Android 4.3 purportedly spotted on a Nexus 4 as new Gmail app spied in Google I/O presentation [UPDATED]Alex Wagner - Editorial Director of News and Content
Ready to wrap up the week with some juicy Android rumors? First up, XDA-developers forum members "chaleen" and "innocent36" claim to have spotted a Nexus 4 at the Thailand Mobile Expo that's running Android 4.3. The Nexus 4's "About phone" screen lists it as running software build number JWR45B with a kernel from mid-May. The Jelly Bean Easter egg also lists the Android version as being 4.3. However, the only noticeable changes in these images are found in the camera software, with the controls set off to the side above the shutter button rather than around the focus area.
We've heard rumblings of Android 4.3 in recent months, and we even spotted "Android 4.3" in some AOSP search results in the hours before Google I/O. However, Google hasn't actually announced what the next version of Android will be or what new features it will contain. It's kind of strange to see that an unannounced version of Android may be running on a Nexus 4 at a mobile conference, and as is usually the case with leaks like this, it might be wise to take these photos with a grain or two of salt. That said, the jump from Android 4.1 to 4.2 didn't contain a ton of major changes, and I wouldn't be surprised if a small camera control tweak is one of a handful of alterations that'll be made in what will likely be a small-ish update from 4.2 to 4.3.
The second leak today is one for the Gmail lovers out there. During a Google I/O session titled "Structure in Android App Design", a new version of the Gmail app for Android was apparently included in a Google employee's presentation slide. As you can see below, the new app contains three small ticks in the upper left corner that can be used to slide out the new navigation panel. This panel slides out over the list of emails and provides the user with access to the Inbox, Priority Inbox, Recent Labels and All Labels sections. We can also see that the action bar at the bottom of the current Gmail app is gone, with the Compose and Search buttons moving up to the top action bar next to the user's email address.
While this new Gmail app isn't a total redesign, it does appear to feature some new navigation that could make jumping around to different Gmail functions easier. Of course, it's possible that this is just a mockup that was thrown together for the presentation. Android Police, which originally spotted this new Gmail app, argues that this is indeed the real deal because of the other tweaks found in the screenshot (like the missing bottom action bar and resized stars on the side) as well as the fact that a dogfood version of the Google Play Store was shown in screenshots from earlier in the presentation. To check the app out for yourself, you can find it at the 23-minute mark in the presentation below.
UPDATE: And now a video showing Android 4.3's new camera controls in action has been posted by Google+ user Theogusper George Philip Piccadilly. As we saw before, the camera controls are can now be popped up near to the shutter button by pressing the settings key that's right next to that soft shutter key. Users are also still able to access the controls by tapping and holding on the display. Finally, Droid-Life notes that there's a countdown timer included in the settings that doesn't appear to be present in Android 4.2. You can check out the brief clip below.