18
Nov
ii

There are a plethora of little visual tweaks in Android 4.4, but few of them will be in your face as much as the new white status bar icons. The decision to move away from Holo blue was a bit surprising, but removing the color-based connectivity indicator? What gives? Well, a Google engineer has chimed in on Google+ to explain the rationale.

icons

According to Android engineer Dan Sandler, the white icons were originally chosen to present a more neutral palette that works better with apps. It also turns out that #33b5e5 blue doesn't show up very well with the transparent status bar. Prior to KitKat, stock Android had a really handy way of letting you know whether or not you were connected to Google services (which was usually an indication of your general internet connectivity). A blue WiFi or mobile data icon meant connected, and gray was no connectivity. But no more.

icons3

Android 4.3 behavior

In KitKat, the status icons are white all the time. If you want to see your status, it's in the Quick Settings and orange is used to denote no connectivity. Google did this primarily because most users didn't know what the colors meant. It was, in the team's estimation, an unnecessary UI element that was more confusing than helpful for the majority of users. So now if you want to know your status, it's one more step away in Quick Settings. That sounds like an acceptable compromise, right?

icons2

4.4 Quick Settings showing no connectivity

Lastly, you might have noticed the up/down network activity arrows are gone from the signal indicator. They've been booted to Quick Settings as well because it actually takes a noticeable amount of CPU and GPU time to render those flashing arrows as data packets transit the radios. Moving them saves resources and makes the main home interface cleaner.

Now that you know Google's reasoning, maybe you can come to terms with the change. Here's what Dan had to say in his own words:

Seems like this is as good a place as any to explain the changes to the system status icon colors in KK.

1. Whiten ALL the status bar icons! Aesthetic concerns definitely factored into this (as has been mentioned elsewhere, a more neutral SystemUI allows apps to manage their own color palettes a bit better), but also keep in mind that with the new translucent bars feature, the color became a usability problem. Good old 33b5e5 doesn't pop as well on top of random wallpapers, even with the background protection.

2. What about the MCS GCM indicator? +Liam Spradlin basically called it: “Overall, network connectivity has been made strangely more opaque in KitKat, though for many average users this isn't a huge concern.” In fact,most users find the colors confusing, if they notice them at all. Even the vanishingly small fraction of users who understood what the gray meant only really looked for it when things weren't working right; now you and I just have to remember to actually pop into quick settings to look for things like GCM liveness (orange is the new gray) and in/out indicators. Which brings me to…

3. B—BUT MY BLINKENLIGHTS?! So this (the removal of the little in/out data traffic arrows from the RSSI) was mostly a performance consideration, believe it or not. The way the data bits are bubbled up and drawn was not only causing a ton of extra rendering work, but actually forcing a layout (!) in the status bar as well. We could have more aggressively cached the bitmaps (rather than creating new BitmapDrawables from resource IDs every time, which was causing the relayout) but that would still have left all the drawing—multiple times per second in some cases—sucking away precious CPU and GPU from your game or Launcher animations or whatever. In the end it seemed like a lot of work (and battery) for what was effectively visual noise, so this too was booted to Quick Settings where it would be available for us nerds.

[+Dan Sandler]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

  • slurivariv

    I'll miss my holo blue indicators, but oh well. Life moves on.

  • http://blog.tonysarju.com/ Tony Sarju

    Thanks for the explanation. Now I can rest.

  • Matt Koehler

    Really? I understand that not everybody is a computer wiz, but I think that most people, over time, will figure out that when their symbol at the top is grey and their internet stops working, and when its blue its working again will realize what it means. Or watching their phone when they just arrive home and see that it starts out grey because it just found wifi, and then turns blue shortly after denoting that it connected. Now for the people who aren't completely retarded we cant simply know if its working properly just by a glance, we have to actively slide down the quick settings area to get a glimpse to try and troubleshoot the problem.

    • Ryan Stewart

      In fairness, they are right. I am tech support for my family and, sadly, they wouldn't know that the change in colors means anything. They don't even understand the wifi icon. They just know if "they have bars."

      Ive gotten calls where someone has been in the mountains, roaming, and cant understand why they cant surf the net because "they have bars."

      That is one reason IOS has been popular despite missing a LOT of functionality. Most smartphone owners dont understand the technology so its best to simplify it. With Android being 75+% of the market there are a lot more of those people than us.

      • Tomáš Petrík

        Sadly, you're right.

      • Johnny Bravo

        same here, I have been begging my sister to upgrade from gingerbread to jelly bean (finally convinced my mom). Many users are like them. Someone who doesnt care about that really wont care about the color of the wifi icon. We just assume that everyone else has the same common knowledge as us.

        • Ryan Stewart

          Its really not their "fault." For my mom, for example, she is on some really crappy phone on 2.3 she got from Straight Talk. I could upgrade her to the N4 for dirt cheap but there isn't much of a point. As far as she is concerned her phone is magic. It does emails, surfs, has GPS and apps.

          She isn't going to notice the improvements in 4.x and wouldn't justify the upgrade. We just have to accept that we are the freaks.

          • http://daveysmind.tumblr.com David M.D.

            Jesus, I was starting to think people like you who understand this no longer exist, haha.

            It annoys me when people think just because Android is a bit more geek friendly that EVERYONE who uses it cares about the version or such things. When in reality, it's just as you stated. They're normal joes who just like the phone they see and buys it. They don't even know what the hell 4.4 or KitKat is, let alone care about it.

          • Ryan Stewart

            And given that Android is the most popular smartphone OS in the world pretty much guarantees that the overwhelming majority are of the "my phone is magic and does everything I need and more" kind.

            Hell, now that Google is selling the Nexus at cost you cant even count on a Nexus user being a geek. I know 4 girls with them and they just like the spangly back.

      • http://about.me/d.bennett Dan Bennett

        This is a moot point. Given the changes, your family would still "have bars" and no connectivity. Now it's just that bit harder to see why.

        Also, this isn't even a complex concept - it's changing colours of a tiny icon to indicate a change in state. How is that something that needs simplifying?!

        • Ryan Stewart

          You obviously don't even understand the point. The point is there is no point, the vast majority of users wouldn't even notice the change in color or the up/down arrows.

          • http://about.me/d.bennett Dan Bennett

            But what about those that do? I even find the packet transfer arrows useful. Sometimes I'll open Chrome and go to load a page but it'll be really slow, I look at the WiFi indicator and see it's blue but the transfer arrows aren't there - or only the upload one is - and I'll know that my connection is a bit iffy. I can then decide to wait a little or try disabling and re-enabling WiFi to see if that helps.

            But because some people are stupid, I have to be inconvenienced? Sure, in some situations that's the correct course of action but we're talking about incredibly simple yet powerful features here. It doesn't take much effort to tell people what they mean and they're not difficult concepts to grasp. Moving them so they're not immediately visible is a gross overreaction.

          • PhoenixPath

            "But because some people are stupid, I have to be inconvenienced? "

            "Stupid" is being thrown around a lot and I think maybe we're just being a bit too elitist.

            No; You are not being inconvenienced because of stupid people.

            The vast majority of users had absolutely no use for a feature/function and the decision was made to stop wasting resources on it. It has nothing to do with intelligence.

          • http://about.me/d.bennett Dan Bennett

            From this article:
            "most users didn't know what the colors meant."
            "more confusing than helpful for the majority of users."

            Users don't know what it means, they couldn't figure it out for themselves, they couldn't be bothered to look it up online and Google don't see the point in educating them about it. Maybe "stupid" isn't the right word, but I'd wager it's pretty darn close.

          • NF

            How many users actually care to know? And if they did know and it wasn't working, would they be able to fix it?

          • PhoenixPath

            Ambivalence/apathy != stupidity.

            I couldn't care less how they put the filament in my headlights. Not knowing this does not make me or anyone else stupid. I just don't care enough about it to look it up.

            Most people were connected. They didn't care why it was blue. it just was. Why should it matter to them?

          • http://about.me/d.bennett Dan Bennett

            Continuing your own example in the context of this article, the fact that most people don't know how to change your headlights means we should make it more awkward to change them so that the people who do know have to struggle more. That's what is happening.

            And if they don't care, why change it? What you're saying is different from the justifications Google are giving, but I find neither to be a decent reason for this change.

          • PhoenixPath

            Not even close. Would doing so streamline manufacture of the vehicle? Would it save on Gas? Vehicle wear?

            You act like they did this just to piss people off.

            I can guarantee to you that this is not the case. They gave some reasoning behind it and I bet there is even more.

            "I find neither to be a decent reason for this change."

            Well...there's that, then.

          • http://about.me/d.bennett Dan Bennett

            Does removing code already in place and then creating new code for the new version of the feature streamline the development of KitKat? I doubt it.

            I never said or implied that they did this to piss people off. I acknowledge that they gave reasons, which I'm sure they put a lot of effort into researching and discussing. I'm just saying that I feel they have made the wrong decision, and am providing the reasons why I feel that way.

          • Damian Madden

            Then look at it this way - Google decided to stop doing something that was affecting performance 100% of the time, which relatively very few people used <1% of the time. I'm a software engineer and I work in performance - this kind of logic is always going to win out.

          • PhoenixPath

            I apologize. I cannot continue this. The comments in that post are simply beyond belief.

            Hubris; thy name is apparently Dan.

          • azkab0n

            in my opinion you're simply trying to delude yourself into believing there was a proper reason for that other than hiding background network activity.
            Because, well, when you see your phone transmitting data over the internet all the time while you're doing nothing with it makes a few inconvenient questions pop up in your mind

          • PhoenixPath

            Everyone's got an opinion. Even paranoid delusional conspiracy wing-nuts.

            I'm not trying to "believe" anything. Religion ain't my thing.

          • Ryan Stewart

            a. its not some, its the vast majority of the user base. Its time for us to accept that our little baby has growed up and the VAST majority of users are not technically minded people.

            b. its two fingered swipe on the notification shade, its not that big of a deal.

      • didibus

        There's always a way. You know what the cell indicator does, people understand, have bar = have cell reception. Guess what happens when you don't have bars? Why not do the same for 3G indicator....

        • Ryan Stewart

          Why go to the trouble when 90% of your users dont even know what 3G means.

          • azkab0n

            what trouble? What? They only wake up now after N-th releases with these pathetic excuses about performance when practically every terminal today is at least a dual core + GPU? Please.

            And I still have to see ignorant people complaining about colors and arrows up there. Come on.

      • ini

        Sadly, you should try to explain things rather than leaving poor idiots in the dark making then even more idiots by simplifying their thought patterns

    • Justin Foster

      I feel you man. Google has the weirdest reasoning for its limitations it seems. Just like their excuse for lack of SD card support, but perhaps there are more ignorant consumers than we realize.

      • BangIShotYou

        It's not that there are "more ignorant consumers than we realize", it's that the AVERAGE USER doesn't know and doesn't care about things like that/this.

        People like YOU, and myself included, are not the average consumers/users.

        And their lack of SD card support reasoning is perfectly valid and reasonable. Don't confuse you're opinion of the situation and equate it with "well that's a stupid reason". It's actually not, from a security standpoint and overall user experience Google's reasoning makes complete and total sense for the lack of SD card support.

        • PhoenixPath

          I'm not generally big on compliments, but it needs to be said:

          I wish there were more folk as reasonable you on this internet thing.

          • BangIShotYou

            Yeah, but if there were more reasonable people on the internet I'm pretty sure that it would self implode and take the universe with it.

            Reasonable discussions lacking any sense of self entitlement or moral outrage online? GTFO with that kind of nonsense. /s

        • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

          Sir, I have made a career of trying to keep Android geeks honest on these blogs, and trying to make them see things from the perspective of the average consumer. With that in mind, bravo to you, sir. Well stated. Someone buy this man a beer.

          • NF

            That sounds like an awful career, but at least you get plenty of business.

