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Nexus 4 & Nexus 7 Android 4.4 KitKat Update Roll Outs Detailed

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Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 users who are unhappy with the Android 4.4 KitKat update roll out will be happy to know that a Google engineer has shed some light on the update process, detailing just how the company is rolling out the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 Android 4.4 KitKat upgrades. And while it won’t bring the updates to devices any faster, it will provide a little bit of comfort for those frustrated by the lack of communication.

Yesterday, the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 Android 4.4 KitKat updates started rolling out to owners. For the Nexus 4, it was the first roll out. For Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 users, it marked the second time that Google started a roll out. Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 owners have not been too thrilled with the process and many of them have voiced frustration not only with the long waits but with the lack of communication from Google.

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While Google announced the initial roll outs, it didn’t announce yesterday’s build, something that confused Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 owners and something that sent Nexus 4 owners into a bit of a frenzy. Of course, many users were already riled up by the fact that the Verizon Moto X received Android 4.4 KitKat before their updates arrived.

Those updates are evidently still rolling out though Google has finally offered some details on the situation. Google engineer Dan Morrill has taken to Reddit and detailed the KitKat roll outs for these Nexus devices, likely in an effort to quell the frustration amongst the Nexus 7 and Nexus 4 population in the United States and elsewhere.

Here is how Morrill describes the Android 4.4 KitKat roll out process, and really, the process for any Nexus Android update roll out:

Rollouts are conducted in phases. Typically they start at 1% of devices for around 24 – 48 hours; we watch the return rates and resulting device checkins and error reports (if any), and make sure nothing looks wrong before sending it to more. Then typically it goes to 25%, 50%, 100% over the course of a week or two.

What the percentages mean is that when your device checks in, it has a 1% chance (for example) of being offered the OTA. If it doesn’t (randomly) get an offer, it will never get an offer until the next batch.

OW, once your device checks in and gets turned down, that’s it until the next batch. Mashing on the “check for updates” button just causes your device to check in again, and get automatically turned down again. Think about how that makes your device feel! WON’T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE PHONES?!

That said, once the new batch does start, hitting that button does give you a new roll of the dice — but once. Since devices usually only check in for system updates every 24 hours (I think? Certainly on a many-hours basis) this can get you your shot sooner than it would happen on its own.

So, mash away. :) Just be patient, and mashing on it more often than once or twice a day isn’t going to gain you anything.

So, this obviously sheds a little light on the upgrade process and it explains why only a small number of Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 owners saw the Android 4.4 KitKat update roll out yesterday. It also explains why only a few Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 users saw the update roll out last week and why the company likely halted the updates so that it could deliver yesterday’s bug fix build.

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Morrill also says that users who are using the Google Framework Service’s trick to force the software are putting their device in danger. We can confirm that we had severe issues with the Google Play Store on the Galaxy Nexus after using the trick and we highly recommend avoiding it at all costs, just like Morrill suggests.

With this in mind, we expect the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 Android 4.4 KitKat updates to start flowing more freely as the days go on, unless, Google hits another snag. Owners of these Nexus devices should keep their fingers crossed and be on the look out for an update in the minutes, hours and days ahead.

Update: Both the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 Android 4.4 KitKat updates are now available for manual install.

37 Comments

  1. Chris Waters

    11/21/2013 at 10:23 am

    So does this mean that those people who received KitKat earlier (the “1%” described herein, as well as some Moto X owners as of this week) received a buggy build?

    • jack

      11/26/2013 at 4:00 pm

      Yes we probably did get the shaft. I hate the fact that everything is in white now. (battery, signal etc.) My contacts are messed up and also my call history.

  2. Nik

    11/21/2013 at 11:42 am

    Bought a nexus 4 thinking that I ll be the first one to receive all the updates but way to go GOOGLE. Late update and reduced features? That is so not cool

  3. G

    11/21/2013 at 12:06 pm

    got mine…installing on nexus 7 2012 now.

  4. Nima

    11/21/2013 at 12:15 pm

    Just got mine on nexus 7 2013… Installing system update.
    From Ottawa!

  5. Tom

    11/21/2013 at 12:26 pm

    Hit mine twice, first time – up to date – second time I got the update, so they must have changed their minds about the 1 chance a day.

  6. Tony Raso

    11/21/2013 at 12:37 pm

    Just got mine 30 minutes ago on its own.

