Google announced Android 4.4 KitKat in late 2013, and while we know it made its debut on the Nexus 5, its arrival on other smartphones is as always, up in the air. Information has been coming through from various sources since its release, so we’ve combined all the official announcements, along with any less formal news we’ve heard, to make sure you know when Android 4.4 KitKat is headed to your device.
Updated on 08-13-2014 by Andy Boxall: Asus has joined in the Android 4.4 update fun, announcing the new software for two of its devices.
Asus PadFone Infinity and FonePad Note 6 Updated
Asus has announced an Android 4.4 KitKat update for two of its devices, the PadFone Infinity (A80), and the FonePad Note 6. They both join the previously released update for the PadFone 2. The update not only brings the new version of Android, but also adds Asus’ refreshed ZenUI, fixes a few bugs, and unusually, removes some of the pre-installed apps.
The choice is yours on how to install the update. Asus will eventually send it out over the air, but the large files are also available to download and install directly from Asus’ support website. Go here for the PadFone Infinity A80, here for the FonePad Note 6, and if you missed the PadFone 2 update, it’s still available by visiting this link.
T-Mobile Xperia Z1S Receives Android 4.4.4
If you have an Xperia Z1S connected to T-Mobile in America, then an update to Android 4.4.4 was made available at the beginning of August. However, it’s not an over-the-air software update, but one which must be applied using the PC Companion package installed on your computer. According to this source, the new OS also contains all the new Xperia apps, wallpapers, and home screen layout, plus compatibility with Sony’s Smartband, and better touchscreen performance.
Sony first talked about its plans for Android 4.4 in November last year, and while it was all good news, the wait for any further information was a long one. Finally, on March 19 2014, Sony published a blog post saying the update for the Xperia Z1, Xperia Z Ultra, and the Xperia Z1 Compact were ready to go.
Sony added Android 4.4 KitKat to these phones, along with a few new features of its own. These included a new Status Bar and Quick Settings menu, a PS4-style UI with new live wallpaper, plus a wide selection of improvements spread across Sony’s stock apps. No exact timeline was given, and the usual warning that these things vary by country and carrier applied.
With its most recent phones updated, Sony turned its attention to the Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR, and the Xperia Tablet Z. According to a blog post, the Android 4.4 KitKat update for these devices was sent out to selected markets on May 21, with a wider release soon afterwards. All the enhancements listed for the Xperia Z1 are included, along with new versions of Sony’s Social Camera and Battery Stamina Mode apps, plus compatibility with the Smartband and Lifelog app.
Finally, the Xperia T2 Ultra, Xperia E1, and the Xperia M2 – including the dual-SIM variants – have all been added to Sony’s list for a future Android 4.4 update, which is expected sometime during summer 2014.
Verizon-branded LG G Pad 8.3 tablet gets Android 4.4.2
Good news for owners of the Verizon-branded LG G Pad 8.3 LTE tablet, an update to Android 4.4.2 was confirmed on August 3. In addition to the new version of the operating system, LG’s Knock Code security system will be added to the device, along with a selection of other new features. These include a full-screen mode, a multi-user mode, and the battery charge indicator light changing from blue to white.
On April 29, LG stated that G Flex phones on AT&T should already be receiving their update, while Sprint phones would start seeing it during the first week of May. Those with their flexible phone connected to T-Mobile will have to wait a little longer, but Android 4.4 should arrive around mid-May. Included in the update is LG’s new Knock Code feature, along with an overall performance upgrade, and tweaks to the way the phone uses battery power, which should result in longer periods between charges.
On December 15 2013 LG published a short press release on its blog, saying the Android 4.4 KitKat update for the LG G2 was, “In progress,” in Korea. T-Mobile USA became the first network to offer the update, confirming on its official update page the rollout would begin on March 3 2014. Owners should expect to find all the KitKat improvements, along with an auto-brightness option, and general user experience improvements.
Sprint also confirmed it sent out Android 4.4 KitKat for the LG G2 on March 31. The update contains the new software version, plus a bug fix for Next Radio. The network warned it would be a staggered release, and not all phones would receive notification of the new software at the same time.
