Some interesting screenshots have just appeared on XDA that purport to show a new look for the Google Dialer in Android 4.4.3. The contacts are arranged in a series of cards with contact photos instead of a traditional list. It's quite a departure from the current look.

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The cards show a contact picture when one is available, but otherwise it's a colored block with the first initial (like the Gmail app). The dialer search box is still up at the top and the blue action bar is at the bottom. Since we only have the one dialer screen, we can't confirm that blue top action bar posted by the Nexus Twitter account the other day.

The screens were taken from a Nexus 5 belonging to a friend of the original poster. This person might be a Googler, judging by the names on some of the contacts. However, there's a task killer icon in the status bar, which is pretty weird. It would be odd for Google to tweak the dialer so much in a 0.0.1 bump, but we'll have to wait and see what happens.


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.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

    ATK in 2014? What the fuck people, what the fuck?

    • LUL.

      what is ATK?

      • abhisahara

        Advanced Task Killer!

        Infact this look like some Indian guy's contact list with the names...and we Indian loves ATK hahaha LOL Maybe because we have been too used to the gingerbread stuff.
        (above - all in good fun and pun :) )

        • Hii8

          Greenify would be a better solution to low memory phones...

          • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

            True, but still not necessary for anything with 1gb of ram or more.

          • Hii8

            Yep,I don't use it for my nexus either..I used it on my old lenovo with 512mb ram

          • Ibrahim Yusuf

            my phone has 1GB RAM and 1300mAh battery. Without Greenify it's just too laggy and in 5-7 hour dead

          • David Vargas

            What kind of optimization has your phone? Which cellphone is it?

          • Ibrahim Yusuf

            Xperia P

          • howardbamber

            You assume root for it to be effective. I've a nexus 5 and now and then the ram gets to 90%,or did until I used greenfly premium

      • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

        Advanced Task Killer. The single most worthless app since 2011, yet people still install it.

        Android handles memory quite well in 2014. Die ATK, die.

        • itsgonnalast

          Years ago I got a phone repaired in a Verizon store and a sales rep recommended that I install Advanced Task Killer.

          I didn't install it, but I was surprised that this was the kind of advice they gave people...

          • Raymond Berger

            Yesterday I saw a guy at a cell phone store try to tell people that a note 3 knockoff was a samsung device hybrid mix between the S5 and Note 3. He had no idea it was a knockoff and kept insisting it was just a special international edition.

      • sssgadget

        Android Task Killer?

        • ytrk

          Advanced Task Killer.

      • http://www.JWesCampbell.com/ Wes Campbell

        android task killer..

    • Gwanatu

      Mind blowing isn't it? This is just like the morons that use an antivirus.

      • someone755

        I don't want to live
        on this planet anymore.

        Okay, ATK could be useful on those no-root, less-than-512MB RAM devices, but AV? Uninstall that crap it doesn't even do anything!
        To get a virus on Android you really have to be a special kind of stupid.

      • vyktorsouza

        I have friends who rarely install anything, unknown sources disabled, 4.4.2 and STILL they don't let me uninstall their antivirus, it's so annoying tbh

      • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

        Don't even get me started on antivirus.

        • howardbamber

          Total utter crap. I installed a wallpaper app, from the Google store. My virus software pulled it for mallware. There have been several apps taken out by Google for having bitcoin mining malware.
          Hope you get caught - due to your obnoxious attitude

          • Joris Griffioen

            Please look up the definition of virus and then Google "android virus"

    • Emexci Life

      this is why releases are not always good tested. look what kind of people test new version of android. lol

    • Simon Belmont

      Whenever I see that icon in someone's status bar or in their app drawer, I know instantly that they're a noob. I also instantly surmise that they installed it because the guy at the |insert carrier name| store told them to because "Android is slow and laggy."

      2009 mentality for the lose. Bleh.

      • Jaymoon

        At the very least, disable the ugly icon in the Settings, and hide the shame!

