New LG Nexus 5 leak includes photos of hardware and Android 4.4 UI changesAlex Wagner - Deputy Managing Editor, News Desk
While it's not been quite as heavily-leaked as its predecessor, the LG-made Nexus 5 has appeared in a steady stream of images over the past month or so. Today we've got a few more to add to the pile courtesy of the folks at Italian site TuttoAndroid. The photos claim to show a Nexus 5 running Android 4.4 KitKat in the wild, and while the photos aren't exactly of the highest quality, the device does look similar to the Nexus 5 that we've seen in previous leaks. That includes a curved top, rounded earpiece and a front-facing camera in the upper left corner.
Moving on to the software, this Nexus 5 is said to be running a version of Android 4.4 that's build number KRS92B and kernel 3.4.0. The report notes that because this is a non-final build of KitKat, some aspects of the software could change before it's unleashed to the public. Starting at the top and bottom of the display, we can see that the status bar and navigation button bar are now semi-transparent. The icons in the status bar have also undergone a change, switching from the blue color that was used in ICS and Jelly Bean to a new white hue.
The lock screen on this device looks fairly unchanged here, but there is a new camera icon in the lower right corner that can reportedly be used to hop into Camera app by dragging it to the left. Looking at the home screen of this Nexus 5, the Phone app appears to have undergone a bit of a makeover, and the six dot icon that launches the app drawer now has a semi-transparent circle around it.
Speaking of the app drawer, it appears to have undergone some changes as well. The app drawer background that used to be black is now transparent, just like the status bar and navigation button bar. The Google and Google Settings icons now sport a new, round shape, and it appears that the Messaging app has gone missing, which could lend support to the rumor that Google is planning to roll SMS and MMS support into Hangouts.
Finally, there are a couple of tweaks in the Settings app that are worth noting. The location-related portion of the Settings is simply called "Location" and includes three different options for users to have their location identified. The first is a "High accuracy" mode that uses GPS, Wi-Fi and mobile networks, while the "Battery saving" option uses just Wi-Fi and the cellular network. A third "Device sensors" mode will use only the device's GPS. Also included in the Settings menu is a "Tap & pay" entry that will likely house Google Wallet-related options.
After allegedly spending some time with this Android 4.4-equipped Nexus 5, TuttoAndroid's tipster said that the device itself is very light and is similar to the hardware that we've seen in previous leaks. The source also claims that Google Now can be accessed in a couple of new ways in KitKat, including either a swipe to the left from the far left home screen or simply by saying "Ok Google" while on a home screen, suggesting that some sort of "always listening" is available. Lastly, Hangouts is said to include an option for sending SMS messages, and the Nexus 5's boot animation is reportedly the same as the one found on the Google Editions of the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S 4.
Today's leak appears to be one of the beefiest that we've seen yet, which is exciting news for anyone that's been dying for the new Nexus to arrive ever since the Nexus 4 officially went out of stock at the Google Play Store last month. While all of this information should be considered unconfirmed for now, it looks as though the fact that Google is "only" jumping from Android 4.3 to Android 4.4 hasn't stopped the company from making quite a few UI tweaks in KitKat. I'm kind of digging the changes that've leaked so far, but I'll reserve any final judgments until El Goog officially unwraps KitKat on stage. What do you think of the Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 as they're shown here? Are you a fan of the white icons and transparent bars?