After what seemed like an excruciating wait, the Android 4.4 KitKat over-the-air update for the Google Play Edition HTC One is now rolling out.
The update began soon after HTC made the Android 4.4 kernel source and framework files for Google Play Edition HTC One available to the public. Members on XDA Developers Forum have also reported that their Google Play Edition HTC One handsets have begun to update.
The Google Play Edition HTC One is now running the Android 4.4 KitKat software version KRT16S, which includes a host of new features, as well as recent fixes for radio connectivity and encryption bugs.
The 305MB OTA file is also available for download, which can be sideloaded using Android Debug Bridge or installed by downloading the file to your Google Play Edition HTC One, and using the “Update from phone storage” option.
Like the recently updated Google brand devices such as the Nexus 4, 2012 and 2013 Nexus 7, and Nexus 10, the Android 4.4 update for the Google Play Edition HTC One does not include the Google Experience launcher, which remains a feature exclusive to the Nexus 5. The launcher includes such features as the transparent status and navigation bars, and also implements the voice-activated Google Now and Google Search. But all is not lost as users can use ripped files to flash the Google Experience Launcher onto their handsets. The third party Nova Launcher, which adopts the Google Experience look, is also available.
Notably, the Android 4.4 code for the Google Play Edition HTC One has been in Google’s hands for 10 days now as HTC announced it had finished development and delivered the code on Nov. 15. While it was previously believed that OEMs pushed out the Google Play Edition updates, HTC’s announcement now leads us to believe the updates are actually pushed by Google, after manufacturers fit the system’s code to their devices.
Meanwhile, the Google Play Edition Samsung Galaxy S4 has yet to update to Android 4.4 KitKat; however, Samsung has also released its source code for the operating system. This means the Android 4.4 update for the Google Play Edition Samsung Galaxy S4 should begin to roll out soon. Previously, both the Google Play Editions Galaxy S4 and HTC One updated to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean at the same time. This time around, Samsung has not been very forthcoming with information on Android 4.4 KitKat, while HTC has become increasingly more transparent about its newest developments and updates.
Download Android 4.4 KitKat Files
Are you glad to see the Android 4.4 KitKat update for the Google Play Edition HTC One finally rolling out? Let us know in the comments below.
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Fionna Agomuoh is a Technology Reporter for the International Business Times, a vegan foodie, and a lover of Electric Dance Music.