In 2013, HTC made a bold attempt at repairing its image with consumers from a software standpoint. In years past, the company missed deadlines, made false promises and failed to upgrade devices in a timely manner. While there is still a lot of room for improvement, HTC made strides and maybe the best example is the HTC One Android 4.4 KitKat update that was announced just a few short days ago.
For years, HTC has taken a lot of flack for its software upgrade process. For some time the company was not only slow and uncommunicative, but it was also untrustworthy thanks to a string of missed deadlines and broken promises. In fact, Droid Incredible 2 owners are still waiting for their Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update that was promised to them all of those months ago.
This year, HTC changed its ways, at least for the most part. While the company still missed on a promise to HTC One S owners and HTC One owners in the United States, it has done a much better job of communicating with its customer base about its software upgrades. It has also done a pretty good job of keeping its deadlines. U.S. carriers are notoriously difficult to work with so we’re not surprised that we’ve seen a few hiccups. But at least HTC has communicated those hiccups.
In the past, HTC would have been extremely slow to confirm any Android update information. However, when Android 4.4 KitKat arrived, the company was the first out of the gates with specific, detail info. Already, we’ve seen it promise Android 4.4 KitKat for the Droid DNA, HTC One Max, HTC One mini and the HTC One, the company’s flagship. The HTC One in particular is important because it’s currently the only non-Nexus, non-Google Edition device, that has specific upgrade timing attached to it.
With excitement at an extremely high level, we wanted to share the important things that we think HTC One users should know about the upcoming HTC One Android 4.4 KitKat update.
January Release Date Likely
At this point, there is no reason to believe that HTC won’t be able to keep its promise when it comes to the HTC One Android 4.4 KitKat roll out. For one, we don’t think that HTC would have made that bold of a promise if it had any doubts about whether it would be able to deliver and two, we’re already seeing other confirmations from other places.
HTC UK says that it is planning to upgrade the device in January as well, HTC originally confirmed the 90 day window for the United States, and we’ve seen French carrier SFR confirm that it also plans to roll the software out in January. This works to solidify HTC’s plans and it makes an upgrade during the month of January extremely likely.
Expect Late January Release
Obviously, the biggest question about the update is when, exactly, it will be out. With a 90 day window, HTC has plenty of options when it comes to a roll out. That said, we don’t expect the software to arrive until January, at the earliest and we fully expect HTC to milk that window for all its worth. HTC UK says that it will roll out the software in late January and we fully expect most of these updates to roll out later on in the month.
So while it would be fantastic to see the company push out updates in November or December, that, to us, seems a little too soon at this point. Perhaps HTC will surprise users with an early roll out but at this point, users should expect a late January release.
U.S. Could Get Sense 5.5
While the rest of the world is in the process of getting HTC’s new Sense 5.5 software, the HTC One’s in the United States are still on HTC’s Sense 5 user interface. HTC hasn’t announced anything yet but we wouldn’t be surprised to see the U.S. versions of the HTC One get Sense 5.5 with their Android 4.4 KitKat updates. Again, this isn’t confirmed, but the fact that the HTC One has received Sense 5.5 just about everywhere else is a sign that it should be coming to the United States at some point.
Sense 5.5 isn’t a massive upgrade but it does bring some enhancements and tweaks to Sense 5. Both HTC BlinkFeed and HTC Zoe have been changed and one of the most prominent features is the ability to switch off BlinkFeed altogether. Many HTC One owners use the home screen to keep themselves informed with news, but others, well, they simply want to be able to get rid of it.
Verizon HTC One Won’t Skip Android 4.3 for Android 4.4
Plenty of Verizon HTC One owners have been writing in, wondering if the device will be skipping Android 4.3 Jelly Bean for Android 4.4 KitKat. Not happening says HTC. Instead, the device is expected to get Android 4.3 Jelly Bean sometime this month before getting an upgrade to Android 4.4 within that 90 day window.
Verizon is notoriously difficult to work with when it comes to software upgrades so we would not be the least bit surprised if the update falls outside of that 90 day window. We’re not going to guarantee it just yet but it wouldn’t be shocking.
Want Timely Info on Progress?
Obviously, Gotta Be Mobile will be keeping HTC One users informed about the HTC One Android 4.4 upgrade process from announcement to release date. However, for those in the United States that want to hear about the progress directly from the horse’s mouth, HTC’s President Jason Mackenzie is the person to keep an eye on.
Mackenzie not only communicates with HTC One users but he is constantly releasing progress updates for HTC users. So, while we may not see any information arrive for a few weeks or more, Mackenzie could deliver some more information about the HTC One Android 4.4 KitKat update from time to time.