Google still hasn’t confirmed the next Android 4.4 KitKat update but it’s clear that it will be Android 4.4.3 KitKat, an update that will be coming to owners of the Nexus 7 and Nexus 5 at the very least. With rumors swirling and Nexus users waiting with great anticipation, we want to take a look at the most important things Android users need to know about the next Android KitKat update.
In November of last year, Google released three Android 4.4 KitKat updates. Early in the month, the company delivered the Nexus 4, Nexus 10, Nexus 7, and Nexus 5 Android 4.4 KitKat update, the original KitKat update that debuted in September shortly before Apple announced the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c.
A short time later, Google announced that it would be rolling out Android 4.4.1, a bug fix update primarily aimed at fixing the camera experience on the Nexus 5. That update pushed out only to get quickly replaced by Android 4.4.2, Google’s third Android 4.4 KitKat update. And it has been Android 4.4.2 KitKat that has lingered on Nexus devices since November and it has been Android 4.4.2 that has been causing loads of problems for Google’s smartphone and tablet population.
Since November, we’ve been hearing about a multitude of Android 4.4.2 KitKat problems, problems that caused many to beg Google for a bug fix update. Over the course of the last few months, Google promised several times that it would be fixing some of these issues but it would not commit to an update or a release date.
While we assumed that it would be Android 4.4.3 that would follow Android 4.4.2, our suspicions were confirmed by a series of rumors last week that outed Android 4.4.3 KitKat and its features. An Android 4.4.3 KitKat update release date remains unknown and the update remains unconfirmed.
With rumors swirling and users in desperate need of an update, we want to buckle down and take a look at the five most important things users need to know about the unofficial, but likely, Android 4.4.3 KitKat update.
Android 4.4.3 KitKat Release Is Probably Close
All the way back on March 24th, we heard our first credible rumor about Android 4.4.3. LlabTooFeR, a well known HTC ROM developer and insider claimed that Google was indeed working on an Android 4.4.3 KitKat update and that it would tackle a camera issue. The Nexus 5 is known to have camera issues so it’s assumed that he was talking about Google’s current Nexus. His information was corroborated by another well known Android developer.
At the time, he said that he expected the release to come in one to two weeks. More recently, he said that he expected the update to arrive at some point in April. Android Police, the publication that leaked extensive details about the Android 4.4.3 KitKat update, said back on March 28th that the update should be coming soon.
The testing process can be a finicky one and target dates often change based on performance. However, given that three credible sources believed back at the end of March that we’d see something emerge in the near future, there is reason to believe that we’re very close to an Android 4.4.3 KitKat roll out.
Keep in mind, Google typically pushes out Android updates during the working week which means that if an update doesn’t land between Monday and Friday, it’s OK to stop checking the phone.
If the update lands outside of the month of April, we, and many others would be extremely surprised.
Update: Android Police claims that the update is now in internal testing outside the Android team and that the release will arrive in the coming weeks. A specific release date is unknown.
Nexus 7 & Nexus 5 Android 4.4.3 KitKat Updates All But Confirmed
Shortly after LlabTooFeR confirmed the update, we saw the Nexus 7 and Nexus 5 Android 4.4.3 KitKat updates emerge for the first time. Both leaks were credible which means that both updates are now all but confirmed for arrival. It will just take Google’s roll out to officially confirm things for users.
We received further proof when Android Police leaked a screenshot depicting Android 4.4.3 KitKat on board the Nexus 5. Google isn’t saying anything but this is really all the evidence that Nexus users need. Barring a major setback, the Android 4.4.3 KitKat update will almost certainly be coming to Google’s current Nexus products, products that are desperately in need of a major bug fix update.
Nexus 4, Nexus 10
While they haven’t leaked, we expect there to be at least two other Android 4.4.3 KitKat roll outs. Android 4.4.3 KitKat appears to be a massive bug fix that’s aimed at dozens of problems on board Android 4.4.2 KitKat. This leads us to believe that it will also roll out to the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10, both of which are experiencing a number of issues with Android 4.4.2.
It would be extremely strange to see Google push out a massive Android 4.4.2 bug fix update and limit it to just a couple of devices. When it does limit its incremental Android updates, the change log typically isn’t extensive. Take for example the Android 4.3.1 update. It only rolled out for the Nexus 7 LTE and didn’t have an extensive list of fixes. Or the Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean update for the Nexus 7. It fixed a very specific bug.
Updates that come with a ton of changes historically have landed for all of Google’s current Nexus products and Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 owners should feel comfortable that Android 4.4.3 KitKat will be coming in the future.
Other Android 4.4.3 KitKat Updates
LlabTooFeR claims that the Android 4.4.3 KitKat update will land for the HTC One Google Play Edition which means that the update will likely land for other Google Play Edition devices as well. That means the Samsung Galaxy S4, Moto G, LG G Pad 8.3, Sony Xperia Z Ultra, and quite possibly the new HTC One M8 will probably get Android 4.4.3 updates.
With Android 4.4.2, we saw them get the update shortly after Google’s Nexus devices so we would not be surprised if some or all of these devices snag Android 4.4.3 once the smoke around the Nexus roll out settles.
Owners of non-Nexus and non-Google Play Edition devices have a longer wait ahead of them and there is a chance, if Android 4.5 rumors are true, that they could skip over Android 4.4.3 for Google’s next major Android update. Something to keep in mind in the build up to the Android 4.4.3 KitKat release.
It’s a Massive Bug Fix Update
Finally, users need to know that Android 4.4.3 KitKat is going to be a huge bug fix update. Android Police released the partial change log for the update and while things could have certainly changed between late March and now, our guess is that the Android 4.4.3 KitKat change log will be similar to the information that they passed along.
While it probably won’t deliver new Android features, Android 4.4.3 KitKat should be the update that Nexus owners have been waiting for since November. Rumors suggest that it will come with dozens of fixes. The unofficial change log suggests that it will come with a fix for unstable data connections, improved camera focus (this is probably what LlabTooFeR was referring to), a fix for random reboot issues, a fix for missed call LED problems, VPN fixes, and much more.
While the change log isn’t final until Google makes it final, it’s clear that the update is going to be a massive bug fixer for Nexus users and quite possibly, owners of Google’s Play Edition devices as well.