Yeah, I’ve even forgotten about Facebook Messenger’s pop out chat heads.
The new email app (the other Android email app that is not Gmail) gets some nifty additions like a slider. If you have a Samsung device running recent versions of Android (Android 4) then this should not be something new, Google has simply brought that app some much needed changes. Every other thing is under the hood since it retains all its looks. You can do without it, it is not a must you install this.
Apps like Keep, Gmail and Calendar also don’t have any significant changes.
The camera app works just fine but as of now photosphere does not work so just stick to taking snaps and recording videos, it does those functions very well.
Google Keyboard has been reworked and is super to say the least. New interface, support for emojis and more. You won’t get some of the Google Keyboard features by just installing this app though, they are baked into KitKat so until you get the KitKat update for your device, the app is just bare-bones, nothing out of the ordinary. Same old room with a new coat of paint.
Google Search is where all the magic happens. It is tied to Google Home (the Google Experience launcher) and the two work together and it is emerging that apparently unlike before where Google Search and Google were separate from the home launcher, that is no longer the case. With Android 4.4 KitKat, Google Search is now what powers the launcher. In fact if you install Google Home before you install Google Search, you won’t have a launcher. The two are tied. When they are both fully installed you get a brand new Google experience launcher that brings a lot of the KitKat feel to your device no matter what version of Android 4 you are running on your device. From the widgets to the positioning of Google Now to the left of your home screen (accessible by just a swipe), it is all very smooth. To add to that, you get the new KitKat interface that includes the new look folders and app grid/drawer icon.
Be sure to install Google Play Store services first before installing any other app. Failure to do so will result in very many app force closes. Also, it is better if you are using other ROMs and not CyanogenMod 10. The above apps work fine on CM 10 and CM 10.1 but there are known issues that will result in apps force closing a lot in many cases so you should take note of that. Make sure your device is running Android 4.
Here is a quick gallery of the apps in action
You can always leave a comment if the above apps work well or you experience some force closes, random reboots and the like. I have tested them for hours on end and there’s no major issue.
Credits: phandroid.com, XDA