Android 4.4.4 KitKat vs. Android 4.4.3: What We Know Now

In June, Google rolled out two brand new Android 4.4 KitKat updates in Android 4.4.4 and Android 4.4.3 KitKat. In the weeks since their arrival, we’ve seen a number of updates and a number of details push out for Android users. Here, we breakdown everything you need to know about these two bug fix updates for Google, HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung, and Sony smartphones.

The rumor leading into the month of June suggested that Google had at least one Android update planned for 2014. As it turns out, the company has three. Android L, the update it announced at Google I/O 2014 in June, is still in beta form and won’t be out until later this year. However, Android 4.4.3 KitKat and Android 4.4.4 KitKat are both out and available for a number of big name devices.

Android 4.4.3 KitKat and Android 4.4.4 KitKat follow the Android 4.4.2 KitKat update that pushed out at the tail end of last year for Nexus devices and for many non-Nexus smartphones and tablets in 2014. The two updates represent crucial bug fixes for Android 4.4.2 KitKat problems. They’ve also brought non-Google enhancements to a number of smartphones including major changes for the Moto X.

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Google’s Android 4.4.4 KitKat and Android 4.4.3 KitKat might not be as big as the upcoming Android L update but they are both extremely important to Android users because of what they bring to the table.

As you might imagine, we’ve seen a ton of updates and a ton of KitKat details emerge in the past couple of months. We’ve been tracking all of these details in an attempt to paint a broad picture for those that are interested in Android 4.4.3 KitKat and Android 4.4.4 KitKat bug fixes. Here, we want to take an a more extensive look at how the updates are matching up with each other and what’s next for both.

If you own a Google, HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung, or Sony smartphone, here’s what you need to know about the Android 4.4.3 KitKat and Android 4.4.4 KitKat updates.

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Google

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We know that the Nexus 7 LTE remains stuck on Android 4.4.3 KitKat. Google’s other Nexus Android 4.4.4 KitKat updates wrapped up many weeks ago and still, the Nexus 7 LTE sits on Android 4.4.3 KitKat. Google still hasn’t established a reason why nor has it offered any details about an upgrade to Android 4.4.4 KitKat. So, perhaps it will sit on Android 4.4.3 Kitkat until the Android L arrives.

Those that do want to bump up to Android 4.4.4 KitKat can take a look at XDA-Developers. The nice thing about Nexus products is that they’re easy to root and they come with an unlocked bootloader. This makes it easy to get an official ROM up and running in no time. And there appear to be several Android 4.4.4 based ROMs available right now.

HTC

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HTC isn’t rolling out Android 4.4.4 KitKat. Instead, it’s baking Android 4.4.4 KitKat’s security fix into its Android 4.4.3 KitKat updates. Android 4.4.3 KitKat is currently rolling out to both the HTC One M8 and HTC One M7, the company’s current flagship and it’s former flagship from last year. And at this point, it appears that the duo might be the only two devices getting Android 4.4.3 updates.

So here’s how that situation breaks down. In the United States, we’ve seen the Sprint and T-Mobile HTC One M8 Android 4.4.3 KitKat updates roll out with bug fixes. The AT&T HTC One M8 Android 4.4.3 KitKat update should roll out next week if all goes according to plan while the Verizon HTC One M8 Android 4.4.3 KitKat release is targeted for mid-September.

The HTC One M8 Android 4.4.3 KitKat update is also rolling out to owners in other parts of the world. For instance, Vodafone Australia just rolled out its version of the update today. We’re expecting a number of other carriers to follow suit in the month of August and September as HTC prepares its flagship for battle against the iPhone 6 and Galaxy Note 4.

As for the HTC One M7, its Android 4.4.3 KitKat update recently started rolling out to users in the international community. The update should take several weeks to finish up. Like the HTC One M8 update, it delivers fixes and Sense enhancements that should prepare the device nicely for its upcoming Android L update.

HTC hasn’t said whether it plans to push Android 4.4.3 KitKat to its other HTC One branded devices but the odds are getting worse by the day as we head towards the fall and the Android L release.

LG

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With Android 4.4.3 KitKat and Android 4.4.4 KitKat updates swirling around, you’d think we’d have heard from LG one way or another. We haven’t. LG hasn’t said anything specifically about either update and we haven’t seen any carriers announce any upcoming LG-related Android 4.4.3 KitKat or Android 4.4.4 KitKat updates.

At this point, LG users should accept the fact that there’s a good chance devices like the LG G3 and LG G2, two heavily promoted devices and devices in the hands of thousands of people worldwide, will move straight to Android L. Once again, this is one of the downsides of buying an LG smartphone. Very rarely do you get firm Android update information.