        • M0nk

          well, I can understand that white works better with transparent and other apps styles, also the arrows that generates more redraws and consumes CPU and Battery resources. I can even understand the WIFI icon color (Even if they could use grey/white and please the nerds). The SD decision (IMHO) is totally different. People is used to SD cards (even cameras and other devices use them since ages and most people know how it works). The simplicity/security issues could be obtained via software (Like Samsung does when you add a mSD Card and ask you if you like to save new photos/videos in the SD). The reason here is that Google is an Internet company and they only earn money when you use the Internet and their services. Its still a valid point, but the justification is not real. Its just a money decision. Luckily we still have other options.

          • azkab0n

            nope, I can't understand it because it's clearly not a matter of saving more battery. How much time does it take to redraw the whole indicator? 1 microsecond? Maybe even less.
            Then this happens a few times per second. Wow. I foresee a whopping 0.001% increase in battery time! YARR!
            Not like this? Then you have some *serious* performance issue somewhere else in desperate need of optimizations.
            In can't accept to read that a modern dual/quad core ARM unit is suffering in terms of performance and power usage from drawing 2 tiny arrows.

        • didibus

          "be the change you want to see in the world" - Gandy

          It's only by raising the bar that the average of consumers will improve, if you keep dumbing down for them, in the long term, you are doing everyone a disservice. The secret is to always be slightly above the average, and with time, people will learn.

          Just like how no one could use a computer before, and people were having issues transitioning from dumb phone to smartphone. The average can go up and should.

        • trappa

          Care to explain what's this "complete and total sense" for the lack of MicroSD card you're talking about ?

          For security, you can always encrypt SD Card contents. I've used Blackberry and WP in the past with encrypted MicroSD Card contents and never had issue. Even when my BB was stolen I didn't need to worry about confidential data on my SD Card, as long as I have backup.

          And what user experience ? I've used lot of Nokia phones in the past, all with SD card slot, and has no issue with it. That is, until Apple "invented" the no-sdcard policy, then people started the trend "Oh sure, phone without sdcard gives better user experience". Sure you're not biased to Apple favor ?

          • BangIShotYou

            I'm not going to explain it. You can do a Google search and combine "android central micro sd card support" and "android police micro sd card support". There's at least 2 or 3 articles on each site concerning micro SD card support and Google's stance and explanations for lack thereof.

          • Vaibhav Shah

            I know my comment is late but god dammit sir you hit the nail hard with the SD card argument! I absolutely am pro SD cards in phones. This is all a stupid scheme for corporates like Google, Apple and Microsoft to get people to use their cloud storage services. I've never hard issues with Nokia phones using SD cards. And what security is Google talking about? How about they clean their own home first by fixing the god damn app store which is full of viruses. And fuck apple for propagating the non replaceable battery policy as well. Today's phones sacrifice such a key feature so that they can reduce the thickness of the phone by a whopping 1mm. I don't give 7 fucks in rapid succession if my phone is 1mm thin when it has shitty battery life and I cannot carry an extra damn battery. Which is one of the reasons I will still buy samsung phones because they at least provide you with both SD card and replaceable battery options. Also Its funny how "Build Quality" today means the look of the phone rather than its durability. Apparently Samsung and Nokia phones have a shitty build quality just because they are made of plastics. This all started with the iPhone 4 had a glass back and suddenly plastics became cheap when the iPhone 3GS which was a year old phone had a plastic back. Apple is ruining the industry with its miniscule incremental update policies, dumbing down of phones instead of gradually educating the consumer, patent wars and making "less consumer freedom" an industry standard. Anyways sorry for my long rant.

        • Justin Foster

          If the "average" consumer "doesn't know" then that makes them ignorant by definition of the word. So yes, all of these "average consumer[s]" are ignorant, and they are the majority. So, the majority of average consumers are substantially more ignorant of the entirety of Android than those who find these changes to be undesirable.

          Well, I think the SD issue should be left up to consumers. I didnt say it was "stupid." Did u read my comment? I said it was weird. It is implied that it is weird to ME. You stating that it's my opinion doesn't validate your own opinion.

          Anyways, I wish Google would leave more choice in the consumer's hand. Thank God for what Motorola is doing with ARA, nonetheless.

          • BangIShotYou

            Actually no, it DOES NOT make them ignorant, it just means they don't care. Does the phone work as they expect it to? If the answer is "yes" from an average customer's perspective it does exactly what they want and expect it to.

            Stop throwing around the word ignorant because they don't know something that you do.

            And the SD card issue is being left up to the customers. This might come as news to you, but there are hundreds of phones out there available for purchase. You don't like Google's policy? Go get a Samsung phone or some other OEMs.

            And no, you're trying to put a spin on your own comment. You were implying that Google's reasons are unacceptable, the "stupid" bit was me basically stating what my takeaway from your opinion on the issue was. And you're right, doesn't validate my opinion, luckily I'm not discussing my opinion. At least not wholly. Google has numerous times flat out explained why there is a lack of micro SD card support and why there never will be a micro SD card slot on any Nexus device. Suffice it to say, there reasons are perfectly valid and acceptable when you get over your entitled self and look at what is in the best interest of the AVERAGE user.

          • Justin Foster

            If someone doesn't know something, they're ignorant of it. Just like you're apparently ignorant of the definition of ignorant. The average consumer is more ignorant about the inner-workings of Android and what actually makes it so unique as an OS, but my point is not to degrade the Avg. Consumer, just to identify them. Google is obviously trying to appeal more to the masses.

            Please stop playing the OEM game. We are dealing with Google as a comp here. I'm not going to go into the whole why or why not get a phone from this or that company. I have my reasons for wanting a Google phone and I, and a large number of other more knowledgeable consumers have preferences. If Google can appeal to the majority they can also have something for the minority.

            I'm also not gonna get into the why or why not SD silliness. I have my opinion. No reason to whine over people who disagree with you.

            Lastly, please don't state what you think I was saying, and then build an entire argument from it. It only makes you look sillier than you're already behaving. Responding to a straw man is as good as keeping silent. Perhaps you should consider the latter more often.

          • BangIShotYou

            I see, so you saying something is unacceptable or ridiculous should just be left at that and no one should reply ever? Ditto pointing out that average consumers aren't concerned with the things you're making a big deal about?

            So basically, rather than look at things from the perspective of Google who is clearly more concerned with average use cases and thus the average user, you want to sit their acting like an entitled child demanding that everyone cater to you and do things in a manner which you decide, based solely on your whims and no one else's, is fitting?

            Mhm. Maybe you should just stfu and realize no one gives a fuck about you or your opinion or anything in that same vain.

            You really should think before you speak, especially regarding others. Since I definitely wasn't whining at any point, merely pointing out Google has done things as they see fit and as is in the best interest of the majority, which means average users, and people like YOU are just being whiny. Don't like what they're doing? Talk with your wallet. Or flash a ROM or anything else but sitting online and bitching and bitching and bitching. Since it 1. won't change anything and 2. is fucking annoying.

          • Justin Foster

            So, you've basically said nothing but try and validate your point and still continuing to put words in my mouth. I really don't care for either. I didn't say Google's decision was ridiculous or unacceptable, but I'll just let you go on scrutinizing what you think I said.

            Maybe you should go on an argumentation form, cuz you're not a Google rep. You have your opinion, fine. Don't try to bash everyone who doesn't agree with it.

          • azkab0n

            if they don't care, then why did you remove a substantially useful feature? Debugging a connection is now much more difficult for everyone.

        • azkab0n

          without an SD card their internal flash is bound to die earlier. That's another mover towards apple-style consumerism

      • DirkBelig

        >"Just like their excuse for lack of SD card support"

        You misspelled "explanation." o_O

        I'm so bored of the entitled crybabies whining that Google is raping their pets by not having removable batteries or SD cards. Somehow Apple has managed to sell eleventy bazillion iPhones without either and other makers have done the same. If you want those things, buy a Samsung and STFU.

        • WestIndiesKING

          you saved me from having to write the same thing. Thank you sir.

        • UniBroW

          IRONIC POST IS IRONIC

        • vis1-0n

          What other makers? Samsung owns the market mostly. They give the users what they want, and the rest can be fixed by software.

        • M0nk

          I expect Google to be a better company than Apple and follow the "don't be evil" policy. I'm Ok with Nexus devices not having SD cards slots for the price they sell, but I'm not OK with the excuses they provided. The simplicity/security issues that a SD card could cause can be solved via software (Like Samsung does when you add a mSD Card and ask you if you like to save new photos/videos into the SD or the automatic switch of apps to the SD when the internal flash is full). If Samsung can do it, then Google is in better shape to solve the problem. The real reason here (IMHO) is that Google is an Internet company and they only earn money when you use the Internet and their cloud services. Local storage is against that. Its still a valid point, but the justification provided is not "accurate"...

          • DirkBelig

            Wow, you think that Google is still adhering to "Don't be evil"? You haven't been paying attention the past few years, have you? From acting as a de facto data miner for the Obama Regime and Democrat National Committee to collaborating with the Communist Chinese regime to oppress their people, Google has been plenty evil - and I mean EVIL evil, not just whiny nerd rage, "Where's my SD card slot" evil."

            Take Samsung out of the discussion and look at the top-rated Android phones - e.g. Moto X, HTC One, LG G2 - and they all don't have SD cards, same as the poorly-selling and destined to fail iPhone.

            As I said above, if you want an SD card, then go give Samsung your money and shut your noise hole. Problem solved. Singling out Google for abuse for doing what most other companies are doing represents an agenda unrelated to petty nerd rage nonsense. Every year, you crybabies soil yourselves with brown rage over Google sticking to their standards. Call the waaaaaaaaaaahmbulance.

          • M0nk

            I do not have any rage or I even complain about. As I said, I'm ok with it. The only thing I said is that the reason for Apple is different than the reason for Google. Apple wants to sell higher end models at a premium price and then charge you U$100 for every additional 16GB of internal Flash added. Google do not care about the Nexus price or earn money from devices (they don't even have higher end models, just 16/32GB versions at $50 premium). They are just forcing us to use the internet and cloud services to have revenues (The reason that Android exist), and its understandable.
            Samsung wants to own the market (They currently own it) and they add any feature that can drive any sales. Other vendors are copying Apple instead of copying Samsung and are losing market share.

          • DirkBelig

            The knock on Samsung's products is that they feel "cheap and plasticky." That's because of the removable back covers to allow for removable batteries/SD slots. Meanwhile, HTC made the One with a body carved out a solid block of aluminum (like a MacBook Pro) and are in danger of going under.

            So does the public want flexible plastic junk with a slot or well-crafted hardware with limitations? If the latter, how come people are shunning the HTC One which is better than an iPhone in build and runs a proper OS in favor of the badly-aging iPhone? How come people are settling for laggy TouchWiz-slathered Galaxies?

            You're making the mistake that many nerds do in assuming the general public is like us. Ha! The success of the iPhone is prime evidence that smarts have nothing to do with anything. Also remember that probably 95% of Android phone users have no idea that sites like Android Police or XDA exist. They're just consumers.

          • M0nk

            I am currently using a Galaxy Note 3 with the original "real" leather S-View case and wireless charging. It doesn't feel cheap in any way or have any lag even with TW, but I agree that the norm with Samsung is cheap plastic craps, all named "Galaxy" to confuse the consumers. The TW UI is ugly as hell, only partially fixed with Nova launcher and Xposed framework with wanam xposed + App settings to change the apps DPIs and erase/disable most TW ugliness.

            On the other hand, HTC is selling One variants with expandable SD and dual SIMs in Asia, maintaining the build quality. Its a shame that HTC is failing since I like their phones, but the flagships are not available in my country, just the One X and S from last year...

