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The next major version of Android, dubbed as ‘L’ (Lollipop?) was announced by Google at its I/O developer conference in San Francisco. Android L brought with it a ton of new changes, most of which are for developers. But the user-facing end got a neat facelift too, and as ever, we took the latest OS from the search giant for a spin on a Nexus 5, and couldn’t help comparing it with last year’s offering, Android KitKat.
We've been hearing a lot of rumors pertaining to an Android 4.4.3 update, with the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 reportedly in line as the very first recipients of the supposedly imminent release. Even though much of the information thus far has been sketchy at best, we're led to believe that the forthcoming KitKat 4.4.3 update will contain nothing more than performance enhancements, and a newly-leaked 'change log' appears to corroborate this notion.
Currently, the latest version of Google's Android is 4.4.2 KitKat, but it looks now like an Android 4.4.3 update is on the horizon. There have been plenty of leaks to corroborate this, and having trawled through endless Chromium code, Android 4.4.3 running on both the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 have been discovered.
We’ve discussed on multiple occasions how fragmentation is Android’s Achilles Heel. Despite all the many advantages that the open source nature of the operating system brings to users, it’s no hidden truth that OEMs often tend to delay newer Android builds for even not-so-old devices (or cancel them altogether) simply because they want customers to upgrade to the latest phone to get their hands on the latest and greatest that Android has to offer. Nowadays, it’s not just the one year old smartphones that suffer this dilemma - even the reigning flagships see considerable delays in getting updates to the latest available version of Android. Galaxy S4 is just one example from Samsung.
Features and new additions will invariably come and go as new technology catapults to the forefront of our minds, but no matter what happens, there will always be some aspects of this software that will remain extremely important to users. Security and privacy are undoubtedly two extremely important areas of concern. Just as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) started to wax lyrical about Google's new focus on user privacy, it turns out that they have actually recently removed the biggest privacy feature that has been added to Android over the years.
As with any new update to Google's Android, many users are left in no man's land, waiting anxiously for that OTA to appear so they can go ahead and take advantage of the new features. Such is the fragmented nature of the operating system, devices are promised a new update from the get-go, but often have to wait weeks or even months before they can actually begin using it. The antiquated LG Nexus 4 will soon begin to see the recently released Android 4.4 KitKat, and although many in ownership of the handset have already successfully sought ways to force an update, you can now do so by flashing the update by your phone's recovery.
Android users around the globe rejoiced when Google announced that an additional array of smartphones would be benefiting from the KitKat update in the "coming weeks". Google took their usual stance of not going into any great detail regarding when specific hardware would be able to get the upgrade but it seems that weeks will actually be more like months for HTC One owners. Not exactly the longest wait that Android owners have had to endure, but still not exactly ideal for those itching to experience Android at its finest.
As soon as Android 4.4 KitKat was formally announced, it was certain that the newer Nexus devices will definitely be getting the new version of the operation system. Nexus 4, the one year old Nexus flagship that is still plenty powerful, obviously made the cut, but it didn’t get an OTA update for the latest Android version as soon as it surfaced on Nexus 5. All we kept hearing was “a few weeks” without any definitive availability date. Well, we guess it’s pretty close now, as Google has posted the factory images for Android 4.4 KitKat for the Nexus 4 on its developer portal.
Android KitKat is the latest dessert that you can possibly get at this point in time for your Android smartphone or tablet, depending on the device that you carry. Usually, Nexus devices are the first one to taste any new flavor of Google’s mobile OS, and that’s what we saw with Nexus 5 that ships with Android 4.4. For all the others in the pipeline, the release was promised to follow in the days to come. Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 are the first ones that have started receiving the over-the-air 4.4 update, but if you haven’t gotten the notification yet in your region, the good news is that you can update right away using ADB sideload.