Did Google show off a redesigned status bar coming to a future version of Android?


Android status bar alleged leak and current

Before we start, we just wanna say proceed with caution. While we’re extremely skeptical of this latest leak, sometimes it’s fun to look for signs or hidden clues to future Android releases — even when they aren’t really there. Like Jay-Z and all that “Illuminati” business.

That being said, an image that popped up on Google’s I/O homepage that is leading some to believe that they may have inadvertently revealed some design changes coming in a future version of Android. It’s not much. In fact if you weren’t looking, you probably would have glazed right over it. But an image of a Nexus 5 is showing some small revisions to the status bar icons introduced in Android 4.4 KitKat. You can see a tweaked WiFi status and smaller battery icon, and it appears that everything if finally leveled in relation to other status icons.

It’s entirely possible this was merely someone at Google’s marketing team exercising a little too much creative freedom when it came to designing the image, or it’s subtle clue of changes coming in a new Android release. Yes, we’ve noticed the time says 4:40 (usually indicative of the Android version) which either means the designer didn’t want to make things too obvious, or that additional KitKat updates are coming around the bend. Speculation is fun, right?

For Google I/O 2014 kicking off next week, we just want to say we aren’t expecting much outside of updates to Google apps and lots of talk centered around Android Wear — nothing about major firmware updates until much later in the year. Yes, we understand how sad it must look for anyone outside Android circles to see us getting so excited about even the tiniest changes, but hey, this is Phandroid. You can find the image on Google’s I/O 2014 events page here.


Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. The current one looks a lot better imo.

      1. The “leaked” one looks like all white gingerbread icons.

        1. Honestly wouldn’t be surprised if it was nothing more than that. Ha

    1. I like the signal bars in the leaked one. But other than that, the icons look the same. Just… smaller.

    2. Goodness the differences are so subtle I had to enlarge the image to really notice. To me the “leaked” version is just a bit easier to read the more I compare the two.

  2. How in the world is this considered newsworthy. It’s speculation over 2-5 pixels per icon. If it’s true MAYBE we should care about it when it actually happens and the new OS version is announced.
    We’ve hit a new low when it comes to the time we spend focusing on things completely irrelevant to the human experience.
    I love phones, but goddamn maybe we should all go outside, maybe talk to a person about real meaningful topics, and stop twiddling our thumbs on the internet.

    1. lol ur right

    2. He says as he comments on said irrelevant news article.

      1. Damn, I wasn’t self-aware enough to catch that. At least go 3-4 levels back when making comedic commentary. Anything less is just too obvious

    3. I haven’t been outside my parents’ basement in weeks. Send help.

      1. It’s your job as a journalist to report relevant info. I’ve been a phan of phandroid (god that was clever) for 3 years now, and I come here every day. But you guys scrape the bottom of the barrel further and further each week and it’s frustrating….which is probably why I’ll be find a new android news site.

        1. Appreciate the feedback, Tyler but I think you’re missing out on what this information implies, not so much the leak itself. We’re all looking to Google I/O next week to reveal something. Android Wear is a given. Updates to Google apps and services is a given. Firmware update? Not so much. But this could imply something else. Maybe another dot release cleaning up UI inconsistencies, who knows. It was a fun post, one that made me smile. I apologize if it wasn’t up to your standards.

          1. Good points all around.

            I just know so many people that read about phones and technology all day everyday and this type of article actually supremely matters to them and to me that’s really upsetting.
            This is Phandroid and it’s completely appropriate for this article to be here, I just hope the readers here have a lot of other things going on in their lives to where things like this are just passing thoughts. My fear is that they’re not.

            We spend sooo much time anticipating on sites like these. Never satisfied with the present, never content; always just looking toward the future, and that’s not healthy. But that’s where a passion for technology puts you psychologically, always unsatisfied and incredibly future concentrated.

