Android 4.4.3 KitKat Update: What Nexus Users Can Expect

With the Android 4.4.2 KitKat update release winding down, Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 5, and Nexus 10 users are looking toward the future. Because Google does not announce upgrades well in advance, users are in the dark about what’s next. Here, we take a look at what we think might happen with any Android 4.4.3 KitKat update that Google decides to roll out.

In September, Google announced Android 4.4 KitKat, an update that was originally thought to be called Key Lime Pie. In fact, it was, until Google struck up a partnership with Nestle to roll out the candy-based name. In October, after a month of rumor and speculation, the Android 4.4 KitKat update was detailed alongside the Nexus 5. And weeks later, it began to roll out to Nexus owners.

Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 10, and Nexus 7 users were all given Android 4.4 KitKat updates while the Galaxy Nexus, Google’s former flagship, was left behind on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. The updates brought new features to Nexus owners but as we’ve pointed out several times, they also brought some issues along with them as well.

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Since the release of Android 4.4 KitKat, Nexus owners have been dealing with problems, enough problems, that Google saw it fit to roll out bug fix updates to try and squash them. Earlier this month, Google pushed out Android 4.4.1 KitKat, the first major update to Android 4.4 and an update that not only worked to improve the Nexus 5 camera but tackle some of the issues on board Nexus devices. Those issues included a problem with cellular signal after using SMS, a bug with Exchange and battery drain, a Nexus 4 dialer issue, and more.

Just a few days after the arrival of Android 4.4.1, Google pushed out Android 4.4.2 KitKat to replace it. The update is nearly identical to Android 4.4.2 KitKat. While Android 4.4.2 seems to have fixed at least some of the issues that Nexus owners are dealing with, there are Nexus owners who are still struggling with problems. And its those owners, and those who are simply curious, who are wondering about what’s next.

The what’s next for Nexus users on Android 4.4 KitKat could be Android 4.4.3 KitKat, and here, we take a look at what we would expect from such an update, should it arrive in the future.

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Android 4.4.3 KitKat Update Release That Isn’t Close

Google tends to keep Nexus owners in the dark about future incremental updates. The closest users will get is either a confirmation of a bug fix update on Google’s product forums or from Google itself, if the update introduces something big like the Android 4.4.1 update did. Thus far, we haven’t seen any confirmations, only that Google is investigating issues.

This means that Nexus owners, including us, are in the dark about what’s going to come next. Those who are dealing with issues are likely hoping that Android 4.4.3 KitKat is next and that it will roll out soon to tackle the remaining issues inside Android 4.4 KitKat. And while that’s possible, we highly doubt that Android 4.4.3 is going to roll out in the near future.

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First, Android 4.4.2 KitKat is still rolling out. It’s currently hitting Google Play Edition devices and likely will be for the next week or so. We doubt Google would fire up another update so close to these roll outs and the completion of the Nexus roll outs.

Second, we haven’t seen the usual chatter that emerges ahead of a roll out. In the case of Android 4.4.2, noted HTC developer LLabTooFeR, said that an Android 4.4.2 update was close.

Third, we typically see Android updates pick up speed in our server logs. Prior to the release of Android 4.4.2, we saw an uptick in activity from Nexus devices. Right now, while we’re seeing Android 4.4.3 KitKat appear, it’s not frequent and we aren’t seeing specific devices. In our mind, that’s a sign that nothing is imminent.

The holidays might also play a part as well. Engineers, like normal people, will be taking off for the holidays and as we march closer towards Christmas and the New Year, the likelihood of an Android 4.4.3 KitKat update in 2013 decreases.

We’re also not seeing hero-type bugs. There are still complaints about all versions of Android 4.4 KitKat, but nothing that is so widespread that Google’s hand is forced. Unless that happens, Google will likely take its time with the next Android 4.4 KitKat update.

With all of that in mind, we expect Android 4.4.3 update, if there is an Android 4.4.3 KitKat update, to roll out in 2014, not 2013.

Familiar Roll Out

When and if Android 4.4.3 KitKat does roll out, expect it to roll out in the all too familiar Google-style. That means either a quick announcement or no announcement at all. That means a roll out to all Nexus devices within a few hours or each other, typically we see the updates start on the same day. That means a slow roll out process that forces some users to endure for a week or more.

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That means a manual installation method that will be available ahead of the OTA. And that means Nexus users using the Google Framework Services “trick” to try and force the update and then writing in after they use the “trick” to complain about issues. (For those that went that route, you can’t say that we didn’t warn you ahead of time.)

After that, we should see the Google Play Edition devices get their updates, that means the Galaxy S4, HTC One, LG G Pad 8.3, and Sony Xperia Z Ultra. Their updates are typically days after the Nexus roll outs. They won’t land on the same day.

