There's no two ways about it - Google's mobile operating system Android is becoming more focused on the internet with each new update. What we're having a peek at today in Android 4.4 KitKat is the notion that the gallery app - having existed in Android since its inception - will soon be cut from the operating system entirely. Cut, that is, in favor of the internet-based Google+ photos app, already incorporated in to the Nexus device lineup - and on iOS devices as well.
This week a collection of deep diggers converging on Ars Technica's Ron Amadeo have discussed the possibility of the Gallery app being cut from Android soon. What's become clear is that the Google Photo Gallery app has been left in the dust - so to speak - while the rest of the Android app family has been updated at least in a minor way for the future of the platform.
The Gallery app was (notoriously) missing from the earliest Android 4.4 KitKat software builds. The Gallery app does not have a high-resolution icon in KitKat while the rest of the app collection was updated as such. The Gallery app is the only one that did not lose the #33b5e5 over scroll fade effect - that lovely blue burst - while the rest of the app family did.
Google is preparing to off the Gallery.
This aging gallery app is being replaced by the Google+ Photos app, an app that's able to handle offline and online photos with all the abilities of the gallery app in addition to being able to work with them in a cloud-friendly manner that's far more attuned to what appears to be Google's larger plan. That plan - of course - is to get as many people hooked up with a Google account as they possibly can. Android belongs to Google, and Google is bringing the masses back into the fold.
The newest update to Android has the Google+ Photos app turning into "Photos". There's only one step more that Google needs to take. Even the minor changes to the gallery app had files tagged "plus_editor". It's only a matter of time.