When will I get Android 4.4 KitKat? HTC, Sony, Samsung, LG & Motorola's Update Plans
We've put together all we know about the Android 4.4 KitKat update and when it'll come to the major carriers
Google released Android 4.4 KitKat back in 2013 alongside some pretty hefty co-branding with Nestle. The first handset to carry KitKat in its purest form was the Nexus 5. Motorola updated its Moto X and Moto G handsets shortly thereafter, although only the Nexus 5 featured the all-new Google Now launcher.
Most handsets in the Android ecosystem – and there’s quite a few these days – are running on Jelly Bean, although there are still quite a few (around 20%) stuck on Gingerbread. According to the latest Google Android OS stats, Jelly Bean is now up and running on around 61% of all Android handsets, while KitKat is only present on 1.8%.
That’s quite a void. But because of the nature of Android KitKat – it’s designed to run on dual-core CPUs and 512MB of RAM – it’s likely we’ll see more and more OEMs updating their older, legacy handsets to the latest build of Android. At least they could in theory – whether they actually do is another thing entirely.
Below is everything we know about the Big Five’s – Samsung, Sony, HTC, Motorola and LG – Android 4.4 update plans and scheduled rollouts. The hub is updated regularly with new information and leaks as and when they become available.
We've given each manufacturer an individual page to keep things as clear as possible – see the links below for navigation:
We started off by asking the big dog Samsung when Android 4.4 KitKat would be hitting its latest bunch of handsets. A spokesperson for Samsung said, “Samsung UK will announce rollout plans for Android 4.4 in due course." Obviously that doesn't tell us much at the moment, but the comment hints that some big handsets will be receiving the latest Nestle-themed goodness very soon.
So what's happening for Android 4.4 KitKat on Sammy devices in the UK? The latest flagship, the Galaxy S5, comes with Android 4.4 as standard whilst the Galaxy S4 and Note 3 have also been updated. The OTA update comes in at around 300-400MB in size so it will take a little while to download on your handset.
Here's the complete changelog of what you can expect:
- Improved user interface: The latest version of Android includes enhancements such as re-styled status and navigation bars, a new full-screen-immersive mode, color emoji support, improved closed captioning support, stronger security and smarter power use.
- Default messaging app: Choose a default messaging app when multiple messaging services are installed.
- Improved GPS performance
- Enhanced music access: Full screen album art and media controls are available from the lock screen when listening to music.
- Camera access: The camera can also be accessed directly from the lock screen.
- Location menu: An integrated location menu enables users to easily activate GPS and share location details.
- Wireless printing: Integrated support for wireless printing available in enhanced settings.
- New sound controls: Set sound for specific Samsung applications in enhanced settings.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Getting Android 4.4 Now
As of July 2014 the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom has also been receiving the update to Android 4.4.2. When the handset launched it came with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean on board and it had been like that ever since.
If you want to update to Android 4.4.2 KitKat you should receive the Over The Air update in the very near future, it’s just going to take a while to roll around to each part of the world. It may be worth plugging your Galaxy S4 Zoom into Samsung’s Kies software to see if you can manually update it that way.
What Samsung Devices Confirmed For 4.4 Update In The UK?
The following handsets and tablets and phablets will be getting KitKat in the coming months:
- Galaxy S3
- Galaxy Note 2
- Galaxy S4 Active
- Galaxy Mega
- Galaxy S3 Mini
- Galaxy Note 8.0
- Galaxy Tab 3 7.0
An apparently official Samsung document has leaked via SamMobile detailing the planned Android KitKat update schedule for a selection of Samsung handsets.
The table was leaked to SamMobile by an unnamed tipster and the site claims it has been "confirmed to be legitimate" - the site has a good track record with accurate Samsung leaks, so we've no reason to believe otherwise.
According to the report, the Samsung Galaxy S3 international variant is not getting the update due to "unresolved problems". The tipster also revealed Samsung is working on the Android 4.4.3 update for the Galaxy S5 flagship and added that some of the devices listed in this document may even leapfrog 4.4.2 altogether.
Android 4.4.4 KitKat Arrives On International Galaxy S3 Via ParanoidAndroid ROM
The ParanoidAndroid KitKat ROM has now been released as its final and "most stable" build to bring the left behind Galaxy S3 international variant (I9300) up to the latest software build.
The final ROM build is branded as 4.42 and introduces all the new features from the full KitKat release. It's also a stock build so you won't get Samsung's TouchWiz UI, which could be a good or a bad thing depending on your preferences.
Here's a quick rundown of the features:
- Redesigned volume panel
- Improved Hover UI/UX interface for smartphones and tablets
- PIE controls and PEEK
- New improved theme engine
- Battery tile and status indicator
- New support for colourised themes
- Revamped recents menu
- Improved Documents UI system API
- Bug fixes and a handful of system tweaks
Naturally, being a custom ROM this software will require you to root your handset and void its warranty in the process (assuming it's still valid by now anyway). Rooting can be done quite safely but it does carry a possibility of bricking your phone in a worse case scenario, so it's entirely at your own risk.
If you're interested in using the custom ROM, check out the post on XDA Developer Forums, which also contains links to the download files.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Getting Android 4.4
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 Neo is getting the Android 4.4.2 update now. It has begun rolling out in India and weighs in at around 495MB. If you’re in India you can either download it over-the-air or you can log into Samsung’s desktop update software Kies.
It’s not clear just when it will be rolling out to the other regions but it’s sure to be soon enough.
Here in the UK we don’t have the Galaxy Note 3 Neo, but there are still a lot of Samsung devices that haven’t been updated yet. For example, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2 is still awaiting the update in the UK.