Last month, Google rolled out two brand new Android 4.4 KitKat updates in Android 4.4.3 KitKat and Android 4.4.4 KitKat. In the weeks since, we’ve seen plenty of new details emerge and here, we once again take a look at the latest and most important information concerning Google’s two Android 4.4 KitKat updates.
June was a busy month for Google. On June 4th, it pushed out its long awaited Android 4.4.3 KitKat update. Android 4.4.3 KitKat, which had been rumored since March, pushed out with a number of bug fixes on board and quickly spread to the company’s Nexus 5, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and Nexus 4 and to other devices like the Moto X and Moto G.
In late June, we saw Google not only announce and release a brand new major Android update in Android L but also saw it push out another Android 4.4 KitKat update in the form of Android 4.4.4 KitKat. Android L, the successor to Android 4.4 KitKat, is only available in beta form while the Android 4.4.4 KitKat update is now widely available to Android users.
Everything happened extremely fast. And for those that don’t keep tabs on the industry, it was probably very confusing. And perhaps, for some Android users, it still might be. That’s where we come in.
Since the arrival of Android 4.4.4 KitKat at the tail end of last month, we’ve seen a number of new details emerge, details that should help to provide a number of answers for those interested in the Android 4.4.3 KitKat update and Android 4.4.4 KitKat updates. We’ve already broken down the differences and similarities between the two once and now, armed with this new information, we want to take a look at their relationship one more time.
Here is everything you need to know about Google’s two latest Android 4.4 KitKat updates, Android 4.4.4 and Android 4.4.3.
PSA: Android 4.4.3 KitKat & Android 4.4.4 KitKat Are Similar
In the weeks since the Android 4.4.4 KitKat update’s arrival, we’ve been asked numerous times about the difference between these two updates. We’ve answered this once before but we’ll answer it again for those that may have missed it.
If you’re already on Android 4.4.3 KitKat and you get the bump to Android 4.4.4 KitKat, you’re only going to be getting a security patch for an OpenSSL vulnerability. That, right there, is the key difference between the two updates.
Android users that are on Android 4.4.2 KitKat, or something else, and get the bump up to Android 4.4.4 KitKat, will get all of the bug fixes from the Android 4.4.3 KitKat update in addition to the security patch on board Android 4.4.4 KitKat. Yes, it’s a little confusing but hopefully that clears it up for those that continue to ask about the Android 4.4.4 KitKat update.
If you don’t believe us, maybe you’ll believe Motorola India:
Android KitKat 4.4.4 update will give you all the features of Android KitKat 4.4.3 with an extra layer of security for browsing web (1/2)
— Motorola India (@MotorolaIndia) July 7, 2014
(2/2) content on your #Moto. The rollout is a gradual process and all your handsets will receive the update soon. Thanks for your patience.
— Motorola India (@MotorolaIndia) July 7, 2014
Android 4.4.3 KitKat Status Update
At this point, it’s clear that the Android 4.4.3 KitKat roll out is dead or at least close to it. We haven’t seen any significant Android 4.4.3 KitKat movement since Google delivered the Android 4.4.3 KitKat update to the Nexus 7 LTE earlier this month. Yes, the Nexus 7 LTE is still on Android 4.4.3 KitKat and it could be stuck there for a little bit longer as the company works on an Android 4.4.4 KitKat upgrade.
Companies like Sony and Motorola have shifted to Android 4.4.4 KitKat and who could blame them. It’s essentially the same update as Android 4.4.3 KitKat with a key security fix on board. No reason to push out the older update at this point and we’re expecting most companies to skip over Android 4.4.3 KitKat in favor of Android 4.4.4.
Latest Android 4.4.4 KitKat Roll Outs
The Android 4.4.4 KitKat update, unlike the Android 4.4.3 KitKat update, is in full swing. Earlier this month, it landed for the Google Play Edition HTC One M7 and HTC One M8 variants and earlier this week, it rolled out to three Motorola devices in India including the Moto X, the Moto G, and the Moto E. These updates mark the start of a much larger Android 4.4.4 KitKat roll out from Motorola.
We also recently saw Sony push out three Android 4.4.4 KitKat updates for the Xperia Z1 Compact, Xperia Z1, and Xperia Z Ultra. Again, all three skipped Android 4.4.3 so if Sony does roll out more updates, don’t expect them to be Android 4.4.3.
Upcoming Android 4.4.4 KitKat Roll Outs
Motorola India’s roll outs are clear indication that the company will be skipping over Android 4.4.3 KitKat when it comes to its remaining Moto X, Moto G, and Moto E Android 4.4 KitKat upgrades. And yes, there are several that have yet to roll out, including here in the United States where several devices still linger on Android 4.4.2 KitKat.
If that’s not enough proof, consider this. Motorola’s Droid Ultra, Droid MAXX and Droid Mini are officially skipping Android 4.4.3 KitKat for Android 4.4.4 KitKat. Three weeks ago, Motorola said that it would deliver Android 4.4.4 for these three devices in three to five weeks. We’ve heard that a soak test is imminent for Droid Ultra and Droid MAXX users so it’s possible that we’ll see Android 4.4.4 KitKat deploy soon.
French carrier SFR says that it will deploy its Moto G Android 4.4.4 KitKat update this month which points to a broader roll out in July. Motorola users stay tuned.
Prior to the Android 4.4.4 KitKat roll out, rumors pointed to updates for the Galaxy S5, Galaxy S4 LTE-A and the regular HTC One M7 and HTC One M8 variants. At least two of those devices should skip Android 4.4.3 KitKat for Android 4.4.4 KitKat in the near future.
HTC confirmed that it’s working on Android 4.4.4 KitKat for the HTC One M7 and that should mean that it’s working on an update for the HTC One M8 as well. It did not go into details but rumors peg the releases for July or August. It’s not clear what the updates will have on board but there is a very good chance that they will offer more than just bug fixes.
As for the Samsung updates, well, we have nothing at the moment. We do know that the Galaxy S5 Android 4.4.3 KitKat update was rumored for June so it’s possible that the Android 4.4.4 KitKat update delayed its release. Samsung never announces these updates ahead of time so there is a good chance that if a new Android 4.4 KitKat update does roll out, it will push out unannounced.
We still haven’t heard anything out of LG’s camp, for the LG G2 or otherwise.
PSA: Android 4.4.3 KitKat & Android 4.4.4 KitKat Problems
One last PSA before we drop the mic. Android 4.4.3 KitKat and Android 4.4.4 KitKat are similar in that they deliver fixes to Android users. They’re also similar in that they deliver Android 4.4 KitKat problems.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen and heard tremendous amounts of complaining in regard to both of these KitKat updates. Nexus, in particular, users are dealing with lingering Android 4.4.2 KitKat problems and new Android 4.4.4 KitKat issues alike. Complaints about the updates are filling up Google’s Nexus Product Forums. Of course, there are complaints about Android 4.4.3 KitKat as well.
We won’t go into all of those problems here but we do want to bring up three points in regards to these issues:
- Booting into safe mode will disable three party applications. Often times, this can help you isolate an issues on board. Try this. If this doesn’t work, look for a temporary fix or if the device is old, try a factory reset. Just remember to back up your key files.
- If you are running into problems, don’t be shy about it. Head to a forum and post your problem. If you’re a Nexus user, the Product Forums are a great place to start. Moderators there are patient and helpful and often times, Google employees will take note of these issues and bake them into the next Android update.
- We haven’t heard, or seen, any Android 4.4.5 rumors. If it exists, it’s probably far off in the distance.
- Android L could be the answer but it’s weeks away at least.