Rumor has it LG is working on Android 4.4 for the Optimus G, its 2012 flagship Android phone, and last we heard it’s apparently now scheduled for release between July and September.
Android 4.4.3 updates now available
At the beginning of June, Google started sending out an Android 4.4.3 update to the Nexus 5, shortly before Motorola confirmed its newest hardware will also benefit from the latest OS version. An official blog post on the matter lists the T-Mobile Moto X, all Moto G phones purchased in the U.S. and in Brazil, plus the Moto E, as recipients of Android 4.4.3 soon. In addition to a few minor alterations to the dialer, and the usual stability, performance, and security fixes, the phones will also get the following:
- Improved camera image quality on the Moto X’s front and rear cameras.
- A pause mode while shooting video on the Moto X and the Moto G
- A live update message system for Motorola Alert on the Moto X and Moto G.
Reports are also gathering that Android 4.4.3 is arriving on Google Play Edition phones. The HTC One, the HTC One M8, the Galaxy S4, and the Sony Xperia Z Ultra have all been shown running the update, which started to show up from June 3.
AT&T adds 4.4.2 to the Galaxy Note 2
Initially, Samsung kept quiet about its plans for 4.4 KitKat, having announced update schedules in the past, then been burned by missing self-imposed deadlines. Following early international tests of the new OS – specifically Galaxy Note 3 owners in Poland during January, and Korean Galaxy S4 phones in February – Samsung soon started sending out its Android 4.4 KitKat updates in America.
AT&T confirmed Galaxy Note 3 devices connected to its networks would receive Android 4.4 KitKat from March 27 2014. In a short blog post, the network provides an overview of the new features. KitKat will add the new-look user interface, the option to use Hangouts as the SMS app, wireless printing, better GPS performance, and enhanced audio controls. Additionally, the update will add music controls to the lock screen, and a quick access camera button too.
AT&T started updating the Galaxy Note 2 to Android 4.4.2 on June 25 2014. Features are in-line with the Galaxy Note 3, and you can see the complete list here. Highlights include a new lock screen system with a camera shortcut and media controls, improved NFC security, restyled notifications and status bars, a pre-installed Beats Music app, and wireless printing support.
On February 13 2014, Sprint officially confirmed the arrival of Android 4.4 for the Galaxy S4.
A week later, Samsung sent out a press release confirming 4.4 KitKat would soon be available for the following devices across all U.S. networks. These are the Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy Note 2, the Galaxy S4, S4 Mini, S4 Active and S4 Zoom, plus the Galaxy S3 and S3 Mini. The Galaxy Mega and Galaxy Light are also listed. Moving on to tablets, the Galaxy Note 8.0, Galaxy Tab 3, Galaxy Note 10.1, and finally, the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition will all be updated to version 4.4. Samsung says all carrier variants will get the update. The rollout began on February 18 and will continue for several months.
In mid April, AT&T stopped delivering the Android 4.4.2 KitKat update for Galaxy S4 Active, after it was released the week before. Samsung said it would bring some “potential improvements” to the update, after speculation that some bugs in the firmware update reared their ugly heads, one of them being Wi-Fi connectivity issues. There’s no indication as to when AT&T Galaxy S4 Active owners will be able to update to KitKat.
Reports gathered on April 21 that Korean Galaxy Note 3 Neo devices were being updated to Android 4.4, either over-the-air or through Samsung’s Kies software. Additionally, the same update for the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition tablet has also been spotted, although in some smaller international markets. Both these point to a wider release in the near future.
A few days later, Verizon confirmed the Android 4.4 KitKat update was ready for the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition tablet. In addition to the latest version of the OS, the Note 10.1 also gains a full-screen viewing mode, a multi-user option, and faster multi-tasking. Several bugs have been fixed, and some performance enhancements have been made to S-Note. Verizon said the update was being pushed out in phases from around April 28.
Verizon also made available Android 4.4.2 KitKat for the Galaxy Note 3 in mid-May 2014.
