Android 4.4.3 KitKat Update: 10 Things You Need to Know

Despite the Android 4.4.4 KitKat update’s best efforts to kill it, the Android 4.4.3 KitKat update is still very much alive, and relevant, as we push deeper into the summer. With the Android 4.4.3 KitKat release still ongoing, we want to take a look at the most important things Android users need to know about Google’s older Android 4.4 KitKat upgrade.

Last month was an extremely busy month for Google. On top of the Android L announcement at Google I/O, Android L being the company’s brand new major Android upgrade, the company also pushed out two brand new Android 4.4 KitKat updates in the form of Android 4.4.3 KitKat and Android 4.4.4 KitKat, the latter being the company’s latest.

Android 4.4.3 KitKat had been rumored for weeks as a crucial bug fix update for Android 4.4.2 KitKat problems. And while the update was teased numerous times prior to its roll out, Google did not announce a specific roll out date ahead of time.

On June 4th, Google started pushing out the Android 4.4.3 KitKat update to Nexus users. The date had some significance given that it marked the start of Apple’s WWDC developer conference and the iOS 8 announcement. iOS 8 is Apple’s mobile operating system and an OS that currently competes against Android all over the world.

Google never confirmed it but it’s clear that the start of the Android 4.4.3 KitKat roll out as meant to take steam away from Apple and its brand new mobile operating system.

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Over the course of the next few days, Google and its partners kept pushing out Android 4.4.3 KitKat updates. So, when the Android 4.4.4 KitKat update arrived later on in the month, it came as a huge surprise. Android 4.4.4 KitKat rolled out towards the end of June. The update isn’t a big update and simply adds an OpenSSL fix that isn’t found on most Android 4.4.3 KitKat upgrades.

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Android 4.4.4 KitKat has quickly replaced Android 4.4.3 KitKat on some devices though as we pointed out, Android 4.4.3 KitKat remains relevant as we head towards the fall. With that in mind, we want to take a look at the 10 most important things Android users need to know about Android 4.4.3 KitKat, an update that might not be Google’s newest update but is still important nonetheless.

It Lives!

By most accounts, Android 4.4.3 KitKat appeared to be dead in the water. The update was replaced by Android 4.4.4 KitKat and companies like Motorola and Sony committed to skipping Android 4.4.3 KitKat in favor of Android 4.4.4 KitKat.

Well, for whatever reason, HTC has decided to skip Android 4.4.4 KitKat in favor of Android 4.4.3 KitKat. Today, Sprint rolled out Android 4.4.3 KitKat for its HTC One M8 and we expect the other HTC One M8 variants to follow in its footsteps in the days and weeks ahead.

HTC One-Best-Cheap-Phone-June 2014

It appears that HTC has baked in the Android 4.4.4 KitKat security patch into Android 4.4.3 KitKat, meaning, this update is just as good as Android 4.4.4 KitKat. At least in this case.

HTC says that it will be pushing out the Android 4.4.3 KitKat update to the HTC One M7 as well though it’s not clear when that roll out will start. Given that the HTC One M8 is the newer device, we imagine that the HTC One M7 will be a little bit behind the current flagship.

Nexus 7 Remains on Android 4.4.3 KitKat

There are, however, some devices that remain on versions of Android 4.4.3 KitKat that are without the patch for the OpenSSL vulnerabilities. One of those devices is the Nexus 7 LTE, the device that emerged late last year and the device that is home on AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.

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The Nexus 7 LTE lagged behind the rest of the Nexus pack to Android 4.4.3 KitKat and it appears that it will do the same to Android 4.4.4 KitKat, if Android 4.4.4 KitKat ever rolls out.

Google still hasn’t confirmed Android 4.4.4 KitKat for the LTE model.

Others Too

The Nexus 7 LTE isn’t the only one. The Moto X on T-Mobile USA is still on Android 4.4.3 KitKat, so are the Global GSM and US GSM Moto G models purchased online in the United States.

Moto-G-Best-Cheap-Smartphones June 2014

Like the Nexus 7 LTE, they don’t have an Android 4.4.4 KitKat release in sight.

If You’re On It, And Don’t Own an HTC One, Good Chance You’ll Get Android 4.4.4…

It’s clear that HTC will be pushing out Android 4.4.3 KitKat and not Android 4.4.4 KitKat. But if you own a Nexus 7 LTE or a Moto G in the U.S. or a Moto X or another device that’s running Android 4.4.3 KitKat without the OpenSSL fix, there is a very good chance that you’ll get the bump up to Android 4.4.4 KitKat at some point in the future.

