The Android 4.4 KitKat rollout onto non-Nexus devices will soon resume as invitations to participate in the system's soak test for the AT&T Moto X went out to members of the Motorola Feedback Network on Wednesday; the soak test is expected to begin on Friday.
Motorola appears to be committed to speedy rollout of Android 4.4 on its Moto X, and several other Motorola devices. The Verizon Moto X began to update to Android 4.4 on Tuesday after news of its soak test surfaced on Monday. With such a timeline, many expect the AT&T Moto X will officially update to Android 4.4 within a few days. Sources have told Droid Life the official update should roll out during the first week of December, which is a little more than a week away.
A “soak test” is essentially a beta test, in which manufactures and carriers push out the latest firmware to a select number of handsets for users to get a feel for the software and report any problems or concerns; the testers are usually those who frequent Motorola’s feedback forums.
The Moto X is notably the first non-Nexus device to update to Android 4.4 KitKat. It also received the update before the Nexus 4, the most recent predecessor to the recently released Nexus 5. Many Nexus fans have taken issue with this due to the fact that the “Nexus experience” usually includes access to the latest Android operating systems before other OEM devices.
In the past, older Nexus devices would receive an update immediately upon the unveiling of a new Android operating system, but some waiting came with the introduction of Android 4.4. After the system released on Oct. 31, the 2012 and 2013 models of the Nexus 7 and the Nexus 10 tablets did not receive an update until two weeks later. The Nexus 4 waited another week for an update, while the 3G Nexus 7 models still await their Android 4.4 KitKat update. Meanwhile, the Verizon Moto X received its Android 4.4 update just one day before the Nexus 4, which was enough to leave many Nexus users frustrated.
Though the Moto X is not a Nexus device, with Motorola now being a division of Google, it is for all intents and purposes a Google device. It makes sense that Motorola would have an easier time navigating the update process than other manufacturers, many of which are not expected to begin updating their current devices to Android 4.4 until well into 2014. The Moto X runs a slightly modified version of stock Android. Prior to the Android 4.4 KitKat update, the device ran Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, the operating system with which it released in August.
Currently, it has not been confirmed whether the soak test for the AT&T Moto X is in fact Android 4.4, but many expect that it is the operating system after similar speculations for the Verizon Moto X were quickly confirmed.
Based on the Verizon Moto X soak test and subsequent system release, the AT&T Moto X is expected to receive such updates as Moto X phone dialer, camera and gallery and Google Hangouts, as well as the touchless control “find my phone” command, enhanced NFC support for Host Card Emulation, and the increased Accessory support for the Square credit card reader.
In addition to Verizon and AT&T, the Moto X is also available on Sprint, T-Mobile, Republic Wireless and U.S. Cellular.
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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.