            I guess that the only thing that makes a phone a success is marketing dollars and maybe global launch availability. Normal people do not care of anything we care, they just buy what is cool and they know. My friends and co-workers not only don't know what AP or XDA are, they don't even know what a Nexus phone or Android is... They just know iphones, blackberrys and maybe galaxies... When they saw my Note 3, the first question was: That is the new Ipad mini, right?

          • DirkBelig

            Do the people you know with Galaxy S3/S4s appear to have never rearranged their homescreen widgets, as if they don't know you can move stuff around? A LOT of my peeps seem to be that way.

            I had a Galaxy S II which I really liked except it was on the worst network, Trudge. FWIW, I'm rocking the Nexus 5, bone stock. It makes my Nexus 4 feel like it's broken.

          • azkab0n

            is it too much asking for a metal back cover with screws and an SD card slot?
            On another note:
            the price of an SD card slot is that of 6 striplines from the CPU, 2 vias to the groundplane and one to the powerplane, one tiny metal holder soldered to the PCB and carving a slot in the cover (or putting it in the mould). The SOC, usually, handles the rest. Then you're going under for etching *6 more strips on a pcb*? Come on. That's laughable.
            You don't want to do it for other reasons, just be honest. It's not asking too much, right?

        • Justin Foster

          So, are u implying that Google should be like Apple? Why not just close the OS, make Motorola the only hardware manufacturer, and increase the heck out of phone prices, too? That'd be great huh?

      • Adam Truelove

        "...perhaps there are more ignorant consumers than we realize."

        YES

        • PhoenixPath

          As Carlin said:

          Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.

          • GraveUypo

            just nitpicking here, but just because you have an average it doesn't mean the data is spread evenly.

            for instance, if there was a group in which there were 9 people with a IQ of 80, and one with an IQ of 155, the average IQ of that group would be 87,5 and 90% of the people in that group would be below average.

          • h4rr4r

            It is not nitpicking if you are wrong.
            IQs fit a normal distribution. In fact the center, 100, is moved to make this fit.

          • GraveUypo

            i KNEW some smartass would go there...
            so, here's a real world example.

            http://s21.postimg.org/4p6voy46v/Terman1916_Fig2_IQDistribution.png

            for simplicity's sake, ignore the middle bar.

            "below average": 32,28%
            "above average": 36,45

            statistically significant difference. NOT a normal distribution.

      • hot_spare

        Maybe they should also tell us the reason for batterylife issues on Nexus. This is not just N5 (which I haven't used), but whole Nexus series. What's the point of efficient coding, no-bloat and when the batterylife is so pathetic?

        • ChicagoPete

          Just a quick note about my N5. Yesterday I was in a weather situation that had me messaging my family at home very often to make sure they were ok. Plus several other people were sending hangouts/sms/email to me to find out how I was doing. All this in a stadium with 65,000 other people doing the same thing.

          My old GNex would often run out of battery at the stadium without me using it at all. This N5 was able to handle all that messaging and activity and screen on time with no problem at all. In fact, at the train station later on I was even bragging that it still had 53% remaining.

          I know the numbers and tests show the battery life is average at best, but in my real life it handled more than I would ever expect it to. And it did it without me even having to worry about it.

        • NF

          My Nexus 7 often lasts all day with less than half the battery drained. Battery life isn't really that pathetic.

        • Ryan Stewart

          My N4 has been as decent as any of my previous android phones. Maybe they decided they didn't need a bigger battery without those skins and used ti to make the phone thinner/cheaper.

          After all, we are bitching about A $350 (off contract) phone here. If battery life was really a big deal there are plenty of options at nearly double the price.

          • hot_spare

            It might have been $350 for you, it definitely wasn't $350 for me. When I got it, it was approx $500 for me. When talking of nexus prices, you need to remember which country you referring to. Google's subsidized prices are just for handful for countries. Whatever the price, there is no reason why it should be so bad with the same hardware like other phones.

          • Ryan Stewart

            So, how much is an HTC1 then for you?

            Either way its CONSIDERABLY cheaper than any reasonable alternative. Otherwise you would have likely voted differently with your wallet.

          • hot_spare

            Why should you bring HTC One into this? The discussion is about N4's batterylife. I am unhappy with this. Why are you trying to shove this idea that I am somehow happy with it and lying to you? Be realistic. Most users will tell you that N4's batterylife is bad (yes, bad). Even most "credible" reviews will tell you the same fact. There is no concept of "batterylife per unit of currency". If that's the case, I will compare batterylife of a Nokia 1100 for the price it sells/sold. You don't look look at ZTE, Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi or Lenovo with batteryife/$ or S/N ratio per $ parameters.. do you??

            Optimus G has almost same hardware and goes for almost exact rate as Nexus 4. So, I think it's a fair price that I paid. I would expect it to give a comparable batterylife for a 2012 phone. And no, it doesn't. It might be adequate for you, but it's not upto my liking. I have paid for that phone, and I am definitely allowed to have an opinion on something I spent money on. If you're happy with your purchase, good for you. But please don't lecture me on how I should feel about "my phone".

    • Ethan G

      Well to be fair blue just indicates that it's connected to Google services for push notifications, gray can still have internet but not be connected to Google services through ports 5228-5230. When those ports are blocked it will be gray but still have internet and Google apps can be manually checked for any updates, you just won't get the push notifications.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

        See, makes perfect sense. I don't know why the average consumer can't understand this.

        • Ethan G

          lol, I'm banking on sarcasm here in which I agree with you. I think that the blue/gray bars can easily lead to confusion and think that the move Google made to putting the orange bars in the quick settings is a better way to go than having them front and center.

          • Guest

            I don't really care much one way or the other about the lack of color change on the bar anymore, but they could alternatively have kept the color-changing connectivity indicators and just explained what the colors mean/meant. That way there was less confusion and (arguably) more functionality. I do kinda miss the arrows showing data transfer, but I guess I'll have to learn to like not having them lol.

          • Ethan G

            I agree that they could have explained it, probably same way they explain the app drawer and folders when you first start up. That said, short of doing something like that, explaining your OS like that tends to take away from the "intuitiveness" that they're marketing. The more you have to explain things, the more complex and less intuitive it's going to feel to the average user which defeats the purpose.

          • Guest

            Fair enough. Personally I think folders need less explanation then the connectivity indicator would have. They probably could have done away with the folder explanation (especially the "This is a folder" one when you open one up the first time. Duh- They are exactly the same as iOS and previous versions of Android that supported folders) and added the "White/Orange" signal indicator instead. That's just how I personally feel, but I guess they've done it the way they've done it, and stand behind it, so I can sure as heck live with it...

        • http://GPlus.to/Abhisshack Abhisshack

          because A Sucker Born Every Minute. Never Underestimate The Idiocrasy of A Common Man ;-)

        • Sir Oliver

          "See, makes perfect sense. I don't know why the average consumer can't understand this."

          Because, all average users have tried googling for the answer and could not find ONE single official explanation, jsut a number of years old public forums treads trying to explain what Messrs, We're soooo coool we don't have to explain anything, Google did not even bothered to explain.

      • ThEGr33k

        True, but 99.9% of the time you are likely to have internet and Google services or neither...

        • Ethan G

          Not necessarily, my college doesn't have the ports open. When I was contracting to the Navy I had to travel around the world to various bases to set up networks and whatnot. Several airports block it and a good portion of the bases that have in building wifi had it blocked. I've also been in a few coffee shops that had it blocked.

          • ThEGr33k

            You are likely an exception more than the norm, but OK maybe 99.9% was high. :)

            I still miss the connectivity indicator.

          • ben

            Boshit talking man I hhad a quite decent university and have travelled around the world too I've never noticed the situation you had seemly every public place.

      • Davy Jones

        Which is why they should have just changed the color to mean connectivity instead of connected to Google services. No more confusion and we get to keep the very useful status bar indicator.

      • didibus

        Than they should change its method of testing it. The point is, on my Windows laptop, the indicator correctly tells me if I am connected to the internet or not. It's also more obvious, by showing an exclamation point instead of a color change.

        • http://www.webarnes.ca/ Billy Barnes

          To be more accurate, Windows tells you whether you're able to connect Windows Update (when you have local network connectivity but an exclamation point instead of a globe). At the end of the day, they have to test internet access by trying to get to a website.

          However, I think that information about your connection to Google is more important than information about data connectivity. People will figure out pretty quick that their entire data connection is down, but the loss of push notifications is more subtle.

    • subhramani

      "Now for the people who aren't completely retarded...."

      HAHAHAHA!!!

    • Colin Kealty

      As someone who frequents XDA and the android community on G+... no, no one understood what the grey meant... And it was extremely upsetting. I'm not saying this will fix anything ever, but a lot of people simply did not understand that grey meant it was working however they had no connection to google's servers

    • Adrian Zugaj

      You are severely underestimating the stupidity of some people, not to mention the people who aren't tech savvy and would never pay attention to such minute details. Plus, how often is your internet connection not working that you HAVE to know just by glancing up?

    • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

      I consider myself tech savvy, but I had no idea what the color changeeant until I read a KiKat preview explaining the change.

      • NF

        This. I thought gray meant connecting to the network and blue meant successful connection. So, I'm not that upset. And if I want to go beyond, quick settings isn't a bad spot for convenience.

    • Leif Sikorski

      Just take a look at Whatsapp. Most people still don't know what the two checkmarks are good for. Maybe 90% (?) think that 1 checkmark = message sent, 2 checkmarks = message read

      The real status is:1 checkmark = message successfully delivered to the server, 2 checkmarks = message successfully delivered to the phone of your chat partner.

      Iconography can be pretty confusing sometimes.

    • olrin

      I'm pretty much a standard user and found this site because I was very annoyed with the icon changes. I wasn't aware that blue meant connection to Google services only, but it obviously correlated with internet connection. Especially when traveling abroad this was pretty useful and convenient, because in many open WiFi networks you would have to sign in for internet, sometimes with a time limit or bad internet connectivity. So I constantly checked the colors. I don't see why they would hurt so why remove them for the ones who use them??!!

  • DevliegereM

    Dat background on the first image. do WANT :D

  • rajendranbits

    but, on top of these info, can someone tell me whether nexus 4 will get the GEL or not?

    • Henry Green

      not 'officially'

      • rajendranbits

        If these is no GEL in the factory images, then how can we get the transparent Status/nav bar?

        • jonathan3579

          Third party launchers. Or follow AP's guide to get it loaded up. (It does not work fluently on all devices though. I used their guide last night on my G2 and it looked bad. All wallpapers were stretched and icons looked comically large.)

    • subhramani

      I dont think it will. It is just an APK dude. Just download and install. I'm running it on my good ol' Galaxy Nexus which is running 4.3.

  • DevliegereM

    I actually can find myself with their decision. Certainly when they hold battery life in account :).

    • PhoenixPath

      "I actually can find myself with their decision."

      You might be missing a word or two there... :)

      • Oogje

        That's because he translated a Dutch expression one-to-one to English ;)
        Despite that translation error I do agree with DevliegereM that the decision to drop the connectivity icons due to the alleged battery consumption (I'm not really convinced here, those icons have been there since Froyo at lease! and they haven't noticed this battery eating behavior before?) can be a good one.

        • DevliegereM

          You are correct, I thought I was using the correct translation but it sounds like 'Nengels' indeed :D.

  • Rob Earls

    Maybe he can also explain why we are STILL waiting for OTA on Nexus 7

    • Ethan G

      The factory images are out and Android Police has posted the OTA links in stories last week and how to sideload them. They do staged rollouts because of things like the G+ issue last week where the app was pushed in sandbox mode, it mitigates the damage if there is an issue and makes for fixing it easier. But if you want to update to KitKat on your N7, just search the site or go with the factory image.