    • FuckingAndroidTaskKiller

      Something worse? It's on a Nexus 5. Fuck,

  • Jan

    Fuck card based interfaces.

    • vyktorsouza

      I love cards interface, but in the dialer case, there's no place for that, list view is much more useful, sorry Google

      • Gandalf_Teh_Gray

        Yea, I hate trying to scroll through artists on Google Music or anything like it. It wouldn't be so bad if they kept an alphabet list on the side to quick jump there.

    • http://www.JWesCampbell.com/ Wes Campbell

      the visual flow goes from a simple line to a zig zag.. i don't care for the zig zag... much harder for finding things quickly.

    • All_I_do_is_post_gifs
  • remister

    There seems to be a fuck spree going around.

    • tdurden64111

      incidentally the best kind of spree.

  • vyktorsouza

    "It would be odd for Google to tweak the dialer so much in a 0.0.1 bump"
    maybe it's not for 4.4.3, it's for the PlayStore like what they did to the camera

    • Bob G

      C-c-c-combo breaker!

      • vyktorsouza

        indeed, I'm surprised I was the only one mentioning this here ;P

    • blahblahblah

      Mind. Blown.

    • Matt

      Yeah, that was my first thought as well. Trying to get that Google Dialer functionality on custom ROMs and other phones was such a pain (editing TelephonyServices.apk and other system files). OmniROM and a few others finally decided to create an open source alternative from scratch. Since the dialer functionality is pretty closely tied to Google's core business (search), it would make sense that they try to get this and quick updates to as many devices as possible.

  • Stuart Anderson

    So its winphone8 lite. Not sure Im impressed with that.

    • Steve Jobs

      ^This. Microsoft invented squares. They should totally sue Google for this unapologetic thievery.

      • Arthur Dent

        Round them off! Oh wait, then Apple will sue.

        • Gokh

          Triangle is the future.

          • Adam Truelove
          • Simon Belmont

            Love that episode. Funny stuff.

            I also like the attention to detail on the Pyramid tablet. Even the icons on the home screen were pyramidal.

          • http://www.hackinguniverse.org/ Rounak Baral

            What show is it?

          • Simon Belmont

            The Office. The US version.

            Great show. I miss it.

          • http://www.hackinguniverse.org/ Rounak Baral

            Ya was thinking to watch it. It is in my watchlist for months now -_-

          • jordanjay29

            Then Dunder Mifflin will sue.

    • ANex

      That's my first thought as well. No, I don't hate Metro, but it's so out of place in the black/white Android design.

  • Pootis Man

    Where is the freaking update!?

    • Simon Belmont

      Yeah! Exactly.

      My birthday is a few days. Android 4.4.3 would make a nice birthday present!

  • Arthur Dent

    APK or GTFO!


    • Guest

      can you not?

      • Aooga

        The ";)" means he's kidding.

      • Arthur Dent

        can YOU not?

  • 16bitz0r

    Kitkat's dialer has to be replaced asap. It's simply not intuitive. 4.3's dialer was much better.

    • Adam Truelove

      It's not intuitive if you're basing on what you know phone apps to currently be. It's very intuitive if you realize things can and do change. I love the new dialer. It removes the keypad from the focus and makes search much more the focus, just as it should be. Open the phone app, type in a name, whether that be a contact or a business name, easy. If you want the old school keypad, it's one touch away. And favorited and recent contacts are front and center along with your last call status.

      • jordanjay29

        Sometimes we don't need the phone to try to change the way we work. Even if the numbers we dial most are the same, the dialer is still a familiar part of a phone for most people in the world. Relegating that to a place that isn't instantly familiar (who looks for other actions on the bottom bar? That's not the Google way!) destroys the flow of work and causes a struggle when that component is actually needed.

        Try watching your 72 year old father attempt to use a smartphone, and you'll probably start to realize that there are some unintuitive pieces yet to Android.

        • Joris Griffioen

          I think it might depend on how you call.

