Next in the line of KitKat feature spotlights is the addition of new motion-oriented UX elements meant to give users a dynamic, fluid experience while making it easier for developers to implement high quality animations.

Android 4.4's new transitions framework allows developers to define scenes and transitions. A scene is usually a view hierarchy, while a transition defines how the scene should transform when a user enters or exits it. Developers can use predefined transition types, an auto-transition type, or create custom transitions "that animate the properties that matter most to your app."

That said, developers don't actually have to define scenes to animate UI changes - they can also animate pieces on the fly. The new framework makes it easy to invoke transitions inside your app, and adds a TransitionManager, which allows you to define relationships between scenes and which transitions run for specific changes.

In a new DevBytes episode, Chet Haas gives a great overview of Transitions. Check it out below, or hit the source links for Google's own (text) explanation.

Source: Android Developers (1, 2)

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • Trent Callahan

    This looks amazing!

  • Jay T

    This is really exciting for developers!! Being able to make smooth, neat animations between views, without requiring an exhorbitant amount of work is a great improvement.

  • Paul_Werner

    Demo at 11:35

  • miri

    Is this a Kitkat thing or a GPS thing that was just announced along side Kitkat?

  • dhruva

    someone explain why google wont release a nice giant update to the os once a year, so developers, oems get ready by christmas. right now, oems wont update, developers wont bother, and a year later maybe we see these things trickling down.

    • David Hart

      Really? You want slower updates?
      What I notice is that when Google releases a new version of android, everyone grabs there android device again. Whether they're a developer that needs to update their app, or a consumer who can't wait for upcoming features, everyone gets excited, and it drives the platform further.

      With less updates, the passion slowly drifts away from the scene. But right now, there's thousands of developers examining the new 4.4 sdk, some are probably already going about updating their apps. I feel that frequent updates seriously impact the Android ecosystem in a good way. If a developer could take advantage of something new six or something months sooner, would you really tell them "No, no, don't use that just yet, wait an entire year when everyone else is on board"

      I would like nightlies from Google...

      • sd

        "What I notice is that when Google releases a new version of android, everyone grabs there android device again."

        No, the people who read this site (myself included) do. Most Android users dont even know an update is out, until their phone bothers them to update.

  • authorwjf

    Has anyone found the source code for these demos? I downloaded the latest SDK but don't see this sample in particular. Am curious as well if there are any plans to add a scene manager to the compatibility API? Anyone heard rumors? I am really excited to see this feature. It is long overdue and should really lighten the load on developers trying to create compelling user experiences!

  • androidrow

    Nice website for android help > http://www.androidrow.com/

  • John Smith

    I noticed the sample code didn't use fragments... does using fragments make scenes more complicated ?