What to Expect After Android 4.4.2 KitKat: Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 5

The Android 4.4.2 KitKat update is still rolling out to Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 5, and Nexus 10 owners but we, and many other Nexus users, are focused in on what might be coming next. While Google hasn’t announced anything, and we haven’t seen anything leak, we want to help set some expectations for Android 4.4 KitKat owners now that Google’s second Android 4.4 KitKat update is now available.

In September, Google announced that it would be rolling out an Android 4.4 KitKat update at some point in the future. In October, after several weeks of rumors, Android 4.4 KitKat was announced alongside the Nexus 5, and a short time later it started rolling out for the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10. The Galaxy Nexus, unfortunately, saw its support end with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.

The update serves as another incremental upgrade to the foundation left behind by Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, bringing enhancements, fixes and tweaks rather than a massive overhaul to Android itself.

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 11.53.21 AM

Since the initial roll out, we’ve seen a number of new Android 4.4 KitKat developments. Shortly after it arrived, we started hearing about some major issues plaguing Nexus owners, issues that included Nexus 5 speaker problems, a Nexus 4 dialer issue, Exchange problems that caused battery drain, signal issues caused by SMS, and more.

We also saw many users complain about the quality of the Nexus 5′s camera, a feature that was arguably the worst feature on board the company’s brand new flagship Nexus smartphone.

Google took the feedback to heart and last week, announced Android 4.4.1 KitKat, a brand new KitKat update that not only provided camera upgrades to Nexus 5 users but also brought some fixes for the bugs that had been plaguing the device since the initial release. So it came as a bit of a surprise when on Monday, Google began rolling out a brand new Android 4.4 KitKat update in the form of Android 4.4.2 KitKat, an update that continues to roll out.

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With Android 4.4.2 now fresh in the minds of Nexus owners, we want to take a look at what we expect to happen after the Android 4.4.2 KitKat finishes its roll out to the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 5, and Nexus 10.

Android 4.4.2 KitKat Problems to Linger

While we’ve heard a lot of Nexus users sing the praises of Android 4.4 KitKat and its feature-set, we’ve also heard from several Nexus owners who have been experiencing issues inside of the software. Those that were surprised to hear that Android 4.4 KitKat contained bugs should get their head checked because major software updates, particularly updates for Nexus devices, tend to come loaded with problems.

Google has done an admirable job of trying to correct a lot of the things wrong with Android 4.4 KitKat. Android 4.4.1 and Android 4.4.2 are not only focused on the Nexus 5 camera, but they are also focused on correcting some of the major bugs. We’ve seen a number of users report good things about Android 4.4.2 KitKat. But we’ve also seen issues emerge.

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Most of the issues that we’ve seen emerge inside Android 4.4.2, at least thus far, appear to be issues that have carried over from the previous versions. Android 4.4.2 could certainly bring a few issues of its own, but the smoke hasn’t cleared enough for us to claim that definitively. Remember, Google updates take a week or two to roll out.

Already, we’ve seen Google release not one, but two Android 4.4 KitKat updates in a span of a couple of weeks and we sincerely doubt that we’ll be seeing another one pop up this year. Not unless Google discovers a her0-level bug that is impacting a widespread amount of Nexus users. So, that said, expect any bugs lurking inside Android 4.4.2 to linger for a few weeks at least.

In the meantime, users will want to scour Google’s product forums an Android-centric forums in search for a temporary fix. If the problems are unbearable, one thing that we can recommend is trying a factory reset. Make sure to back up important and irreplaceable files before performing one.

Another Android 4.4 Bug Fix Update

Now, while we expect Android 4.4.2 issues to linger, they probably won’t linger forever. Nexus owners should expect to see another Android 4.4 KitKat bug fix update roll out between now and the release of the next major Android update, an update that could very well arrive this summer, after Google’s annual Google I/O conference.

There are still enough complaints out there and there is still room for improvement. We simply don’t see Google waiting five months or so to release another fix to Android 4.4 KitKat. Now, it could be that the fix is aimed at a specific device or at one specific issue, the Nexus 4 dialer problem comes to mind, but we would be shocked if Google didn’t roll out another Android 4.4 KitKat bug fix update between now and the arrival of whatever is next.

