Google’s Android 4.4.4 KitKat update might be small but it’s an extremely important update for Android users thanks to its valuable bug fixes, security patches and enhancements. With Android 4.4.4 KitKat details swirling around, we want to take an extensive look at the most important things Android users need to know about Google’s latest Android 4.4 update.
The Android 4.4.4 KitKat update surprised a lot of people given that Google had just rolled out Android 4.4.3 KitKat a few weeks earlier. Android 4.4.4 KitKat came out of nowhere to become Google’s latest update and since that day in June, it has rolled out to a great number of Android users. Of course, this is an Android update that we’re talking about so while it has made some moves, there is still progress to be made.
Android updates are not like iOS updates. They often take several months to roll out. Or in the case of Android 4.4 KitKat, well over half a year. (Android 4.4.2 KitKat, which pushed out in November, is still landing for smartphones and tablets.) And with details flying and new devices arriving every single month, it can be difficult to track down the important information. It can also be hard to look ahead at the future.
We intend to help with both. Here, we want to take a look at the most important details regarding Android 4.4.4 KitKat. We also want to take a look at how we expect the Android 4.4.4 KitKat release to play out as we head deeper into the fall and closer to the Android L update that’s expected to replace Android 4.4 KitKat.
Android 4.4.4 KitKat Updates Differ
One of the most important things Android users need to know about the Android 4.4.4 KitKat update is that it’s not going to be the same for every single device. For instance, while the Nexus 5 Android 4.4.4 KitKat update delivered one security patch to fix up an OpenSSL vulnerability, the Android 4.4.4 KitKat updates for Motorola’s devices will bring the ability to pause during video recording and enhanced camera image quality.
The primary goal of Android 4.4.4 KitKat is to fix Android 4.4.2 KitKat problems but if you haven’t received Android 4.4.4 KitKat yet and you’re using a non-Nexus or non-Google Play Edition smartphone, chances are your update is going to be loaded up with some specifications that go beyond what Google included in the update.
This is a good thing.
Nexus 7 LTE Update Still Missing
Google pushed out the Android 4.4.4 KitKat update to the Nexus 5, Nexus 4, Nexus 7 (2012), Nexus 10, and the Nexus 7 Wi-Fi back in late June. Those updates should be complete and if you haven’t received the update just yet, something is probably wrong.
There is, however, one Nexus Android 4.4.4 KitKat update that remains missing. The Nexus 7 2013 LTE, the device that’s available on AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, still hasn’t received its upgrade to Android 4.4.4 KitKat. Not surprising given that its Android 4.4.3 KitKat update rolled out just a few short days ago.
Unfortunately, at this point, we still don’t know when it will be released. Google hasn’t said anything concrete on the Nexus Product Forums and the appropriate files still haven’t been released into the Android Open Source Project. Typically, files are released into AOSP hours ahead of a roll out. Google rarely announces updates ahead of time.
Massive Motorola Android 4.4.4 KitKat Push Underway
Motorola customers should be pleased because the company has initiated a massive Android 4.4.4 KitKat push. The Android 4.4.4 KitKat update is rolling out right now to several devices in several different parts of the world including the United States. Here’s Motorola’s full statement about its Android 4.4.4 KitKat roll out:
We’ve begun rolling out Android™ 4.4.4, KitKat® to our phones! This latest update includes all of the goodies of 4.4.3—such a new dialer, the ability to pause during video recording, and enhanced camera image quality—and includes enhanced security for OpenSSL. We just started rolling out in Brazil and India for Moto G; in Brazil, France, Canada, and Asia Pacific for Moto E; in the U.S. for DROID Ultra. We are always working to deploy the latest software as fast as possible and expect the update to come to many more phones soon.
Thanks to soak tests, we know that the Droid MAXX and Droid Mini will be getting Android 4.4.4 KitKat update at some point in the near future.
Motorola also owes Android 4.4.4 KitKat updates to Moto X and Moto G owners in the United States so those will likely be next on the list as Motorola works to get the update pushed out to users around the world.
Sony Updates Incoming
Sony’s currently in the middle of an Android 4.4.4 KitKat roll out as well. The company recently pushed out Android 4.4.4 KitKat for its Xperia Z1, Xperia Z1 Compact and the Sony Xperia Z Ultra. Those roll outs are rolling out in stages which means that it could be several weeks until they have rolled out to everyone. (Note: We still haven’t seen the update land in the U.S.)
