Is there too much Google in Android 4.4 KitKat?

  • Replies:38
  • Forum posts: 1,110

Nov 8, 2013, 10:48:06 AM via Website

We've got our Nexus 5 and have been pretty impressed by it, but one thing you really notice is just how pervasive Google is in Android 4.4 KitKat: You've got the Google Experience Launcher which, obviously pushes Google to the forefront, there's voice search on every home screen, Google Now moves from a swipe up option to a dedicated home screen, the new dialer includes Google search capabilities and all of your SMSes now go through Google Hangouts.

Of course, you can change many of these options or simply choose not use them at all, and the Nexus 5 with KitKat IS a Google showcase after all, so perhaps it's all fair enough, but I put the question to you: do you think Google is pushing their presence a little too hard in KitKat?

Follow Kris on Google+ and Twitter / Forum Rules - Recommended for new AndroidPIT members! / Important to all community members: please read before posting

Reply
  • Forum posts: 877

Nov 8, 2013, 6:36:49 PM via Website

Well, that is a very good point Kris! I read on the internet somewhere that it's not stock Android that is in the Nexus 5, it's stock Google. Google is boarderline creepy most of the time and now they have a smartphone that millions are wanting without really even realizing the implications that, yes, Google knows all...even more than before!

I guess they are trying to make their phones a lot more responsive to users by adding Voice search everywhere and other elements. It's safe to say I would have to try the Nexus 5 a bit more to say if this really bothers me.

Reply
  • Forum posts: 238

Nov 9, 2013, 3:09:44 AM via App

After messing around with my buddy's shiny new Nexus: Yes, there is way too much Google in it!!! That is just my personal opinion. I don't know. For me personally, the more Google has control of my Android system, the more it reduces the functionality of my device. Again, my personal opinion based on my experience. Please don't hate me for it.

"You're Probably Wondering Why I'm Here & So Am I" - FZ

Reply
  • Forum posts: 1,110

Nov 11, 2013, 5:32:06 PM via Website

Question for you @Amy (because I know you loathe Google): if the issue is not just the Nexus devices (which, of course, it makes sense for Google to drown in Google mojo) but a general Googlizing of Android, what will that mean for you? I know you mentioned elsewhere you won't go past 4.1, but if Google keeps piling more and more Google services and integration into Android in general (which they will of course do), at which point would you consider jumping ship? Or would you just keep battling to keep Google out of your Android as much as possible? (I'm getting a Sarah Connor vibe here) :)

Follow Kris on Google+ and Twitter / Forum Rules - Recommended for new AndroidPIT members! / Important to all community members: please read before posting

Reply
  • Forum posts: 238

Nov 11, 2013, 11:15:48 PM via App

Kris Carlon
Question for you @Amy (because I know you loathe Google): if the issue is not just the Nexus devices (which, of course, it makes sense for Google to drown in Google mojo) but a general Googlizing of Android, what will that mean for you? I know you mentioned elsewhere you won't go past 4.1, but if Google keeps piling more and more Google services and integration into Android in general (which they will of course do), at which point would you consider jumping ship? Or would you just keep battling to keep Google out of your Android as much as possible? (I'm getting a Sarah Connor vibe here) :)

Hey Kris, I'm still waiting for a "Rich (or financially backed), Google Hating, Genius, Rouge, Linux Programming Geek" to come in and save the day....................WOW, that was a mouth full :P

I chose Android simply for the Linux factor, not the Google. It would be really cool if Firefox OS would spread to higher grade devices or more devices in general.......Trying to send out a telepathic signal here :P

Unless it was given to me for nothing, I won't be purchasing anymore Android devices. Seriously concidering diving back into Linux programming just to try to fix the "Google Problem" for myself.

I'd LOVE to crack an Android KitKat!

