T-Mobile sent out the Android 4.4.3 update to my Nexus 5 a few days ago.

Android 4.4.3 KitKatI haven’t seen too many differences between the earlier version. Most sites who’ve pulled apart the system files say that the update brings minor fixes to the system — battery drain, stability, and cameras.

One of the most noticeable fixes is the new dialer.

Android 4.4.3 Dialer App

Google’s definitely sticking with the cards/pictures design, which associates the contact with their Google, Facebook, or other social media account. If you’re not a fan of this design in Gmail, then you probably won’t like this new feature.

The individual contact card associated with the dialer isn’t much different, though there are a few more options for contacting an individual or getting a location.

Android 4.4.3 Dialer CardSimply click on the phone, email, Google Maps, or Chrome icon to pull up the specific information about the contact.

Android 4.4.3 Contact

Of course, accessing that specific information isn’t so easy, given the fact that if you press the contact card in the dialer you’ll end up calling the contact. You’ll need to click the 3 menu dots on contact’s card.

Android 4 Quick Access

My favorite aspect of the new dialer is the actual dialer itself.

Dialer layout

I really like the clean layout of the application and the blue design.

Google also threw in a 2 second pause (for whatever reason) and a wait tone (again, I’m not sure of the usefulness).

Pause and Wait

Overall, I like the new dialer and Google’s push for cleaner design in its apps.

Jeff Taylor

I'm just an ordinary guy living an extraordinary life. I'm also an attorney and I blog about Android for lawyers. You can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google+.


Phil Olenick · June 8, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Anyone who has to dial a department on a phone tree knows what the pause and wait entries are for: automating that process, with manual intervention if necessary.

Jeffrey Taylor · June 8, 2014 at 11:09 pm

But basically pointless features.

    Charlie · June 18, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Pointless? Ever have to call a conference call and enter a pin? This feature allows us to enter the pin and save it as part of the phone number so that you don’t have to remember the pin. Much like storing the conference number itself.

      Jeffrey Taylor · June 18, 2014 at 9:16 am

      I can hardly remember the conference call-in number, let alone the pin.

      I try to avoid all conference calls, and demand that everyone meet via webcam.

        Phil · June 18, 2014 at 10:30 am

        So your “personal touch” to your reviews includes dismissing as pointless any feature you don’t use yourself? That really diminishes the value of your reviews. You can say “I don’t need this feature myself” without saying that it’s “pointless,” counselor.

          Jeffrey Taylor · June 18, 2014 at 10:34 am

          I suppose the “pointless” comment could be better worded. I don’t, and probably wouldn’t, need the feature. Ever. At least from my mobile phone. Thankfully, the feature isn’t intrusive, so if you want it, you can have it. Otherwise, like me, you can forget it’s even an option.

bryanmgriffith · June 9, 2014 at 10:35 am

Can I sideload this dialer to replace the ugly Samsung dialer?

    Jeffrey Taylor · June 9, 2014 at 10:40 am

    I don’t think so, but there’s this post that seems to indicate it’s possible with a bunch of other problems. You’ll also need Android 4.4+.

      bryanmgriffith · June 9, 2014 at 2:21 pm

      Thanks! I tried it on my Samsung S4 running 4.4.2. Lots of force closing, so I uninstalled. I do like the clean look though.

Ian Thomson · June 10, 2014 at 5:50 pm

Form over function, unfortunately. I’ll try to be positive – it’s bright and trendy looking. That’s it.

Linear dialling lists are far more efficient – a basic UI design rule. That’s why for example the Start menu is so much better to use than the Windows 8 front screen. Our eyes are not good at searching left to right AND up and down too. Backwards step. At least the dialling history is still linear – shame I can’t get that to come up as the default, or select linear for the most dialled screen.

The dialling pad is lower contrast than before which is a problem if your eyesight is OK without glasses but like mine, not great. Poor UI design again. I presume I can change the colour scheme so I shall get that sorted.

Contacts list is OK. However, as you suggested Jeffrey, the big capital letters in both lists are a complete distraction and I find myself ignoring them and scanning only the names. Our eyes and brains are extremely good at pattern recognition such as complete names. The caps just slow me down and waste useful space. I don’t know if I am supposed to add photos to each contact but please – only children have time for that.

Still, my Nexus 5 is more polished than my other phone, the trusty old Nokia 6310i 🙂

Soufyane DADA (@SoufyaneDADA) · June 12, 2014 at 1:29 pm

How come I already received this update to my dialer if it is the 4.4.3 dialer.
I have this same dialer on my s4 running 4.4.2 (CM 11)

    Jeffrey Taylor · June 12, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Are you sure it’s the same dialer design? If it’s CM11, then I suspect CM incorporated the new design.

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