Fixes

What about possible Android 4.4.3 features? Well, if an update does roll out, we expect it to be focused in on tackling the remaining complaints about Android 4.4. There aren’t a ton, but enough to warrant a bug fixer, at least in our estimation. Any update that rolls out between now, and the next big Android update for Nexus devices, will have fixes on board. It’s as simple as that.

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Given that this is a software update for mobile devices, it will likely help but it may also hurt as well.

Issues

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An Android 4.4.3 KitKat update would surely fix at least some of the issues that Nexus owners are detailing. However, because this is a software update and an update for Nexus devices at that, we would expect it to have issues of its own on board as well. Whether they are issues carried over from previous versions of Android KitKat or new issues, remains to be seen. But we expect there to be problems on board any update that we see between now and the release of whatever follows up Android 4.4.

Comments

  1. Ronald Geiken says

    The one thing that 4.4..2 did for me on my Nexus 10 is that when I try to play a video on Fox News, it play for 8 or 10 seconds at low resolution and then restarts and plays at the 1080 resolution that the device has. It will do that with ever video from Fox News. On You Tube, it performs perfectly. On my Note 10.1, both of these sites work just fine. Maybe they will fix that in the next update. Right now I can work around it OK, but the delay of every video at the start can be a little frustrating. Way back on 4.2.1, it didn’t do that, so times it would stall and not start. I have MX Pro, and with the latest versions of that, the stalling seems to have disappeared and it plays both Fox News and You Tube just fine most of time. Thankfully, I have W7 computers as Android is still not really ready for Prime Time.

    • Smartass says

      Try watching real news and you won’t have that problem!

      Just joking! Seriously though. I doubt 4.4.2 is the problem. Its probably something with the feed from FoxNews. If its an app, try uninstalling and reinstalling.

  2. VC says

    This is one of the most useless article I’ve read in a long time…provides absolutely no details, just worthless speculations…

    • Shane g says

      Wow that was the most vague, nondescript article I’ve ever read!! Unbelievable that this actually made the cut

    • Androider says

      Most useless article ever! All its saying is there is no release in the next 10 days since it’s the holidays again with no measure of certainty. Do people get paid for this kinda sloppy job? Never going to return to this site again.

      • Networkdood says

        When I read the very end: ‘Adam is an editor based in San Francisco, California who loves his iPhone 5, iPad third-generation…..’
        I realized that this site is a joke – having an iphone lover write an Android based article – no credibility and on top of that – was an article about nothing – reminded me of Seinfeld.

    • Jason Fracaro says

      Glad to see that I’m not the only one who thinks this article is crap.

      Reminds me of a freshman undergrad trying to create fluff for their term paper.

      #garbage

  3. Dude says

    Jesus Christ that was too many words used to say basically nothing. Seriously taken aback by the amount of useless filler. Goddamn link bait. Adding this site to my list of ignored sites.

  4. geo says

    This might be one of the most long winded and detail lacking articles I’ve read on this site. You said so much without saying anything at all.

  5. DR says

    Shocking! Another great article by Adam Mills! NOT! this article stated NOTHING! I mean, seriously?!

  6. greg g says

    Wow. The author has a great talent to write alot about nothing. Pure waste of time with no info, but in so many words and really well written.

  7. piet says

    Click bait article, showed up in mygoogle now deed. Misleiding titel, crappy content on crappy ad ridden site which i won’t ever visit again

  8. Ever says

    The thing about this article is that you have to read it. But reading it is not all. You have to have look at the words and feel them. Let them speak to you. See what they have to say. Then stare at them. Try to understand them. That’s what the next update is about!

  9. james says

    Never visiting this site again. I don’t think I’ve ever read such a worthless article before..

  10. sandeep says

    told few forums treads to avoid visiting this site. reported to google’s matt cutt for spam and low quality link baity site

  11. sivaraman says

    What a stupidest article ever written, ultimately there is no rollout of 4.4.3 and is just hot air. Proves the author is a con and downright an idiot.

  12. Rom says

    Useless article, ad blocking this domain so I don’t have to run by this drivel ever again.

  13. Wasted Time says

    Agreed. This article proves that there are those who can write a lot of words to say nothing at all. They just keep typing and typing and we keep reading away.

    -To make it even better, “we” the “readers” write a bunch of repetative comments/reviews that don’t add value to our e-society as well.

    Why must this go on? Why can’t we just stop typing? Similarily, why can’t we stop reading the typing that continues to appear out of nowhere?

    This is ridicuoulous. Now we’ve all wasted our time – and time is precious.
    Honestly, why have you scrolled to the bottom of this page.
    Why are you still reading, why for Pete’s sake, are you still reading this comment?

    Stop reading this. Right now. Stop it.
    For that matter, stop reading articles, useful or useless, about updates-to-your-cell-phone-operating-system.

    There are many more important things one could do with their life.
    You really shouldn’t have read any of this, much less, all of this.
    Sucker.

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