The distribution of the upgrade to KitKat is proceeding pretty slowly with many devices still lagging behind to even catch up to Android 4.3 Jellybean. So what exactly does the Android 4.4 schedule look like for the different manufacturers? Here’s a summarized version of all the available information about the KitKat update.
Android KitKat was not the big version jump that everyone had hoped for. However, the majority of the changes that KitKat brings with it are hidden away behind the scenes and bring some pretty good innovations with it. Hangouts has been integrated as the standard messenger, the status bar is now transparent with white icons, there’s a new full screen mode and improved phone app. For a full overview of the changes in KitKat, check out our summary.
The Moto G is in the forefront with the KitKat update and is among the first devices outside of the Nexus and Google Edition line of devices to get the update. This brings some promise for Motorola: both the Moto X and Moto G run an almost pure Android experience with very small changes to the core, making the adjustments to a new Android version a very simple case compared to other manufacturers. The Moto X, which will soon be available outside of the Americas for sale, is seeing the rollout right now and will be shipping from the factory with Android 4.4.
Samsung Touchwiz is highly different from stock Android and as such, takes a bit longer for an update to roll out. Apart from having to customize any updates to their own UI, Samsung picks and chooses which of its devices are going to get the update and which aren’t. However, if you’ve got one of the latest Samsung devices (Galaxy S4 or Note 3) you are first in line for the update rollout. In fact, a test version of Android 4.4 for both the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Note 3 has already been spotted in the wild that can be installed if you so choose. As such, you can most likely expect an official rollout to commence before the month of January is over.
Sony is currently lagging behind on its update schedule: all Sony devices currently are still waiting for their update to Android 4.3, despite reassuring customers in December that the update was going ahead as planned and was beginning to rollout. However, nothing has been noted to any of our test devices and we’re still waiting patiently for that long expected rollout.
For the Xperia Z1, ports of KitKat have been making their way onto the net, but nothing official is anywhere near the horizon. As for the Z1 Compact, if it comes to the market in February with Android 4.3, it would be the first among Sony devices to sport Android 4.3. Think about that for a second.
HTC is stating that the HTC One will start seeing the update in the next few weeks, at least according to various twitter updates pointing in that direction. As such, the HTC One, One Mini, and One Max should start seeing Android 4.4 sometime between now and February. In fact, as of January 20th, we’re starting to even see the rollout of Android 4.4 to various customers around Europe. With that new information pending, we should start see it rolling out to new areas over the next little while.
Later this year, the entry-level smartphone the HTC Desire 500, should also be seeing the KitKat update. However, the One X, One X+, One S, and One V will be left in the dust and will be receiving no more official updates from HTC.
LG set off the end of the year with a bang with the LG G2. The much-acclaimed smartphone was unveiled at the IFA with Android 4.2.2 on board and should have received the update to Android 4.4 in late 2013. So far, however, we have yet to see anything despite reports coming last December about an impending update coming from LG. It was then reported that at least the French market would see the update before the end of January. Canada, however, would be left in the dust and not see anything until the end of March. If you're in South Korea, however, you might be in luck.
According to various other reports, it seems that LG is skipping the Android 4.3 update all together and will bumping most of their devices straight to Android 4.4. If this is true, expect a whole swathe of LG products seeing the KitKat upgrade around the same time including: Optimus models, G Pad 8.3, G Flex, among others. While a schedule has not been announced per se, it it safe to assume it's pending.
The Chinese manufacturer brought the Ascend P6 to the market last year, which brought some elegance and style to Chinese manufacturing. The Ascend P6 was, at the time, the thinnest Android smartphone on the market and was released with Android 4.2.2. Huawei has promised a release of Android 4.4 shortly with a updated version of their Emotion UI.
The distribution is expected to start in January in China, with the new Emotion UI 2.3 being tested in a closed beta group. When the update will be available outside of China, as well as when it will be available for other Ascend models such as the Ascend Mate, is still to be determined. Even the Ascend Mate 2 which was presented at CES 2014 was still sporting a version of Android Jellybean on it.
Asus is going a little bit backwards on their update schedule, at least for their newer device. The Padfone A80 Infinity is expected to get the update in the first quarter of 2014, with its successor, the Padfone A86, not receiving the update until the second quarter of 2014.