Last night, Google announced that the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 Android 4.4 KitKat updates would begin rolling out to owners of the 2012 and 2013 versions of the Nexus 7 and the one and only version of the Nexus 10. With those roll outs underway, the anticipation is now at its peak for many Nexus users and here, we take a look at the most important things to know about these new Android 4.4 updates.
On the last day of October, Google announced that it would be rolling out Android 4.4 KitKat updates for a trio of Nexus devices including the Nexus 7, Nexus 4 and Nexus 10. The company unfortunately left the Samsung Galaxy Nexus out of the fun saying that because it exceeded its 18 months of support, the device would not get upgraded to Android 4.4 KitKat.
Google did not detail any type of roll out dates for the Nexus 7, Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 and owners, until last night, had been wondering when the Android 4.4 KitKat update might roll out. Last night, that all changed because Google took to the airwaves and finally detailed several Android 4.4 KitKat updates for its Nexus branded devices.
The company announced that while the Nexus 4 Android 4.4 KitKat update would be rolling out soon, the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 Android 4.4 KitKat updates would start rolling out that day. And, as expected, the Android 4.4 KitKat roll out from Google is underway.
Nexus owners already know quite a bit about the Android 4.4 KitKat update. It brings a host of new features though it remains an incremental upgrade over Android 4.3 Jelly Bean as Google looks to improve on its already revered software. There are, however, a few key details that Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 owners need to know about the software, outside of its features, and here, we take a look at the few important and remaining details that users need to know about.
Cellular Nexus 7 Models Getting Update Soon
Last night, Google detailed the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 Android 4.4 KitKat update roll outs and when it did, it disappointed a group of Nexus 7 owners. Why? Because today’s upgrades are rolling out to the Wi-Fi only versions of the 2012 and 2013 Nexus 7.
Google did not say when the HSPA+ and LTE versions of the Nexus 7 would be getting their upgrades to Android 4.4 KitKat but we have to imagine that the roll outs will be just around the corner. For one, Google doesn’t often fail to deliver on its promises and we expect soon to mean soon. Second, the Verizon Nexus 7 needs Android 4.4 KitKat to function so that places greater importance on the roll out.
Starting today, Nexus 7 (2012 and 2013) and Nexus 10 will be getting a tasty update to Android 4.4, KitKat
— Android (@Android) November 13, 2013
As we’ve pointed out, Google is going up against the likes of the iPad mini with Retina Display this holiday season and having Android 4.4 KitKat on board can only help the Nexus 7’s chances against it.
So, point is, those who own LTE or HSPA+ versions can stop looking in the settings for an update. Your update is going to be coming in the near future and we would be shocked to see the software roll out anytime after November.
Roll Outs Moving Slowly
As for Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 owners who own the Wi-Fi models, the software roll out is underway and it’s clear that it’s going to take a little bit to complete. Google typically rolls these updates out rather slowly, in waves, with the process taking a week or more to complete. So, what Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 owners need to know is that the roll out is indeed taking place but that it’s not going to finish in one day.
We recommend patience when it comes to the roll out and to try and forget that it’s even taking place. Those who get the most agitated are those that check for the update every minute of every hour of every day. Instead, go about your business, and when the Android 4.4 KitKat update is ready to download, the Nexus 7 or Nexus 10 will display and prompt.
Remember, these roll outs are happening at random and there is no way to determine when the upgrade might arrive for your device. So it’s best just to sit back and let it run its course. At worst, you’ll be running Android 4.4 KitKat in a couple of days.
Manual Android 4.4 Update Possible
Those that simply can’t wait for the Over-the-Air update will be happy to know that there currently is a way to manually install the Android 4.4 KitKat software, well, at least for the Nexus 7.
Those brave enough to skip the Over-the-Air update can pull the software from Google’s servers and install it on the Wi-Fi only version of the Nexus 7 2013, Nexus 7 2012 and the Nexus 10. All three updates have been found and for those that wish to take the plunge, here are the downloads for the Nexus 10 and the Nexus 7 2012 Wi-Fi only.
Keep in mind, we suggest waiting for the OTA update if this sounds foreign to you but the option is there should you not want to wait for Google to deliver the update Over-the-Air.
Do Not Use the Google Framework “Trick”
We’ve said this before and we’ll say this again. Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 owners need to know that the Google Framework Services “trick” that has been pushed as a possible way to force an Android update, should be avoided.
While we have seen success stories in the past, we have also seen the negative effects that this method can have on a device. For instance, it completely broke the Google Play Store on our Samsung Galaxy Nexus during the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean roll out. Simply put, this is something that should be avoided even if there are people claiming that it worked.
Instead, those who wish to upgrade early ahead of the OTA should take a look into the manual upgrade processes once they arrive. Nexus 7 2013 owners following directions should be able to get the Android 4.4 KitKat update up and running in no time at all.