Android 4.4 KitKat didn’t bring a major redesign we all have hoped for, but introduced a few refinements to the interface of Google’s mobile operating system. It presented users with fresh new icons, redesigned dialer, semi-transparent navigation bars, and many other visual changes the software needed badly. However, for some reason Android designers cannot take the big step and say good-bye to some elements of the two-year-old interface – black backgrounds with grey gradients, dark buttons and blue fonts are still to be found in some places and they don’t go along with the new look very well.
This is why Cristian Ruiz, an interface designer who owns the Pixel Shift blog, came up with his own vision of Android. He dubbed the concept as Android 4.5, because he didn’t want to rethink the whole software, but redesign a few parts of the UI he’s not particularly fond of. The result of his work is a brighter and softer settings screen, where light background and crisp typography guarantee perfect readability, rounded volume adjustments (to match the new style of toast notifications introduced in Android 4.4), more elegant calculator, and simpler camera app with more intuitive interface.
The project can’t be called revolutionary, but this is the exactly why it is so good. The combination of seemingly minor visual changes turns out to impact user experience greatly and its simplicity proves how little work needs to be done to make Android look more streamlined. We would love to see some of Ruiz’s suggestions being adopted in the next version of the operating system.