Some lucky Android fans are already seeing the option to upgrade their OS to Android 4.4 KitKat. If you're wondering when your phone or tablet will get KitKat, or just wondering if the upgrade is worth it, here are some important facts about the Android 4.4 launch.
1. For Some Devices, Sprint Gets Upgrade First
— AndroidSPIN (@AndroidSPIN) February 14, 2014
This article at Digital Trends is being updated as more information about devices eligible for a KitKat upgrade becomes available. Popular devices like the Moto X, Moto G, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 will get the upgrade.
Here is a partial list of devices that are expected to receive the update to Android 4.4, according to Digital Trends:
"Galaxy Note 2 and Note 3, the Galaxy S3 and the S3 Mini, plus the Galaxy S4, the Galaxy S4 Active, and the S4 Zoom. The Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 and the Galaxy Note 8.0 tablets may also make the cut, along with the Galaxy Mega smartphone/tablet hybrid.
Sony has talked about its plans for Android 4.4, and it’s all good news. The company will be updating its Xperia Z, Xperia Z1, Xperia Z Ultra, Xperia Zl, and the Xperia Tablet Z to the latest version of Google’s mobile OS. Like most others, it doesn’t provide an arrival date, and says the launch will be “phased” and depend on where you live and the network on which you’re registered."
Digital Trends adds that LG phones will likely not get the upgrade until March. Droid Life notes that AT&T's LG G2 did recently get a minor update, but no update for 4.4…yet.
Samsung updates for 4.4 appear to vary by carrier. Samsung Galaxy S4 phone owners on Sprint will see the update rolling out over the next few days. HTC One smartphones on Sprint have already gotten the green light to upgrade, with HTC devices on other carriers getting the upgrade soon.
Own a Droid RAZR HD, RAZR MAXX HD, or Droid Mini? GottaBe Mobile writes:
"it’s still not clear exactly when Motorola plans to upgrade these three with Android 4.4.2 KitKat or if it even plans to at all. We still haven’t seen the company announce Android 4.4.2 KitKat updates for Droid RAZR HD, RAZR MAXX HD and Droid Mini users and it’s possible that it won’t say anything ahead of time."
2. Some KitKat Upgrades Come With Bonuses
— Amit Shah (@shahamit99) February 7, 2014
BGR reports that at least some KitKat upgrades will include some nice bonuses. For example, Sprint’s Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 update also bundled in Zact Mobile compatibility, as well pop-up removal. This trend may not extend to all carriers, but some mobile device fans may be pleasantly surprised to see what else gets improved when they upgrade.
3. KitKat Has Hotly Anticipated Features
Samsung Galaxy S III mini, Tab 3 7.0, Note 8.0 and others to get KitKat update? | SamMobile: http://t.co/pn2eD8K1Sq
— SamMobile (@SamMobiles) February 6, 2014
Android has a lot of cool features bundled up in KitKat. One cool thing is the "OK, Google," command, which launches voice commands or a voice-based search. There's also "immersive mode," which hides the status bar and navigation buttons while you're reading or watching a video. Some speed improvements have also been made, making the device run more smoothly and respond more accurately. Bluetooth MAP and Chromecast support were also added.
4. Android 4.4 Has Some Reported Bugs
— BGR India (@BGRIndia) January 29, 2014
While the Android KitKat upgrade is still rolling out on smartphones, some devices that have gotten KitKat have experienced bug issues. Android Pit notes that the Nexus 4, 5, and 6 all had post-KitKat installation issues. These bugs included issues with cameras, security, headset volume, and missed calls.
BGR notes that the KitKat upgrade "sort of broke" the Galaxy Note 3. Certain third party accessories did not work with the device after the upgrade.
Moto X Hub notes that some Moto X users have experienced battery drain issues after KitKat installation. Draining the battery fully and then allowing it to recharge for four hours seems to recalibrate the battery.
It's not yet known what other KitKat issues might appear on other devices as the upgrade gets a more widespread distribution. When upgrading to KitKat, bear in mind that you might experience some glitches that will hopefully be rectified swiftly.
5. Divided Opinions
Android stats: Gingerbread still on 20 percent of devices, KitKat only on 1.8 - http://t.co/lGCYx8rxsc
— Matthew David (@matthewadavid) February 7, 2014
While KitKat has an admittedly cool range of new features, early impressions are still split. Know Your Mobile says to those who aren't getting the upgrade: "You're not missing much." IntoMobile adds, "While KitKat does sport some impressive features, it isn’t quite the Android update we were looking for."
That being said, CNET writes:
"KitKat's main purpose is to usher in a strategy from Google to get the latest Android version on all Android devices, both premium and low-end.
That's a big deal because every year, lower-end handsets come out running old versions of Android, fueling the argument that Android is fragmented and giving customers an inconsistent Android experience. With KitKat, Google shrank the operating system so that it can run on many more devices, thus helping close the gap between low-end and high-end devices."