Google Releases Android 4.4.3 KitKat On Nexus 5: Update Features Bug Fixes, Redesigned Dialer

Android 4.4.3 Nexus 5 Nexus 7 Samsung Galaxy S4
Google began rolling out the next version of the Android operating system, Android 4.4.3 KitKat, on Monday. Google Inc.

Google released Android 4.4.3 KitKat on Monday, an update to the mobile operating system that consists mostly of bug fixes and minor tweaks. The update is rolling out across the company’s line of Nexus devices, including the Nexus 5 smartphone and Nexus 7 tablet.

Among a number of bug fixes and design changes, the biggest update introduced by Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) in Android 4.4.3 (KTU84L) is a redesigned Dialer app, used to make phone calls and access contacts. With Dialer version 1.1, Android users still view their most “favorite” contacts -- those whom they contact the most often -- but in Android 4.4.3, they can rearrange their favorites and access all of their information directly from the app.

The blue telephone icon still loads the Dialer app in Android 4.4.3, but users can customize their favorite contact cards by pressing and holding, what is known as a long press, to rearrange their position in the app. The three dots that appear throughout Android, called an overflow button, now appear on contact cards as well, allowing users to access more information, including phone number, email address and the option to send a text message.

Google has also been criticized by some users for breaking more than it fixes in Android 4.4.3. A number of users are reporting issues with data connections and notification lights with the latest KitKat update.

Google also fixed a number of Bluetooth issues in Android with version 4.4.3, sometimes caused by connecting to wearables like smartwatches and other devices using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology. The playback of lossless (.FLAC) audio files was improved, as well as certain errors that could cause the operating system to reboot. A comprehensive list of the changes Google made with Android 4.4.3 KitKat, known as a changelog, is available online.

The LG Nexus 5 smartphone will be one of the first devices to receive the update, which is expected to roll out for the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 tablet in the next week. The device previously had issues with audio quality during phone calls and GPS navigation, but it is not immediately clear from the changelog if those problems were rectified in Android 4.4.3.

Other popular smartphones, like the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One, won't receive the Android 4.4.3 update until it has been reviewed and adjusted by their respective manufacturers, a process that sometimes takes several weeks, or even months. Google is expected to announce a larger update -- Android version 4.5 or 5.0 -- during its I/O developer’s conference later this month.

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