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Nexus 4 Android 4.4 KitKat Update Bugs Frustrating Users



Android 4.4 KitKat offers tons of improvements and new features on Android, but we’re hearing a few horror stories from Nexus 4 owners experiencing problems and bugs since updating to the already late software.

The update to Android 4.4 KitKat for the Nexus 4 hasn’t been extremely smooth. Finally rolling out in the middle of last week, or late into the weekend for most, after other non-Nexus devices like the Moto X, many users were quite frustrated. Now that the new software is finally here though, we’re hearing all sorts of bad news from owners experiencing major issues and home buttons that simply won’t work.


To be specific the update to Android 4.4 KitKat (build KRT16S) for the Nexus 4 is causing quite a stir, and has apparently introduced some pesky bugs to the handset. According to multiple reports including a few from AndroidPolice the Nexus 4 home button doesn’t always work, and is delivering some odd and unusual behavior. Sometimes it works, others, it simply does nothing and users can’t even get back to their homescreens.

The Settings toggle in the top right apparently does nothing and the quick settings menu is completely missing, home button woes, and even the dialer being broken. Yes, the fancy new dialer that integrates Google Search to essentially become a built-in Yellow Pages appears to be broken for a very small select few users.

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 3.25.57 PM

The image above shows the home button doing nothing, and the quick settings completely missing on one users device. We’ve also had a few complaints that the Gallery app for images doesn’t appear in the multi-task menu, and sometimes won’t open, although that isn’t as widespread. The Nexus 4 update to KitKat isn’t going as smooth as many hoped, but this isn’t a widespread problem and most should be able to update without issue.  The popular Android user Paul O’Brien offered up a fix, but regular users may not be able to perform his suggestion.

We’re hearing a simple factory data reset, which will erase all the apps and data on a users device, is the best bet and will solve these home button problems. While that’s a big deal for many average users, advanced Android enthusiasts can simply make a backup and proceed to restore their device. For the rest of you Nexus 4 users experiencing issues, try a factory data reset from the settings “Backup & Reset” menu.

Read: Nexus 4 Android 4.4 KitKat Update Final Details

Reports have yet to surfac at the Google Bug tracker but hopefully a fix is incoming in another update. For now though a reset may be your best bet. If you’ve yet to update, this is a potential issue and you may want to wait. However, we’d recommend updating and just doing a reset should you experience any problems. We’ll update once we learn more details.



  1. Dustin Kimble

    11/25/2013 at 4:40 pm

    Seems any operating system, windows, mac, iOS and android likes clean installs instead of updating an older version. Solution, always start from scratch. Might be frustrating as first, but you avoid problems down the road.

    • Cory Gunther

      11/26/2013 at 9:35 am

      I’ve got restoring my device down to a 10 minute simple task, but general public may not be the same. That said, I agree, starting from scratch is always best.

  2. Kit-Dog

    11/25/2013 at 7:16 pm

    I’m sure I’d be very annoyed if I actually had the update

    • Grayson

      11/25/2013 at 8:05 pm

      I’m in the same boat as you. Still no update for me, very annoying. But hey, still a bad ass phone nonetheless

  3. Noel Arzola

    11/25/2013 at 8:22 pm

    Uhmmm…..the home button can’t take you to home if you are already there……in reference to that screenshot in the article…they are already on the home screen. Also the quick settings button is right there in the picture….you are on the notification side of things….that is the quick settings button in the top right that needs to be tapped (also accessible from a double swipe down from the top of the screen). I have this update on my N4 and have had no problems at all. Sorry but I had to comment, because wow

    • Cong Tran

      11/25/2013 at 9:57 pm

      You’re right, I’ve already got update 4.4kitkat on my nexus 4 as well, and it show a very good process, nothing to complain accept that some features are not really like 4.4 on nexus 5: no transparent home button and notification bar, no left slide to access Google now. will Google update these features?

      • Andrius Maslekovas

        11/25/2013 at 10:22 pm

        Just download Google experience launcher and it will be exactly as nexus 5. Search Google for it, not in the play store. It should be somewhere in android police website

    • Cory Gunther

      11/26/2013 at 9:36 am

      Can’t reproduce an issue we don’t have for a screenshot. It’s more a visual reference, but thanks for the comment

  4. Arun

    11/25/2013 at 9:11 pm

    Rightly said noel. Second screen is of notification and if you are on quick settings page the icon on top right changes from picture to kind of list. First screen is on home page . long hold of home button will get you to Google now but otherwise it will not do anything because you are already on home screen..I have updated my N4 to Kit Kat and no issues till now (fingers crossed)

  5. KayP

    11/25/2013 at 11:05 pm

    This article is pretty astonishing. Next time have someone who knows something about Kit Kat write articles about Kit Kat. +1 Noel wow

  6. Radu C.

    11/25/2013 at 11:10 pm

    This article is kinda retarded… When you press home and U are in home screen it’s logic that it does nothing. And the settings are on the other page or with double finger-slide.. You can’t see this type of $#!T on GSMArena !