            I know this rant is certainly not suited for this site, but when I read such seemingly meaningless articles and know that a lot of people are reading them and actually focusing on their implications, that people are actually dedicating significant portions of their time in the day to mulling over what may or may not happen in an event in the near or distant future, and knowing that they will continue to think in this manner for a really really long time until they inevitably move on to focus on other things in their lives more intently years later; it makes me uneasy. I just know that if we dedicated our brain power to more productive things rather than speculation we might actually be able to create more, improve more.

            In summary for us phone nerds: If all of us at Phandroid took our time and brain power off of speculation and put it into developing a phone of our own, we’d probably make the best phone on the market.

          2. So then why are you here? Are you not content either? So when your content, you look for articles and sites, which make you not content?

            Your Phd mind confuses me. I am not sure why you’re still here arguing, when you are sad that the rest of us are here because we aren’t content…

          3. I’m communicating with people who are communicating with me.
            Being content doesn’t mean being isolated from conversation.

            Never said people here weren’t content, I said future-minded individuals aren’t. Content-ness has nothing to do with me visiting a website I regularly visit.

            Also, I’m replying because I get an email every time someone replies to one of my comments and I’m at my computer editing video so it’s an easy transition to this page.

          4. You incorrectly used the comma “,” in the wrong place. I felt it was my duty to let you know before someone claimed you were no writer because your grammar proved it. :-)

          5. And you misused “your” in your first comment, but I glossed over it cus I’m not petty.

            This is the internet. Getting your point across the way you intend to get it across is more important than grade school english rules. Writers break them all the time because in the end it’s all about how you want the cadence of your writings to be, and thankfully I’m not turning these comments in with any dissertation.

            I’ve started many of my sentences with conjunctions, used words like “cus” and put commas wherever I please because I’m tailoring my writing to the reader and to the endurance of my hands.

        2. Chris did his job as a writer for Phandroid. He speculated on a completely different status bar from an official Google image. Google does not make mistakes like this. They would not put an image up if it was not real or legit.

          Last year when the new KitKat site went up a brand new tablet showed up. Everyone was like OMG what is that? It turned out to be the LG G Pad Google Play edition.

          A few weeks back Google posted a screenshot of a new Dialer. 4.4.3 launches and boom, we see that brand new Dialer.

          This is not the bottom of the barrel. This is legit speculation.

          1. Fair point, you’re right. I didn’t fully consider all of the details like it being released by Google themselves and the firmware implications. But my follow up comments still hold weight.

            To redirect though, can you guys who write for phandroid consider my response to @malcmilli:disqus and @LoyalServant:disqus’s reply. The titling is becoming a cheap trick used by far too may news outlets, and there’s really just not a lot of integrity in it.

    4. You do realize this is a site focused on “Android” OS and hardware, right? If you want hard hitting world news and events look elsewhere.

    5. I personally believe that we will not see a major release of Android at I/O this year. It just does not fit into the timeline from what I noticed. With the commit of ART (replacing Dalvik) by the AOSP team, it’s likely to see this code change committed by Googles team in like a month time-frame. With I/O being so close… not to mention getting 4.4.4 a day ago, I think its very unlikely they will release a new version.

      The picture in this article could just be a bad photoshop. Other than less pixels.. it has different bars.. shrug.

      1. Another reason why I dislike speculation like this. I’m a graphic artist. I can whip up a render like this anytime you want me to and *boom* everyone goes into a rumor frenzy.
        However, since this image was released on Google’s homepage, it has more credence than a random leak from any ol’ site.

    6. dont get ya tighty whities tied up in a bunch. He wrote an article saying there’s evidence of some possible big design changes in the next version of android. If you dont care about that then don’t click.

      On every news site, or tech blog site, there are articles that i have no interest in. That is why they have titles. No one tricked you into clicking. Just because you don’t care, doesn’t mean others won’t.

      Also, i would love to go outside, unfortunately I have to be at work till 6. But if you want to grab a drink after that I’m down.

      1. First off, they didn’t say that in the title head, they did the bs thing that all sites are doing now which is putting an interrogative title in place of a real title so you don’t really know what the actual news is because the answer to the interrogative is in the article so you alllways have to click the link to find out. The ol’ bait and switch.
        So, yeah, actually they did trick me into clicking. It’s the new thing to do to your readers. The article’s first words could have been “No, they didn’t” and the title would have been just as valid. Which is why this new titling trend needs to stop.