HACKERS AWAY!!!!!!! :)



-THAT'S IT, I convinced myself! I'll start playing Guinea Pig with a cheaper Android. I'll buy a real cheapy in a few weeks.......Still need my non-rooted Note to stay tuned here! :lol:

— modified on Nov 13, 2013, 4:17:12 AM

"You're Probably Wondering Why I'm Here & So Am I" - FZ

GT Ohh

Reply
Deactivated Account
  • Forum posts: 72

Nov 13, 2013, 10:49:36 AM via Website

yes, i am a big fan of Google's Android but i agree that with KitKat Google is trying to do too much with its OS, and i think in the race to win against iOS. Google has gone too far this time with KitKat. But i have still managed to make myself more towards Google's Android than iOS7. :(:(

Reply
  • Forum posts: 238

Nov 13, 2013, 4:32:13 PM via Website

Kris Carlon
@Amy, let me know if Google reads this and starts offering you free Nexus devices to stay with Android. :grin:

Haha, @Kris, are you suggesting I send out some mysterious telepathic Nexus signals in Google's direction????<_<

— modified on Nov 13, 2013, 4:34:42 PM

"You're Probably Wondering Why I'm Here & So Am I" - FZ

Reply
Deactivated Account
  • Forum posts: 131

Nov 13, 2013, 5:37:13 PM via App

Since Google owns Android, I don't think "too much Google" actually applies when talking about any Google product, specially a Nexus phone, which is also a Google product.

Reply
  • Forum posts: 1,110

Nov 19, 2013, 1:11:01 PM via Website

So @Henrique, if you bought a Samsung tv and they stuck a Samsung logo on the screen whenever you turned it on that would also be fair enough? I think there's a difference between producing a platform (Android, television, radio) and completely stuffing it to the gills with your own content. Would you listen to a radio station that played more self-promotional ads than music? There has to be a balance between ''free'' content and self-promotion. If you push it too far people turn away - this is why I have switched off some radio stations actually! And I think it could be a reason for some people to turn off Android. I personally don't think there's too much Google in KitKat (I use other launchers etc anyway and am relatively happy with Google services) but I can see if it continues this way the answer may become yes in the future. A lot of it also depends on how much you use Google services. I know you use a lot of them and would obviously like them being center-stage and integrated. Amy would not, and I'm in the middle.

Follow Kris on Google+ and Twitter / Forum Rules - Recommended for new AndroidPIT members! / Important to all community members: please read before posting

Reply
  • Forum posts: 1

Nov 19, 2013, 4:17:25 PM via Website

I started feeling like Google was taking over my device with the S3. I have begun to try to "turn off" and disable some of the Google functions. What became the most frustrating is the battery drain from Google constantly checking for updates (or whatever it is doing behind the scenes) I installed Juice Defender (thanks AndroidPIT for that tip!) in hopes that I could make it through the workday with out my phone almost completely dead. It worked like a charm btw, and it was Google Talk doing the drain which I don't even use, have never used and sure don't plan on using.

I have always been a die hard android fan - anti-apple, hate apple, will never have an apple. Now I am actually considering an iPhone or more than likely an iPad (currently own a Nexus7) I use my device heavily for work and since my boss has an iPhone (and iPad) and my co-workers all have iPhones...well I am considering it. I am sick to death of Google taking over my phone along with all of the other bloat-ware T-Mobile shoves in there.

I realize switching to Apple limits one even more and that is why I have not jumped ship. I'm with Amy..... Firefox help!!!!!!! We need you! Please , please! If your listening Mozilla, I would love a phone that you get to "customize" with apps just like when you build a new computer, why don't they have that option?? I mean you can "build" a MotoX (I wasn't impressed with that either) with different colors, why not take it a step further? And Mozilla would be the ones to do it!

I was looking into upgrading to a Note but was waiting to see what they come out with for the 5 and up models but after hearing about the direction of KitKat maybe I will look elsewhere. At this point I think I rather have a Windows phone.

I am still on the fence, but even considering a switch is new for me and I think a lot of other die-hard Google/Android fans have found themselves in the same disenchanted place. I had been one of Google greatest heralds, but then... they changed. The question is...where to go from here?

