Android 4.4.4 KitKat on Nexus 7 Review

The Android 4.4.4 KitKat update for the Nexus 7 arrived earlier this week as a small update on the Nexus 7, and it will roll out soon to the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 with a variety of bug fixes and security updates. The Android 4.4.4 release arrives just weeks after the Android 4.4.3 update arrived on many Nexus devices.

This small Android 4.4.4 update does not add any new features to the Nexus 7. Instead the 2.4MB update includes a note explaining it improves performance, security, stability and fixes bugs. Although there are no specific fixes, it may solve some of the Android 4.4.3 problems.

After using the Nexus 7 Android 4.4.4 KitKat update for the last several days, the test device is not experiencing any Android 4.4.4 problems that are impacting some users on the latest version of Android.

Google previewed a new Android L release today, but the Android 4.4.4 update is one that many users will need to live with for the next several months.

After spending time with Android 4.4.3 and Android 4.4.4 on the Nexus 7, this is a review of how these updates perform.

Android 4.4.4 Installation

The Android 4.4.4 update installed smoothly on the Nexus 7 2013

The Android 4.4.4 update installed smoothly on the Nexus 7 2013

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Installing Android 4.4.4 on the Nexus 7 is easy and went exactly as expected. Make sure your device has about 50% battery life and a WiFi connection and the update should download in less than a minute and install in about 10. I did not run into any reboots or other odd issues installing the OTA Android 4.4.4 update.

Android 4.4.4 Features

The Android 4.4.4 KitKat update does not add any major features to the Nexus 7. Google added several features to the nexus 5 Android 4.4.3 update including a fix for the camera drain issue and some other changes. The People app is updated to show a colored initial, like in Gmail, when a contact photo is not available. In this update the focus is on performance and fixes.

Android 4.4.4 Performance

The Android 4.4.4 update is a very small one, focused on fixing problems, but even small updates can add issues to an otherwise stable device. There is a growing list of Android 4.4.4 problems on message boards and social media, which is why we check various aspects of the performance in this review.

See how the Android 4.4.4 performance is on the Nexus 7.

See how the Android 4.4.4 performance is on the Nexus 7.

Apps

After installing Android 4.4.4 the Nexus 7 performed as expected when running music, video and gaming apps. The apps  launched, played music and movies, and in the case of gaming allowed for a full game session without crashes.

While a small update can impact some Android apps, it does not appear that there are any major issues with this update and Android app compatibility.

Battery Life

Battery life is another area that can suffer after even the smallest update. After installing Android 4.4.4 on the Nexus 7 battery life remains where it was on Android 4.4.3 and on 4.4.2 before that. The Nexus 7 battery life lasts a through multiple movies or extended use of web browsing. The standby time is also impressive. One problem that often impacts Nexus tablets is quick battery drain on Standby, but that is not an issue on Android 4.4.4.

Connectivity

This is a WiFi only Nexus 7, but the Nexus 7 LTE Android 4.4.3 update is rolling out now for other users with some of the fixes and features. On this device the WiFi worked well on multiple networks and Bluetooth is also functioning as expected.

Speed

The Nexus 7 is fast and responsive with Android 4.4.4 installed. On other devices, like the Galaxy S4, small updates can cause lag and other issues. There is no slowdown on the Nexus 7 running Android 4.4.4, even with many apps installed and this being one of many updates since a clean installation or factory reset.

Should You Install Android 4.4.4 KitKat?

The Android 4.4.4 update is worth installing for most Nexus 7 users.

The Android 4.4.4 update is worth installing for most Nexus 7 users.

The Android 4.4.4 update is a small one that fixes several Android 4.4.3 problems and earlier issues. After spending time on Android 4.4.3 and Android 4.4.4 this update is one that most user should feel comfortable installing. Google’s rapid update shows the company is trying to fix issues on nexus devices quickly.

Attention may shift to the Android L Release that is coming later this year. This may mean a longer wait or less chance of an Android 4.4.5 update for the nexus 5 in the coming weeks or months.

  

Comments

  1. shaheena says

    Nice post.I like the way you start and then conclude your thoughts. Thanks for this information .I really appreciate your work, keep it up..

  2. Nick says

    Nexus 7 will include 4.4.4 version and what about Nexus 6 as I heard that Nexus 6 will include 4.5 version.So,what is going on?

  3. Matthew says

    Well, it’s a small time update, what did you guys expect? I, for one, didn’t saw any change, but it probably fixed a few bugs which I generally didn’t notice.

  4. duncannn says

    The article answered my question which was: what was included in 4.4.4?
    And it have me even more information than I thought.

    Thanks!

  5. RobertinTx says

    Apparently all of you that found no value in the review already knew everything about the update anyway. Why don’t you go solve world hunger now?
    Anyway thanks for the write-up. My son’s Nexus showed a update was available and I wanted to know if I should update or not. You answered my question and gave me even more details than I asked for. Thanks again and keep up the good work with the reviews.

  6. Duane Douglas says

    I’m still on the fence about this update. 4.4.2 is currently running on my Nexus 7 2nd Gen WiFi without any significant issues. I’m not worried about hackers because I use a VPN while using public hotspots.

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