Positive news for owners of slightly older Galaxy smartphones continued at the beginning of May, when Sprint announced it had an Android 4.4 update for the Galaxy S3 ready to be distributed. The support page didn’t provide any detail, saying only that it would be released on May 1.
However, for the international variant of the Galaxy S3 and S3 Mini 3G, they wont be so lucky. In a statement sent to ZDNet, Samsung confirmed that KitKat will not make its way to the two handsets. Samsung blames the handsets’ hardware limitations, with both devices having 1GB of RAM. KitKat was released for the Galaxy S3, but only for variants with 2GB of RAM.
As for the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition, a post on the official Android Google+ page confirmed the new version was sent out on November 26 2013.
A report published by SamMobile.com says Samsung is already working to integrate Android 4.4.3 into its phones. We shouldn’t expect many major changes to the way the OS looks, but welcome bug fixes and performance improvements instead. Most major Samsung devices, from the Galaxy S3, S4, and S5 to the Note 2, Note 3 and the Galaxy Mega range should get the new software. If the software is being prepared, then it won’t be released until Google has made the final code official, but any devices still waiting for an earlier build of Android 4.4, may end up getting 4.4.3 instead.
HTC updates continue with the Verizon HTC One Max
HTC talked about getting Android 4.4 on its devices almost immediately after the software was announced.
A tweet sent though the HTC USA Twitter account on November 13 2013 confirmed the update for the Google Play edition of the HTC One was with Google, and that it was responsible for pushing the update. A Google+ post from the official Android account ten days later confirmed the update was being sent out.
Subsequently, HTC also said Android 4.4 would be out for the Developer Edition and SIM-free HTC One before the end of November. It was right on the money too, as on November 29 it sent out another message saying Android 4.4 KitKat was out for unlocked One phones and the HTC One Developer Edition.
The official HTC USA Twitter account informed us that HTC One smartphones connected to Sprint would be the first to receive an update to Android 4.4 KitKat. The new version began finding its way to Sprint devices on February 1 2014. Additionally, HTC confirmed Android 4.4 had reached the final “certification” stage with AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.
On February 6, HTC announced the Verizon update was ready to go, and added Sense 5.5 would also be included. Verizon followed this up with documentation detailing all the alterations. Android 4.4.2 and Sense 5.5 added a new lock screen process, a redesigned music and gallery app, revised and more detailed location services, plus a Do Not Disturb mode. At the moment, the update is only for the HTC One, but the HTC One Max is set to follow soon. Also, Verizon is investigating an Android 4.4 update for the Droid DNA along with the Virgin Mobile Desire 601.
It took more than a month, but HTC finally got the Android update for the Droid DNA ready to go at the end of April 2014. Announced by the company’s executive product manager on Twitter, Android 4.4.2 was accompanied by Sense 5.5, and was set to be released on April 24.
Verizon announced on April 8 the HTC One Max was the next in-line for an Android 4.4 KitKat update. All the usual KitKat treats are included, along with a variety of other improvements and bug fixes. Verizon’s official documentation talks about a “master switch” and three new profiles for location settings, along with a battery usage indicator for each app using them. Other changes include the notification light now indicating missed calls, emails and pending messages.
In November 2013, HTC UK announced plans to have Android 4.4 and HTC Sense 5.5 for the One smartphone ready for the end of January 2014. In mid-January, it reiterated the point, saying it was working with local networks to make this happen. However, a short time after the update began, HTC halted the rollout on March 3, after some users complained of rapid battery drain following installation of the new software. On March 18, reports gathered that HTC had restarted the update process. A tweaked version of Android 4.4.2 was being sent out to UK and European HTC One phones, with a fix for an unspecified Wi-Fi issue.
Motorola Moto X and Moto G top of its list
Motorola confirmed the Moto X would be getting Android 4.4 via its website dedicated to software updates. The first Moto X’s to get a taste were those connected to Verizon, and Motorola started a staggered rollout on November 19 2013.