Reply
Deactivated Account
  • Forum posts: 131

Nov 20, 2013, 1:53:32 PM via Website

@Kris: Sorry, I didn't understand you correctly. I understood that you were saying that there is too much Google in the Nexus 5. Actually Android 4.4 KitKat doesn't have Google products. KitKat is an open source project and everyone can fork it and do their own customizations, just like CyanogenMod for example.

The whole Google experience products are closed source (Play Store, Maps, Gmail, Keep, etc, etc) so, they are not included in KitKat. They are just included in the Nexus 5 because it makes sense as a product that is supposed to be sold to customers.

So, to answer your original question "Is there too much Google in Android 4.4 KitKat?" my answer is "No." Actually, KitKat is the version of Android which has the fewer Google products in it because with each version of Android they are moving products the closed source Google Experience each, which you can only get on your phone if you buy an Android phone from a manufacturer that pays Google for providing the experience or you can install them manually, in case you're using CyanogenMod.

Reply
  • Forum posts: 3

Nov 29, 2013, 1:20:46 AM via App

yes there is too much but you can switch most of it off like people are saying. Here in China access to Google is very patchy so Now doesn't work properly anyway so I just disabled it. Maps & Chrome are the standout apps for me but I choose not to use much of the other stuff. It's clear though that Google is gradually trying to get more ingrained into our lives but so far I think we can choose not to let them. I do feel that Google should take the nexus brand into a 'naked Android' experience and perhaps leave the Googlisation to their Moto brand. This would differentiate the phones and keep a good balance in their portfolio.

Reply
  • Forum posts: 1,110

Nov 29, 2013, 2:23:32 PM via Website

Yeah, it's funny but, of all things, I hate the ridiculously large icons in KitKat, so despite being fond of voice search and the Google Now screen (well, kind of fond of that one), I actually reverted back to my old launcher because I like small icons and more home screen control. So all I'm getting is white icons and whatever performance improvements there are.

— modified on Nov 29, 2013, 2:23:42 PM

Follow Kris on Google+ and Twitter / Forum Rules - Recommended for new AndroidPIT members! / Important to all community members: please read before posting

Reply
  • Forum posts: 145

Dec 4, 2013, 8:29:09 PM via Website

I actually really like KitKat... weighing in, now that my Nexus 4 finally got it. :) I love trying new things (in phones, anyway...) so I want changes to be big and noticeable! I like it being very Google... if I didn't want my phone to be Google, I'd have a Windows phone. (I would NOT have an iPhone, tell you WHAT). Changes are noticeable, obviously, and I think they're positive, except a bit of glitchiness that one expects... hopefully fine tuned soon.

HowDoYouAndroid.com

Kris Carlon

Reply
Lalit
  • Admin
  • Forum posts: 2,324

Dec 10, 2013, 10:18:46 AM via Website

HowDoYouAndroid.com
I actually really like KitKat... weighing in, now that my Nexus 4 finally got it. :) I love trying new things (in phones, anyway...) so I want changes to be big and noticeable! I like it being very Google... if I didn't want my phone to be Google, I'd have a Windows phone. (I would NOT have an iPhone, tell you WHAT). Changes are noticeable, obviously, and I think they're positive, except a bit of glitchiness that one expects... hopefully fine tuned soon.

Is it working positively, I have heard many people saying that it is full of glitches.

Reply
  • Forum posts: 145

Dec 10, 2013, 4:52:54 PM via Website

@John ... The main glitchiness I found on mine was way too fast battery drain and way too slow camera response (significantly slower than when it was jelly bean). You haven't found those issues?

HowDoYouAndroid.com

Reply
  • Forum posts: 1,110

Dec 10, 2013, 11:38:17 PM via Website

Hey guys, I skipped 4.4.1 on my Nexus 4 and went to 4.4.2 this morning. Haven't noticed any real differences, although I do have to admit the battery actually seemed better than previously on 4.4? Funny how battery drain is generally becoming the standard problem with new updates. The camera still sucks so I expect that improvement was very much isolated on the Nexus 5, but nothing else exciting to report about it for now.

