After weeks and weeks of rumor and speculation, the long awaited Android 4.4.3 KitKat update is finally here to deliver a bug fixes and enhancements to Nexus users and users of various other Android smartphones. So, with the Android 4.4.3 KitKat release now underway, we want to take a close look at devices currently getting the new KitKat update and the devices that might get it in the future.
At the end of March, a single Android 4.4.3 KitKat update rumor emerged. The rumor suggested that Google was working on an Android 4.4.3 KitKat update and that it would be tackling at least one issue plaguing Android 4.4.2 KitKat users. The rumor was credible and soon after, we started to hear a whole lot more about Google’s plans for Android 4.4.3.
Android 4.4.3 KitKat details emerged at a steady pace during the months of April and May. In fact, we heard so much about Android 4.4.3 KitKat that the release didn’t warrant any official fanfare from Google. So, it came as no surprise that the Android 4.4.3 KitKat update emerged earlier this week without an official announcement. Instead, Google quietly announced the Android 4.4.3 update by dumping it into the AOSP ahead of its OTAs.
Yesterday, we saw an enormous wave of Android 4.4.3 KitKat update details emerge just as Google started pushing out its OTA upgrades to its Nexus devices. While it’s exciting, it’s also a lot for Android users to digest. We want to help clear up the situation and make it easy for Nexus users and users of other Android devices to absorb Android 4.4.3 KitKat details.
Here, we breakdown Google’s brand new Android 4.4.3 KitKat update, device by device, and offer up everything we know about what’s happening right now and what’s expected to happen in the future.
We’ve included as many big name devices as we possibly can but there are simply some that haven’t seen any Android 4.4.3 KitKat details emerge.
Earlier this week, Google began pushing out its Android 4.4.3 KitKat update for the first time. The update was initially made available for the Nexus 7 and the Nexus 7 only but late yesterday, it became available for the Nexus 5.
The Nexus 5 Android 4.4.3 KitKat update roll out is underway and according to Sprint, it’s going to take a little less than a week for the update to emerge, Over-the-Air, for everyone. This is standard practice. Google almost always takes a week or so to deploy its Android updates and this falls in line with protocol.
Those that don’t want to wait for the Android 4.4.3 OTA to arrive have an option. The Nexus 5 Android 4.4.3 Kitkat update was discovered lurking on Google’s servers which means that it’s now available to manually install. Those that aren’t proficient in sideloading should avoid this method and wait for the OTA.
The Nexus 4 Android 4.4.3 KitKat update is now rolling out and it’s available to install manually for those that wish to take the plunge ahead of the OTA.
Google’s Nexus 4 now sits in an extremely grey area. Google typically keeps its devices updated for 18 months before it drops support. The Nexus 4 turns two in November which means that there is a very good chance that the Nexus 4 will miss out on whatever is next from Google be it Android 4.5 this summer or something else.
HTC One M8
Android 4.4.3 KitKat rumors suggested that the HTC One M8 Google Play Edition would get Android 4.4.3 KitKat in May or June. So, it came as no surprise when the HTC One M8 Google Play Edition started getting Android 4.4.3 KitKat yesterday.
The update, like the Nexus 5 Android 4.4.3 KitKat update, is rolling out Over-the-Air. However, those that don’t want to wait for the OTA do have the option to manually install the update via the adb sideload method. Users will need to ensure that they’re on stock Android 4.4.2 and then they’ll want to download this file from Google’s servers. Again, those that aren’t proficient in sideloading will want to skip it and wait for the OTA.
As for the regular version of the HTC One M8, it’s still on Android 4.4.2. However, rumors point to an arrival at some point in the month of June. A specific release date hasn’t been nailed down but we typically see non-Nexus, non-Google related devices get updates a few weeks after Google’s roll outs begin.
HTC One M7
The HTC One M7 Google Play Edition Android 4.4.3 KitKat update was also rumored for May or June and sure enough, it joined the HTC One M8 GPe roll out yesterday.
It’s also rolling out Over-the-Air to owners of the GPe model and it’s also available to manual install provided users have the right credentials: Knowledge of sideloading, the right file, and stock Android 4.4.2.
As for the regular ole HTC One M7, well, it’s also supposed to be getting the Android 4.4.3 KitKat update sometime this month. A specific date hasn’t been locked up but given the source, we’re inclined to believe that HTC will start an Android 4.4.3 KitKat roll out sometime during the month of June.
Confirmation could come any day now and HTC One M7 owners will want to keep an eye out for Android 4.4.3 details.
HTC One max
The HTC One max Android 4.4.3 KitKat update is not rolling out nor has it been confirmed. LLabTooFeR, an HTC ROM developer with an inside track to HTC’s plans, claims that information about any potential update is still unavailable. This doesn’t rule out an update but it likely means that one isn’t on the horizon.
In the past, we’ve seen HTC’s non-flagship devices get updates in the weeks and months after its flagships. In this case, the HTC One M7 and HTC One M8 will likely be the company’s priorities. So, if Android 4.4.3 KitKat does arrive, we’d expect Android 4.4.3 to arrive several weeks after it arrives for the regular HTC One M8 and HTC One M7.
