Android Kit-Kat is a great operating system in some respects… but in others, it could use some work. There are plenty of bugs to squash and ideas to test. So what’s making it to release, and what will Android users have to struggle with?
1. Who’s Getting It?
First of all, don’t expect this to go out to every single Android device. Unfortunately, most Android manufacturers want to ensure that any software updates Google puts out are simpatico with the software they load onto your phone. You may not care about it and never use it, but it’s a big deal to them, so don’t expect anything yet.
That means that it’s limited to Nexus users. If Google’s past behavior is any indication, it’ll start arriving over-the-air during the work week for a limited number of users, with requests for feedback and other help. As that comes together, you’ll see it on more devices over the next few weeks.
2. What Are The Bug Fixes?
First and foremost, Android 4.4.3 is going to be about killing bugs, and there’s plenty infesting Kit-Kat depending on how you use it. Nexus owners in particular are hoping for some relief from the camera focus issues that have plagued 4.4.2, and it seems likely that those are Google’s top priority.
Another major bug that’s likely going away are the data connectivity issues that have haunted some Nexus users. The biggest one on the list is losing a data connection. It doesn’t strike the majority of users, but it’s definitely a problem, and Google seems dedicated to fixing it. Which makes sense; if you’re not on the Internet, using Google, Google has no way to make money.
That said, there are a host of other fixes in the works as well, or at least rumored. Security fixes are also pretty common in the rumor mill.
3. Will Any New Features Be Added?
Unfortunately, that does not seem to be the case. Or if it is, it’s not going to be anything earth-shaking. Many are claiming that this update is largely Google fixing problems, not adding new features.
That said, the Nexus 10 is due for a hardware refresh any day now, so we won’t be surprised if Kit-Kat has at least something new and fancy to show off on the new hardware. If we had to guess, though, it’ll be something minor geared largely for tablets. This update is largely about streamlining everything.
4. Will It Ever Come To Devices From Other Companies?
Again, that’s up to the manufacturer and the carrier, not Google, but we’re optimistic that you’ll see Kit-Kat get updated sooner rather than later. Certainly, if your phone got Kit-Kat installed on it recently, the bug fixes alone will probably be uploaded.
That said, if you want Kit-Kat the way it was meant to be used, you’ll probably have to shell out for a Nexus, or one of Google’s “stock” phones from other manufacturers, which are only sold at full price. But, hey, at least you won’t be on a contract.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.