Nexus users should expect it to roll out as randomly as the Android 4.4.2 KitKat update, an update that was unannounced and thus, very confusing to owners who hadn’t yet received Android 4.4.1 KitKat.

Google to Change

Those hoping for Google to change its roll out style, especially with these smaller bug fix updates, should start tempering their expectations for the future right now. All three of these updates have rolled out in a similar fashion, and it’s clear that Google is not going to be changing its software release habits at any point in the near future.

  • So, here is what to expect from the next Android 4.4 KitKat update and really, any update that comes after it:
  • Leaks ahead of time, whether it’s a jump in analytics or information from an insider.
  • Zero release date rumors, Google tends to keep this under wraps.
  • Random roll out day and time, Google doesn’t really follow any kind of a pattern.
  • OTA or manual installation available on day one.
  • Slow OTA.

We’ve seen a number of Nexus users complaining about the speed of the Android 4.4.2 KitKat roll out. No, there is nothing wrong with your device. Google does it this way for a reason, so that it can catch any major bugs on board the software. This is exactly what happened with Android 4.4 KitKat and Android 4.4.2. Google spotted something it didn’t like, went back to work, and rolled out a brand new build a short time later.

While the roll out process is slow, it ensures a more stable piece of software, believe it or not.

Distant Future

We’ve already taken a look at what we expect from these devices in the distant future but now that Android 4.4.2 KitKat is out, we figured it was worth a reminder for Nexus users.

The Nexus 5, which arrived stock with Android 4.4 KitKat on board, has a bright future ahead of it. It will get any updates that arrive next year and it should get the update that arrives during the summer of 2015. This means, expect a number of software updates, both incremental and major, within the next 18 months or so.

Google’s Nexus 4, which arrived last November, will likely get whatever comes out in the early half of 2014 with an update later in the year unlikely given Google’s stance on 18 months of support. Now that Google has made that policy public, it would anger a lot of people if it held the Nexus 4 to a different standard than the Galaxy Nexus.

Nexus 5

The Nexus 7 2012 might remain on Android 4.4 KitKat. It was released in July of 2011 and is approaching its second birthday. The Nexus 7 2013 should get any and all updates released in 2014.

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Things could certainly play out differently, but this is how we see the major upgrade process playing out for Nexus 4, Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 users after Android 4.4 KitKat.

Comments

  1. Lui says

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  2. David Neave says

    My Nexus 7 Gen 2 will not play avi files after upgrade to 4.4.2… tried to upload RealPlayer but get Your device isn’t compatible with this version! Any suggestions?

    • Adam Mills says

      David, I would not only post on Google’s Product Forums, but I would keep an eye out there. Google engineers typically interact with Nexus users reporting bugs. As for a specific fix, I don’t have one.

  3. sean says

    Screw you Adam! Quote from Adam: “Those that were surprised to hear that Android 4.4 KitKat contain bugs should get their head checked ”

    Google broke exchange services in kitkat! Something a very large part of the business community uses, and can’t do without. This isn’t a bug, it’s a complete loss of functionality. The reason there is massive battery drain is mail tries to sync, but it is never successful, and it continues in an endless loop. Kitkat has been out over a month and the issue is still not fixed.

    https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/nexus/PMOplIFLGAk%5B726-750-false%5D

    People are returning their phones because of the “bugs”

    Try doing a little research before publishing such a ridiculous comment.

    • Adam Mills says

      Re-read what you wrote here. Here is what I wrote: “Those that were surprised to hear that Android 4.4 KitKat contained bugs should get their head checked ” Translation: I was 100% sure that KitKat would have bugs on board. As a Nexus owner myself, I’ve owned the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 7, and now the Nexus 5, I’ve dealt with an assortment of issues, every single time I’ve downloaded a new piece of software.

      So, I would advise you to re-read what I wrote before you make another ridiculous comment.

      Cheers,

      Adam

  4. J says

    This was terrible. Does this guy feel guilt when he writes this stuff? I wouldn’t put my name to this let alone an accompanying picture.

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