      2013 N7 Wifi http://www.androidpolice.com/2013/11/13/your-kitkat-is-ready-download-and-flash-android-4-4-ota-update-krt16o-for-2013-wi-fi-nexus-7/

      N4 and N7 Variants Factory Images https://developers.google.com/android/nexus/images

      • shonangreg

        Nice, but I'd like to know when it is going to roll around naturally. I don't want to sideload it. Does anyone know where it has rolled out OTA yet? And where is next?

        • Ethan G

          It's randomized. According to JBQ before he left AOSP, updates are handled by randomly putting devices into an update "bucket" on the server side, the next time the device checks for an update (usually every few hours according to him) it sees the update and applies it. No one anywhere can tell you where you are in line before getting the OTA because it's a random system.

          • PhoenixPath

            Excellent info. You don't happen to have a link to his post on that, do you?

          • Ethan G

            https://plus.google.com/112218872649456413744/posts/QkKumgFm6pm

            It's in the last 1/4 of the comment posts. I'll copy paste his exact response to a user and the user's comment.

            Andy Christianson Jul 11, 2012

            +Jean-Baptiste Queru Since it's starting to roll out via OTA now, I am still seeing the usual "did you get the OTA" threads all over XDA and such. Is there an official way for a pure-stock Galaxy Nexus to trigger the OTA? I could very well unlock my bootloader or root, but in the past, I've been caught up flashing ROMs far too much, and I like being completely stock. If there was just a way to "opt-in" and get the OTA, that would be awesome! (maybe future release?)

            Jean-Baptiste Quéru Jul 11, 2012

            +Andy Christianson - there's no way to fully trigger the OTA manually. On the OTA servers, devices are randomly separated into the schedule buckets. As long as your device isn't eligible on the server side, you won't be able to trigger an OTA. Once your device is eligible, you'll get the notification the next time it asks the server if an OTA is available (normally every few hours).

          • PhoenixPath

            Thanks! Good info.

            Makes me wonder if the Google Services Framework trick is just a over-hyped myth...

          • Ethan G

            Actually the clearing Google Services Framework trick can cause more problems than it's worth. If you keep clearing it over and over, it can (but not necessarily will) make the server stop authenticating your device which then causes a wakelock issue on the device as it constantly tries to authenticate with Google and the server is no longer listening. It can go on for minutes or days with a wakelock issue until the server finally authenticates it again.

          • PhoenixPath

            Heard that simple removing the account from the device, rebooting, and re-adding it can clear that up.

            Have never actually attempted the trick to know one way or the other though, so it's all just hear-say.

          • Ethan G

            I've heard mixed results with that. However with what JBQ said in that it really doesn't matter if you do the clear cache except to get the update that you're already eligible for (i.e. repeating the clear cache a bunch of times is a waste of time) and the trouble that can come with it going south, it's easier for me to just wait for someone to post the OTA link (usually happens within a few short hours) and get it that way.

        • PhoenixPath

          If OTA links exist, it's already rolling out.

          Naturally.

      • Al

        Mitigates damage when you push poorly-tested updates when you skimp on testers, YEAH. For god's sake stop drinking the kool-aid

        • Ethan G

          Apparently you've never been responsible for pushing updates across a network and catching the backlash if something goes south. Network admins test updates before they push them to a network but sometimes things go south. It's infinitely easier to do a live change with a small group (i.e. the equivalent of an OTA) and make sure everything is fine before proceeding. If you push an update to everyone that breaks the system despite working in your sandbox and your company loses $10K or more an hour because of system downtime and no one can work, you'll fully appreciate limited update pushes.

          • Bogdacutu

            It would had been much easier to have actual users test them *voluntarily* before the OTA release.

        • Nightfall

          Everyone is a software engineer apparently... Stop being ignorant. This is a strategy used by many software companies.

    • BangIShotYou

      Staged rollouts dude. Perhaps you've heard of them? You don't want to wait? Go download and install the factory image.

      [shakes head in amusement] You think a bunch of people who visit this site would by this point understand how Google rolls out updates. But again, modern times and all, you could put up signs and flashing lights all over the place explaining how things work and some people would still be bitching and not figure things out.

      • Al

        We all know what that is, Einstein, thanks for the explanation. Google should know that two or three weeks of staged rollout is likely to piss us off. We got a Nexus for a reason.

        • BangIShotYou

          Actually Google shouldn't know that. Why? Because that's how they've always done things and YOU should know that by now you will be waiting 2-3 weeks. It is NOT a matter worthy of being pissed off about, especially not when you know that's how things work and it's gone on long enough to know that.

          You got a Nexus for a reason, same as me. To receive updates, period. Unlike other devices. Not to receive same day as release OTA updates. The two are not one and the same and you should know that.

          Don't be annoyed that someone, me, pointed out the facts as they are to you. If you don't like how things work, that's fine. But don't hop online and bitch about it. Don't like it? Factory Image, bro. It's what I did for all my Nexus devices. N4, N7 (2012) and N7 (2013). I updated manually, rather than sit around waiting on an OTA update or bitching like an entitled child.

          • Roh_Mish

            If apple with less expertise can push updates to all iOS devices in a single day then why cant google with just less than 10% of devices that iOS have. They only push to nexus. Not all android phones.

          • BangIShotYou

            Why? I don't know. But that's not the point, is it? The point is this is how things are done and have been done for some time now. They're aren't going to change things on a dime just because a very small handful of people are online bitching about it.

            Again, you and I and everyone else here knows how updates for Nexus devices work. They come as OTA updates which are done in staged rollouts. They also come as factory image updates which can be flashed/installed as soon as they go up. The former requires patience due to the randomness of the release to devices. The latter requires patience only until the images are live, at which point you can flash them yourself. Either way, right now, literally at this point in time, those images are available and if you can follow incredibly simple instructions (which this site and numerous others provide) then you can update. Right this fucking second. It's not rocket science and there's literally no need for upteen comments asking the same crap over and over, "Why am I still waiting? I hate you Google!" Flash the image or stfu and wait for your number to be called to receive the OTA update.

            Seriously, it gets old reading the same moronic comments over and over every time there's an update. It's like 2+ years of seeing how things work (staged rollouts) doesn't compute in a number of people's heads. And they're supposed to be the tech savvy consumers.

          • Roh_Mish

            I know about factory imges i flashed them and went back to pa 4.3 (can't stay without those pa features. They meke my phone feel complete). And My point is staged rollouts are good but google overuses it. I always have to download an apk from here and install it while i shouldnt have to. Even bugfixes are staged (i have many devices connected and i experiance it) it shouldnt be like this. I know that in case of problems ane bugs, they can reverse the rollout but after you hqve reched 70% you cant do anything and you are just angering the rest 30% for making them wait. Even samsung, Htc and i think LG too hage region based rollout which is better than the google rollout style.

          • PhoenixPath

            "but google overuses it."

            How on Earth could you possibly know what constitutes their usage requirements???

            The only people they are angering are the people who somehow think they *know* things they could not possibly know.

          • BangIShotYou

            Jesus man, seriously? Google has done staged rollouts since forever, and there's a very valid and acceptable reason for doing so. That said, how can you say "Google overuses it"? You really think they shouldn't do staged rollouts? Can you make a reasonable and fact based argument for why they shouldn't? One that factors in all the issues from non-staged rollouts (like bad updates/bug issues arising after the fact and so on and so forth). If you can't do that then you need to stop with the "staged roll outs need to stop". They're doing something that is in the long term good for everyone. Everyone eventually gets the updates and they have time to deal with any issues that crop up without having said issues crop up for everyone all at once, which is a bad thing and even more of a pain to deal with. I say that as someone who works in I.T. and has to deal with only a fraction of the people I'm sure Google would have to deal with should anything untoward happen.

            Staged rollouts aren't going to go away and there's a reason for that. So stop complaining about something that you obviously don't know much about. So far you're throwing out all kinds of figures without any actual sources/citations for them and then citing your own personal (incredibly lucky) experience as reasoning for why things should be done a certain why. That's not how things work. I mean seriously, you can't fucking wait 2-3 weeks for a goddamn update? You're going to get it for sure. Is 2-3 weeks without it going to literally kill you or make your device completely unusable? If it isn't then there's really no reason to bitch, more so given you can install the factory image. So you don't even have to wait that 2-3 weeks. You're basically bitching for bitching's sake.

          • PhoenixPath

            "If apple with less expertise can push updates to all iOS devices in a single day"

            You do realize than on day one of iOS7, they were being told the update download would take *days*, right? Many folks simply kept checking until the download time reached a reasonable number of hours and for many that was well over a week.

            Google does staged roll-outs for a reason. You may not like the reason, but that in no way invalidates it.

          • BangIShotYou

            And, adding to this, a number of people saying "Apple can do it" are overlooking one very significant thing about that. Yes, Apple rolls out updates for iOS users all at once, but they also then have to deal with all the people who have their devices borked by said update(s). All at once.

            I say that as someone who has to work with iOS devices at work, not of my own choice obviously, and then has to deal with the end users saying, "Well, blah blah blah was working before I updated. Why is it broken now?!" I have to tell them that 1. I don't know and 2. occasionally updates (even from Apple) break things and 3. Apple will acknowledge the issue (eventually) and release a fix when they are good and ready.

            So all at once updates aren't necessarily a good thing. Hell, they still haven't fixed the issue with the 7.0.3 update that is causing texting to be erratic to say the least on AT&T devices in particular. We're Premier customers, I had to call in and report numerous issues with numerous devices and the rep said they're aware of it, but it's an Apple update they have no control over and they can't fix what their systems say isn't broken, despite fielding all the calls saying, "I updated and now texting is screwed up royally."

          • Roh_Mish

            I am not saying that they should stop staged rollouts but 2 weeks sema too much. And considering the ammoint of apple iOS devices to Nexus devices and the amount of network bandwith and resources at disposal to both companies, even one day rolloyt seems reasonable. I updated my iPad 2 to iOS 7 on day one on my 2.5Mbps connection and it took only a couple of hrs at max

          • PhoenixPath

            "considering the ammoint of apple iOS devices to Nexus devices"

            Considering some made-up number you couldn't possibly know as Google does not release sales numbers?

            Sure. You can support any opinion you want in the world of make-believe.

            Gotta hand it to good old Mr. Rogers. :)

          • Roh_Mish

            I don't know the exact numbers but number of Nexus android device is clearly Hesse than the number of those iOS devices.

          • PhoenixPath

            Clearly... /s

            All I see here is someone telling Google how to do something based solely on their own desires and no actual knowledge of what, or why.

            We know how it is done. That is all we know.

            As Bang said, we "could put up signs and flashing lights all over the place explaining how things work and some people would still be bitching and not figure things out."

            You don't have to be "that guy". :)

      • Al

        btw, [Shakes head in contempt]

        • BangIShotYou

          No, I'm shaking my head in amusement because idiots amuse me to no end. People know there are staged rollouts and that's how Google works. They also know that there are no set time frames for when OTA updates will arrive and also that they are completely doled out at random, yet they have this huge sense of entitlement and think "why am I STILL waiting argh?!?!"

          • Khary Anderson

            I've never had to wait more than 7 days in my one year of having Nexus devices. Stop defending ridiculousness.

          • BangIShotYou

            OMG. Then you are just incredibly lucky and we should all be as lucky as you. /s

            Your experience does not define things for everyone. I'm not defending "ridiculousness". I'm pointing out things as they are and they are not ridiculous for a number of reasons, I'd get into all of them but stupid does not change in the face of facts and logic and reason I've found. So I won't waste my time.

  • varagor

    Can he exaplain where the hell is the OTA update for my N4 and N7 2013?

    • http://jefferai.org/ Jeff Mitchell

      Still waiting on it to roll out to my N7 2012, too.

    • Nick

      It's called a staged roll out. It has been done this way since the Nexus One days. Not sure why people seem confused or surprised.

      • varagor

        1. There's no OTA update for the N4 at all.
        2. I haven't heard of a single person who received the update. Staged roll out is fine, but as far as I can tell there's no roll out at all.

