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My opinion on the rumored Android Redesign
Ive come up with a theory about this rumored Android redesign. I have NO contact with Google or anyone with insights. So here it goes:
Google is NOT going to be getting rid of customization. If Im correct, Google will be extending it in a big way.
In Android 4.3, Google started allowing apps to read notifications. In 4.4, Google added the ability of setting the home screen from the Settings. Google will be adding one more control: SystemUI.
Why do I think this? Google has been releasing its apps on the Play store to allow users to get rid of OEM modifications. Additionally, Google released the Google Now Launcher for a google-ized interface. The GNL isnt on the AOSP repository (Android Open Source Project, where all source code for Android is). The next step in this will be allowing users to change the status bar and nav. bar (contained in the SystemUI.apk file).
Google can NOT make this search-optimized UI default 100% because of how Android is designed. Google releases the source code to the AOSP repository. Anyone can download it - Amazon, Nokia, Ouya, Samsung, LG, etc. They can make any modifications they want, but if they want to use any Google Apps, they have to get permission from Google. A Google UI will be considered a proprietary Google App.
With the next version, Google will use the current UI for AOSP. Google will use the Google Now System UI for Silver/Nexus/Play Editions with the ability to switch back to Stock Android.
Changes are likely to coming with upcoming updates, Im not sure what exactly. Maybe Ive been messing with CyanogenMod too much. Maybe Im on to something. This is all coming from a High School student.