Last night, Google posted the binaries and factory images for the long awaited Android 4.4.3 KitKat update, a sign that a roll out was imminent. Today, the Android 4.4.3 KitKat update release has begun and the roll out is starting with one variant of the Nexus 7, Google’s current Nexus-branded tablet.
After weeks and weeks of rumor and speculation, Google finally pulled the trigger on the Android 4.4.3 KitKat update, an update that is expected to fix many of the problems stemming from the company’s Android 4.4.2 KitKat update that rolled out in November. The update had also been rumored to include some changes to the company’s dialer and People application though those features remained unconfirmed up until yesterday.
Yesterday, just before Apple’s WWDC 2014 Keynote, T-Mobile announced the start of the Nexus 5, Nexus 4, and Nexus 7 Android 4.4.3 KitKat updates. We were skeptical, Sprint had announced a Nexus 5 Android 4.4.3 KitKat update back in April before saying it was canceled, but the announcements were proven to be the real deal last night.
Last night, after the WWDC 2014 smoke cleared, Google put the Android 4.4.3 KitKat update into AOSP and released the binaries and factory images for its upcoming Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 Android 4.4.3 KitKat upgrades. This confirmed these updates and it was a sign that the OTA upgrades would start rolling out soon.
Today, the Nexus Android 4.4.3 KitKat upgrades have started to push but as expected, the roll out is starting slow. From what we’ve heard, the Nexus 7 (2013) Wi-Fi only model is the only device seeing the Android 4.4.3 KitKat OTA at the moment. Google’s Android updates roll out in waves and can typically take a week or more so Nexus 7 owners will want to remain patient. Same goes for Nexus 4, Nexus 10, Nexus 5, and owners of Google’s other Nexus 7 models.
Nexus 7 2013 Wi-Fi only owners who want to skip the OTA can pull the update from Google’s servers and sideload the software though only those adept at using this method should try it.
The upgrade takes the Nexus 7 from Android 4.4.2 and KOT49H to Android 4.4.3 KitKat and KTU48L. Android 4.4.3 KitKat’s main objective is to fix bugs and add security enhancements but as we learned last night, it’s also coming with some changes to the dialer and the People app. The dialer application has been re-skinned and the People application looks a lot cleaner as contacts without images now look a lot more colorful. Both are small but welcomed additions to the Android KitKat operating system.
Android 4.4.3 KitKat is expected to hit a number of other devices in the future as well. Rumors have pegged it for the HTC One M8, HTC One M7, Samsung Galaxy S5, Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE-A, Moto X, and Google’s stable of Play Edition smartphones and tablets. It’s still not clear when these updates will be rolling out.
It’s not clear how the Android 4.4.3 KitKat update will impact non-Nexus smartphones and tablets though there is a very good chance that those updates will tackle bugs that might be on board. Manufacturers will often put their own spin on these updates and tack on enhancements and improvements to their own software.
The Android 4.4.3 KitKat update roll out starts just a hours after Apple announced iOS 8 on stage at WWDC and just a few weeks before the start of Google’s annual developer conference, Google I/O. Google I/O kicks off at the end of the month and for the moment, it’s not clear what Google will announce there.
Rumors suggest that the company has a new Nexus 8 tablet up its sleeve though rumors have pointed to a release after Google I/O in the month of July. Nexus 8 rumors have picked up in recent weeks though the device, unlike Android 4.4.3 KitKat, remains unconfirmed.