HTC One mini
The HTC One mini is in a similar boat. The Android 4.4.3 KitKat update hasn’t been officially, or unofficially, confirmed.
Again, if an Android 4.4.3 KitKat update is planned for the smaller version of last year’s HTC One, we would expect it to arrive sometime after the update lands for the HTC One M8 and HTC One M7.
Unknown. It’s as simple as that. We aren’t sure whether a LG G2 Android 4.4.3 KitKat update will roll out or not. LG typically doesn’t communicate about these smaller, incremental updates, especially not to U.S. customers and the lack of information doesn’t come as too much of a surprise.
One thing that the LG G2 does have going for it though is that it’s a flagship smartphone and flagships typically are treated better than lesser smartphones. But given that rumors point to a much larger Android update release this summer, it could be that LG skips the Android 4.4.3 KitKat update for something else.
Only time will tell and LG G2 owners will want to keep an eye out for rumors and details.
Yesterday, Motorola confirmed a number of Android 4.4.3 KitKat updates. One is the T-Mobile Moto X Android 4.4.3 KitKat update which it says will be rolling out this week with a number of improvements. Here are the features that T-Mobile Moto X owners can expect from their upgrade to the latest version of KitKat.
- Improved dialer.
- Improved camera image quality for Moto X including better consistency of exposure, more realistic flash coloring, and improved photos in low light conditions using front camera.
- Several stability, framework, security fixes, and enhancements to the power profile capabilities.
Not bad for an incremental update. Now, we don’t know if the other Moto X models will be getting the update though we imagine that they won’t be left behind. AT&T, Sprint, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon typically keep pace with the competition so we expect Android 4.4.3 KitKat to land and to land soon.
Maybe not this week but we would not be surprised if the updates landed sometime in the month of June.
Motorola also confirmed the update for the Moto G. The company says that Android 4.4.3 KitKat will come this week for users who bought the phone online in the U.S. (includes Moto G 4G LTE) and at retail in Brazil.
Like the Moto X update, the Moto G Android 4.4.3 KitKat update comes with several additions including:
- Pausing for video recording with a convenient pause/resume button on the viewfinder.
- Motorola Alert which helps give peace of mind by sending periodic messages to the contacts you choose.
The Moto E Android 4.4.3 KitKat update will roll out to those who bought the new device online in the U.S. Motorola also says that the Moto E will get whatever is next from Google and that this Android 4.4.3 KitKat update is just the “cherry on top.”
Motorola’s new budget device gets the same features that the Moto G will get from its Android 4.4.3 KitKat update. That means pausing for video recording and Motorola Alert.
Droid Ultra, Droid Maxx, Droid Mini
While Motorola was quick to confirm Android 4.4.3 KitKat details for its “Moto” lineup of devices, it wasn’t as quick to confirm details for its Droid lineup. Fortunately, Motorola’s David Schuster followed up user complaints with a lengthy message on Google+ that outlines the company’s plans for the Droid Ultra, Droid MAXX and Droid Mini.
I see a lot of comments on a couple different threads asking about the 2013 DROID plans. Now that KitKat 4.4.3 is publicly available I am able to give more information about our plans. As I have stated previously, we ran into some issues with requirement churn on getting KitKat 4.4.2 out as quickly as we wanted too. Once that got resolved last month we had a decision to make with respect to rolling out KitKat 4.4.2 vs. waiting for KitKat 4.4.3, which we knew, was coming out shortly. We were concerned that if we used KitKat 4.4.2 it could be months before we were given the opportunity to get you KitKat 4.4.3. Consequently, we made the decision to wait for KitKat 4.4.3 as the base for our next update to the 2013 DROID family. We are working to get this update to you shortly, as it gets closer I will let you guys know. Thanks for your patience.
Samsung Galaxy S5
It hasn’t rolled out yet but rumors suggest that a Samsung Galaxy S5 Android 4.4.3 KitKat update is in the works for sometime this year. SamMobile suggests that the Galaxy S5 is in testing behind the scenes and that Samsung could roll it out about a month after the initial Android 4.4.3 KitKat release.
A specific release date for the update is not known but given that it’s in testing, there is a very good chance that we could see it push out later this year.
Samsung Galaxy S4
Yesterday, Google started rolling out the Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition Android 4.4. KitKat update. The update is rolling out Over-the-Air and it’s also available to manually instead provided users know how to sideload the software. Those that do can find the update here lurking on Google’s servers.
As for other versions of the Galaxy S4, well, SamMobile claims that the Android 4.4.3 KitKat update is being tested for the Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE-A model. It’s not clear if the update is in the works for other versions of the device.
Android Geeks, a site with a mixed track record when it comes to Samsung software updates, says that Android 4.4.3 KitKat update will be coming to a handful of devices including Galaxy S4.
Samsung Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note 2
The site also claims that the Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note 3 Neo, Galaxy Grand 2, Galaxy Mega 5.8, and Galaxy Mega 6.3 will all be getting Android 4.4.3 KitKat at some point in the future.
All of these devices are getting Android 4.4 KitKat but Samsung hasn’t confirmed if they will be getting Android 4.4.3 KitKat down the road. Users will want to remain patient as Samsung continues to test the new software behind the scenes.