Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 15th Oct 2013 21:53 UTC

The stock launcher in Android 4.4 is getting a version number bump - from 3.x to 4.x - and it's also renamed to Google Experience. On top of that, something interesting is happening.

There's another interesting thing happening here. If you take a look at stock Android 4.3, you will see that the current launcher's package name is The new one is Now look at Google's current selection of apps in the Play Store. Almost all of them start with "" instead of ""


I'm not saying with 100% certainty that we're going to see the launcher released to the Play Store, but to me, it certainly looks like it. At least eventually and not necessarily with KitKat.

Other currently integrated parts of Android also receive the name change in their packages. It seems like Google is finally doing what it should have done ages ago. If you can't get device makers and carriers to update Android, just put as much of Android as possible in the Play Store. If this also allows crapware-riddled devices from e.g. Samsung to be converted to proper stock, then that's a big plus too.

Please let this be true.

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RE: no converting devices
by steve_s on Wed 16th Oct 2013 09:16 UTC in reply to "no converting devices"
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So very this.

The manufacturer-specific API modifications are what makes Android for me, as a developer, a mine-field, and a deeply unpleasant experience.

I've written apps for customers that work fine on all of our devices, which are generally running stock Android. The nature of these apps is that they tend to rely heavily on WebView. Samsung, in their great wisdom, have made modifications to their WebView which can break touch interaction on scrolling elements.

Not only do developers have to deal with the fact that brand new devices running Android 2.3 are being sold (or that those devices that do run Android 4 don't get updates to 4.3), we also have to worry bugs that manufacturers have introduced.

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