        And I know the article is actually relevant now that I consider the firmware update implication, but the initial comment was somewhat of a knee-jerk reaction on my end

        1. Agreed. but it’s their business model….
          The ad money must really be flowing…….or it’s not flowing enough.

          1. You’re absolutely right.

            But if your content is good enough you shouldn’t have to bait and switch, people will want to click through because they know there’s more juicy goodness inside.

            If only that was how the internet worked

      2. Sick invite, traitor.

        1. lol you dont drink

          1. Good point! Lol.

    7. Or you know, you could ignore it. That’s what grown ups do.

      1. lol, the grown up card, you’re petty.

        I’m 25 which might not be grown up for you, but it’s grown up enough to have a phd; which, again, may or may not be grown up enough for you.

        Grown ups ignore stuff? If I see an article I have commentary on, I comment.
        They don’t just opt in to commenting when it’s suits the groupthink. They don’t exclusively comment positive feedback.
        People who think like that are what’s wrong with discourse on the internet. So afraid of ruffling feathers even mildly over tiny things.

        Reevaluate your statement, it’s doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    8. Your argument does not match up at all. You ask how is this news worthy, then you say we should be interacting with people outside with a real social life. I’m lost. What are you trying to get at?

      Based on what your points are, any article on this website is really useless and we should spend more time talking with people outside about world crises.

      1. It does match up when you get the entire context. I meant that speculation is rarely productive.
        Read further. If this comment doesn’t clarify my point, then you might be right you are lost:

  3. Quite the little rant there. You do know this site is focused on “Android” OS and hardware, right? Not world news and events.

    1. Say what you will, I still find this higher on the importance scale than what Miley Cyrus wore to the VMAs.

      1. Posted in the wrong spot, I meant to reply to the guy. Tried to delete, but it failed.

  4. lol, I’m unsure this really matters but I guess the implications here extend further. In other words, this – if true – proves that Google are really making changes to every aspect of their design language. As a designer working on Android, it’s interesting to me for that reason. However, I’m not expecting many other people to care!

    1. Especially not that Tyler guy. O_o

  5. The clock should be showing 5.0 or 4.44 or 4.45 for the next version release, per the tradition.

    1. Oh yeah? Version numbers are the last thing to be determined. If this is a new Android version that’s to be released later this year, having 4:40 right now is perfectly acceptable.

      1. Thats what I said, “per Google’s tradition”. They usually leak it that way.

  6. Am I really the only one to notice that the always present search bar is not present.

    1. It doesn’t have to be the home screen.

  7. Signal indicator = gingerbread

  8. LG would like its icons back.

  9. I don’t what’s going on below me with all that drama…but this article re-lit my eagerness in Google I/O……

    1. Phandroid: where any comment and subsequent clarifications contrary to an article’s purpose is deemed drama comparable to middle school hand holding developments.
      Everyone’s so silly here

      With that said, I’m excited too. It’ll be nice to see what sticks after all of this speculation.

  10. I’m flabbergasted! I won’t be able to sleep now until I know the blood-curdling ramifications of a reworked wifi icon…NOT. This is much to do about nothing. Of course, there still may be those print guys out their with their pixel rulers…

    1. Doesn’t matter how small the change is, imo this is the first sign that a new version is ready to launch.The Art runtime could have been pushed to a 4.4.5 update, but UI changes almost definitely signal a bigger release.

  11. Wait a minute – I figured it out – this is one of those Sunday comic section thingys where you try to find 5 things that are different.

  12. I hope they don’t change it, I personally like the way it is now all lined up neatly and stuff (that’s the OCD in me)

  13. What are these? Icons for…ants!?

  14. The redesigned status bar is so difference my mind is blown away.

  15. This is like an Apple style major redesign.

  16. I hope they bring back the colored icons to show when my connection to google services is active/not active. so much easier to see if there’s a problem I need to attend to rather than going into the services area.

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