The Android 4.4 KitKat update has slowly begun to trickle out, having hit the 2012 and 2013 Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets earlier this week. Now the new operating system is soon expected to roll out on the Google Play Edition HTC One.
HTC has made a major effort to be transparent in recent months and has employed social media to keep fans and customers up to date with various news about their products. HTC took to Twitter Friday to announce it had completed its work on the Android 4.4 KitKat code for the Google Play Edition HTC One and delivered the code to Google. According to HTC, it is now up to Google to determine when the Android 4.4 KitKat update will roll out on the Google Play Edition HTC One.
Friday was when many were expecting the Google Play Edition HTC One to update to Android 4.4. Shortly after the system release, HTC President Jason Mackenzie announced the Google Play Edition HTC One would update within 15 days, but as of Saturday the device remains without an update. Some note that HTC has in essence completed its task of pushing the Android 4.4 update out (to Google) within 15 days and has now put the responsibility back onto Google to push the update out onto devices.
HTC’s announcement also sheds some further light on the Google Play Edition update process. Notably when the Google Play Editions HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 were released in June, Google said the devices' respective OEMs would be in charge of rolling out new Android versions. Now it appears the updates are actually pushed by Google, after manufacturers fit the system’s code to their devices. This would account for the Google Play Edition devices having not updated at the same time as the Google branded Nexus devices in the past.
However, the release of Android 4.4 KitKat has been different from Android releases in the past. Many Google brand devices such as the Nexus 4 smartphone and the 3G Nexus 7 tablet have yet to update to Android 4.4 for reasons currently unknown. The best hypothesis is that Google wanted the Nexus 5 to run Android 4.4 exclusively for a while before updating other devices. Even devices that have already updated lack some Android 4.4 features seen on the Nexus 5, including the Google Experience Launcher with its transparent status and navigation bars, and its voice-activated Google Now and Google Search implementation. Even with all of the mystery surrounding the Android 4.4 updates for Google devices, it remains unlikely that the Nexus 5 or the Google Play Edition devices will feature the Google Experience Launcher upon update.
While we have some insight to the Google Play Edition HTC One, little is known about the Google Play Edition Samsung Galaxy S4 and its Android 4.4 update progress. We can assume that since both Google Play Edition devices updated to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean at the same time that they will also update to Android 4.4 KitKat at the same time, but with no word from Samsung this is not certain. It would also make sense for both devices to update at the same time if it is in fact Google pushing out their updates and not their respective manufacturers.
After Android 4.3 was unveiled in July and subsequently updated onto older Nexus devices, it took just nine days for the Google Play Edition devices receive the update. And with several Nexus devices still awaiting their Android 4.4 updates, the Google Play Editions may have to wait even longer to get a taste of KitKat, and HTC has made sure that the ball is now in Google's court.
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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.