Earlier this month, HTC announced an ambitious plan for its HTC One Android 4.4 KitKat update, confirming a number of details including release dates. It has been a few weeks since HTC’s announcements and we’ve seen a number of new details emerge for HTC One owners. Here, we take a look at five key details that users need to know about the upcoming Android 4.4 KitKat update release.
On the last day of October, Google announced the Android 4.4 KitKat update, a fairly big update for owners of Android smartphones and tablets, and one that it said would start rolling out in the near future for its Nexus devices. Nexus devices typically get the software before other smartphones and tablets, so, it was no surprise to learn that they would be first in line.
What was surprising, however, were the confirmation from various companies, confirmations that arrived right off the bat. In the past, we’ve seen companies remain silent about their Android update plans but in the case of Android 4.4 KitKat, we saw a number of companies announce their roll out plans for their smartphones and tablets.
One of those companies was HTC, a company that, in the past, received criticism for remaining silent about software updates, breaking promises and more. This year though, the company has tried to repair its image and we’ve seen it be very communicative with its users. In particular, the company has made it a point to be vocal about updates for its HTC One, the flagship device that arrived back in April.
Shortly after Google announced the Android 4.4 KitKat update, HTC stepped up and made some bold promises to HTC One owners. The company stated that the HTC One Google Play Edition would get Android 4.4 within 15 days, the Developer Edition within 30 days, and the regular version would get it within 90 days.
Since then, we’ve seen new details emerge and here, we take a look at five key details that have developed in the past few days in regard to the upcoming HTC One Android 4.4 KitKat roll out.
HTC One Android 4.4 KitKat Roll Out is Close
When HTC promised that the HTC One Google Play Edition would be getting its Android 4.4 KitKat update within 15 days of the announcement, most people believed that that would mean that the software would roll out during the second week of November. Oddly enough, that did not happen, though there was some movement from HTC within the 15 days.
Instead of releasing the software to the public, HTC released the HTC One Google Play Edition Android 4.4 KitKat update code to Google and HTC now says that the release is now in the hands of Google.
@david_juarez Google will control the push and rollout for nexus and their gpe devices.
— Jason Mackenzie (@JasonMacHTC) November 15, 2013
While there isn’t a release date just yet, we know that the update should be close. However, we also know that Google probably isn’t going to start rolling out that update until the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 Android 4.4 OTA’s begin. The Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 (cellular versions) are still without their software. Once those updates roll out, and they should roll out soon, they we expect the Google Play Edition to get its upgrade.
Remember, the HTC One Google Play Edition is not a Nexus smartphone and thus, we expect the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 to either get their updates before, or at the same time that it does. In any event, we’re extremely close to the start of the HTC One Android 4.4 KitKat roll out and those with the GPe version of the phone should be on the look out.
The software may not be out just yet but HTC did deliver the update to Google on time and that’s a fantastic sign for those that are rocking the HTC One Developer Edition and the other versions of the device. Why? Because HTC was able to stick to its promise and get its end of the software roll out done within the 15 days that it allotted.
All along, we’ve said that HTC wouldn’t have made these promises if it didn’t think it would be able to keep them. Any kind of backfire at this point could prove disastrous for a company that is already mired in problems. Delivering on time will go a long way with its customers and given the issues that we’re seeing from Samsung, it may go a long way with Galaxy S and Galaxy Note users as well. That’s important for the smartphone battle that will surely take place in 2014.
So, what this means is that users should expect the HTC One Developer Edition to get the software within the 30 day time frame that HTC promised and we should see the HTC One Android 4.4 KitKat update roll out to regular HTC One owners within the 90 days that HTC announced.
HTC One Android 4.4 KitKat Update by Christmas
Speaking of that, there is a good chance that the regular old HTC One Android 4.4 KitKat update could come by Christmas. Remember, the 90 day window that was promised to HTC One owners was for the U.S. version of the device. We saw some other updates follow suit, HTC UK said that it would roll out software in January, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t see anything arrive in 2013.
@Dobbyea I believe you will get present before Christmas :)
— LlabTooFeR (@LlabTooFeR) November 12, 2013
Rumor has it, the HTC One Android 4.4 KitKat update could roll out before Christmas arrives. This rumor was started by a well-known HTC leaker with known inside connections and thus, it holds quite a bit of weight. No specific date was given but we wouldn’t be surprised to see the international version get Android 4.4 KitKat early.
The U.S. is typically a bit behind the rest of the world when it comes to these updates so don’t be shocked if the U.S. is a little behind with the HTC One Android 4.4 KitKat update as well.
U.S. Release in “Late January”
Those looking for specifics will be happy to know that HTC President Jason Mackenzie has continually said that the updates will be out in the United States in late January. No specific date was given but due to the fact that HTC gave itself until the end of January 29th to roll out the software. We think this means one of two things.
Perhaps, it truly means that it’s going to roll out the software in late January. It thinks its going to take that long. American carriers have proven tough to deal with and it may have given itself a wide window in which to operate to ensure that it will get the software out on time.
It could also be setting users up, in a good way. If the update does land before Christmas, there is certainly a chance that the update could hit the U.S. much sooner than the “late January” line it has been feeding users. This would be a great way to generate publicity and support for a company that needs all the help it can get right now.
At the very least, know that the company appears to be set on rolling out the update in late January, at the latest.
Sense 5.5 for U.S. HTC One Users
Finally, we also saw HTC confirm something big for users in the United States. HTC last week said that the HTC One Android 4.4 KitKat update would be bringing Sense 5.5 to U.S. owners. Sense 5.5 is an incremental update to the Sense 5 user interface but it does bring some likeable things to the table including a way to completely disable BlinkFeed.
This is key, since most other HTC One variants are currently running the Sense 5.5 update, and have been for a little while now. This could certainly be the reason why the update is pegged for late January, 2014, but the fact that it’s already out, and has been out, is definitely a good sign for users in the United States as it means that testing has almost certainly been under way.