          For me the automatic favorites etc. are great because I call the same people often, now I only need to open the dialer, one tap and I'm calling the person I want. That is a huge improvement over before.
          But if you call many different people the 4.4 dialer will have added a tap for you (and a bit of interface clutter that you won't use).

      • Nathan Hubbard

        I'm not resistant to change.

        In fact I really hope they change the dialer in 4.4 and it looks nothing like the blocks they are showing in this image.

    • Netwern
  • bevardimusg

    This article just reminded me how much I hate the "image cards" (99% "Initials cards") in gmail, so I just went and changed that setting and was rewarded with a more useful gmail app.

    ...not looking forward to this dialer, unless those cards are optional.

    • https://plus.google.com/+MichaelBond codemonkey85

      To be fair, they would look a lot nicer if people would use contact images.

      • bevardimusg

        But people don't use G+, hence no contact images.

        • https://plus.google.com/+MichaelBond codemonkey85

          You can still set your own images for people...

          • bevardimusg

            ain't nobody got time for that!

          • Nes

            It's not so bad. I use facebook, get a nice image and paste it. Since I use google sync for my contacts I only had to do it once. Now all of my contacts have nice pictures. At least, the important ones. Makes for a better experience whilst texting and such. Easier to find in contacts.

          • vyktorsouza

            use Contacts+, you don't have to do anything else but linking people from your fb friend list with your contact list, it will keep the profile pics updated + it'll get the birthdate of the person and remind you via notification whether it's their birthday

          • bevardimusg

            Why can't Android just freaking natively import FB contact pics? I don't want a seperate app just for that...

          • pfmiller

            Facebook just needs to use the same API that every other app uses for syncing contact photos. They won't do it, that's not Google's fault.

          • Hooterman

            Yeah just what I want, a bunch of profile pics of peoples kids and/or dog.

            Set your own profile pics for people, they can't be trusted to do so themselves.

          • bevardimusg

            I don't care if it's a picture of a floppy donkey dick, at least it wouldn't be an ugly primary-colored block with a giant letter in the middle of it.

          • Hooterman

            I think it's safe to say that you and I are not alike.

          • bevardimusg


          • Adam Truelove

            Because FB sucks and there's no way Google would integrate a feature that helps the competition.

          • Adrian Meredith

            It can, its supported it since ICS. Its facebook that refuses to do it, google quite rightly said its not up to them. Theres an api to do it and there are plenty of apps that use it. (just not the official fb app)

        • Chris

          Seriously. Why can't we get the images from FB anymore...most of my contacts still have their FB pictures from 2-3 years ago when that was allowed on Android...before FB and Google hated each other.

          • https://plus.google.com/+MichaelBond codemonkey85

            Google is enforcing the same contact sync rules as it does for every other app. The API is available; it just needs to be used correctly. Facebook is the one that's been stubborn for the last three years.


          • Chris

            Didn't know that. Thanks. Are there other apps in the play store that use the API to access FB's info? Or is that not possible?

          • https://plus.google.com/+MichaelBond codemonkey85

            I haven't used it in forever, but there is this one:


            Although to be honest I'm not sure if it's using the "proper" API or some other method.

          • Joris Griffioen

            Facebook has access to the same API as everybody else, they are very capable of enriching your life. Sadly they don't seem to care about guidelines or user experience much..

    • Jack

      Thank you so much, didn't know I could remove those ugly Initial Cards.

    • ClarkDV

      HaxSync will do the job. I love the app. works great for facebook photos.

      • Joris Griffioen

        Didn't work so well for me, SyncMe does kinda the same.

  • Eduardo Mateos

    Am I the first one to ask for APK? Man, we are loosing traditions...

    • Arthur Dent

      No, you are not.

    • Mike Harris

      Wait, what are we doing to traditions?!? :P

  • anonymous

    Indians..... Revealing secrets since 10000 BC

  • O’s Fan91

    The outline of the person on the purple card doesnt seem to fit with Google's standard person outline like in the contacts logo. Maybe they're changing that too.