Follow Kris on Google+ and Twitter / Forum Rules - Recommended for new AndroidPIT members! / Important to all community members: please read before posting

Reply
  • Forum posts: 145

Dec 10, 2013, 11:48:45 PM via Website

Ah... good to know! I sold my Nexus 4 anyway.... bad camera wasn't working for me. I survived for a while, but had enough when KitKat came along.

HowDoYouAndroid.com

Reply
  • Forum posts: 1,110

Dec 11, 2013, 12:35:53 AM via Website

Yep, I'm in the last week of having my Nexus 4 before it goes to its new home. I'll be sad to see it go, but I have to say, I'm loving my Nexus 5! I'm just happy I had a little overlap between the two so I do lots of comparisons and really realize just how great the Nexus 5 is (especially when the Nexus 4 is also so great)

Follow Kris on Google+ and Twitter / Forum Rules - Recommended for new AndroidPIT members! / Important to all community members: please read before posting

Reply
  • Forum posts: 610

Dec 11, 2013, 12:43:56 AM via Website

I've been messing around with it (nexus 5) for a few hours. It came with 4.4.1, I've been to busy rooting and meddling to bother checking for anything, but I don't find the Google aspect overpowering. Having previously owned an HTC and a couple of Sony Ericssons I'm really appreciating the stock AOSP interface compared to the usual bloatware, and obviously the outright speed and power of the N5 is a revelation. There is, or was, a thread on xda about de-googling android phones because obviously they can still function without Google apps (as most people find out after their first cm flash) but the Google ecosystem is not as controlling or closed as Apple's, and it turned out most people were happier with Google included.

Sinkster

Reply
Lalit
  • Admin
  • Forum posts: 2,324

Feb 5, 2014, 8:42:09 AM via Website

HowDoYouAndroid.com
@John ... The main glitchiness I found on mine was way too fast battery drain and way too slow camera response (significantly slower than when it was jelly bean). You haven't found those issues?

No didn't know about those glitches because i still don't have nexus, i was actually planning to get one but after hearing about the glitches i've been on the waiting state !!

Reply
  • Forum posts: 1,110

Feb 11, 2014, 1:07:15 AM via Website

The battery and camera lag issues were resolved with the 4.4.1 and 4.4.2 updates. The Nexus 5 is great now (I have one), but we're just about to enter the mobile device release-fest following CES and MWC, so you'll have plenty more options in the next couple of months (although they'll cost a pretty penny more than a Nexus).

Follow Kris on Google+ and Twitter / Forum Rules - Recommended for new AndroidPIT members! / Important to all community members: please read before posting

Reply
  • Forum posts: 1

Mar 12, 2014, 3:11:14 PM via Website

Does anyone know when the Galaxy Mega 6.3 for Sprint will get the KitKat (4.4.2) upgrade? My wife has an S4 and has had it for a while now.

Reply
  • Forum posts: 22

Mar 28, 2014, 12:49:44 PM via Website

I started feeling like Google was taking over my device with the S3. I have begun to try to "turn off" and disable some of the Google functions. What became the most frustrating is the battery drain from Google constantly checking for updates (or whatever it is doing behind the scenes) ..

Yeah, i couldn't agree more. Sometime, it's really annoying how Google always download the latest updates on my phone without my permission. this happens also on my laptop through Google Chrome. So fu** Google with this policy. They should stop doing this or else i would disable all of its apps in the future.

Reply
  • Forum posts: 1

Apr 4, 2014, 11:17:33 AM via Website

I have a Nexus 5 (32 GB) and really love it! It is just the
right size and weight, and has an awesome HD screen and a powerful processor. I
hope the Nexus 6 will not be any bigger (like have a 5.5" screen) as this
would be a show stopper for me.

My wishlist for the new Nexus 6 :

- better battery (that lasts longer)

- better camera (at least 13 or 16 Megapixels)

- no bigger that the Nexus 5 (which is my personal size limit)

- LTE (of course!)