    • Cory Gunther

      11/26/2013 at 9:38 am

      I have KitKat on all my devices. That was a visual representation… Geez. Some people take everything too serious.

  7. Deividas

    11/25/2013 at 11:20 pm

    Did the force update o both nexus 4 and nexus 7 2013, works great on both. Not a single issue. Only issue actually is i had to do it through adb sideload or wait hell knows how long to get it automatically. Even installed gel and that worksgreat on both devicest too.

  8. Yusuf Usmani

    11/25/2013 at 11:29 pm

    Few changes I observed is that, on the right hand upper corner there is network and wifi icon which has become white in color now, due to which we are not able to view internet sent and received activity which was possible in earlier version, in 4.3 it was blue in color and sent/receive arrow was visible.
    Also phone dose not wake up on OK Google command, we have to open Google now and then say OK Google, the it starts voice command.
    As they have added Airplane Mode in quick access menu, they should also add data on/off button.
    Some more improvement is still required.

    • 1ceb0x

      11/26/2013 at 12:00 am

      Too bad you have so many users reading this crap.

  9. Jamsheed K

    11/26/2013 at 8:44 am

    Crap. Do you know how to use an android phone. Home button doesnt work when you are already on the home screen? Settings not seen when on notification screen? Did you actually use the previous versions of android? I had the update and is smooth. Installed Google experience launcher from the web and everything is smooth. Delete this article. Stop misleading people.

  10. Andrew K.

    11/26/2013 at 9:02 am

    Android…. Google’s perpetual beta project.

  11. Marshall Fernandes

    11/26/2013 at 11:34 am

    My phone keeps restarting every time. At random times, a certain app just keeps saying “hass stopped working”. Google. PLEASE HELP.

  12. Buster

    11/26/2013 at 11:57 am

    I must be one of unlucky ones: Upgraded to Kit-Kat on my Nexus 4 yesterday & now:
    – Home Button doesn’t work (in another app screen)… must ‘back’ out to return to home screen!
    – notifications don’t display (calls, texts, Nothing shows): when swipe down… the screen is blank
    – Settings button doesn’t work (when swipe down, tapping button in upper right does nothing)
    – phone ringer doesn’t work: no ring… no notification of a call…

    ANY SUGGESTIONS? Is there an update yet, OR, can I “step back” to Jelly Bean???

  13. Lisa

    11/26/2013 at 4:41 pm

    Do I really have to update to 4.4 kitkat?

  14. Michael Wales

    11/26/2013 at 9:35 pm

    Received the update today (Play Store purchased Nexus 4) and I haven’t noticed any of these issues. Everything has been working perfectly fine except for the low battery indicator. It hit 14% (while plugged in and in use) and went giving bonkers notifying my over and over and over in rapid succession; but, the device has always done that. I think it’s an issue with the battery “teetering above and below” the notification level due to usage while charging. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem as if that notification is debounced (for the non-developers, debouncing is the practice of only firing an event if that event has not occurred within a defined period of time).

    As I type this it does seen as of the keyboard is less responsive (default keyboard). Key presses feel as if they are just a few milliseconds slower than before. Otherwise, I have quick settings, my home button is loading Aviate perfectly fine and Contacts+ dialer is as expected.

  15. Smriti Taparia

    11/26/2013 at 10:12 pm

    Is it possible to get back to older 4.3 version. That seems to be a better version than kit kat 4.4 version??

  16. sean

    11/27/2013 at 12:07 am

    email sync is broken in 4.4 as well

    • gurtie girl

      11/27/2013 at 11:30 pm

      I’m having the same issue, it’s really annoying as I use my email for work every day. Now I can’t receive any emails! I hate this phone, nothing but problems since I bought it. Why can’t these companies provide consumers with products that work the first time? On top of my email not working I’m experiencing a lag in my keyboard my notifications and ringtones stopped working, my battery life is crap now I get about 4 hours less than I did before. Plus all my settings changed, I spent almost three hours last night trying to set my phone up again and it’s still not working properly.

  17. Mario Höchemer

    11/27/2013 at 10:18 am

    4.4 all is fine no problem with Kit-Kat!

  18. James O'Donnell

    11/27/2013 at 8:56 pm

    The OTA update came to my N4 on Nov27th and went smoothly. No issues with KRT16X.

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