At the beginning of last week, as if it had been saving the release for the day of Apple’s iOS 8 announcement, Google starting pushing out Android 4.4.3 KitKat, a bug fixer for its Android 4.4.2 KitKat update. With the Android 4.4.3 KitKat situation settling down, we want to take an updated look at Google’s latest and detail alleged Android 4.4.3 KitKat problems, rumors and our own impressions for the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 5.
Google didn’t announce the Android 4.4.3 KitKat update ahead of time but we knew that it was coming for Nexus 7, Nexus 4, Nexus 10, and Nexus 5 users. We knew because credible rumors pointed to its release. We knew because Google detailed the update in the AOSP. And we knew because its partners revealed the existence of the update ahead of time.
We did not, however, know when Google planned to release the new software. So, when Google released Android 4.4.3 KitKat for the first time last week, it came as a bit of a surprise.
Android 4.4.3 KitKat is Google’s latest Android update and it’s an update that brings a number of changes along with it. Among them, bug fixes for Android 4.4.2 problems, a new look to the dialer and some cosmetic changes to the People application. It’s an incremental update but it’s an important update nonetheless.
Now that the roll out has begun, we want to take another up close look at Android 4.4.3 KitKat. Here, we recap some of the biggest details we’ve seen come out of the latest Android 4.4 KitKat update, offer some initial impressions about the upgrade and take a look at lingering Android 4.4.3 KitKat rumors.
Android 4.4.3 KitKat Problems
Android 4.4.3 KitKat’s main objective is to tackle Android 4.4.2 KitKat issues. Google did not provide a full change log for the update but those interested in the bug fixes can sift through the code that Google left behind after it dumped the update in the AOSP. It fixes a lot of issues but as we pointed out earlier this week, Nexus users are starting to see some problems of their own.
Nexus users have taken to Google’s product forums to complain about various Android 4.4.3 KitKat problems. We’ve seen the usual complaints about battery life and Exchange and we’ve even see some complaints about bricked devices. Here are a few of the Android 4.4.3 problems that Nexus users are complaining about:
- Nexus 4 owners in particular have reported random reboots
- Nexus users are also complaining about broken notifications and battery life issues, connectivity issues with 3G, and problems with the Exchange email service.
- Users are reporting issues with the dialer, problems with certain applications including the BBC app, errors on the Google Play Store, and issues with the camera application on the Nexus 4.
- We’ve also seen reports about bricked Nexus 5′s though the issues don’t appear to be widespread.
We detailed these Android 4.4.3 problems because we wanted to bring attention to them. Google probably isn’t going to roll an Android 4.4.4 KitKat update in the near future so users are going to have to rely on each other, and perhaps moderators on these product forums, for temporary and permanent fixes.
Most of the threads detailed here contain potential fixes. Most of the fixes involve booting the device into Safe Mode which temporarily disables third-party apps. Third-party applications will often cause trouble after a major Android update like Android 4.4.3 KitKat and booting into Safe Mode will help users single out an issue, if there is one.
Performing a factory reset is another option though it should only be used as a last resort and only after ensuring that important files are backed up.
If you’re running into issues, I highly suggest bringing them to Google’s attention on the product forums. Google employees have a presence there and it’s possible that Google will take complaints to heart and bake fixes into whatever is next, Android 4.5, Android 5.0, or whatever it ends up being called.
Android 4.4.3 KitKat Impressions
Like many of you, we’ve been using Android 4.4.3 KitKat for the past week. And while we aren’t comfortable providing you with a full review of the software just yet, we are comfortable offering up some initial impressions for three Nexus devices, the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, and Nexus 7. Keep in mind, we’re running stock software.
According to my colleague Josh Smith, the Nexus 4 Android 4.4.3 KitKat update is running smoothly. Battery life is solid, the camera app is working properly and he hasn’t experienced any random reboots or instability.
For more on his experience, check out his full review of Android 4.4.3 KitKat on the Nexus 4.
He has also been using Android 4.4.3 KitKat on the Nexus 7 and specifically, the Nexus 7 2013 Wi-Fi only model. He claims to have had no problems installing the software (we’ve seen a number of Nexus users complain about not being able to install Android 4.4.3) and the software appears to be working well.
He tells me that he hasn’t run into any significant bugs, that battery life is as good as it was in Android 4.4.2 KitKat, and that applications are all working properly. Unfortunately, I’m not able to give you any feedback on the Nexus 7 Android 4.4.3 KitKat update because my Nexus 7 2012 died for no apparent reason and I vowed never to buy another Nexus tablet. The Nexus 8 could bring me out of retirement though.
What I can do though is offer up some initial impressions about the Nexus 5 Android 4.4.3 KitKat update. I’ll have a more detailed review available tomorrow but for now, I’ll touch on the basics.
The installation process took a grand total of 10 minutes or so from start to finish. This is a very small update, smaller than 100MB, so it didn’t take long to download and install.
Android 4.4.3 KitKat’s biggest changes are under the hood so what I’ll say is this. Since installing the Android 4.4.3, I haven’t run into any significant problems in the five areas that I typically look at: Apps, battery life, connectivity, speed, and bugs. Things appear to be as they were in Android 4.4.2 KitKat.
As I’ve said before, bugs will often show their face in the weeks after a release. So while things are looking very, very good, I’m not convinced that I won’t run into some problems down the road.
Android 4.4.3 KitKat Rumors
So all of that pertains to the current Android 4.4.3 KitKat updates. Now, let’s take a look at what we think we know about Android 4.4.3 KitKat’s future.
Prior to the roll out, we heard that HTC was planning Android 4.4.3 KitKat upgrades for its regular old HTC One M8 and HTC One M7. Those updates, according to noted HTC insider LlabTooFeR, are slated to arrive this month though we don’t know when they might push out.
Samsung is also rumored to have an Android 4.4.3 KitKat update in the works. SamMobile says that the update is in development for the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy S4 LTE-A model though that remains unconfirmed.
Outside of those devices, we haven’t heard much. We imagine that the other versions of the Moto X might get Android 4.4.3 KitKat at some point but carriers remain mum on the prospects.
With rumors regarding a brand new Android release starting to heat up, it’s possible that some manufacturer will skip over Android 4.4.3 and release whatever is next for the Android platform. Google I/O is coming up later on this month and that’s as good a place as any for an Android update announcement.