- 802.11ac Wifi (same as Nexus 5)

- a higher resolution screen (like quad HD)

- a faster processor (at least a snapdragon 805)

- and that feature on the Galaxy S5 where you can combine LTE and WiFi to speed up file download!

— modified on Apr 10, 2014, 6:04:44 PM by moderator

Reply
  • Forum posts: 1

Apr 13, 2014, 4:56:47 AM via Website

Too much google? Get an iPhone. Android is Googles operating system. It is like saying there is too much Microsoft in Windows.

Reply
  • Forum posts: 16

Apr 30, 2014, 7:31:18 AM via Website

Ralph Niederlander

Too much google? Get an iPhone. Android is Googles operating system. It is like saying there is too much Microsoft in Windows.

Agree. Currently I'm happy with Google Now on my phone. And the "always listen" Google Now sound interesting. But I think it would be better if Google should push an option to disable it for other guys don't like.

Reply
  • Forum posts: 1,110

Apr 30, 2014, 1:38:29 PM via Website

In all fairness I have come around a bit to the Google presence in KitKat.

Like many others, I'm a little wary of handing over my firstborn to Google, but the undeniable fact is that they make pretty good products and services. Sure, you can avoid all the Google content in KitKat if you really want to, but I think their integration of Maps, Hangouts, Google Now and so on is part of what I like the most about KitKat.

Before KitKat I didn't need or think about Google Now and wasn't a user of Hangouts (or even Google Maps for that matter as I have lots of alternatives I prefer), so kitKat has certainly managed to win me over to more Google services. Well played, Google, well played!

Follow Kris on Google+ and Twitter / Forum Rules - Recommended for new AndroidPIT members! / Important to all community members: please read before posting

Reply
  • Forum posts: 2

Aug 26, 2014, 8:28:27 PM via Website

Kris Carlon

Before KitKat I didn't need or think about Google Now and wasn't a user of Hangouts (or even Google Maps for that matter as I have lots of alternatives I prefer), so kitKat has certainly managed to win me over to more Google services. Well played, Google, well played!

Hey guys, I don't want to upset anyone but here goes. YOU ARE RUNNING ANDROID which is first and foremost LINUX and secondly a GOOGLE variant of it. I rooted my modest device not even a full week after buying it from Orange. Which of course was to get all the Orange bloatware out of the device. And secondly and as much if not more important, to get what I want to be runing on the device. And Kris well said, "well played Google". All Android experience is opened to public except for the Google package which makes sense, it's Google's package after all. So if you don't want google on it then take it out. And if you guys want to use the Windows crap on a linux variant maybe you don't get the whole Linux being open thing and you are better of with Apple or Windows and go and cry about everey minor problem to those guys. Being a linux user, whatever variant it may be, requires one to think for himself and do what he pleases = open/free. You don't like something...fine, change it. TYou don't know how? Learn or buy an Apple which will alwayas run perfectly but won't let you change anything. So sure Google wants to know everything. But it asks you nicely. And you can very well say no if you please. But people nowadays are so used to being able to complain about their problems and not even considering the "effort" to think, that sure it seems to them that Google is in control. So you get an open platform on which Google has put some of its creations and lets YOU decide if you want to use them, or make your own if you have the knowhow and even share them or use someone elses. So it seems to me that all Google is doing is showing us what it could be like and letting us do what we want. Put Apple next to that and the so called battle between them suddenly makes no sense.
PS. I appologise for my Englishm it's not my first language. And excuse me for my ,agresive to some, oppinion. It is not my intention to judge or to offend anyone.

