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Getting to know the Android KitKat home screen

Armando Rodriguez | Nov. 11, 2013
The new Android home screen isn't just pretty to look at: It tells us a lot about where Google plans to take Android in the next few years.

Moving the widgets out of the app drawer seems like a missed opportunity: The widgets interface looks exactly the way it did when it was in the app drawer, and I would have liked to be able to sort widgets by size as well as alphabetically. Relocating widgets to their own hidden corner of the OS makes me worry that Google is planning to nix widgets in a future release, as they are no longer quite as in-your-face as they were in Android 4.0—4.3.

The new home screen provides a welcome visual refresh to Android—but it mainly shuffles things around, without really introducing new features or functionality. The heavy emphasis on search makes Google appear paranoid that people won't use its services to access the Web, but it makes sense considering that search is still the company's bread and butter. It's only a matter of time before Android becomes a straight portal to the Google homepage.

 

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