Google’s Android 4.4.2 KitKat update, an update that has been pushing out since November, is still a very relevant update more than six months after its initial release. And with updates pushing out and details still swirling, we want to take an updated look at the Android 4.4.2 KitKat update.
Last September, Google surprised a lot of people when, out of the blue, it announced an Android 4.4 KitKat update. The update, which arrived in November to replace Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, was and still is an incremental update aimed at bring small, but powerful improvements to those touting Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and below.
Since November, the Android 4.4.2 KitKat update has been rolling out in full force. It has landed for Samsung’s Galaxy devices including the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 3. It has landed for devices like the HTC One, LG G2, and Moto X. And it’s also the software that companies have used to launch new devices, devices like the Samsung Galaxy S5 Active.
Android 4.4.2 KitKat is getting older but that doesn’t mean that its ceased to exist. On the contrary, the Android 4.4.2 KitKat is still very much a presence on the Android landscape as it continues to push out to new devices and continues to cause problem for select Android users.
With all of that in mind, we want to take another look at Google’s Android 4.4.2 KitKat update and breakdown all of its latest details. Here now is a look at the seven most important things Android users need to know about Google’s aging Android 4.4.2 KitKat upgrade.
Android 4.4.2 KitKat is Old News
Consider this a public service announcement: The Android 4.4.2 KitKat update is old news. In June, Google finally released a massive bug fix update in the form of Android 4.4.3 KitKat. The update squashed many Android 4.4.2 KitKat problems.
Days later, Google pushed out Android 4.4.4 KitKat, a new update and one that added an additional security fix for an OpenSSL vulnerability. As a reminder and for those do not know, Android 4.4.4 KitKat is the current, publicly version of Android. It is not, however, the most current version of the software.
That distinction goes to Android L, the update that was announced at Google I/O 2014 and the update that is available in the form of a developer preview on both the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7. The update, which will be released later this year, features a number of changes including tweaks to the UI, better battery life and more.
Point is, if you’re on Android 4.4.2, you’re two updates behind. And if you include Android L, three updates behind.
Samsung is Still Pushing Android 4.4.2 KitKat Updates
Despite the presence of Android 4.4.3 KitKat and Android 4.4.4 KitKat, companies continue to push out Android 4.4.2 KitKat updates. Samsung is one of the companies that is continuing its Android 4.4.2 KitKat push.
The company is currently rolling out Android 4.4.2 KitKat updates to its Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4, and several other variants and devices including the Galaxy Mega, Galaxy S4 mini, and Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom. The Galaxy S4 Zoom Android 4.4.2 KitKat update rolled out earlier this week and delivers the same incremental features that we’ve seen land for a number of other Galaxy smartphones and tablets.
At this point, Samsung seems content with finishing up its Android 4.4.2 KitKat deployment before moving on to something else, either Android 4.4.3, Android 4.4.4 KitKat or perhaps Android L.
Sony & HTC As Well
HTC and Sony have recently pushed out Android 4.4.2 KitKat updates as well. Sony is currently rolling out Android 4.4.2 KitKat to the Xperia T2 Ultra. The update is absolutely massive. Here is the change log:
- Google’s Android 4.4; KitKat as standard – bringing performance & UI optimisation…
- We’ve added our tweaked Status Bar and Quick Settings… now more intuitive and customisable (and pretty easy on the eye)… cleaned up to ensure you only get the notifications you really need
- If you’ve got a Sony PlayStation 4, you might recognize our new user interface – we’ve added the same sleek launch animation and livewallpaper across the lock and home screens
- We’re also uplifting Sony’s entire native app portfolio to the latest versions – bringing tweaked / improved / current experiences for (to name but a few): Messaging, MyXperia, Smart Connect, Small apps, TrackID, TrackID TV, Sony Select, Smart Social Camera and…
- Sony’s Media apps: WALKMAN, Album and Movies, with Sony Entertainment Network cloud service integration* – a more converged and full Sony entertainment experience – Sony Entertainment Network & PlayMemories integration with a more intuitive UI, better download speeds, and more!
- And proving pretty popular, now totaling over 2 million downloads (!) – our unique custom interface experience: “Xperia Themes”, with downloadable UI packs from Sony Select – skin up to 280 assets across your Xperia smartphone with a variety of styles…
- Compatibility with our SmartWear Experience; SmartBand SWR10 and Lifelog app – enabling you to record social, physical and entertainment activities and have them all visualised in a beautiful interface… reminisce at that past, make the best of the present and plan for the future.
The company says that it will be rolling out Android 4.4 for the Xperia E1 and the Xperia M2 though it’s not clear if it will push out Android 4.4.2 KitKat or one of the newer updates. Sony recently started pushing Android 4.4.4 KitKat for the Xperia Z1, Xperia Z1 Compact and the Xperia Z1 Ultra so it’s possible that these updates could be Android 4.4.4.
As for HTC, it appears that the HTC One Mini has been updated with HTC’s Sense 6 to go along with Android 4.4.2 KitKat. It’s not clear where the update is rolling out but typically HTC starts in Taiwan, its home base, before shifting gears to other parts of the world. The company’s roll outs can take several months to complete.
Android 4.4.2 KitKat Problems & Fixes
Android 4.4.2 KitKat was riddled with problems. They were the catalyst for the company’s massive Android 4.4.3 KitKat and Android 4.4.4 KitKat updates that pushed out last month.
Android 4.4.2 KitKat problems continue to linger on a number of devices including Samsung’s popular Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S3, and Galaxy S4 models. Galaxy S5 users are also complaining about a number of Android 4.4.2 KitKat issues.
To those that have yet to receive Android 4.4.2: Before you upgrade to Android 4.4.2, 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.
If you’re coming to Android 4.4.2 KitKat from Android 4.3, there’s a good chance that you’ll see some Android 4.3 Jelly Bean problems get worked out by the Android 4.4.2 KitKat update. But remember, Android 4.4.2 KitKat has some problems of its own. Something to keep in mind before taking the plunge the second you get the update.
If you do run into issues, we have some resources for you to check out. Android Central forums is a solid place with a great community. If you’re on a specific carrier, you might want to head to its device forums. For instance, AT&T’s Android forums can be found here. Moderators and users will do their best to help you, provided you’re able to explain the issue in detail.
It’s also worth booting up your device in Safe Mode. Safe Mode will disable third-party applications and allow you to single out apps that are behaving badly in Android 4.4.2.
Some Devices Might Stay on Android 4.4.2 KitKat
Finally, while there is a very good chance that some of these Android 4.4.2 KitKat powered devices will get upgraded beyond Android 4.4.2 KitKat, there are some other devices that may not see any other upgrades past Android 4.4.2.
If you’re using an HTC or Samsung device that’s older than two years old or is closing in on the two year mark, there is a good chance that you will not move beyond Android 4.4.2 KitKat. HTC and Samsung typically offer updates for around 24 months before pulling support. Bigger name devices typically get better support than devices with a big name.
Devices like the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 currently sit in a gray area. The Galaxy S3 is now two years old and only some devices got Android 4.4.2. There is a very good chance that it will get left behind. As for the Galaxy Note 2, it turns two in September so it’s not clear if it will get anything past its Android 4.4.2 KitKat update, an update that is rolling out extremely slowly.
Manufacturers and carriers likely won’t have answers to your questions so you’ll just need to take a wait and see approach as we push deeper into the year.