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Android 4.4 KitKat update: release date, features and rumors

Posted: , by Chris P.

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Android 4.4 KitKat update: release date, features and rumors

Last update: 10/31/2013 (later slides are newer)


You may not know this, but Android 4.4 KitKat has been on our radar for a looong time. Of course, back then we referred to it as Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie and we were initially an audience to what turned out to be some wildly inaccurate speculation, claiming that it'll hit the industry as early as February/March. Surely enough, as the months went by, the (speculated) release date for the next iteration of the world's most popular mobile OS proved to be a moving target – it was no longer February or March, it was June next, then sometime during the summer, until, finally, we now have a much more likely October release. A release that coincides with the rumored unveiling of another Google product – the much anticipated Nexus 5.


Ah, the Nexus 5. We've been curating the web for every split and reasonable-sounding detail on the upcoming Google/LG device that we could get our hands on, and despite this particular piece being about the upcoming Android 4.4. KitKat update, the two are linked from conception, or so it appears. With that in mind, it shouldn't surprise you that most of our current preliminary intel on the next Android is seen posing out of the screen of the Nexus 5.


So, without any further ado, let's dive right into it!


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93 Comments
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posted on 23 Sep 2013, 10:30 17

1. Ninetysix (Posts: 1661; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


Congrats Nexus users. Just have to wait for Samsung to release a touchwiz version and update my S4 :(

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 10:35 20

4. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3774; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Many people will be waiting a long time. 4.2 has barely reached that many users.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 10:58 19

13. Googler (Posts: 813; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)


Just about every new phone is shipping with 4.2 or higher. It's not the stone age like you always want to perceive.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 12:03 5

29. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8717; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Every phone NOW is shipping with 4.2 and 4.3 soon, but the charts Google dishes out at the end of each months says something different. 4.2 has less than 5% at the end of August if I remember correctly.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 12:12 1

31. Googler (Posts: 813; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)


I believe the charts are based on market hits, so there's always going to be some discrepancy with them. Why they just don't use activation's or software updates, not sure.

Found it: http://developer.android.com/about/dashboards/index.html It's based upon Play store hits for the previous 7 days. For more accuracy you'd have to do extensive searches on what phones ship with, then total their sales.

posted on 11 Oct 2013, 09:04

62. Tuxedo (Posts: 164; Member since: 19 Mar 2013)


Nope, LG Optimus G Pro is still at 4.1.2. I'm pretty sure there are others. It's an excellent phone nonetheless.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 11:37 15

21. LetsBeHonest (Posts: 847; Member since: 04 Jun 2013)


True, fragmentation is high on android. But the thing is that even JB 4.1 can do almost all thing that iOS 7 or WP 8 can do sometimes even more. But for those who wish for timely update go get the nexus . Its powerful, affordable,reliable.
every OS has its own pros and cons.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 13:34

35. rawbow (Posts: 428; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


its not about what an OS can do but how it does it that matters...to me at the least

posted on 11 Oct 2013, 09:25 1

65. lallolu (Posts: 240; Member since: 18 Sep 2012)


True talk, I really do not think your post needs to be attacked because you spoke the truth. Most android users on JB are on 4.1.2. Most on 4.2.2 and 4.3 are running CM roms.

posted on 14 Oct 2013, 03:23 4

72. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


Those who want updates that desperately buy NEXUS phones. Others can wait. It's like iOS not dishing out all features on all hardware despite the so called upgrade. "Fragmentation" rant of Jobs is irrelevant after his death. Only he could market that bull.

posted on 14 Oct 2013, 06:59 1

77. Raihanpatel111 (Posts: 19; Member since: 12 Mar 2013)


Come on guys.... you are living in the world of Android... You can Root your Device and Use Custom ROM ....
If you can use latest version ...why are you still waiting for official Updates .........

posted on 14 Oct 2013, 07:36 1

78. Tuxedo (Posts: 164; Member since: 19 Mar 2013)


May be because most 3rd party ROMs out there have more problems than they fix.

posted on 16 Oct 2013, 01:24 1

83. Raihanpatel111 (Posts: 19; Member since: 12 Mar 2013)


i totally disagree.....Just try to find best ROM for Your Phone from XDA .... i have never seen any problems in my phone Because of the 3rd party ROMs.... CM, paranoid Android , Android Revolution , Pac-man are Awesome Custom RoMs ....

posted on 29 Oct 2013, 09:04 2

87. jacko1977 (Posts: 396; Member since: 11 Feb 2012)


still less buggy then ios7

posted on 29 Oct 2013, 22:31

88. skyline88 (Posts: 332; Member since: 15 Jul 2013)


finally a good point

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 10:59 6

14. protozeloz (Posts: 5378; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


Why not just move to a nexus? I mean I'm waiting in line to change my droid RAZR for an N5, or you like some features on the S4?

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 17:56 5

47. Martin_Cooper (Posts: 464; Member since: 30 Jul 2013)


Maybe cause nexus doesn't have the amazing camera of S4, maybe cause nexus has smaller screen, and maybe cause he likes all the extra features that samsung added in terms of software. Anyway nexus is always limited when it comes to sales. Its barely available outside USA/UK and few other countries.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 23:13 1

51. protozeloz (Posts: 5378; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


Well, since the nexus is based on the LG phone that device has one of the best cameras out there, Google has been talking about improving camera.

