If you hadn’t heard Android 4.4 KitKat is out in the wild on the Google Nexus 5, where have you been? It’s been over 3 months since the launch of KitKat, leaving many owners wondering when their handset is set to get the update.
Unfortunately with different OEMs all adding their own skins and networks having to certify these updates, the roll out of any new Android OS is less than smooth.
With MWC 2014 just around the corner we might be set to see a whole glut of update announcements but here’s our guide to what handsets can currently get their hands on the chocolatey goodness, those set for the new software and those that will miss out.
- If you’re wondering about the next generation of Android handsets that will run KitKat, we’ve seen* the Galaxy S5 running it through a leaked* video. (*not seen, not leaked. This is TechRadar’s concept for Samsung’s next flagship).
YouTube : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4reayg4Suc
Hopefully we will see the latest Android update land on a much wider range of devices this time, with KitKat supporting devices with as little as 512MB RAM.
This will mean we should see it on new budget devices, and we can hold a little hope that older budget handsets will get a refresh – although it’s unlikely manufacturers will revisit their older, cheaper smartphones.
- Read our Android 4.4 KitKat review
We have been in contact with various manufacturers to get a feel for their update cycles, and we will continue to update this article as news trickles in, so keep your eyes peeled.
Here’s our guide to whether or not you’re going to get the update to Google’s latest iteration of Android, and when those updates should land.
Android is Google’s mobile OS, so the Android 4.4 KitKat update was always bound to land on certain Nexus devices. Unfortunately, the word ‘certain’ is key.
Google is only supporting the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 (both editions) and Nexus 10, with the updates for the tablets now finally here – although shorn of the Google Experience launcher, which seems to be something to do with the larger devices being unable to handle the transparent bar at the bottom of the screen.
This is taking a while though – not everyone has got the update yet, but it is rolling out slowly, so stay tuned to the ‘System updates’ section of your menu to see when it arrives.
The certain devices getting the KitKat update also include the Play editions of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One, but not the Samsung-made Galaxy Nexus.
Reasons touted are that it doesn’t fit in Google’s 18-month update window, and that Texas Instruments no longer make mobile chips, so is unable to provide support.
Updated: Samsung has outlined a few handsets that it will be pushing to the new level of software, but as expected the OS update is being pushed out to its latest flagships first.
Both the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Samsung Galaxy S4 are currently receiving the updates in Poland and South Korea, with other territories currently being prepped to receive KitKat. With any luck it shouldn’t be too long until the update is passed over to the rest of globe.
Alongside these flagships other devices set to receive the update sometime in the coming months include the Galaxy S3, Galaxy S3 Mini, Galaxy Note 8.0, Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy Mega. Both the Galaxy S4 Zoom and Galaxy S4 Active are also set, as well as the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0.
Updated: According to HTC’s official update page (UK, US), all UK models of the HTC One, One Mini and One Max are in the integration stage meaning networks have yet to get their hands on the software to certify it.
Its a different story in the US where the unlocked, developer edition, Google Play edition as well as Sprint and Verizon branded handsets have all received the updates. AT&T, T-Mobile are still running their own test.
Owners of the HTC One Max on Verizon should also be in line soon as the carrier is in testing, with Sprint still awaiting the updated OS from HTC. AT&T are also waiting for HTC to pass on the update for the One Mini.
Older handsets including the One X and One X+ will miss out on the update – although we’re keeping an eye on that one, as things can change… don’t hold your breath though.
Updated: Sony has confirmed that Android 4.4 KitKat will be coming to the Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia Tablet Z, Xperia Z Ultra, Xperia Z1 and Xperia Z1 Compact although there is currently no word on exactly when this is going to happen.
Current rumours put Sony’s KitKat launch towards the end of February or the beginning of March.
Updated: The good news is that the LG G2 Android 4.4 KitKat update is real. Given that LG built the past two Nexus devices, we were a little hopeful.
The bad news is that there is still no official word on when we are likely to see the update although current rumours have it pegged to land before the end of March. Rumours surrounding the LG G Pad 8.3 also have tablet set to receive the update making the jump direct from Android 4.1.
Updated: Owners of the European Moto G have been able to the Android 4.4 KitKat update since mid-January. In the US those that purchased the budget handset through Amazon, direct from Motorola or on Boost will also be able to gain the download.
Android 4.4 KitKat is also available from launch in the UK on the Moto X, with US owners now also able to grab the download. Other handsets in the US are also receiving the KitKat update including Verizon’s Droid Ultra, Droid Maxx, and Droid Mini.
In line for the update but without any time frame includes AT&T’s Atrix HD, US Cellular’s Electrify M and Verizon’s Razr HD and Razr Maxx HD.
Over in Australia updates are a little more sparse. Currently the Motorola Razr HD is listed for updating with the decision on the Razr M having yet to be made.
When it comes to devices, Huawei may be famed for its budget offerings. This sometimes means that software updates can be a little hard to come by.
The Huawei Ascend P2 and Ascend P6 both have a lot to shout about, though, so we might well see Huawei Android 4.4 KitKat with the Emotion UI landing on both devices.
Updated: According to the Huawei Ascend P6 Facebook page the handset started receiving the update to Android 4.4 KitKat in January.
Alongside Huawei, its Chinese compatriot ZTE is another firm famed for lower end devices.
Both the cheaper quad-core ZTE Blade V, now on the market toting 1GB RAM, as well as the 512MB RAM ZTE Blade 3, both technically support KitKat.
Although ZTE currently has no word on planned updates, we could see an Android 4.4 KitKat upgrade land on these devices if there proves to be enough of a clamour.
Acer isn’t necessarily a brand that many will associate with Google’s mobile OS, however it does have a few devices out there running Android software.
With tablets such as the Iconia A1, and Liquid branded smartphones like the Acer Liquid S1, we might well see some Android 4.4 KitKat update love being shared to the Taiwanese firm’s devices.
As with every other manufacturer, we have contacted Acer to find out more.