  • Deeco

    Lol, u wot? How is that reasonable explanation to remove the up/down arrows?

    • Al

      Yeah, pretty hilarious. Pure hypocrisy.

  • Dave

    It's frustrating that they removed these, but it's nice to hear some justification. As much as I like KitKat though, I can't help but think that most of the interface changes reduce usability and quick access to things.

    • Nick

      The problem is their justification is errant. The "dumb end users" won't notice it is gone and won't care. The power users notice it and care a lot. Google has fixed nothing and annoyed a lot of people with this change.

      • meijin3

        I'm not a dumb end user but I certainly appreciate the change. I was getting tired of Holo Blue.

      • bprichard

        Power user here. I prefer the 4.4 version. I'm sure I'm not alone.

  • Peter

    an option to choose the behaviour and colour would be nice...

    • Justin Foster

      Word

    • TheLastAngel

      Options are for the weak and the women.

  • daniel

    I like the white color more than the blue one. It looks like every other phone which i think is good. Blue made it look like a nerd's phone :)

    • h4rr4r

      It is a nerd's phone. Own it.
      If I wanted every other phone, I would have bought one of those.

      • Alberto Blasi

        75% of the market has an Android phone, doubt they're all nerds.

  • Mayoo

    Lesson of the day for Google engineers : When a feature is confusing for general public, put a switch on it and disable it by default. Gives us the choice.

    • PhoenixPath

      It sounds like a great idea until you stop and think about that for a moment...

      You cannot even begin to imagine the number of "switches" there would be if engineers followed that line of reasoning since day one.

      Our menus/config pages would be absolute nightmares. They're already getting pretty bad. I shudder to think how many more options they'd have to bury in there to allow all the changes since even just GB to be reverted.

      • Oobiewan

        you're probably right, but that's what Cyanogenmod is for, right?

        • PhoenixPath

          Heh..more like AOKP: We heard you like toggles, so we made some toggles to toggle the toggles on your toggles.

          Talk about an insane number of options. Loved that ROM when it first came out...but damn.

        • http://about.me/d.bennett Dan Bennett

          I'm running the latest stable CM on my Nexus 4. My previous phone was a HTC Wildfire which couldn't get past 2.3 even with CM. I was really disappointed with how much freedom of configuration CM got rid of between their 2.3 and 4.2 ROMs.

          Still a lot more than stock though, that's for sure. I mean, why is it not standard that holding the volume buttons skip tracks if the screen is locked?!

          • Ryan Stewart

            Because holding the volume button means "keep adjusting the volume" on this planet and has for some time.

          • http://about.me/d.bennett Dan Bennett

            Every phone I've ever owned that could be used as media player used that action to skip track. Sony Ericsson phones, Walkman branded or not, as well as an INQ phone I had for a short while. Even my old HTC Wildfire which is an Android phone, though admittedly HTC's Sense version of 2.1 and 2.2 rather than stock. The Nexus 4 is the first such phone I've owned where holding the volume button while the screen is locked doesn't skip track, and there wasn't even a setting for it.

          • Ryan Stewart

            Well then head over to XDA and go crazy. But the VAST majority of users and devices are used to the volume button controlling the volume when in a media application.

    • mateor

      AOSP, CyanogenMod and Android as a whole has been moving back from "feature-creep" since Gingerbread. The general idea is that the possibility of confusion outweighs the appeal to power users.

      Having put out some little projects myself, I now spend almost all of my development time trying to make things clearer, simpler and easier, with less options on each iteration. The drop in customer service demands way outstrips the loss of flexibility.

    • Ryan Stewart

      As a power user: for something so ancillary Id much rather have them work on Google Voice (and the app) than building hundreds of switch hooks and UIs bloating up the system so you can turn every feature on or off.

  • subhramani

    They say something about GPU and CPU and I STFU! :D

  • Fred

    This is a step backwards

  • Robert Grimm

    A little education would have been a better solution. They should at least attempt to smarten up the users before dumbing down the interface.

  • Detonation

    Doesn't matter for the majority of devices anyways...OEMs will skin and recolor the status bar to their liking

    • Oobiewan

      That's true, but it makes me think: if OEM's will recolor it anyway, why does google itself remove that? The only place where oem's wont mess with the UI is nexus and play devices. And I think 90% of the Nexus users know what the color means.
      So google should just stay techy for it's own consumers, and the OEMs could dumb their UI down as they please

  • http://about.me/d.bennett Dan Bennett

    I'll accept moving the packet transit arrows, but moving the colour connection indicator is ridiculous. It's common sense what it means once you've noticed it change at the same time you get/lose connectivity once or twice. And what about people who know what it means and use it as the incredibly helpful feature that it is?!
    I completely agree with one of the recent comments - educate users before dumbing down a system. Otherwise how will things ever progress if we keep letting stupid people be stupid?

    I saw a 4-minute video on UI design earlier and found one line near the end to be a despairingly overlooked concept: If they're a power user, let them be a power user.

    • Nick

      This is one of the most frustrating things that Windows is super guilty of, and Android is quickly becoming guilty of. Removing power use features with Zero recourse in getting them back. It makes me a bit concerned for the true future of Android.

      • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

        Why? Power users aren't where the money is. Google doesn't need us being evangelists for their products. They don't care what a bunch of enthusiasts on Android forums think, and why should they? Until people like us become more than 1-2% of the Android handset-owning market, we take what we can get and that's that. Money talks, bullshit walks.

        Google knows that the Android dev community will provide those features to people who want them, and they CORRECTLY put the burden on us to make that happen because we're the people that can handle said burden. The average consumer should not have to think about this stuff, and if that comes at the expense of power user features, so be it. If I want power user features, I can get them. If you want power user features, you can too. Qwitcherbitchin.

        • Nick

          Flash a ROM? What a rubbish answer. I'll change devices before I run some hack job glitch ass ROM. There are several fringe OS's that have potential to be up and comers...

          • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

            Well then go on with your hipster self! Run those new "up and coming" OSes with no commercial potential, no app support, but with all the power user features one can handle! Let me know how that works out for you.

        • http://about.me/d.bennett Dan Bennett

          "Until people like us become more than 1-2% of the Android handset-owning market"
          How can we when almost every tech company dumbs things down as much as possible, and some now even remove power user features altogether? Over-simplification is only ever detrimental. Users can't be expected to become more intelligent, and thus suitable for power user features, if they never encounter any in their lives.

          As for your second paragraph, I facepalmed. You're saying independent community devs with pretty much no financial or other support are more suited to making high quality software than one of the biggest companies on the planet? Seriously?
          Also, why should my desire for power user features have to be traded for my desire to have official manufacturer support and OTA updates?

          For the first half of your third paragraph, you seem to have forgotten the Developer Tools section of the settings. You know, the one that isn't even visible unless you jump through loopholes that aren't mentioned in any of the immediately-accessible support information? Stick the power user stuff in there. Now there are no problems for the simple users.

          Second half of your third paragraph:
          That always happens with a new version of anything. Companies are used to it. Android has changed so much in every way that I'm pretty sure Google can deal with those kinds of idiots - not to mention all their other products and services that have had those reactions over the years.

          • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

            Flashing packet arrows = "high quality software"? Come on, dude.

          • http://about.me/d.bennett Dan Bennett

            The feature being offered by a piece of software has no relevance on the quality of the software.

      • Ryan Stewart

        You mean the power users who have circular percent battery icons, a flashing clock and a flaming LTE logo?

        A real android power user can do whatever they want. These icons scan be skinned/replaced in a heartbeat.

    • Anu6is

      Is it really that hard to pull down the quick settings? Yeah, it's an extra step but come on... there is zero functionality lost by this change. Saves confusion for many and ever so slightly inconveniences others (and I stress on the EVER SO SLIGHTLY).

      • http://about.me/d.bennett Dan Bennett

        If you're saying that, the confusion saved is equal to the inconvenience added. 95% of the time the indicator is grey for such a small amount of time most users who don't know what it means probably wouldn't even notice, anyway.

        And if I'm in the middle of doing something that I'm concentrating on, the difference between glancing to the top of the screen and having to stop what I'm doing, drag down the status bar and then look to the right section is huge - even if the task itself is still nothing major. It's a much bigger break in concentration.

      • Roh_Mish

        Most Don't even notice the change in color. And we are not using an 300Mhz and 16MB RAM single corecore processor that those simple stores takes too much of processing power.

      • flosserelli

        Is it really that hard to differentiate between active and weak/nonexistent network activity? It wouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the difference between a colored icon and one that is greyed out. Pulling down the quick settings just to figure out whether you are connected is a waste of time and effort, especially with devices getting larger. I don't want to reach to the top of my Note 2 just to see if my connection is wonky.

    • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

      It's common sense what it means once you've noticed it change at the same time you get/lose connectivity once or twice.

      How is it common sense that blue means connected to google services and grey means not connected?

      The only way you'd know this is if you'd looked it up somewhere, giving you "specialized knowledge." http://www.thefreedictionary.com/common+sense

      I understand liking the feature, but the feature was hardly common sense.

  • Oobiewan

    I understand that most people don't understand the meaning of the color, but why does that mean that you have to remove that info? Since the colors are not working with white, what if there was a grey exclamation mark in the wi-fi signal indicator if there's no connection? It would be a simple and nice solution, and actually damn easier to understand for everybody. And it only took me 5 seconds to come up with this idea and people there (at google) aren't stupid either

  • Jachym Kokesh Lukes

    I was quite happy with WiFi for example turning blue when connected, when I am on some not really working WiFi, I can quickly see if the connection is working, or if I am just "connected".

  • Al

    Google's reasoning: hmm transparent bar looks nice right? yeah let's ship this otherwise the kitkat marketing guys are gonna be all over us because this is a non-update! Oops blue looks awful, let's pick any color... how about white? yah, looks good enough. Hmmm now... what we do about the wifi? just kill the additional symbols and colors! users are retards anyway!!
    And don't get me started about the new google now and launcher.. pffffffffffffffff I'm gonna have to use a 3rd party launcher on a nexus for the first time in my life. All in all, very dissappointing

  • http://be.net/JosephM Joseph Maalouf

    Removing the wifi connectivity functionality seems like a lazy design solution. If users don't understand something, you make it more user-friendly, rather than remove it.
    I hope custom roms can bring this back...

    Very disappointed that such sacrifices had to made to introduce half-baked transparencies that are only introduced on a lock and home screen level.
    Naturally, this will be all ironed out in the visual overhaul that is 5.0, but it really didn't need to be...

    • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

      not entirely sure that's not what they did. Clearly having any color would take away form the neutral aspect of the OS which makes sense. But it doesn't look like they took away colors from the pull down. I'd say that's a bit more user friendly. For the more advanced user it's kinda annoying but at this point we gotta understand that Android is no longer marketed for just people like the readers of AndroidPolice

      • http://be.net/JosephM Joseph Maalouf

        There are other design solution then changing colors. As @Oobiewan:disqus suggested, they could have used an exclamation mark to show no connectivity, and that's the most basic - if not aesthetically pleasing - solution.

        Removing a useful feature to many people, including myself, to dumb down android is not something I want to get used to...

        • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

          Agreed....but they didn't. Also an excimation mark implies the user wants to use wifi, thats not always the case. Also they didn't remove the function so much as hide it. Besides this can always be gotten around with a widget. What I don't understand is that a lot of experienced users complain about Google "dumbing down" android but we have custom ROMs that make up for it. The Point of Android 4+ os to get more people using it. Us who don't like what they are doing haven't been discouraged from changing it to what we like (minus tablet UI).