Motorola soon added Moto X smartphones connected to US Cellular to the list, and according to the official update page, Android 4.4.2 was approved for release on February 19 2014.
Motorola confirmed Moto X phones connected to AT&T would be getting a 4.4.2 KitKat update, and that the new software would fix a few software bugs, including those which may have affected battery life, and one which could have caused problems with international roaming. The main new feature is support for photo printing via Google Cloud Print and HP ePrinters.
In December 2013, via a tweet, Verizon announced it had started updating the Droid Ultra, Droid Mini, and Droid Maxx to Android 4.4 KitKat. It said the new version would be delivered in stages. You can find a few details on the update here.
Meanwhile, Verizon updated the support documents for both the Motorola Droid Razr HD and Razr M with new information about the updates and changes Android 4.4.2 KitKat will bring. Some users reported the update went live via OTA in mid-May, with David Schuster of Motorola saying the update should be available to all Razr HD users by the end of the month.
Motorola confirmed in a blog post that U.S. versions of the Moto G would receive Android 4.4 updates from December 19 2013, and not early 2014 as originally promised. It said phones purchased through Amazon and Motorola would be first, while Moto G phones bought from networks will follow soon. In the UK, a post on Motorola’s customer support page listed the improvements Android 4.4 KitKat would bring to the Moto G, and confirmed the update was being sent out.
Google, its Nexus hardware, and Glass
Android 4.4 KitKat slightly deviated from the tradition of previous versions, which all debuted on Nexus hardware, by deciding to also hit the Verizon Moto X at around the same time. Google confirmed Android 4.4 KitKat would come to the Nexus 4 smartphone, plus the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablet. The Google Editions of the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One also received some chocolatey Android goodness.
As of November 12 2013, the Nexus 7 (both 2012 and 2013 models) and the Nexus 10 started getting the update, and although no official word came through, reports spread on November 20 that it starting to arrive on Nexus 4 smartphones too. Eagle-eyed Nexus fans will notice the Galaxy Nexus isn’t included in the list, and sure enough, the two-year old phone won’t be getting any more Google love.
Google has always said Android 4.4 KitKat was suitable for a wide variety of different devices, and a post on the private Google Glass forum has indicated Google’s smart eyewear is being upgraded from Android 4.0.3 to Android 4.4 very soon.
Huawei to update flagship Ascend P6
It’s important to remember the dates provided by manufacturers are rarely set in stone, and can change. Along with any issues which may turn up as the software is worked on, we shouldn’t forget that updates must also pass through the networks for approval, a process which can take several weeks. Even when it gets the green light, distribution is usually staggered to help identify any previously unseen problems, meaning it could take a while to get to your phone.
Previous article Updates:
Updated on 08-07-2014 by Andy Boxall: Sony has released Android 4.4.4 for Xperia Z1S smartphones connected to T-Mobile, but you’re going to have to work for it.
Updated on 08-04-2014 by Andy Boxall: Verizon has sent out an Android 4.4.2 software update for the LG G Pad 8.3 LTE tablet.
Updated on 06-26-2014 by Andy Boxall: Android 4.4.2 hits AT&T connected Samsung Galaxy Note 2 devices, complete with an extensive list of changes.
Updated on 06-04-2014 by Andy Boxall: Android 4.4.3 has arrived on the Nexus 5, several Google Play Edition devices, and the newest Motorola Android phones.
Updated on 05-26-2014 by Andy Boxall: Samsung is rumored to be testing Android 4.4.3 for all its major smartphones, while LG is preparing the new OS for release on the Optimus L9 2, the G Pro Lite and in the future, the Optimus G too.
Updated on 05-21-2014 by Andy Boxall: Sony has confirmed Android 4.4 is ready for the Xperia Z and several of its spin-off phones, plus the Xperia Tablet Z.
Updated on 05-13-2014 by Williams Pelegrin: Verizon updated the support documents for the Razr HD and Razr M with new information about the KitKat update.
Updated on 05-12-2014 by Williams Pelegrin: Android 4.4.2 KitKat is now available for the Verizon variant of the Galaxy Note 3. However, the international Galaxy S3 and S3 Mini 3G aren’t so lucky.