Google could use some cool new features, and some availability on other devices

posted on 11 Oct 2013, 09:41 1

68. rabidhunter (Posts: 90; Member since: 05 Jul 2013)


Unfortunately, some are married to Verizon.

posted on 14 Oct 2013, 21:21

82. Gatman (Posts: 18; Member since: 07 Sep 2013)


But what is the difference going to be, Its gonna look the same though.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 10:30 42

2. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4226; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Already better than iOS 7. Well anything is better than iOS 7. 2 cans connected with a string is better than iOS 7. lol

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 10:34 3

3. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3774; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Really? All I see is a mere partnership. I don't see anything substantial.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 10:43 23

7. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4226; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Well since I am on Android 4.3 at this moment & I read that this NEW OS will actually perform GREAT with 512 MB of RAM that's already a plus & a WIN over iOS 7.

iOS 7 on my Mother's Apple iPhone 4 is more than less desirable, if you get my drift.

Android 4.4 will do more than iOS 7 could ever imagine & still work EXTREMELY well on older devices. That's is a total WIN. Apple can't say the same with iOS 7, that's for sure.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 11:05 3

16. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8717; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Running 4.3 also. Carbon ROM on my T-Mo S3 runs buttery smooth but it's a nightly build. :(

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 14:11 3

37. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4226; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


I am going back and forth between Cyan Fox & PAC on my HTC Droid DNA. Cyan Fox doesn't have all the features PAC does but it's insanely smooth & responsive compared to PAC. I just love all of PAC's features though. HENCE why I keep nandroid'ing back and forth. lol

Soon though, once I have the Samsung Galaxy Note III my wife will be rocking my rooted HTC Droid DNA.

+1 for rooting your device!

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 15:30 2

41. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8717; Member since: 14 May 2012)


+1 right back at ya' for joining the Note 3 club!

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 18:00 4

48. Martin_Cooper (Posts: 464; Member since: 30 Jul 2013)


I see you can predict the future. Please tell me the lottery numbers and I will buy you a brand new android phone every month for the rest of your life. Beside that you should learn that in this world and on this planet earth not everyone shares your opinion and taste. And thats a great thing. What you want is monopoly of android dominating the mobile OS which is a bad thing for innovation. Having competition from iOS and windows phones is great for everyone. But it looks like you prefer in a world of no decisions and living under the same thing. I remember that kind of thinking some old German dude shared it and killed millions of people trying it. Good luck.

posted on 24 Sep 2013, 08:24 3

54. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4226; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


All I have to say is.....

WHAT?!? lol

posted on 14 Oct 2013, 05:32

75. saffant (Posts: 225; Member since: 04 Jul 2011)


That whole able-to-run-on-older-devices-with-512MB-ram is just speculation. We'll see when the official release and press conference is live.

posted on 31 Oct 2013, 08:16

90. _PHug_ (Posts: 380; Member since: 11 Oct 2011)


#7 reads
"Well since I am on Android 4.3 at this moment & I read that this NEW OS will actually perform GREAT with 512 MB of RAM that's already a plus & a WIN over iOS 7.

iOS 7 on my Mother's Apple iPhone 4 is more than less desirable, if you get my drift.

Android 4.4 will do more than iOS 7 could ever imagine & still work EXTREMELY well on older devices. That's is a total WIN. Apple can't say the same with iOS 7, that's for sure."

So you just took him saying that Android 4.3 is better than IOS7 ALL THE WAY to Hitler murdering people?

Are you insane?

What's your stance on Xbox One vs. PS4?

posted on 11 Oct 2013, 09:25 1

64. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6599; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


WhY? because YOU'RE SO DAMN blind that's why MXY

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 10:43 19

6. Bootutu (Posts: 189; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)


Thank you, anything with Jelly Bean far surpasses what iOS can ever do, no problems here....let them enjoy their laggy iOS 7

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 11:45 4

23. Kitkat_4.4 (Posts: 74; Member since: 03 Sep 2013)


Yup! Let them njoy their s**t. I can bet apple fan's will buy a iS**t too if only apple releases it.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 12:04 2

30. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8717; Member since: 14 May 2012)


This site honestly doesn't need Apple haters like you. Hint hint...

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 14:56 5

40. DukeX (Posts: 327; Member since: 28 Aug 2013)


Yes 4.1 is goos enough for most. Apple fans think just cause they get fast updates it surpasses android. How can it when it's still limited as hell and taking things from android?