Reply
  • Forum posts: 2

Aug 26, 2014, 8:36:15 PM via Website

By the way I am running Kit Kat X86 on my Lenovo T400 laptop and it rocks. Sure I have Win 7 installed on it in dual boot but it's slowlly getting covered in spiderwebs. I run the same Kit Kat on a Dell Inspiron 910 mini and rocks as well. Sure its diffrent from what you are used to on a laptop its better. everything is insta-on & running and boy does it run.
:)

Reply
  • Forum posts: 1,110

Aug 28, 2014, 3:23:21 PM via Website

Hey Gabriel, thanks for sharing your opinion. I thought you might like to have a read of this great story by Ron Amadeo, where he decided to completely de-Google Android. Very interesting (and ugly) experiment!

Follow Kris on Google+ and Twitter / Forum Rules - Recommended for new AndroidPIT members! / Important to all community members: please read before posting

Reply
  • Forum posts: 1

Aug 31, 2014, 7:21:05 AM via Website

Google simply can't make itself too much part of Android, because Android is opensource.

That means, without Google, Android has to be a full featured OS. And it is. Have you ever installed CyanogenMod and not put the Google Apps Framework zip? The result is a fully working Google-less smartphone OS.

Sure, being Google-less means no Play Store. But hey, you can download APKs and install them or even download Amazon App Store.

And of course the opensource bundled apps may not be as good as Google's counterparts (I.e. Play Music and Chrome). But, it's an open platform! Go and find a good replacement app! CyanogenMod actually already comes with good replacements for many of these apps.

But maybe your not that radical, and still want Play Store, YouTube and/or Maps; or maybe you don't want to root and stuff. What now? You can still do it! Android is not iOS! You can disable Google apps selectively, set third party apps as default, replace your keyboard, your browser, your map engine, even your home screen without touching your bootloader!

As I mentioned, the Google Framework comes separated from the basic OS+apps in custom roms (for legal reasons). That means Google stuff come as an attachable layer, not an integrant part of the OS source code

Oh, but you wanted the cool stuff to be part of the open source OS and not of the Google Framework... What else? Google is a company! Not a foundation! And allowing you to replace theyr functionality with third party solutions is far far far far ahead of the competition. Just try to sidestep Apple and Microsoft in iOS and Windows Phone without jail breaking. You can't!

— modified on Aug 31, 2014, 7:24:25 AM

Reply
  • Forum posts: 1

Sep 3, 2014, 9:53:30 PM via Website

Hey Kris! Thanks for the read, but wasn't this about taking Google out of Android not every component manufacturer. If you want a completely "free" device + os you need to make one from scratch, yourself. Windows runs on proprietary drivers and lots of other platforms and devices. We were not talking about drivers but apps. And I don't know how many drivers Google owns on the nexus platforms or any other but I doubt them being many. In which case get another device. As for software, yes it's true that if you take the google out of android and replace that with something else, it feels strange. But that's to be expected as someone else said, android being a google variant built by google to use google cloud services. So if you dump google you must be aware you are dumping alot of the android fee also. This does not mean you cannot replace that feeling to an alternate one it just won't be the one everyone knows. Anyway I still don't understand what is so bad about google that you want to replace it in the first place. If you are worrying about privacy...cellular companies do the same. They route the voice tragic and they listen to some of that. And so do many many service providers. So if you come to ghat ...well that means you don't use anything that is made by someone else and which doesn't offer you complete control. And that's almost impossible. Use a spoon inatead...ooh no what if it's an antena of some sort :P

Reply
Deactivated Account
  • Forum posts: 3

Sep 4, 2014, 5:01:47 AM via App

Interesting articles, thanks. I happily disabled pretty near all Google apps on my Moto G 4G, it was the first thing I did when I activated it for the first time. I love Android and think it has a lot of potential, but I have grown to dislike and distrust Google.

— modified on Sep 4, 2014, 7:18:00 AM

Reply
  • Forum posts: 1

Sep 17, 2014, 1:31:31 PM via Website

Android 4.4 that is kitkat has many feature but most of them are allready in previous version
10 new feature that new and improve feature are :-www.techsnext.com
Just say “Ok Google” ( Voice Command )
A work of art
Faster multitasking
A smarter caller ID
Easy Print wherever
read more here

Reply