It would be strange to see Google leave the Nexus 7 LTE behind on Android 4.4.3 KitKat without the fix that it has delivered to all of its other Nexus smartphones and tablets. Likewise, it would be strange to see Motorola push out Android 4.4.4 KitKat updates, with the fix on board, but fail to push it for the devices that it quickly updated to Android 4.4.3 KitKat.

Motorola has already started pushing Android 4.4.4 KitKat for a number of devices including Droid Ultra and Droid MAXX so it’s possible that we’ll see some of its Android 4.4.3 KitKat powered devices make the jump in the future.

…Or Android L

In the case of the HTC One, it appears that its next update won’t be Android 4.4.4 KitKat (not surprising) but will instead be Android L. Android L is Google’s upcoming replacement for Android 4.4.4 KitKat and it’s rumored to be coming somewhere between October and December for the HTC One M8 and the HTC One M7.

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In other words, if you’re dealing with issues after HTC’s Android 4.4.3 KitKat release for these two devices, don’t expect an Android 4.4.4 KitKat update to come to replace Android 4.4.3 KitKat. You’ll probably have to wait for Android L, its features and its fixes to arrive.

Android 4.4.3 Still Rumored for the Galaxy S5, Galaxy S4

The Samsung Galaxy S5 and Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 4.4.3 KitKat updates were rumored for arrival in June and July respectively. That was several weeks ago.

Since then, we haven’t seen any new developments which means that we could potentially see Android 4.4.3 KitKat push out. Or, as we’ve noted, there is a very good chance that Samsung decided to skip to Android 4.4.4 KitKat. This could explain why the Android 4.4.3 KitKat has yet to roll out for either device.

Keep in mind, Samsung has yet to confirm anything so at this point, anything is possible.

LG Android 4.4.3 Updates MIA

LG G2, LG G3, and LG G Pro 2 owners, for the moment, are out of luck. We haven’t heard as single thing about LG’s plans for Android 4.4.3 and or Android 4.4.4 KitKat. Of course, if you’ve ever owned an LG device before, you know that this isn’t too surprising.

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Unlike HTC and Motorola, LG typically keeps its cards close to its chest which means that we may never know about its plans until those plans come to fruition. If LG does roll out either update, expect the updates to arrive without much warning.

If LG doesn’t roll out Android 4.4.3 KitKat or Android 4.4.4 KitKat, expect the next update for the LG G2, LG G3, and LG G Pro 2 to be the Android L update that Google plans to roll out this year.

You May Not Get Android 4.4.3 (Or Android 4.4.4)

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, who boast millions of devices all over the world, will opt to skip a small update like Android 4.4.3 or Android 4.4.4 KitKat in favor of Android L. Or in some cases, nothing at all.

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.

There is also a finite amount of software support that devices get. Google tends to offer 18 month to Nexus device and companies like Samsung and HTC tend to offer 24 months of software support. Other companies vary.

Android 4.4.3 KitKat Problems Persist

We’ve see a ton of moaning and groaning about missing Android 4.4.3 and Android 4.4.4 KitKat updates but keep in mind, both updates deliver some problems of their own. We’ve outlined a ton of them in a recent breakdown post, but the point is this.

Before you upgrade to Android 4.4.3 or 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.

Both Android 4.4.3 and 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 before you jump into your next update.

Android 4.4.3 KitKat Fixes

If you do decide to update to Android 4.4.3 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 (they should apply to Android 4.4.3 KitKat as well) though there are some places that we recommend for more extensive help.

New HTC One M8 vs - Nexus 5-X3

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Android Central forums is a solid place with a great community and if you’re a Nexus user that’s experiencing Android 4.4.3 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.

Comments

  1. Ronald Geiken says

    The Android L is where all manufacturers should aim for. It is head and shoulders above 4.2, 4.3, 4.4 and all the other 4 follow ons to Android. I have had various versions of Android including 4.4.4 and for my money, I am looking forward to Android L. The biggie on this is being able to cast to a HDTV without wires, by installing a Google Chrome Cast on your HDMI device and just transmit the signal without any external wires. Hopefully new TVs will have Chrome Cast or something similar attached so that you can send signals to any TV with a modern tablet.

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