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 15:30 1

42. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8717; Member since: 14 May 2012)


good*

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 20:03 1

50. DukeX (Posts: 327; Member since: 28 Aug 2013)


Watch your back. You may be next to get grammar nazi-ed

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 23:32

52. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8717; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Ok. :)

posted on 11 Oct 2013, 08:27

59. sniper1087 (Posts: 385; Member since: 31 Dec 2011)


To be honest there is imessage, facetime, and other things like printing, send files through airdrop, and one of the most important that my android phone failed to do is share a video through mms, android does not compress the video for sharing, and that is a problem sometimes. Wp8 and IOS can do it, why cant android, you have to use mms option before recording and that is a hassle, something that should have been addressed a long time ago, and surprised it hasnt.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 14:38 3

39. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4072; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


iOS 7 is still better than WP though (in my opinion).

posted on 11 Oct 2013, 08:33 1

60. LiquidGalaxy (Posts: 215; Member since: 03 Jul 2013)


Ahhhh - i do love the confidence fandroids have in their 'marvellous' OS that instantly (see 2nd comment of the story) iOS is brought up. Makes me lol everytime..Enjoy your Google Play Store and Google Music folks haha.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 10:45 15

8. bloodline (Posts: 693; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


I think there is going to be a few surprises in 4.4

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 10:52 3

11. deathgod (Posts: 121; Member since: 23 Nov 2011)


I gotta say I'm not liking the changes :( I wish I could just get the performance enhancements and keep my current JB UI look.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 11:47

24. Kitkat_4.4 (Posts: 74; Member since: 03 Sep 2013)


Let's see what surprises google have for us. We were all thinking it will be 5.0 KLP but google did surprise us and it was the sweetest surprise ever no? Believe in google ;)

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 11:52 1

26. Sakeem (Posts: 255; Member since: 05 Sep 2012)


I hope so. JB is great and a welcome surprise and upgrade from ICS.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 12:02 2

28. Kitkat_4.4 (Posts: 74; Member since: 03 Sep 2013)


Yup. The only thing I'm worried abt is if nexus 5 will have better battery or not. From the rumors- 2300mAH is bad :( I would upgrade ofcourse if it's still 2300mAH but I wish it was better.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 12:45 1

33. Sakeem (Posts: 255; Member since: 05 Sep 2012)


I worry about that as well. Why wouldn't it have 3000mah battery in it? Hopefully the rumor isn't true.

posted on 11 Oct 2013, 09:27

67. cretinick (Posts: 147; Member since: 25 Jan 2011)


Most of the changes that leaked are fake, or old tests they made. It will not be that ugly!

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 10:52 4

12. Samsungadroidrules (Posts: 104; Member since: 28 Jul 2013)


I can't wait to Update my Precious Galaxy S4 on this new android version.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 11:12 3

19. flynfree (Posts: 374; Member since: 09 Jun 2013)


The sad thing is, you wait until next year before you experience it in your sgs4, when sgs5 is already unveil and/or release.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 11:06 1

17. boosook (Posts: 1047; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


We still don't know anything!

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 11:10 3

18. fistigons (Posts: 263; Member since: 11 Feb 2012)


NEXUS 5 BABY!

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 11:14 1

20. Mr.Mr.Upgrade (Posts: 425; Member since: 30 Aug 2011)


They have find away to get pass finger print scanner..and io7 is buggy look on YouTube.. How you watch movies on tiny screens no wonder iPad sales a lot..not to mention no emulators, no free music, no free movies...what the difference from blackberry and iPhone nothing ..all I see is old people with that phone mostly..I like any platform but don't sale me recycle crap...

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 11:48

25. Sakeem (Posts: 255; Member since: 05 Sep 2012)


Can't wait for more info. I'm still on my Droid Razr Maxx. Hopefully the N5 will be my next phone if VZW gets its act together. If not, then I'm switching carriers.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 14:25

38. hallucinogenius (Posts: 12; Member since: 14 Sep 2013)


Dude, I'm still sitting on my Droid 3, with its cracked screen and seizuring failing processor, just holding out for some good news, hoping the nexus 5 gets released on verizon. I am one of the few remaining people grandfathered in with verizons long gone unlimited data that I've had for 6+ years, and I really don't want to switch carriers, but if it comes down to it I may just have to follow my sweet n5 elsewhere

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 15:31

43. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8717; Member since: 14 May 2012)


T-Mobile. :)

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 15:52

44. Sakeem (Posts: 255; Member since: 05 Sep 2012)


LOL!! I am also grandfathered with VZW unlimited data. That's why it will be extremely hard for me to switch carriers. But like you, if the N5 is impressive to me once the details are unwrapped, i will have to jump ship.

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 02:44

91. hallucinogenius (Posts: 12; Member since: 14 Sep 2013)


Turns out my family wants to switch to AT&T for completely unrelated reasons, just in the nick of time! And it was my bday recently, so I'm getting a phone as a present, I wonder what I'll be getting...

posted on 11 Oct 2013, 09:27

66. lallolu (Posts: 240; Member since: 18 Sep 2012)


Something is always taken away fronm nexus phones. Look at N4; camera. N5 (rumours); smaller battery, lower camera MP. Why can we not have the same hardware that is premium at the time of release?????

posted on 14 Oct 2013, 03:14

71. xfire99 (Posts: 544; Member since: 14 Mar 2012)


Coz Nexus series are never meant to be premium model and top of the line smartphone. Its meant for developer to develop apps and test on the phone.

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