    • BP

      11/21/2013 at 12:48 pm

      Installing OTA on my N10 currently, but no dice on my N7.

  7. Steve

    11/21/2013 at 12:49 pm

    Just got mine! Optimizing the apps right now!

    • Steve

      11/21/2013 at 12:50 pm

      Nexus 7 (2012)

  8. adarsh

    11/21/2013 at 1:05 pm

    err nothing much has changed. i dont have the “ok google” feature, no transparency etc wtf

    • Gibson Penney

      11/21/2013 at 2:28 pm

      “Ok Google” is only on Nexus 5. But there’s no transparency for me either!

      • Mike

        11/21/2013 at 2:37 pm

        I updated my N4 to 4.4 manually and also noticed that it was still running the old launcher (no transparency or OK Google, etc) but I downloaded the GEL .apk from AndroidPolice and all is happy now

      • Marcus Dickinson

        11/21/2013 at 4:00 pm

        OK Google is working on my Nexus 4

  9. Julio

    11/21/2013 at 1:08 pm

    Just got it on my nexus 4 in Florida.. not much changes.. :/ hopefully google will push out the nexus 5 features such as the launcher and the transparency and the font (which i really like but i dont see it) in the near future

    • Gibson Penney

      11/21/2013 at 2:36 pm

      100% agree. I live in Toronto and I thought I would get all the new features (except for “Ok Google” which is only on Nexus 5)

  10. Ashish Singh

    11/21/2013 at 2:43 pm

    I’m still waiting to get mine. I am still tapping on that check for updates button.

  11. Kyle

    11/21/2013 at 4:37 pm

    I tried this and it worked goto the phone settings and check if there is any updates if not then goto settings -> apps -> all then search for “Google Services Framework” and hit force stop then clear data, reboot phone and see if the update is available.

    • rahul

      11/21/2013 at 9:05 pm

      hi,

      It shows update but its not downloading it says waiting to download via wifi only until nov 23

      • Mohsen

        11/21/2013 at 9:49 pm

        All you need to connect to Wi-Fi to get the update

  12. Prasad Kandarkar

    11/21/2013 at 5:12 pm

    Hey!!! Received 4.4 update this morning in India…

  13. deesnuts0480

    11/21/2013 at 7:27 pm

    Got mine baby nexus 7 2013 providence,ri
    I don’t see hardly a difference but o.k then

  14. Matt Graham

    11/21/2013 at 8:22 pm

    Funny how even after Google breaks its silence and blesses us with such privileged info, telling us that an entire rollout takes at least 1.5 to 2.t weeks, we still see thing with ride colored glasses. The author tells us to be on the lookout in the minutes, hours, days ahead. Nope… weeks… at least.

  15. malcolm kawamleh

    11/21/2013 at 9:59 pm

    I got mine updated to 4.4 KitKat before 4 days ago with manual installation on nexus 4 every thing works out the box including OK Google and transperancy

  16. 31paul

    11/21/2013 at 11:33 pm

    just finished mine Nexus 7 2012.. Philippines

  17. Eduardo

    11/22/2013 at 12:00 am

    Ok received the OTA 4.4 today N4, it is the same of the 4.3, I live in Argentina

  18. Laveena

    11/22/2013 at 5:08 am

    Well i kept my wifi on the whole night and got the update at 3 am IST.. For my nexus 4.. Every time i turn in my wifi.. My device checks for updates :)

  19. Glen

    11/22/2013 at 1:26 pm

    Mine just started on my 4! Can’t wait to explore it!

    • Glen

      11/22/2013 at 8:15 pm

      However my 7 still waits!

      • Glen

        11/25/2013 at 8:01 pm

        My 7 just finished loading! Wahoo!

  20. Iza

    11/22/2013 at 3:39 pm

    It shows update but its not downloading it says waiting to download via wifi only until nov 23

    and if I don’t have a wifi to conect, after tomorrow can I download throught data or will I lose the update?

  21. Mike

    11/22/2013 at 3:46 pm

    Got mine on my Nexus 7 yesterday and 2 apps that worked fine no longer open

  22. Garen Loshkajian

    11/22/2013 at 3:56 pm

    got my ota today at 4:15 pm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Dennis

    11/22/2013 at 3:58 pm

    Hit mine a third time and received the invite. Running 4.4 since yesterday morning. No problems so far. Yay

  24. Amrender

    12/11/2013 at 4:01 am

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