Updated on 05-01-2014 by Andy Boxall: Sprint has announced an Android 4.4 update for all Galaxy S3 smartphones connected to the network.
Updated on 04-30-2014 by Andy Boxall: LG has announced Android 4.4 for G Flex smartphones connected to AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile.
Updated on 04-28-2014 by Andy Boxall: Verizon has announced an update for the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition tablet.
Updated on 04-22-2014 by Williams Pelegrin: Added in news of pulled Android 4.4.2 update for the Galaxy S4 Active for AT&T.
Updated on 04-08-2014 by Andy: Added in news of an Android 4.4 KitKat update for the Galaxy Note 3 Neo, and the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition tablet.
Updated on 04-08-2014 by Andy: Verizon has announced Android 4.4 KitKat is now available for the HTC One Max
Updated on 04-28-2014 by Andy: Sprint has confirmed it is sending Android 4.4 out to LG G2 smartphones connected to the network, while in Korea, the LG G Pad and the Vu 3 are the latest to receive the software.
Updated on 03-28-2014 by Andy: Galaxy Note 3 devices connected to AT&T will start being updated to Android 4.4 from March 27, while LG has started sending out Android 4.4 for the G Flex in Korea, indicating a wider release may come soon.
Updated on 03-19-2014 by Andy: Sony has confirmed an Android 4.4 KitKat update will be coming to several Xperia smartphones very soon, plus it has added some other devices to its to-do list. Motorola has sent out Android 4.4.2 for AT&T Moto X phones, and HTC has fixed its update in the UK.
Updated on 03-04-2014 by Andy: LG G2 smartphones on the T-Mobile network should be getting their Android 4.4 KitKat updates very soon, while UK HTC One owners have had theirs taken away due to software problems. Google Glass is also getting a 4.4 update in the near future.
Updated on 02-19-2014 by Andy: Samsung has finally confirmed which U.S. smartphones will be receiving an update Android 4.4 KitKat.
Updated on 02-14-2014 by Andy: Moto X devices connected to US Cellular, and Galaxy S4 phones with Sprint should be getting Android 4.4 very soon.
Updated on 02-03-2014 by Andy: HTC One owners connected to Sprint should find an Android 4.4 KitKat update waiting for them very soon, while One phones connected to other networks shouldn’t be too far behind. HTC has also confirmed it’s working on an update for the Droid DNA.
Updated on 02-07-2014 by Andy: HTC One owners connected to Verizon will soon be getting Android 4.4 KitKat pushed to their phones, along with Sense 5.5. Additionally, there are rumors of an update for several Samsung phones, including various Galaxy S3 and S4 spin-offs.
Updated on 12/20/2013 by Andy: As the year comes to an end, manufacturers are busily preparing Android 4.4 updates. Motorola in particular has been hard at work, and has now announced the new software for the Moto G and Verizon’s Droid range.
Updated on 12/19/2013 by Andy: According to a French network, Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 will be getting an Android 4.4 software update in the new year.
Updated on 12/16/2013 by Andy: LG has officially spoken out concerning Android 4.4 KitKat coming to the G2, and the news falls in line with previous rumors, as international owners shouldn’t expect the upgrade until next year.
Updated on 12/03/2013 by Andy: Added a timeline for the LG G2 with a date which won’t please owners, and confirmed Android 4.4’s arrival on unlocked and Developer Edition HTC One phones, plus the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition.
Updated on 11/20/2013 by Andy: Although there has been no official confirmation, some Nexus 4 owners have reported the arrival of Android 4.4 KitKat on their phones. We’ve added this news in, along with an update on the UK HTC One.
Updated on 11/19/2013 by Andy: Added information on Motorola and Verizon releasing Android 4.4 KitKat for the Moto X.
Updated on 11/18/2013 by Andy: Rewrote article to include more information, and easier to keep you up to date with news on Android 4.4 KitKat updates.
Article originally published on 11/1/2013.