    • Aooga

      I'm pretty sure the guidelines are changing for the next release. It's been relatively the same since 4.0.

  • Rob Johnson

    Anyone else suddenly want an iPhone?

    • HoloYolo

      Not really, but I am beginning to wonder what the heck Mathias Duarte and others think they are doing? He claimed he was only some % of the way done re-designing Android, but there have been at least 2 changes to that design since then, and things look to keep on changing with this release. It's like he doesn't want to complete the change so that all of Android is consistent, before deciding on a new, pretty design that everyone now has to adapt to. Ugh.

      • Rob Johnson

        I agree with al that except the word "pretty"

  • blahblahblah

    Went through and gave EVERY comment an upvote. It's just an upvote kind of day.

    • Mike Harris

      Nice try, but the people who post comments here are way too smart and good-looking to fall for that kind of pandering.

  • Phil Oakley

    Where's the apk? You're slipping, AP.

    Jokes aside, this is cool. I suspect it'll be a Play Store release and not AOSP 4.4.3, but let's see. The 4.4.2 dialer is already hooked into Google stuff (I think) so I wouldn't be surprised to see the dialer on the Play Store.

    • Joris Griffioen

      I hope so, then I don't have to install it. ;)

  • Deeco

    Ugly! Why not keep card list with full length blurred profile pic?

    • vyktorsouza

      blurred profile pic is a great idea and a new trend, I'd love to see that tbh

  • Mike Harris

    Am I the only one to notice that there are two separate battery icons in the notification bar? This is exactly what I need to fill up all that pesky, unused space up there on my phone. Please, someone post a tutorial ASAP!

    • vyktorsouza

      the one in the left is an app mainly for gingerbread when it didn't have percentage already
      this phone's owner really lives in the past

      • SSDROiD

        Excuse me, but doesn't stock Android still lack a battery percentage?

        • vyktorsouza

          there's an app that gets you LITERALLY one thick away from enabling it, even non-rooted users, straight in the battery instead of that ugly random mess in the left

          • SSDROiD

            I'm sure there is, but that's not what I asked. You wrote "the one in the left is an app mainly for Gingerbread when it didn't have percentage already", but it still doesn't have percentage and we're on 4.4.2 KitKat now...?

          • vyktorsouza

            exactly what I said, it has, hidden, but it is there

          • SSDROiD

            Oh. Hm. Weird.

        • Simon Belmont

          To be honest, I like Battery Widget Reborn. I use it on my stock Nexus 5.

          I like being able to pull down the notification bar at any time and see the battery temperature and estimated time to empty or charged (it's rather accurate, too). Just my two cents, but I don't see the reason for the guy above you's hate.

    • Toinou
      • Mike Harris

        I'm sorry, I thought my sarcasm was obvious. Thank you for the link, though.

        • vyktorsouza

          it is if we read the second line on, which I didn't do so I didn't notice it XD

    • br_hermon

      Better yet, why in the heck are they running Advanced Task Killer!?

  • turdbogls

    now i know Google isn't known for their consistency but there is no way they would do this.....would they?

    • http://www.kovdev.com/ kover

      It's possible the apk is using the rounded menu, as the asset is included in the package, for the cards. The bottom bar may be using the current Holo version which is squared.

    • MirandaU

      The action overflow in the Actionbar, or, in this case, split Actionbar, is supposed to consist of squares, cards and single content elements have rounded overflow icons. The only optical exception being Google Now, where the bottom menu uses a rounded overflow icon as well, although most people would expect a square one.

