A new leak shows what may be the updated navigation bar for Android 4.4.3. In it, we see revamped back and recent tasks buttons, as well as a new center button, which replaces the home button in some cases. It fits an earlier leak, but the source points to this being dogfooded internally, meaning it may be set for release soon.
UPDATE: This image is captured with a customized navigation bar from here, thanks Jimmy Baez, Artem Russakovskii for pointing it out!
The two side buttons act as you might expect, taking you back or opening up your recently used apps for multitasking. They get a sleeker look and feel, but the functionality doesn’t change one bit. We like the styling, but the new center button may prove troublesome.
Replacing the home button with a “Google” option is said to bring up Google Now rather than offer up the home button all the time. While the Google Now launcher for Nexus devices is a great way to utilize Google Now, it lets us keep a home screen with widgets and apps up front. There is also long-pressing the home button and dragging up to get to Now features.
The leak suggests the buttons will change when you’re in an app versus on the home screen; the Google button will be your Google Now portal on the home screen, while home will take over when you’re in an app. If true, this could mean Now doesn’t have the integration Google wants, and they’re attempting to bring it to prominence on your home screen.
A likely reason for this change is Android Wear, wherein Google wants to offer up a quick way to get to Now. Android Wear leans heavily on Now, so this change could just be a move to make it front and center on all your devices — literally. We should know more about this once Google I/O hits, where we’ll be on the ground at the Moscone Center to bring you all the news you need.