Motorola

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At one point, Motorola was rolling out Android 4.4.3 KitKat updates. Now, the company has shifted to Android 4.4.4 KitKat. While the some devices like the Sprint Moto X still linger on Android 4.4.3 KitKat, Motorola is moving at an incredible pace and we should see the company complete its Android 4.4.4 KitKat roll out in the near future.

In the United States, Motorola is finishing up its Android 4.4.4 KitKat push. The AT&T Moto X recently got its upgrade and we’re expecting the Sprint upgrade to roll out in the near future. There is a very good chance that it will roll out sometime this month. A specific release date still isn’t known. U.S. Cellular’s Moto X Android 4.4.4 KitKat update, also missing, is still without a release date but the company maintains that it will be rolling out to users in the not-so-distant future.

Today, Motorola pushed out the Android 4.4.4 KitKat update to the model XT1052 in the United Kingdom. Like the other updates, this new Moto X Android 4.4.4 KitKat upgrade delivers an improved camera experience, better focus, and a pause & resume option to recording live video. The company’s remaining Android 4.4.4 KitKat updates will mirror today’s upgrade.

The company is clearly moving fast so that it’s in prime position to push out Android L. The company recently confirmed that it is indeed working on a Moto X Android L upgrade for sometime in the future.

Samsung

Samsung’s situation is the most complicated. The company is still rolling out Android 4.4.2 KitKat updates to its older devices. That’s something that’s well documented. And while Android 4.4.2 KitKat rolls out, Android 4.4.3 KitKat and Android 4.4.4 KitKat details have emerged for several Samsung Galaxy smartphones.

First, a strange Vodafone Australia Galaxy S5 Android 4.4.3 KitKat update. The update, which has been listed for two weeks on its website, appears to be in testing. It’s still not clear what will be on board or when it will roll out but for the moment, Vodafone Australia is the only known carrier with a Samsung Galaxy Android 4.4.3 KitKat update in the works.

The appearance was strange because Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Alpha, set for arrival in September, is coming with Android 4.4.4 KitKat stock. Yes, there’s a chance that it could be the first Samsung Galaxy device touting Google’s latest Android 4.4 KitKat update. And then there’s the Galaxy Note 4, the company’s rumored flagship.

We’ve seen purported Galaxy Note 4 benchmarks and spec sheets turn up and the device is listed with both Android 4.4.3 KitKat and Android 4.4.4 KitKat on board. That could be because Samsung is testing both versions of the software though that remains unclear. Given that the Galaxy Alpha is coming with Android 4.4.4, we expect the Note 4 to come with Android 4.4.3 KitKat or later.

It’s not clear if either update will emerge for Samsung’s older devices. Last year, we saw Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, an update that arrived in July, push out for Samsung’s devices in October, November and beyond. So we could perhaps see something similar here though that remains unconfirmed.

Sony

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Sony, like Motorola, opted to roll out Android 4.4.4 KitKat instead of Android 4.4.3 KitKat. The company has pushed out Android 4.4.4 KitKat updates for its top devices including the Xperia Z, Xperia Z1, Xperia Z1 Compact, and the Xperia Z1 Ultra. Sony’s updates, like the others, are dependent on region and device. In other words, those that own those devices will need to remain patient, especially since we’ve seen some updates get delayed.

Australian carrier Telstra recently issued an updated look at its upcoming Android updates and the news isn’t good for owners of its Sony Xperia devices.The carrier says that it has encountered delays for its Xperia Z Android 4.4.4 KitKat update (two week delay into September), Xperia Z1 Android 4.4.4 KitKat update and Xperia Z1 Compact Android 4.4.4 KitKat update. The last two do not have an ETA. Other Xperia Android 4.4.4 KitKat updates appear to be in good shape.

Android 4.4.4 KitKat & Android 4.4.3 KitKat Problems

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Users of both updates are complaining about issues. Android 4.4.4 KitKat problems are well documented but we can add some more issues to the growing list. It appears that the OnePlus One’s latest Android 4.4.4 KitKat upgrade, the XNPH30O OTA update, has delivered serious battery life problems. Fortunately, those behind the OnePlus One claim that an upcoming OTA will alleviate those issues. Other aren’t so lucky.

Nexus users fighting off Android 4.4.4 KitKat issues don’t have a fix in sight. Neither do Nexus 7 LTE users running Android 4.4.3 KitKat. At this point, with no Android 4.4.5 KitKat update on the horizon, users on Android 4.4.3 and Android 4.4.4 KitKat should expect Android L to be their next bug fix/major update.

We know that the update is going to contain fixes for Nexus devices and there’s a good chance it will help squash bugs on HTC, Motorola and Sony smartphones. And if Samsung and Sony push out updates, Samsung and Sony smartphones as well.

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