      • turdbogls

        is that per android guidelines? I have to admit, i haven't dug into them in super detail, but this is something I think i would have noticed.

        either way, it doesn't make any sense to me (graphically) and kinda bothers my OCD personality....lol

        • MirandaU

          Off the top of my head, I couldn't recall a single Google app that uses both types at the moment.
          Google Play Store, Books, Music, etc. recently got rid of their square actionbar overflow icons by relocating those items to the navigation drawer, but still have rounded overflow buttons on their cards.
          Gmail uses a square one in its Actionbar overflow and also (still) square ones in single conversation view, but obviously, Gmail is due for an overhaul soon, its navigation drawer and overflows being inconsistent with the rest of the Google apps.
          Keep, Drive and G+ don't use overflows in their content cards at all, so no conflict there.
          You are completely right though, the combination does look weird and currently seems unprecedented with first party apps.
          But it really doesn't matter, those screenshots don't make much sense anyway and are very likely fake.

          • miri

            Books, Movies & TV, Newsstand, Games and YouTube all have both styles. Music and Store did as well before recent updates. There's no mandate for icon styling (nor should there be). Developers just do what they feel works and, really, only people with "OCD" and no understanding of design (or OCD for that matter) raise a fuss about such minor details.

          • Crispin Swickard

            I think those with understanding of design are exactly the ones that would raise a fuss about something like this. Its very annoying to have lack of visual cohesion within the system, and Google Apps.

          • turdbogls


            I'm not so sure this is intentional (the difference between overflow designs) but its sure annoying.

    • Adam Truelove

      The screenshot could be a WIP.

    • Ambroos

      In the bottom-action-bar they know the background colour is going to be that blue, so white is no issue. When you're dealing with contact pictures there might be a bright background. In that case, a shadow is needed to make the icon visible. It's like black outlines for subtitles. Makes perfect sense!

  • Toinou

    Remember when Google used to say 'cards shouldn't be used in every app, they're meant to show time-relevant, short and quick informations to the user'? Yeah, me too. Screw you, Duarte.

    • Joris Griffioen

      Yeah, eh, we don't know whether this is fake or not yet. So wait before screwing.

      • Toinou

        Well they're pretty much already everywhere anyway, even when you read your f****** emails so what the hell you know, screw him.

        • Joris Griffioen

          You're apparently very worked up about it.. Bad experience with cards as a kid?

  • Jekabpils

    They should leave dialer alone. Leave the thing basic easy to dial focus on ringer volume and sound notifications. Not having sound notifications for missed calls, messages and making us use third party apps for that just makes no sense. Like the galaxy nexus its volume was so quiet that it puzzles me how it even passed testing. I guess people at google have not human forest animal ears and rest of senses!

  • Mohamed Mohsen

    Fake as Kim Kardashian Boobs

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

      You be nice to the Kartrashian's.

    • Martin

      What's real in Kim Kardashian? :-)

      • BKPhil

        Kanye's fingers


    hideous. I hope it's not real. sure seems fake

    • TheLastAngel

      I don't think so, they did the giant letters in Gmail.

      • Joris Griffioen

        Oh ok, must be real then.

  • Chris

    Why is everyone so excited over a damn dialer update? Who cares. I guess people are bored because android updates aren't coming out 2-4 times a year anymore...

    Man, remember when they announced JIT? Hahaha those were the days

  • Catharina van Ulden

    Please don't do this. It looks Like Windows 8. I hate win8

  • Brayden Reesor

    I love that they're moving everything to have color and holo light.. Why can't they update all the settings pages to be holo light as well?! That old grayish gradient background needs to die in a fire.

    • Schokofrosch

      I would prefer that over a lot of other useless changes nobody cares about..

    • Adam Truelove

      Gradients, in general, need to die.

      • Brayden Reesor


        • Joris Griffioen


          Using visual elements without restraint or thought needs to die. Drop-shadows, rounded corners and gradients .. used with care and precision they can make a very refined interface, without care they create a fugly mess.

  • Daniel Gimpelman

    Kernel is compiled on 17 of march this year,almost a month ago.
    Are these pictures almost month old?

  • TheLastAngel

    I always wanted to see a gigantic first letter of a contacts name.

    I'm so glad Google only hires geniuses.

  • Pascal

    looks like newsstand app. I prefer contacts in lines.

