After getting an early peek at the Sony D6503 “Sirius” hardware over the weekend, we’re now getting a preview of the custom Android 4.4 user interface that’s expected to come preloaded on the Sirius when it hits store shelves.
A new report out of XperiaBlog contains a cornucopia of images that reveal new features of the C6503 as well as tweaks that Sony has made to its custom user interface with the move to KitKat. For example, a screenshot of the D6503′s Camera app shows that it will include support for 4K video capture as well as a handful of other features, such as a “Timeshift video” tool that’ll record high frame-rate video and add slow-mo effects.
The D6503′s Settings app shows that the device will feature a “Glove mode” that’ll allow users to operate its touchscreen while wearing gloves. There’s also a new Smart Backlight Control feature that, much like Samsung’s SmartStay, will detect when the user is looking at the screen and prevent it from going to sleep. A double-tap to wake option is also included in the Settings menu.
Rounding out the list of new features found on the Sony D6503 and its Android 4.4 UI include an Answering Machine that can be set to pick up a call after a certain period of time and a new “Simple Home” launcher that includes larger icons and fonts as well as a 3×4 app grid.
When it comes to the look and feel of Sony’s custom Android 4.4 UI, there are quite a few KitKat tweaks that’ve made the cut. Those include white status bar icons, a transparent status bar and a transparent app tray. Users will have the option of selecting which system icons will be shown in the status bar, and when the notification shade is pulled down, users can switch between a notification view and Quick Settings menu with tools that can be reordered.
One interesting feature outed in today’s leak is “What’s New,” which can be accessed by swiping up from the home button just like Google Now. Little is known about the What’s New app right now, but the leaked screenshots make it look like an HTC BlinkFeed/Flipboard-style app with information tiles of varying sizes. The What’s New app also features a widget that can be placed on the user’s home screen.
Overall it looks like Sony’s Android 4.4 user interface offers a nice mix of new features and visual tweaks. I’m sure that many folks will be happy to see that Sony has integrated many of KitKat’s signature features into its own Android overlay, including the white icons and transparent status bar.
Sony is expected to introduce the C6503 Sirius at Mobile World Congress, which is scheduled to take place in Barcelona from Feb. 24 through Feb. 27. The good news is that today’s leak has provided us with enough screenshots of Sony’s Android 4.4 UI to keep us occupied until MWC. Check out more of ‘em at the XperiaBlog link below.