          • http://be.net/JosephM Joseph Maalouf

            While I don't agree with their decision, I'll be grateful once I get my hands on a custom rom that will bring the functionality back :) As you mentioned, this is android after all :)

  • GraveUypo

    and once again google lowers the playing field to the lowest common denominator.
    yeah google is moving away from what brought me to android and instead is turning it into a new iOS, slowly but steadily. i wonder how many more years of these changes i can take before i think android sucks.

  • Simon Belmont

    Tiny up and down arrows use a lot of CPU and GPU time, eh? Kind of hard to believe, but I guess they know what they're talking about.

    I started using Network Monitor Mini Pro when I got my Nexus 5 and didn't notice any difference between NOT using that app and using it, in terms of battery life. My gut feeling tells me it was more of a design choice than anything related to CPU and GPU rendering.

    • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

      I don't think it's "a lot" as apposed to "some". When you're optimizing somethings go that seem not to take a lot of processes but you figure nobody will miss them or a small amount of people will so it's OK. this was probably done with a lot of other optimizations

      • Simon Belmont

        Well, the article said "noticeable amount" but that's not exactly a specific measure of CPU/GPU resources. I read it as meaning "a lot" but I agree that it was probably part of an overall optimization regime (not something I'm complaining about either).

        I DID like knowing when there was network activity happening right from the status bar, but it's not a deal breaker or anything. I have come to really love Network Monitor Mini Pro, so it's a win for me.

    • flosserelli

      Agreed. Rendering arrows in real time might have taxed hardware from 2+ years ago, but newer devices should have no difficulty. I also agree white blends with everything much better, and ditching holo blue was simply a design choice more than anything else.

      • Simon Belmont

        My B&N Nook Color from 2010 runs Android 4.3 and the up and down arrows never seemed to tax it. Hahaha, and that's a single-core CPU and 512MB of RAM.

        Yeah. That's why I love Network Monitor Mini Pro, because it's so unobtrusive and customizable. I have it show up for the vast majority of my apps, but for fullscreen games, I tend to disable it. You can white/black list apps that you want that to happen in. It's awesome. I love it, and to think the lack of network indicator arrows is what got me to finally try it (lol).

  • Victor Stuber

    When you own a device like the Galaxy Nexus it's helpful to be able to know when your signal is down because it's down like 50% of the time.

    • flosserelli

      Sounds like you need a new phone.

  • Ethan G

    All of these comments prove that Google made the right decision simplifying everything. I see "Where is my OTA update on X device" and "Why are you dumbing down the interface for power users, clearly blue means connected and gray doesn't" as well as "Google just is being lazy about figuring out a better way to show what's going on".

    I disagree heavily that "most users can eventually figure out . AP posted instructions for sideloading the OTA updates and Google posted the factory images, there are numerous easy instructions for doing it and all kinds of threads all over about how OTA updates work and that no one can tell you when you'll get them, but there are still all kinds of people who "haven't figured it out yet" despite clearly frequenting sites like this and XDA.

    Blue vs. gray doesn't indicate working vs. non-working. Blue means you're connected to Google services and gray means you can have internet but aren't receiving push notifications from Google services through ports 5228-5230. That whole blue/gray thing has been a trainwreck because of the massive number of people that think gray just means "not working".

    This proves that moving things that are helpful to power users to a little less front and center position is a good move so not as many people will be worrying about things they don't fully understand. Google isn't designing the Nexus and stock Android for power users, they're building it for the masses. There are other apps that we power users can install to get what we want out of our devices. For everyone else, there's an easier to understand, cleaner stock android.

    • BangIShotYou

      THIS! Thank you. Expect the inevitable downvotes though for pointing things out in a reasonable manner. Facts that people do not like/agree with are evil. I'd like to add the /s tag to that but I can't because it's true, as a number of comments here are testament to.

      • ini

        Please, don't be arrogant. Removing features altogether rather than making them optional is simply another step towards apple style idiocracy

    • Tim242

      Totally agree!

    • acb

      I consider myself a "power user" (in fact, I'm a computer engineer and I write ui's for a living) and I did not know blue meant "connected to google services" until they took it away and I started reading about it.

      I originally did not like the changes, but I am actually quite convinced by google's reasoning here.

    • Sir Oliver

      "This proves that moving things that are helpful to power users to a
      little less front and center position is a good move so not as many
      people will be worrying about things they don't fully understand"

      Yeah, right. Like it was sooooooo hard for Google to explain plainly what Blue - Gray means. It's one sentence in the support page. Instead they've been silent for several years, and then they came with the "explanation" - you know, it's best not to confuse poor gray users! Once again - yeah, right (in lieu of citing Sex Pistols' song title ;)

    • ArrTooDeeToo

      I actually didn't know what the gray was for, either, but I still disagree with nixing features that power users enjoy all together. Don't get me wrong, I think it's good that they're "dumbing down" for the masses, but I tend to agree with what one poster on the google+ thread said about having the option to have it or not. Don't take it out completely; just turn it off and make it an option in the settings to turn it back on!

      • Ethan G

        But they're not getting rid of it, they moved it to the quick settings tile. So all you do is swipe down now to see it or not.

        • ArrTooDeeToo

          I'm not necessarily talking about just the wifi indicator, but more of the overall principle of the matter of dumbing down to the point of getting rid of things completely when plenty of people find them useful. Pointing to the same Google+ post I referred to above, I would point out the softkeys on tablets being in the middle only a perfect example. I'm on that bandwaggon for the long haul. They should give the user the ability to slide them over to the side. I'd even love to see the Tablet interface return because I think it was perfect from a user standpoint.

          • jacob

            it's obvious you just want something to bitch about because the data traffic indicator is still there.
            If you're a power user, then you know how to get a custom ROM. they allow you to switch to the older tablet interface. problem solved.

          • ArrTooDeeToo

            What if I didn't want to root my devices and use some hacky cobbled together code for the tablet interface? Not ever power user is a root user. And I'm not just looking for something the complain about. If no one spoke their mind on the things they're unhappy about, how would a company like google know how to improve things?

          • ArrTooDeeThree

            If you're not rooted, you're not a power. Just, a user.

          • Iwan

            ..interesting OPINION.

          • ini

            This is just an arrogant response. What if don't want to void my warranty instead?

          • rpm

            Then you are not a power user. Power users don't care about warranty. If you don't have root, then you don't have "power" to fully control your phone, therefore you are not a power user.

            That said, I have yet to see a custom KitKat rom that restored blue/gray, and hiding orange in quick settings is lame. Google is really going down hill with most updates to all their products over the last year or so.

          • ben

            This has been a real bitching.

        • Pnoy

          They got rid of the option to change the color to something else. This reduction in configurability has nothing to do with clutter or responsiveness, and the fact that the previous functionality is now tucked into a submenu shows that the choice to reduce functionality wasn't just a matter of streamlining... it's a step away from Android's configurability, towards Apple-knows-best sterility.

    • didibus

      Please, Windows indicates you if your internet stops working by presenting a yellow exclamation mark, and even my mom who believes IE is the internet figured out that when there is an exclamation mark down there, it means the internet might not work.

      There are obviously ways that Google could have made it more indicative and kept it on the indicator, one of them being an exclamation mark. Or what about doing the same as lack of cell reception, just show the outline of the icon and remove everything inside.

      Also, who cares if people don't understand it. What negative does it bring them, they think, hey it just changed color, big deal. They still won't understand what's happening in the quick settings. But the people who did understand are now annoyed.

      • Tessoro Desoto

        Well the chance of color did not tell you that your wifi signal wasnt there_ it was to tell you a not so much importabt even. If you dont have wifi signal it will clearly show on the main screen still.

    • trappa

      Strange, because this reminds me of Apple..

      “We know what’s best for you."
      "We won’t let you do that because it would suck. Trust us. If you don’t like it, there’s the door."
      "Here, try this partial workaround or alternative solution instead. It Just Works!”

      ......... -__-

      • annoyed

        ... the difference is that you still get these options, just not default. and there's always different Roms. apple has none of this. There's pretty much zero similarities. And don't use quotes unless it's actually a quote.

    • Ryan

      "Blue vs. gray doesn't indicate working vs. non-working."

      Reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally? Why is that when my Wifi is gray.. I can't load anything on my browser, my whatsapp messages don't come through.. That is of course until I disconnect from wifi and reconnect. To which then the icon becomes blue.. And guess what.. The messages come through!!!

    • ini

      That's plain idiocracy, Ethan. Dumbing down only means that. plus, they probably don't want you to know that a process somewhere is transmitting data under your nose

    • Gary Tessman

      Sorry, I disagree entirely and believe that the now existing white or #33b5e5 blue doesn't matter for transparency issues. The issue really surrounding this is color contrast and unfortunately white on white doesn't cut it either. (As in Google Now).

    • Vishnu Muruganantham

      Hi!! I have a problem! I messed up with my mobile data recently! I cant use whatsapp, fb and other some games! But I can use chrome with no difficulty.. Am talking about using mobile data only! pls help me with this.. usually when i turn on the mobile data... The colour was white.. Now its just brown...Pls help me with this!

    • DIR911911 .

      that you won't notice your battery is dead until its too late

  • Alexxflash

    Why not just do it like on the Kindle Fire HD? I especially like how it's done with a cross (X) on the WiFi icon if you have (limited) connection.

    • Roh_Mish

      Not a bad idea.

  • Roh_Mish

    Wont the orange color in quicksettings confuse people?

  • OldDogeyes

    Maybe I could come to terms with it if I actually had KK... but nothing on my N7 2013... 8>(

  • http://www.williamint.com William Aleman

    Well looks very nice with just the new white icons. Also does someone know which wallpaper is it in the first screenshot?

    • Jeff Weatherup

      It's posted earlier in the comments. Scroll down and you should find it. :)

  • Kree Terry

    Did it really take an official statement from google for us to figure out why they did it? I thought it was pretty obvious.

  • flosserelli

    Bad move, Google. Removing the connectivity colors/arrows is something Apple would do for brain dead iOS users. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say most android users want some form of connectivity indicator.

  • EH101

    In my opinion:

    When it's all said and done, stock Nexus devices are becoming what most AP readers know and dislike: too simple and too plain. I doubt I have to draw it out per se, but I'm alluding to Apple and iOS. To get the full capabilities of either line of devices requires "jailbreak" now, and the only difference there is it is much more easily done on a Nexus (or at least used to be; unsure of current landscape).

    That said, I still think stock Android >> stock iOS, but also stock (insert top-of-the-range 3rd party Android) >> Nexus 5. Regarding the latter, the same can't be said for Android tablets yet, but the gap is closing.

  • Tom

    How much resources can two little arrows demand? C'on!

    • flosserelli

      Each arrow needs its own core. /s

  • herbivoor

    What wallpaper is used in the first image?

    • Nick

      You should read more comments. It has already been posted.

      • herbivoor

        Was at work and did a quick 'wallpaper' and 'background' search. Missed it. Thanks!

  • jurrabi

    So, because people don't know what it means (what kind of stupid people use android in the eyes of google?) we don't eliminate it: We simply put it some where else?

    For me it still don't make sense.

    Just go with the blue don't mix with transparent argument. It's more believable.

  • Sheldon H Henderson

    Honestly, I don't care, cause those colours and arrows did crap for me anyway. I've been lied to with those so many times I don't even trust them anymore. I go do my thing, if nothing loads, I switch to airport mode and back and it all magically works.

  • Khary Anderson

    Side note, anyone with a Nexus 7 get the OTA yet? I have a Nexus device. I should not have to flash an update. Wtf Google

    • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

      It's called a staged rollout. Staged OTA rollouts take up to two weeks to reach everyone. They do this for damage control. If it turns out there's a major problem with an OTA, it's much better to have only 10,000 people with the problem than 1 million people with the problem.

      • Khary Anderson

        I understand the concept of stage rollouts. But I've never waited more than 3 days for an OTA.

        • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

          Then I'd consider you pretty lucky! haha I normally don't get OTAs for at least a week. Only once did I get one sooner than that. haha

        • PhoenixPath

          "But I've never waited more than 3 days"

          Down below you claimed 7 days.

          "I've never had to wait more than 7 days "

          Huh...how strange. /s

          You are not the only person getting updates. People get them before you and people get them after you. If anything you've said has any truth to it, you've been incredibly lucky in getting them so soon. It seems most folks aren't getting them until at least a week after that roll-out starts.

  • Chris

    How did I KNOW it's because "it was more confusing for users." Obviously it wasn't confusing for any of us. Come on. Who saw the blue and was like "Crap what's going on??!" This is so stupid. If people are that dumb then they need to learn. I like a quick way of seeing if my internet is or isn't working. Glad I'm not one of these average "confused users" Google is talking about and can load custom roms to meet my needs.

    • http://www.twitter.com/ninjustin ninjustin

      It's confusing because it's the way cell phones have displayed their signals since cell phones existed?

    • Wesley Modderkolk

      "Obviously it wasn't confusing for any of us."

      There are over 1 billion active devices. This site is hardly 1% of that. So just because most people didn't find it confusing here, doesn't mean it isn't. In reality it was confusing and distracting. Giving a sign of something that isn't a problem nor even an issue is confusing and just a waste of resources.

      "I like a quick way of seeing if my internet is or isn't working"

      This part is so funny, or better said, sad.

      You have been bashing people getting confused by the grey/blue notification icons, and you use it for checking if your internet is or is not working? Lol. Really, in 99% of the cases the greyed out means nothing and just indicates that there isn't an active connection to Google, which isn't a problem.

      Also, if you want to have this quick way of seeing nothing interesting, you can always just swipe the quick settings bar down for half the screen and see the same useless "information".

      Oh, and just because people have no interrest in mobile devices and just expect them to work and thus don't comprehend confusing indications, that doesn't make them dumb. Guess we could say the same thing about stuff you know nothing about, right? So by that definition, that makes you dumb too?

  • MUTINOUS

    DO we really even need the signal strength icon????? we are either connected or not. I mean, how accurate is it anyways??, Does it mean you can move 20 feet and get a better signal?? I think the whole signal icon is a paradigm left over from the analog days, like blowing into the usb connector to improve the electrical connection, or paying a ton of money for media cables like HDMI cables.( more money better signal)

    • Franz

      We don't NEED one just like we don't NEED good brakes in a car. But it's still useful. And yes, there has been times in my house where I literally move to another side and have amazing service. And the other side no. I must be right on the edge of their network.

      • Tim242

        You missed the point. Yes, you can change your location to improve signal, but the bars have nothing to do with that

        • http://about.me/d.bennett Dan Bennett

          If it weren't for the bars how would you know your signal improved when you crossed the kitchen?

          • Tim242

            Bars don't really depict signal accurately. Software adjustments by carriers determine how they are depicted. Motorola phones on Verizon have inflated bars, but the dBm is the same as another phone with fewer bars. To determine if your signal has improved, simply ask your caller if they can hear you now.

          • http://about.me/d.bennett Dan Bennett

            If you're in the middle of a call that works, yeah. And the bars are still a more accurate representation than having nothing at all.

          • MeCampbell30

            You don't need to know dBm you just need to know relative performance. A Motorola phone might work better (with better antenna technology) then a different phone in the same area. In addition data rates fluctuate based on the relative strength of the signal (not absolute strength).

          • Tim242

            Bars don't really show you relative performance. My performance is the same from 2-5 bars. They fluctuate for no reason at all most of the time. I have seen Moto phones showing full signal, with the dBm in the -93 to -100 range. Those bars are manipulated by software, not antenna.

  • Kevin

    Which wallpaper is used in the first picture? :)

  • tokuiten

    Well, it looks like I won't be upgrading to KitKat until someone comes out with an Xposed Framework module to restore the Jelly Bean status bar.

  • greg

    what about leaving the choice for the user what colour he wants for the system?

  • Slawootsky

    Notification, saying "connection lost, please check your something" would be a perfect replacement for the color indicator.

    • http://about.me/d.bennett Dan Bennett

      That would take up a lot more space and probably even use more system resources. It'd also be a lot more invasive and annoying if every time your connection drops you get an actual notification about it.

  • Bojan Tomic

    I don't really see the problem with the change of colors and removing arrows.. It's not like you could change anything about your connection if they were there.

  • Colin Richardson

    Can we not have a "Dump ass" version as default, and in the Developer options have a "I actually know what I'm doing" option? and return all the nerd stuff?

    • Wesley Modderkolk

      >nerd stuff

  • usaff22

    They have the arrows in CM11/AOSP???

  • deltatux

    They should have still put the arrows at least as a toggle option in Developer Options or as just a regular setting under something like Display or what-not instead of booting it to the Quick Settings, it's rather annoying tbh... Also, why orange?

    • Simon Belmont

      I think orange is the inverse of the white color (it's not pure white) chosen in the status bar in KitKat. That's just a guess, but I think I read that somewhere.

      It would make sense to use the inverse. It's noticeable and gets the point across.

    • natabbotts

      As with Simon's response, but I'd add, orange is a warning colour, and "No connection to push notifications" warrants a warning, in my eyes.

  • Kid.Drunkadelic

    Imma IT specialist and the removal of network triangles directly affects me. Its the most in depth resource to see if my clients internet is working.........

    Joking aside I have seen how its helpful whines to have that there, but then your probably troubleshooting your network everyday for that to be helpful. If that's the case maybe you should hire a specialist. To fix your troubled home network

  • Sir_Brizz

    Personally, I am glad. The status bar used to be very noisy for me with all the moving and blinking. Now, it doesn't change much and my eye isn't drawn to it much anymore.

  • cy_n_ic

    If by come to terms you mean load a custom rom that gives me all these great features back then yes. Yes i did that...

    • Tim242

      You call those great features?

  • yeahman45

    I don't get it.. now the wifi icon will remain bright even if connection is lost? hmmm... isn't it more confusing actually... i have to go to quick settings to see the actual state of the network... how is it an improvement?

    • miri

      No, the gray indicates a connection to certain services, Even when it was grayed out, there was a good chance that your connection was still working fine anyway.

  • NeedName

    If users are confused by this, it is due to Google's poor documentation and or ease of getting that documentation. Hiding things doesn't make it more useful or more helpful.

    • Crispin Swickard

      I had a feeling they had reason to do what they did, and the reasons make sense, but it is strange they didn't document this sorta thing more officially.

      Its not broken. Its a feature. ;)

    • Grimmjow

      Yes everyone reads documentation.

  • Android Developer

    I'm sorry but those are bad excuses. Here are my remarks on what he said:

    1. Why can't you just use 2 type of styles - one for the transparent notification bar, and one for the normal one?
    Also, what would you say about white wallpapers? I think the best would be to just use an outline or gradient backgrounds on the icons. Anything is better than a white opaque color that you can't even read the battery...

    2. What is a GCM indicator? From what I know , GCM is "Google Cloud Messaging" ...

    3. You could just use a fixed size layout for all of the indicators states, and this way avoid layouts . Another alternative is to make all of the bitmaps the same size. For caching, you could put all of the images on the same array of bytes, or, if the bitmaps are easy to draw, don't use any images at all and use geometry lines ...

    And about the thing of allowing apps to show their own colorful icons, this is against your own guidelines, of not showing colorful notification icons...

    • Björn Lundén

      3. No, you misunderstand what he meant here. It's not about colorful notifications (which are still against the guidelines) but about apps applying their brand color to things like the action bar and stuff like that. It was explained a while back in Android Design In Action. The different Play apps are good examples of apps that use the color of the action bar and text for branding.

      • Android Developer

        Are you talking about this video:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QHkv-bSlds
        ?
        I've seen it before, but I can't see an example of why it's useful to have the white icons, as the background of the notification bar is still black as before.
        I don't get what the indicators icons colors have to do with the app.
        Only if the notifications bar would be transparent, maybe, and even then, they can go as far as allowing the developer to choose which color to use, or do it automatically based on the background behind it.
        As some apps do have a white background (like Holo-light) , having white notifications icons doesn't make much sense.
        Also, I don't get why the battery numbers have to be so hard to read, on top of white battery icons. Couldn't they make it a circle with a number in it?

        • Björn Lundén

          I specifically said it was to not clash with the color branding of the _action bar_. Blue just doesn't match that good with some colors. White works with all colors.

          The fact that you talk about the notification shade indicates you still don't understand what I was trying to say. It's about the branding of the ACTION BAR. They clearly describe it about 4 minutes in. Seems pretty clear to me.

          Not sure which battery numbers you are talking about.

          • Android Developer

            white can't be right for all possible colors of the action bar, like the white action bar, which is used for the holo-light theme.

            best thing is to make it adaptive to the color that surrounds it. there are even apps that do it using Xposed framework , like this one:
            http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2457265

            isn't branding just some values (at least colors) of the theme?

            about the battery numbers, i'm talking about the feature of showing how much of a battery is left , in % . example of why it was done in a poor way is shown here:
            http://www.androidpolice.com/2013/11/11/android-4-4-includes-support-for-battery-percent-in-the-status-bar-its-not-ideal-but-heres-how-to-enable-it-without-root/

            the more %, the less readable this number is.

          • Björn Lundén

            There is no white action bar. Holo Light uses light grey. The status bar will still be black or transparent with a black-to-transparent gradient so there should be no issues. :)

            Whether you like adaptive status bar color is a matter of personal taste. I wouldn't want that for instance. Cool to see someone implemented it though.

            Oh, I missed that hidden setting. By your description of it, they hid it for a good reason. ;)

          • Android Developer

            light gray that is almost white. it's still white on a color that is too similar to it. look at the color:
            http://android-developers.blogspot.co.il/2011/04/customizing-action-bar.html
            it's more white than it is gray.

            about the % , it's as if they planned it but cancelled it in the last time without removing it. i don't remember if the AOSP android ROM had this feature on the previous versions, but if it did, now it can't be used as before...

  • shadlom

    Those were very useful so that's annoying.

  • Nick

    Blue and gray icons are no more "confusing" than removable storage on Nexus phones.

    I for one really don't agree with some of the decisions that Google has been making lately.

  • truepopo

    what happened to choice? why not have an option for color choosing of this simple option? I'll miss my holo blue but id do anything to make it green

    • TulsaDavid

      I said the same thing about obamacare. :)

  • jones19876

    I've been accustomed to having the choice on a platform like Android, this sort of dumbing down is fine for control freak companies like Apple.

  • Indianajonze

    i accept these explanations

  • Björn Lundén

    Reverted the removal of the indicators in CM. Without them it just makes that icon useless. That's what's great with Android though. If one feels strongly enough about something there is usually a way to "fix" it.

  • blindexecutioner

    Wow, I was kind of pissed at first but if performance was really an issue I am glad they made the change to the data indicators. I still like the blue icons and a non-transparent notification bar though. The transparent bar makes no sense to me from a functionality standpoint due to the reason he stated about the backgrounds blending with the icons, which they still do.

  • Casey Artner

    I actually pretty much guessed the reasoning before reading this post. The activity indicators actually make sense to move out. But it seems they went a little too far regarding connectivity. Yes it currently indicates connection to Google services which is typically a good indication of general internet connectivity (though not quite always). They could have come up with a better way to indicate general internet availability beyond simply being connected to a network and displayed a red icon of some sort on the signal bars. This is not insignificant, especially for anyone who uses WiFi which needs to occasionally have terms and conditions accepted to get access or which is less that reliable.

    • http://toastedpastillas.com/ Toasted Pastillas

      but some just want it plain and don't want red icons. :)

      • Casey Artner

        Ahh, but the red indicator would only appear when something has gone wrong. Which people typically like to know about!

        • http://toastedpastillas.com/ Toasted Pastillas

          ah, i see -- which is same as the existing now? the orange one?

