Nexus 5 Android 4.4.4 KitKat Update Review: One Month Later

In early June, Google released Android 4.4.3 KitKat, an update aimed at squashing Android 4.4.2 KitKat problems. Several weeks later, the company pushed out Android 4.4.4 KitKat, a much smaller update for Nexus users and one that delivered a crucial security patch. While it may have tackled some issues, Nexus users are still complaining about a number of Android 4.4.4 KitKat problems. With those in mind, we want to take an updated look at the Nexus 5 Android 4.4.4 KitKat update in particular.

June was an extremely busy month for Google. On June 4th, Google released Android 4.4.3 KitKat, a massive bug fix update that also delivered two cosmetic changes to the dialer and the People application. The update alleviated many of the lingering Android 4.4.2 KitKat problems that Nexus 5, Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 users had been complaining about since its release in November.

Then, just a few days later, Google released Android 4.4.4 KitKat for its Nexus devices. Android 4.4.4 KitKat is a small update with a single security patch on board. The patch plugs up an OpenSSL vulnerability that was discovered lurking inside Android 4.4 KitKat. With Google’s Android L update still in beta form, Android 4.4.4 KitKat remains Google’s current Android 4.4.4 KitKat update.

Nexus 5-Best-Cheap-Phone-June 2014

We’ve spent a month with Google’s Android 4.4.4 KitKat update and in particular, the Nexus 5 Android 4.4.4 KitKat update. Android 4.4.4 KitKat represents the Nexus 5’s fourth Android 4.4.4 KitKat update following the Android 4.4.1, Android 4.4.2, and Android 4.4.3 KitKat upgrades. It also might be its last. Google’s Android L update is rumored to be coming out in the fourth quarter of this year and there’s a chance it could be next in line for the Nexus 5.

Unfortunately, Android 4.4.4 KitKat problems are still a problem for many Nexus 5 users. And with that in mind, we want to revisit Android 4.4.4 KitKat and take a look at how it’s performing a month after its release. All of this in an effort to provide feedback to those still on the fence and to encourage debate amongst those who updated and may not be getting good results.

Android 4.4.4 KitKat Performance: One Month Later

When it comes to the performance of incremental Android updates like Android 4.4.4 KitKat, I like to look at five different areas in particular. They include applications and how they’re performing post update, battery life and whether there is abnormal drain or slow charging, general bugs or hiccups, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth performance, and overall speed. After spending a month with the stock Nexus 5 Android 4.4.4 KitKat update, here’s what I’ve found.

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Apps

I always get extremely nervous about app performance after installing an incremental upgrade. Often times, even the slightest change can cause applications to start behaving badly. After using Android 4.4.4 KitKat for Nexus 5 for a month, I haven’t run into any significant issues with my core applications which include stock Google apps and third-party applications.

Apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Spotify, Convo, Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, AccuWeather, and Yelp have all performed admirably in the face of Android 4.4.4 KitKat. I haven’t noticed any issues with any of Google’s stock applications either and that includes the camera application that Nexus 5 users have complained about since the device’s arrival last year.

Nexus5

Just because my experience is great doesn’t mean that it’s great for everyone. As I noted in my early review, Nexus 5 users that are dealing with apps issues in Android 4.4.4 can boot the Nexus 5 into safe mode. This allows you to isolate any issues with third-party applications. It’s not guaranteed to work but it’s worth a shot if apps are acting up.

To boot into safe mode, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the Nexus 5 screen is on and then press and hold the Power button.
  2. Touch and hold the Power off option in the box that pops up.
  3. Tap OK in the following dialog to run safe mode.

Battery Life

Nexus 5 battery life has never been amazing, let’s just make that clear. It’s also extremely unpredictable. One day I’ll get a full days use out of it while the next day I’ll find myself running to charge it after five or six hours of use over Wi-Fi. That said, I haven’t noticed any sharp decline in the five weeks since installing Android 4.4.4 KitKat.

If you are dealing with abnormal battery drain on the Nexus 5 will want to check out our Nexus 5 battery life tips and tricks before resorting to drastic measures. These tips aren’t guaranteed fixes but they could potentially alleviate problems.

Nexus 5

One thing I have noticed is that my Nexus 5 is now charging extremely slowly. It appears that some other Nexus 5 users are experiencing the same thing. This problem is similar to the one that I had with my Nexus 7 2012 wherein it would take hours and hours to charge. I was never able to find a fix for the issue and I haven’t been able to find one for the Nexus 5 problem.

It’s driving me nuts.

Bugs & Issues

Nexus 5 users have been extremely vocal about Android 4.4.4 KitKat problems. Google’s Nexus Product Forums are littered with complaints about the update. Oddly enough, I haven’t noticed any major bugs after using the device for a month. My Nexus 5 doesn’t randomly reboot, I haven’t noticed any issues with the touchscreen, and my GPS is working fine.

In particular, Nexus 5 GPS issues seem to be very prevalent amongst Nexus 5 users. If you’re having issues with GPS, there are a few things that you’re going to want to try. This thread here offers a number of different solutions for GPS issues. It’s worth a look if your GPS is spotty.

