Custom Kit Kat transparency, vs iOS custom status bar colors

With Kit Kat, app developers will be able to request the Status bar and Navigation bar to go gradient-ed transparent – and it looks good.


I just wish they enabled this at an OS level, so it would be applied to all apps. Get ready to see LOTS of inconsistency across apps, especially considering the developers who don’t want to update. 

The inconsistency doesn’t end there, however. Even between Google devices, there is disparity in behavior of the transparency. As you can see, the N7 and N10 don’t show it, for some reason. 



During the initial leaks of Kit Kat, there was a rumor that devs would be able to request custom colors for the status bar and navbar for their apps. That really excited me, as it was a new feature in iOS 7 as well, and it really makes apps look amazing.


Sadly, it’s not the case, and all we get is gradient. And I’m going to be honest here, I hate gradient.


What do you guys think? Do you prefer the iOS style or Android? Let me know in the comments down below!


6 thoughts on “Custom Kit Kat transparency, vs iOS custom status bar colors

  1. The reason it isn’t transparent on the Nexus 7 & 10 is that they’re still using the old AOSP launcher, which hasn’t been updated properly for KitKat, apparently. The Google launcher is currently for the Nexus 5 only. I’m sad to see even Google begins ‘skinning’ it’s phones… And I agree on the transparent action bar thing. Most of the 4.4 changes were good, but it’s a little messy (except for the new toast notifications, which are horrible).

    • Oh, so the transparency is built into the launcher app? Alright, that clears it up. Thanks!
      But still no excuse for Google. :/

      I honestly haven’t seen the new toast properly. They aren’t good?

      • KitKat toast are indeed ugly 😦 (
        iOS notifications bar looks better than Android’s one :s
        Developers have to manually add this new ‘feature’, and it may in some cases be quite tricky…

        • I honestly really like the toasts! But that could just be me. I like the rounded corners, and that gray!

          I agree that iOS’ notification bar looks great, but if you put a carbon copy of that on Android, it probably wouldn’t fit well. Both OSes have their own design language, and personally, they both are EQUALLY beautiful. 😉

          As far as I know, even iOS developers must add the custom status bar color manually. I think it’s just that so many more iOS developers are design minded. Maybe when they see Kit Kat, or the next version of Android, they’ll realize how pretty Android has become!

  2. I love the new Toasts!
    About the gradient vs nothing – I LOOOOVE both. The transparent navigation wouldn’t look right though, without the gradient (white icons on a white background?), that’s definitely necessary, and the status bar wouldn’t look right if there was a gradient on the navigation bar.

    It also follows one of the Android Design Principals.

    • Yep, the new toasts are awesome! I’ve always loved Roboto Condensed, and it’s finally being used system-wide.

      Yep, I love the way Android has implemented it, but to be honest, I prefer the way Apple (*gasp*) has done it with iOS. When it’s a light background, the system icons are dark. When it’s a dark background, the icons are light (if I’m not wrong).

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