  • Martin Holla

    I love the Kitkat dialer, i hope it doesn't get worse

  • Vinícius Philot

    My dear friends, this is starting to get weird. Those colors are totally embarassing. Why the hell should google swim against consistency in olympic way?

  • Danny Holyoake

    You usually refrain from posting these blatant fakes, AP.

  • Joris Griffioen

    This seems like a step back from the current dialer to me...

  • SupahNin10doh

    Ok....that doesn't look good.
    Wtf Mattias?

  • surethom

    Horrible they are just TOO big, making you scroll longer to find contact.

  • Simon Belmont

    Well, aside from the UI changes, this at least confirms that the baseband has been updated. It's actually up from M8974A- (4.4.1 and 4.4.2) to M8974A- for Android 4.4.3, so hopefully there's big improvements on signal strength (and hopefully those pesky data drop outs, too).

    After Android 4.4.1 / 4.4.2, the LTE signal strength wasn't as good as it was on the original release of Android 4.4 (M8974A-, and it would drop back to 3G more often. I just ended up rooting and flashing back to that original baseband and the signal was better again.

    • Trysta

      God I hope you are right. I keep having this issue where I am in a good LTE area and data drops and but I can't tell it has dropped until I try to load a webpage etc. because I still have bars of LTE but only upon pulling down the quick settings panel do I see that the bars are orange (a switch to airplane mode fixes the problem). It started off as a small annoyance but is now starting to drive me crazy!

      • Simon Belmont

        Me, too. It's really annoying when it happens while the phone is asleep because stuff won't sync, obviously. I use Network Monitor Mini Pro, so it just shows 0 KB/s for upload and download over and over. That's how I know, so I just toggle airplane mode on and off.

        It's very random, but it's seems to have gotten worse in the last month or two. Not sure why.

  • hp420

    Hopefully the 4.4.2 dialer will work if I sideload it, because that thing is friggin' hideous!!

    • Simon Belmont

      Bingo. If they implement this, I hope it's at least a toggle-able option in the settings.

      A vertically scrolling list with more visible entries per screen is much more space efficient IMO. It's also less work for your eyes.

  • Simon Belmont

    For finding a contact quickly, this doesn't seem like a more useful UX decision, really. I'd rather have a list of my contacts such that more are visible on the screen at once where I can scan it quickly vertically up or down.

    With the proposed implementation above, you have to scan left and right, then go down (or up), then repeat, and more scrolling is required because less contacts are visible on the screen at once. Nope, I don't like it.

  • Dan

    Advanced task killer LOL

  • Trysta

    I wouldn't mind this for favorites but for my entire list of contacts this would be obnoxious.
    Is reading not a skill anymore? I feel like there is always this effort in software to move away from a simple list (say in browser bookmarks) to big space hogging pictures. I like my lists. Also this practice of giving big monochrome blocks with a single letter in the space of the majority of contacts that won't have a photo attached is really annoying.

  • Gaurav Arora

    I TOLD YOU SO! Got so many down votes when I said the present dialer was an ergonomic disaster T_T

    Still is :3

    EDIT: Just realized it's all card interface *adds more butt hurt this side :'| *

  • DunkinDonuts

    The First Screenshot looks so dang fugly. I would have preferred if they incororated tinted status bar there. It would at least up the visual UI there. The black status bar at the top is effing annoying

  • jimmymac559

    My phone is probably the cheapest android there is but I still like it better than iphone (Samsung galaxy centura) btw I was a die hard iphone fan before. I especially liked my iphone 3gs

  • ColonelCockman

    Looks like shit upon shit. So where is 4.4.3? Gived it to me now.

  • TheDave1022

    People still use their phones to make calls? I could care less about the dialer for the few times I actually need it

  • creator78

    is there anyway to get the google dialer without root?

  • NemaCystX

    I don't like the direction this new design language is going... i didn't like it when they added this similar UI to the new Gmail app a few versions ago. But the dialer, hands off my dialer, I liked it before KitKat, now I'm using an ICS style third party app. Sundar is really mucking things up