Google Releases Android 4.4.4 KitKat Update With Security Patches For Nexus Devices

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.

The Android 4.4.4 KitKat update is now coming to a number of Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) Nexus devices less than three weeks after the Android 4.4.3 update became available.

The latest update is available for the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 smartphones as well as both Nexus 7 (2012) models, Nexus 7 (2013) model and Nexus 10 tablets. The advanced change log for the Android 4.4.4 KitKat software version KTU84P indicates that the Android 4.4.4 is a security update, which addresses issues within the Open SSL protocol. That was the code behind the Heartbleed bug, which caused major security headaches across the Internet in April. Sprint Corp. (NYSE:S), which carries the Nexus 5, has also confirmed that the update fixes various security issues.

The Android 4.4.4 KitKat update is now available over-the-air. Users can check to see if the update is available for their device by accessing Settings > About Phone > System Updates. Advanced users can download the update file for the Nexus 4, Nexus 5 and Nexus 10 and install it manually.

Google has also made its factory image files available for the devices that are receiving updates. Factory images allow users who have modified the software on their device in any way to return the device to a factory state like when the handset was first purchased.

According to xda-developers.com, a mobile software development community that claims to have more than 5 million registered users, the recently released Towelroot root method by celebrity hacker Geohot hasn't been patched with the update and remains open for those interested in trying out the software. The hacker took advantage of a hole in the Android Linux kernel code to create the root, similar to how developers create iOS software for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) products.

The various Google Play Edition devices are expected to be updated to Android 4.4.4 KitKat soon. Motorola Solutions Inc. (NYSE:MSI) also announced that a number of its devices -- including the Droid Ultra, Droid Maxx and Droid Mini -- will skip the Android 4.4.3 KitKat update in favor of Android 4.4.4. The devices are expected to be approved for the latest update within the next five weeks.

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