Even though Google designed Android 4.4 to work on more devices than any of its predecessors, it looks like KitKat’s adoption rate is lower than Jelly Bean’s was when it first launched. GigaOm citess data from a new Chitika report showing that in the 6 months since Android 4.4 KitKat was launched, only around 10% of Android devices part of the study have been seen running it. Comparatively, Jelly Bean was installed on 14% of devices 6 months after launch, the company revealed in a similar report in early 2013. More →
A previously unseen version of Android 4.4 KitKat has been discovered on Google’s Chrome bug tracking board by Myce who spotted build KTU65 running on a Nexus 5 in an issue description that was initially labeled “Google Restrict View” – or visible only to Google employees – before being made public. More →
Android 4.4 KitKat introduced a number of great new optimizations and features. While only a small percentage of Android devices currently run the latest version of Google’s Android software, the number is growing every day. For those who do have access to KitKat, one of the coolest new features is immersive mode, which hides a device’s on-screen buttons and notification bar so that app content is given as much canvas as possible, with all distractions eliminated. Unfortunately, not all apps that might make great use of this new feature have it enabled.
As is often the case with Android, however, there are ways of tweaking your device so that any app can be used in immersive mode. More →
Samsung was caught red-handed more than once last year as reviewers repeatedly discovered evidence that the company’s phones and tablets were artificially boosting benchmark scores. Although Samsung was the primary culprit, other popular brands were found to be using similar CPU optimization to skirt around legitimate results, but based on the latest tests, the biggest name in Android seems to have cleaned up its act once and for all. More →
As Google attempts to solve the Android fragmentation problem, Samsung has confirmed a sizable list of its own phones that will catch up to the latest version of Android in the near future. Android Central has shared the announcement from Samsung, which mentions fourteen Galaxy smartphones and tablets that will see the Android 4.4.2 KitKat software update “beginning today and continuing throughout the coming months.” Samsung did not confirm when each individual phone would be receiving the update, although the rollout will apparently begin today. The full list of devices is as follows: More →
The latest Android update has been gradually rolling out to the biggest smartphones on the market over the past several months, but it doesn’t appear to have made much of an impact yet. Google reports on its Android Developer site that KitKat has only been distributed to 1.8% of Android phones so far. Jelly Bean is still the version of choice for Android users, with an astonishing 60.7% of the user base. More →
It turns out that one of the best Android phones on the market will be stuck in the past for a few days longer. HTC announced on Wednesday that the Android 4.4 update will not reach the HTC One in time to cover the 90-day deadline that the company set late last year. According to a letter sent out by HTC’s Jason MacKenzie, “the software development process does not always follow a linear path and we know today that we will miss our self-imposed target.” Although the HTC One won’t get KitKat in January as was originally planned, MacKenzie believes the rollout will begin within one to two weeks. The full letter follows below. More →
There have been plenty of indications that the latest Android software update would be coming to the newest flagship Samsung devices this month, but it looks like the rollout has finally begun. SamMobile reports that the Android 4.4.2 update is currently available for the Galaxy Note 3 in Poland via the Kies desktop transfer software and should be downloadable as an over the air update soon. According to SamMobile, the build number is identical to that of the leaked firmware from last Friday. There is no word yet on when the update will start making its way overseas, but the delay between regions is rarely longer than a few weeks.
When BGR reviewed the HTC One earlier this year, we found the best Android smartphone on the market. Seven months later, the HTC One is still among the best options for Android users, but it’s missing Android 4.4 KitKat, the biggest update of the fall. KitKat shipped with the Google Nexus 5, and has since rolled out on other Nexus devices and even the Moto X, but HTC had been relatively quiet up until Tuesday, when the company finally shared release details for Android 4.4. According to HTC USA on Twitter, the company had to delay Android 4.3 for Verizon Wireless customers, but this “does not impact delivery of 4.4 by end of January – still on track.” It looks like the wait is nearly over for KitKat on the HTC One — HTC just has to finish pushing out the final Jelly Bean update first.
Google’s Android is still free for anyone to use but the company has started asserting more control over the mobile platform by making its default home screen into a giant Google search app. As Ars Technica’s Ron Amadeo points out, Google has changed its platform with Android 4.4 KitKat by turning “all home screen functionality over to the Google Search app,” which means that “the wallpaper, the icons, the widgets, and the app drawer — are all drawn by the Google Search app.” Amadeo says that joining the search app to the home screen at the hip is the same strategy that Facebook used with Facebook Home: Just as the Home overlay turned Android devices into Facebook phones so does the KitKat strategy turn them into Google phones first. More →
Google hasn’t released a major new version of Android for more than a year now and has instead been content to make some minor adjustments and additions to the Jelly Bean iteration of its popular mobile platform. But it looks like Google is aiming big with Android 4.4 KitKat, according to a leaked document shown to reporter Amir Efrati. Writing at Jessica Lessin’s blog, Efrati reports that the next version of Android will look to expand its reach beyond smartphones and tablets by optimizing it for use in wearable computers and by adding features that will help it interact with televisions. More →
As the release of Android 4.4 KitKat approaches, leaks are springing up more often. The latest batch of purported KitKat photos comes courtesy of Italian Android blog Tutto Android. The photos appear to confirm several rumored features of the Android update, including Tap & Pay, which will allow users to manage their Google Wallets and complete NFC payments. There are also several improved location-related settings, such as choosing between high accuracy and battery saving location modes, and seeing which apps have recently requested location services. Also worth noting, the images appear to show Android 4.4 running on Google’s unreleased Nexus 5, which will reportedly launch alongside the OS update next week. The leaked photos can be seen below. More →
We know that Google is planning to release a new version of its mobile operating system in the near future called Android 4.4 KitKat and now we might have a better idea of what it could look like. GadgetHelpline has posted some leaked pictures of an early Android 4.4 build back when it was still known internally at Google as “Key Lime Pie.” Droid Life points out that there are very few changes to Android’s user interface in the leaked build, which makes sense because the company has already done a lot of work refining the UI through its releases of Android 4.1 through Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. More →