Nexus 5 side

If nothing works, it might be worth wiping the Nexus 5 and performing a fresh install. This tends to squash lingering issues. Just make sure you back up your precious files first.

Keep in mind, I haven’t customized my Nexus 5 in any way. If you have installed a custom ROM or deviated from stock in any way, my advice is to check out XDA-Developers or the ROM developer for guidance.

Connectivity

Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are all working fine after Android 4.4.4 KitKat. Both have been stable throughout my experience with Android 4.4 KitKat and I don’t anticipate any massive changes down the road. If you are having issues, check out Google’s Product Forums for help.

Speed

The Nexus 5 is extremely, extremely fast. Apps and folders open quickly, scrolling through my home screens never lags, and I haven’t noticed any abnormal slow down since installing the upgrade. The Nexus 5’s RAM and processor have ensured a smooth transition from Android 4.4.2 KitKat to the Android 4.4.4 KitKat update.

Is Android 4.4.4 KitKat Worth Installing?

If you haven’t installed it already, it’s probably worth a download. While there are certainly a lot of complaints about Android 4.4.4 KitKat, there are always a lot of complaints about Android updates. This is nothing new. Android 4.4.4 KitKat does fix a lot of problems and it also delivers essential security fixes. Those fixes alone make it worth installing.

Android 4.4.5 KitKat & Android L

If you are having issues, you’re likely going to be on your own when it comes to fixes. Android 4.4.5 KitKat may not exist and Android L could be weeks away. While Android L could tackle some of the lingering Android 4.4 KitKat issues, it’s important to note that it will probably bring some problems of its own. That’s why we always recommend being proactive if you are experiencing issues.

Android L looks like it will improve the Nexus 5’s battery life though that’s not guaranteed. Android L is still in beta and we could see changes, positive and negative, when the public release arrives.

Android L on Android 4.4.4

So, while you can certainly hold out for a new update, my advice is to install Android 4.4.4 KitKat. It has been an extremely stable update on the Nexus 5 over the last five weeks. At least for me.

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How’s Android 4.4.4 KitKat treating you?

Comments

  1. Hans says

    Haven’t had any problem this far. Charges quick, quicker than my Nexus 4 though the battery life itself is better on the 4.
    Connectivity, WiFi, Bluetooth and both 3G, 4G and NFC have no problems.
    Apps both Google and 3rd party are doing well.

    Also no restart like I had before on other devices Galaxy Nexus up to 4.2 (now on 4.3) but also the Nexus 4 had this on the older Android version are not present anymore.

    The only still a slow charger is like stated the Nexus 7 (2012) but that I can live with as once charged it lasts long enough.

    So in general Android 4.4.4 is preforming great.

  2. Joey Smith says

    Forget about it. Let’s leave Samsung, they don’t respect their customers. When it comes to updates, they’re really very slow. I’ve had the same experience that many others explain everywhere, my T Mobile S4 is a piece of crap after it was updated to kitkat 4.4.2 last february 14, 2014, I hate the phone and I’m willing to update it to 4.4.3 or 4.4.4 in order to see if it improves. I wish I could downgrade it to the oldest android version it had when I bought it. We have to move to Motorola, Nexus, HTC or whatever other phones, but Samsung SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Andreas Antoniou says

    Ever since i have installed 4.4.4 my wifi doesnt work. i contacted google, who sent me instructions on how to fix it but still nothing. when i contacted google again they told me they couldnt help as i didnt get my device from google themselves. gutted. still looking to fix it. best ive ever had but i cant use it properly now. if anyone could help id appreciate it!

  4. Tony says

    No problems whatsoever. 4.4.4 has been fast and stable for me on my N5. Battery life – with light use – is often >30 hours, and the phone is always very fast. The only problem I had with 4.4.2 (WiFi performance) also seems to have been fixed now as well. Loving this handset. Can’t wait for 5.0L.

  5. Robert Christopulos says

    I’ve been using a Motorola Xoom for about a year and a half now. During that time I’ve rooted my tablet setter it became apparent that there’d be no more OTA upgrades from Motorola.Since then there’s been a constant parade of upgrades. On July 2nd I installed the Android 4.4.4 upgrade through Omnirom there have been a couple of upgrades to this since then, the latest being released on August 6th. I’ve also kept up on the latest PA_GAPPS.

    I’ve noticed a decrease in battery life over the last year, but I think this is because of the heavy use I’ve given the tablet.This is down from 8 hours of heavy use to about 6½ hours before having to recharge the tablet. I’ve also found that recharging takes about the same time, right around 1 hour if the screen is shut off, or about an hour and a half if I continue to use it during charging.

    Actually I really like the changes that the Omnirom Android 4.4.4 has brought.My only problem are that if you shut the screen off for more than an hour the tablet will shut off, necessitating a reboot, and the reboot process takes longer than it used to.

  6. daman preet singh says

    Big issues. Using moto e #updated android 4.4.4 # big battery drain # 40% drop overnight with no usage# stand by gone down# phone heats up like an oven.# android system and android os consuming half the battery juice.. # slow charging. # disappointed

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