  • Rob

    Did Google ever actually make it well known that blue was connected and gray was not? I often would see the gray icons on my phone and the only reason I knew what the colors meant was I went looking for an answer. I think I even asked some non-technical folks at Sprint and never got an answer. So, Google, if it's a well kept secret, you shouldn't be surprised if a good number of people (e.g. non-power users) don't fully understand its purpose.

    • Justin Foster

      Lol, exactly. Google's reasoning is so silly.

  • Colin Kaminski

    They should make the status bar icons change to black automatically on a white background.

  • mark

    Got my first android phone 3 months ago. Figured the colors out in a week. I understand the arrows, but the color helped me so many times. Because I only have 100 mb of data and if I leave my data on it would disappear in no time....I guess someone will have to make a notification app for it. Bam developers, get on it! I'd even pay for that!

    • YNWA

      No shit? I will jump on that opportunity! ;)

  • Colin Kaminski

    Anyone have any idea what that wallpaper is?

  • Martin Nilsson

    On a personal note I run a few wi-fi spots as restricted i.e no background sync. I thought at first that the orange indicated this, since I never reflected on the colour change before KitKat. So I can see why Google did what they did. Still, colours for working, not working and restricted would be nice :-)

  • Andy

    I just upgraded my phone to 4.3 and the 3G and 4G data arrows are smaller than they used to be. And in 4.4 they're gone entirely? Interesting...could it be because they don't want people to see how bad their service is?

  • Richard Markert

    My mother can't remember to use the Amazon MP3 app to put purchased music on her phone, and even SHE knows what the colors mean. In a basic "blue = internet" and "grey = connected but no intenet" way, but she still knows.

  • Xiang Ji

    That's weird. I don't think "the majority of users didn’t know what it means". It's too much of an underestimation of our tech common sense. Generally I find the UI change much unfavorable.

  • Meshx86

    I have a better explanation..

    We took the arrows away so you won't notice that we are watching you..

    Its like taking out the same thing out of Windows XP, so you wont notice what data we extract from your computer on Vista / 7

  • Baz

    The article makes a case for why the icons are not *animated*, but it doesn't explain why the now-static icons can't be whatever color we choose. Supposedly the default blue didn't "pop", but I've always used a configurable launcher to set my own colors. The 4.4 update disabled this functionality - reducing complexity and clutter is one thing, forcing unformity and reducing functionality seems to be a step in the wrong direction.

  • Christopher Admire

    I don't like the switch to all white/grey, I liked the blue. Giving an option to choose between the two would have been nice. The white/grey is just plain ugly.

  • kj

    This sucks. Now I don't know whether I'll get my gmail or not without actually checking. Before, if I left WiFi on and went into say a MCD that required a login to use WiFi the indicator would tell me I have no connectivity. Now its not obviously and will be offline.

    Why not give me the the option for the color change?

  • Adrian Gonzalez

    In all honesty, I just miss the color of ICS , I have a thing for blue I even got the moto x with the blue custom accent pieces to match with the over all theme of blue but now I'm left with this god awful white and gray on both my keyboard and status bar, I hate it, im not some idiot I know how to use my phone I knew what the indicator was for. what's the point of getting a smart phone if you have no clue how to use it.. Whatever I guess

  • Илья Коваленко

    Bullshit.

    1. Computer systems should be designed for expirienced users, to let less expirienced ones to learn through their confusions. Also, systems should be configurable to meet even more expirienced ones.
    Systems designed "non-confusing" for dumbs, could satisfy only dumbs, and wouldn't let dumbs to evolve.

    2. IMHO Every non-vital (incl. interface) "enhancement" SHOULD have revert option. Regardless of paid status of software.

  • Ryan

    Well disappointing as one site I read all this update stuff on, decided they would close down comments for the page. My problem is, my battery life is significantly worse now because I am constantly having to pull down my quick setting menu to watch for my traffic arrows. I have yet to experience the orange icons so I don't know if they will appear on my home screen as well or just in the quick setting menu. For the users who have utilized those arrows on the home screen and (pending the orange icons if and when) determined connection status by having a gray or blue icon, we may all suffer now of worse battery life due to having to open a whole menu which creates more drawing, and then the drawing of the arrows. Seeing as this change "was to get rid of redrawing the arrows on the home screen"

  • Neo Forever

    Okay, more then I care about the functionality of the Holo Blue indicators, I really just like the color. Heck, I could use ANY color instead of the boring white.

    I tried Apex launcher on my Nexus 10 but I can't find any theme that will restore the blue icons. Any help plz?

  • Christopher Admire

    Nothing to do with color, but since my upgrade yesterday I'm now noticing lag in the keyboard, lag in the recent apps menu, even apps not showing at all, and a new general slowness overall on my nexus7. Really wishing I could revert back to the previous android build. Not happy with kitkat at all.

  • patrick

    I want Halo Blue back... I hate the white icons on my toolbar! Give us the option to choose, just patch in a widget...

  • Vin

    when its not connected, why not just make the icon have an x through it? So simple and no need for another color.

  • Joseph Glenn Hartley

    Am I the only one who likes this change?

  • Carlos

    I am going to be very clear here, so there's no doubts. FUCK you Google and everyone with this "we know what you want better than you" arrogant mentality. Apple started it and now everyone is following like sheep.
    All the latest upgrades to Hangouts, Plus and Android are about making useless, stupid changes just for the sake of it and taking away functionality because "most people don't use it anyway".
    Well guess what, I live in an area with VERY poor reception (out of the US mind you, yes, there is a world out there besides the US) and I was *constantly* checking those arrows and colors to see if I was online or not.

  • dee

    can any one tell me how to get the blue status bar back

  • Geoffrey Buttercrumbs

    I really missed having my blinkenlights! I often find myself sitting there wondering if anything is happening at all - for this purpose I created an app that adds them back: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.geoffreybuttercrumbs.blinkenlights

  • qhuyau hilmi

    kikat is not perfect android because my note 3 case not function when i updated to the kitkat version..i really disappointed

  • Brandon Jones

    It is a terrible decision removing the battery meter color... as other app icons will have color in them. It is very difficult at a glance to determine battery status when phone is from 15-40 percent without having the numerical indicator on screen next to it on status bar(which takes up a lot of real estate). Visually seeing the green/orange/red is a basic feature that should be common sense to have.

    At least have an option to change it to white/color.... but I guess that makes too much sense?

  • Jeremy Laughery

    Thanks HTC! The status bar is bland and ugly! Should have given us the choice to streamline our status bar instead of thinking for us!

  • rob d

    It’s just messed up from day one even with my old flip phone
    bars were blue if you were connected and gray if not. I used that all the time.
    Now I have more steps to see it thanks guys you can’t leave well enough alone
    you have to change things. Oh and now it looks just blaaa. I live in a low
    signal area and that is why I use this. Everyone I talk to knows what it all
    means and it is very easy to understand how it works, even kids understand it
    and know about it. My 2 cents

  • mickrussom

    The google jerk is wrong and he is a douche. The 4.4 / Nesus 5 is horrible on battery, the UI changes largely STINK, and this clown is wrong. And here we are the worlds best, brightest smartest most driven people work tirelessly to SHOVEL ADS IN OUR FACES.

    To the google engineer, FU.

  • finfife

    Speaking for myself, and perhaps much of the over-45 set....

    I have no quibble with the logic behind the change, but I'd much prefer to have the old colors back, at least for the battery indicator. The lightning bolt on old battery indicator was much easier to see. When I plugged the phone into the charger, I could confirm at a glance whether or not the phone was actually charging. Now I can't. I have to go grab some reading glasses or a magnifying glass. And my vision really isn't that bad. It's 20/20, I don't wear prescription glasses, and it's impaired only by a very mild presbyopia typical of middle-age. There is nothing else on the phone I need reading glasses to do. Just that one thing.

    What I'm saying is that the battery charging indicator is now the least legible element in the Android UI. And that's bad because it is one of the most important components of that UI -- one that is used daily by everyone, and one whose misreading will reliably result in major inconvenience (i.e., dead battery).

  • pissed off droid

    why cant you just make it a setting to enable/disable the colors? i dislike the plain white designs, i do not buy a multimillion amoled screen to display plain white colors......it's so old school and plain dull design to make use of a single color.......please, next time your genius UI designers think of removing something please consider making it an OPTION instead of following the NIKE's approach = JUST DO IT.........WTH........

    • pissed off droid

      I meant, multimillion colors capable screen....

  • klsmith

    Personally.. as one user stated.. I think the changes they made in KK is because of all the publicity they have been getting about collecting data from us. I would consider myself a pro-user to a point. But the colors and icons drew my attention to specific things that I got use to over the years being a Android user. Hell, any app installed is being bound to using WHITE now.. from sever weather updates to Emergency alerts.. everything.. and honestly.. that sucks. I used the arrows on the 3G and 4G to tell me if I was getting signal.. and knew to move around some if I didn't get 2 way traffic at some point. Cleveland Ohio sucks for 4G service, you have to cling to a window and pray to the Gods for 4G service sometimes.
    Overall, in the Developer options of Android, they could have given us the ability to make the adjustments instead of being like APPLE and making a decision for us.

  • Chris

    The fact that I have to unlock my phone to change songs upsets me greatly

  • Domskis

    What ? I hate the white color. At least give an option to change it. Kitkat 4.4.2 sucks..

  • Kevin

    What is the N looking icon in the status bar at the top?

  • marshal

    kitkat 4.4 is the worst operating system google made, there are so many problem in it, i upgraded 4.3 to 4.4, and know i am facing problem with camera error, wifi error, battery error, i thing for the sake of some money, google fucked the customer, with very low grade 4.4, now i thing google is beveling in quantity not in quality, google ashamed its customer by providing poor 4.4 operating system, and the worst part is that, after more then a month still they are not even able to fix this problem, this is very shameful act google has done, shame on google

    • phuck yew

      I think they fixed it. Eu got a second 200 mb 4.4 update. I always am on wifi but only yesterday I received a dl, I think they pulled the faulty one and put out a working one. Just upgraded to 4.4, no problems at all, battery or connectivity. Hand writing recognition is def speedier.

  • jklnos

    I want my status bar colors back.
    The new status bar is too plain and boring.

  • Tran Nguyen

    My device is Nexus 10. The notification bar Wi-Fi icon show up on white color but I pull down the up right coner the Wi-Fi icon show the orange color. I open the setting to check the Wi-Fi connection, it shows that the connection is excellent.

    I called the Google services to ask them for that problems. They advised me to reset Factory data reset. I did it but the Wi-Fi still shows up the orange color.

    My device had been having a problem several times on and off. I only think that the hardware (antenna connection) is bad. When I write this comment my device is connected OK normally even though the Wi-Fi connection is GOOD (not excellent).

    Anybody have any idea what and why? Bad hardware, firmware or by upgrade to KitKat? I am looking for an app that able to check all components of the Nexus 10. It would indicate which part of the device is good or bad.

  • DIR911911 .

    well thanks to the battery indicator change there will be a htc one for sale on ebay

  • DIR911911 .

    google is becoming a bunch of nazis, if you want to use youtube you have to use google+,use our email, we'll tell you what you're searching for. getting sick of it ,fast.

  • Joe NJ

    The color icons were very handy given their small size. It was easy to see at a glance if I had an LTE connection or just standard 4G. Likewise the battery status color was useful. Hopefully others will speak up and Google will reconsider this decision which represents a step back IMHO.
    Thanks!

  • Rachel

    Why couldn't they let us pick if we wanted to have blue or white notification lights? I want to keep the blue so won't be upgrading any time soon.

  • jBen

    I have no problem with the change of data in/out moving to the Quick Launch for Wi-Fi and Cell ... but why is the Wi-Fi barely visible while the 3G is bold white? (Moto G 4.4.2)