Now that Google has finally announced the much-anticipated Android 4.4 KitKat update that will replace Android Jelly Bean as the company's most-current operating system, many consumers are anxious to know when the operating system will begin rolling out onto its popular devices.
Google departed from its usual tradition of updating Nexus devices immediately after releasing a new operating system. Instead, Google simply added the Android 4.4-enabled Nexus 5 to the Google Play Store on Oct. 31-- without a grand introduction. The Nexus 5 -- its only phone so far with the update -- and Android 4.4 were essentially unveiled on Google’s blog.
Android 4.4 Update For Nexus Devices And Google Play Editions
Other Google-branded devices such as the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10 and the Google Play editions for Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One are expected to receive the latest update soon -- but no specific date has been set. Though Google has veered far from its usual product-release traditions, many tech websites seem certain that the company's Nexus devices will receive the update before any of its other handsets.
One such site, @LlabTooFeR, indicated that the Google Play editions for Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One are expected to receive the update within two weeks of the Oct. 31 release of the Nexus 5 and Android 4.4.
HTC America President Jason Mackenzie appeared to confirm that news when he told Engadget that the Google Play edition for HTC One would update within 15 days. Nexus devices will likely receive the update before mid-November, prior to the Google Play edition for HTC One update.
There has been no word from Samsung on its Android 4.4 update schedule; however, the Google Play edition for Samsung Galaxy S4 will likely update at the same time as the Google Play edition for the HTC One. Both devices updated to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean at the same time in August -- roughly 10 days after the operating system was unveiled in late July. Notably, the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 began updating first, immediately after Android 4.3 was released.
According to Mackenzie, U.S. carrier models of the HTC One will update to Android 4.4 KitKat within 90 days of Oct. 31, making its prospective release date late January 2014. HTC U.K. has also announced that its HTC One carrier models will begin updating to Android 4.4 in late January.
HTC, which also makes the Droid DNA, is expected to update the handset to Android 4.4 at some point. Mackenzie said that the handset's update schedule is under review.
While Samsung hasn't commented yet on its Android 4.4 release schedule, tech website SamMobile said on Twitter Nov. 5 that system testing for the Galaxy Note 3 has started.
Samsung is still in the process of updating several of its flagship handsets to Android 4.3. -- including Galaxy Note 2, which would be the device’s first update since its September 2012 release. It's uncertain which Samsung devices will update to Android 4.4 first, but it's likely Samsung will wait until 2014 to update its phones.
The LG G2 is expected to update to Android 4.4 between November and December, according to a leaked schedule from French carrier SFR. The same timeframe was also cited in another leak from the same carrier regarding the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2. While the leak may be a good indicator of an impending release, it doesn't provide any details about plans to roll out Android 4.4 for LG G2 models in the U.S. Still, some hint that an update may be on the way is better than nothing.
The LG G2, which was released in September, runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. The phone would certainly be a viable candidate for an early Android 4.4 update, considering its similarities to the Nexus 5. Both devices are made my LG, and include the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC in addition to optical-image stabilization in their cameras. Indeed, many tech reviewers believe that the LG G2 was the blueprint for the Nexus 5.
Motorola has confirmed on its customer-care page that a number of its devices -- including the Moto X, Droid Ultra, Droid MAXX and the Droid Mini -- will update to Android 4.4 at some point. The website page, however, doesn't include any additional details -- though Android 4.4 isn't expected to roll out onto Motorola devices until 2014.
Sony has hinted on Twitter that it will release news related to Android 4.4 sometime this week. With the hashtag #SonyXperia, we can assume the news will include information about Sony’s extensive product line; however, many Xperia devices -- including the Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR, Xperia Tablet Z, Xperia SP and the Xperia Z Ultra -- still haven't received the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update, which was promised in July. Sony’s tweet also indicated that information about Android 4.3 will be released this week.
What do you think of the current Android 4.4 KitKat update schedule? Let us know in the comments section 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.