— Sony Xperia News (@SonyMobileNews) June 27, 2014
There is a very good chance that other Xperia devices, including the Sony Xperia Z2, could get Android 4.4.4 KitKat down the road though that remains unconfirmed.
HTC One M7 & HTC One M8 Android Updates Next?
The HTC One M7 and HTC One M8, the regular models and not the Google Play versions, should be getting Android 4.4.3 KitKat or Android 4.4.4 KitKat in July or August. That timing does not come from HTC but from LlabTooFeR, a trusted HTC insider who has provided accurate information in the past regarding HTC software updates.
HTC itself seems to have confirmed plans for Android 4.4.4, at least for the HTC One M7, though it hasn’t provided any kind of official timing for the update’s release. It’s also not clear where the update will start.
The company has focused in on the American market with its HTC Advantage program so it’s possible that the United States could be the first, or among the first, to get Android 4.4.4 KitKat for both the HTC One M7 and HTC One M8. HTC, like all manufacturers, rolls its updates out in stages and typically, it’s a few weeks or more before everyone gets a hold of the software.
— Mo (@moversi) June 21, 2014
Unfortunately, it’s not clear if any other HTC users will be getting Android 4.4.4 KitKat.
Samsung Android 4.4.4 KitKat Details Missing
It’s important to note that Samsung Android 4.4.4 KitKat details remain missing in action. Samsung said nothing after the Android 4.4.3 KitKat update was released and it hasn’t budged since the Android 4.4.4 KitKat update was released back in the end of June.
We had heard that the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy S4 LTE-A would be getting Android 4.4.3 KitKat though that was never confirmed. The Galaxy S5 update was rumored for June while the Galaxy S4 LTE-A was supposed set for July. As we’ve noted, it could be that Samsung was forced to go back into the lab due to the arrival of Android 4.4.4 KitKat though that remains unconfirmed as well.
Samsung is continuing to roll out Android 4.4.2 KitKat updates to devices like the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 so it’s not clear how, or if, Android 4.4.4 KitKat fits into its plans.
We’ve attempted to apply some pressure by pointing out numerous Android 4.4.2 KitKat problems on the Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S4, and Galaxy S3 but thus far, our efforts have fallen on deaf ears.
LG Details Too
If you own an LG G3 or LG G2 or a phone like the Optimus G Pro 2, you’re out of luck at the moment. LG still isn’t talking about the Android 4.4.4 KitKat upgrade and there’s a chance that it won’t ahead of its release. LG plays its cards close to its chest and isn’t as vocal as companies like HTC and Sony. Typically, it confirms updates on the day of if it even confirms them at all. Sometimes they just, roll out.
You May Not Get Android 4.4.4 KitKat
If you’re on Android 4.4.2 KitKat, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get boosted up to Android 4.4.3 KitKat or Android 4.4.4 KitKat. It’s possible that companies like Samsung, which have millions of devices all over the world, will opt to skip a small update like Android 4.4.4 KitKat in favor of Android L.
Android L is expected to arrive later in the year with new features and yes, with bug fixes and enhancements on board. So, it could be that some manufacturers and perhaps some carriers decide to focus efforts on the development of Android L.
Software is an extremely tricky business. While companies certainly target dates and certain updates, everything depends on resources and testing. If a company decides that an update isn’t performing well enough for public release or that it’s not worth the time and effort, it will can it and move onto the next.
You need only look at the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.2 updates as examples.
Android 4.4.4 KitKat Problems
We’ve see a ton of moaning and groaning about missing Android 4.4.4 KitKat updates but keep in mind, Android 4.4.4 KitKat delivers some problems of its own. We’ve outlined a ton of them in a recent breakdown post, but the point is this.
Before you upgrade to Android 4.4.4 KitKat, make sure that you have everything in order. Apps need to be updated and if you’ve customized your device with a ROM, be sure to take a look at comments from the appropriate development community before installing. These updates have a tendency to wreck havoc on rooted and customized devices.
Android 4.4.4 KitKat will fix a lot of issues but there is a chance that it will deliver new problems as well. Keep that in mind.
Fixes for Android 4.4.4 Problems
If you do decide to update to Android 4.4.4 KitKat, and you do run into some problems, know that there are ways of alleviating those issues. We recently relayed some possible fixes for Android 4.4.4 KitKat users though there are some places that we recommend for more extensive help.
Android Central forums is a solid place with a great community and if you’re a Nexus user that’s experiencing Android 4.4.4 KitKat problems, we highly recommend Google’s Nexus product forums. Moderators are extremely helpful and often times, Google employees will respond to questions and relay fixes to the Android team.