Just a quick note to anyone waiting for full OS factory images and drivers for existing Nexus devices (outside of the Galaxy Nexus, which bit the dust with KitKat) - as is customary, they will follow over-the-air updates released according to Google's favorite timeline: "in the coming weeks."

The Nexus 5 factory images will be out later today, but don't sit there hitting F5 expecting factory images for the Nexus 4, 7 (new and old), or 10 to pop up any time soon.

As per Ed Heyl, the Google release engineer who replaced JBQ:

We are making the proprietary binaries and factory images available for the Nexus 5 today as well.

In the coming weeks, other Nexus devices (Nexus 4, 7, and 10) will receive their KitKat update, and we'll make those proprietary binaries and factory images available at that time.

Source: Android Building

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • Nick

    But...I want it now...

  • mintvilla

    I miss JBQ

    • Fitzelgard Allan Gerard

      He's probably rolling in his paperwork knowing that Google forgot how to Google.

  • Stacey Liu

    Seriously? That's really lame.

  • Milton P.

    Now let's see what comes first: my Nexus 5 or the OTA for my Nexus 4. The wait begins.

    • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

      Get outta here... seems like I can't have either for WEEKS. B'day kind of ruined. :(

      • HolyFreakingCrap


        • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh


          • Walkop

            You the guy on G+ who got given the Nexus 4? :D

          • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh


      • ProfessorGadget

        Your Birthday was ruined because you have to wait 2-3 weeks for a phone update?
        You must have been charming to be around on Christmas morning when you didn't get the new toy you wanted.

        • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

          Your exaggeration/humour meter is fubar'd...

  • Kyle Riedemann

    Not as big of an update I know, but remember 4.3 was up the night they announced it.

    • Jimmy Baez

      This is easily the biggest update since ICS.

      • Kyle Riedemann

        Agreed, but I think we all agree that this launch has been better prepared for than any other. We know most of this probably could have been launched weeks ago, and I saw 4.4 for the Mako was recently added to AOSP. Hopefully, the factory images will come later tonight. Hopefully!

      • Stacey Liu

        What does that have to do with anything? If they're releasing an update, every device that's getting the update should get it that very day. That's what Apple does.

        Now they're basically saying older devices are low priority (gimped N4 update, no GNex update) and that their users should buy a new phone if they want immediate support.

        • TehTechGod

          What is funny is that the hardcore Nexus fanboys are defending Google in this. Someone told me in a reply at XDA that Google isn't trying to get people to get the 5 to get the update first. Give me a break, Google pretty much turned into the other OEM's like HTC, Samsung, etc. The point of the Nexus line is to get instant updates, this is pretty much the opposite and you are forced to wait a week or two or get the latest model. The Nexus 7 (2013) is the flagship Nexus tablet and the ETA is in the coming weeks. The people thinking that they can just flash a AOSP built 4.4 ROM need to understand that the ROM that comes stock on Nexus devices isn't AOSP so that shouldn't be an excuse for anything.

          • lbrfabio

            Well, one or two weeks it's not the same thing as 3, 5 months or never...

          • Igor

            OK, I will put it clear. In six months there will be no more updates for the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 (first generation) and Nexus 10 no matter how much you will wait for the OTA upgrades/images.

      • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

        He's implying 4.3 wasn't as big of an update as this one..

        • howardbamber

          Any dummy knows that or is that what passes for irony?

          • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

            Read who I replied to and what that person was trying to correct. Try using your comprehension skills maybe?

    • Clayton Ginther

      4.3 also didn't have nearly as many changes as 4.4

      • lbrfabio

        I'd say the amount of changes(features and other things) of 4.4 is like the sum of 4.1+4.2.+4.3 and maybe a little bit of 4.0

  • veRdiKt

    If you want the latest revision of Android, Please pay $350 (before tax). We will include a complimentary phone that will support upgrades for the next 3 years.

    • techlte

      Or in the case of Galaxy Nexus owners, only 2 years..

      • Javier

        Galaxy nexus was the most officialy updated phone ever, tell me a 2011 phone running 4.3 officialy...

        • techlte

          Considering it is a Nexus device, I don't think anyone expected anything less?

      • TheLastAngel

        Actually, more like 20 months. FU Google btw.

    • Stacey Liu

      18 months*. Which is really dumb. Even the iPhone 4 got iOS 7. Yes, it didn't get all of the features, but that's irrelevant...it's on the latest API level.

      • Nicolo Orlando

        Yeah but it runs like crap on the 4, bunch of my friends regret updating to it. Maybe it's an evil plot to get them to upgrade :)

        • Stacey Liu

          Well that's to be expected...it has an A4. The iPhone 4 will appear to run like crap on any iOS version at this point. It ran like shit on iOS 6 too.

          At least Apple is allowing users of the phone to have access to the latest apps and APIs.

          Also, no update at all is an eviler plot to get people to upgrade.

          • ProfessorGadget

            Would you rather get the upgrade and have a device that is a pain to use because it can't support the OS or a device that is running smoothly?

            Apple does give out the updates but strips much of the functionality for older phones and makes them run choppy and slow.

            If it upsets you that bad then pay Apple $700 for a 16gb phone and another $100 for an extra 16GB of memory. Then in two years update your iOS to an new version and have a phone that forces you into buying a new one.

          • Stacey Liu

            The OS update isn't making the phone that much slower. It's just older hardware. NAND degrades over time. People's standards increase when they see newer phones so they feel like their older phones are running slow. I think my Nexus 4 runs great. If I use a Nexus 5, I probably won't feel the same way.

            Apple isn't intentionally making phones laggier. If that's what you think their goal is, you need to take off your tinfoil hat. Their goal is to do whatever they can to keep as many devices as they can on the latest API level without making them unusable. I've got a 3GS on iOS 6 sitting on my desk right now. Yes, it's slow, but it's not unusable. I can still make calls, browse the web, and use any compatible apps fairly well. If the device was too bogged down by the update, Apple wouldn't deliver it at all (iPad 1 and the 3GS didn't get iOS 7).

            My device is still usable and I have access to the latest App Store apps. That's what long term support brings. I'm missing features that newer devices have, but if that's what's needed to keep my device usable on the latest API level, so be it. That's a much better deal than being left on an old API level, because my phone has aged past some arbitrary 18 month deadline.

            Google isn't even trying. The Galaxy Nexus has got an SoC comparable to that of the iPhone 4S. It shouldn't have a problem handling KK, especially since it's supposed to be more efficient. The Nexus 4 has a DSP, why isn't it getting LP audio?

            Besides you can't really make that claim because Android did the same thing before 4.3, but with no updates at all. Without TRIM, any phone's I/O performance fell off a cliff over months of usage. It's the same problem Windows XP/Vista users reported of their machines slowing to a crawl over time.

          • ProfessorGadget

            iOS running on an iPhone 4 or 4S is considerably slower than iOS 6.
            Just ask my kid that wants to go back because his phone is slower and buggy since upgrading to iOS 7.
            As phone/tablet OS's become more mature they require more RAM and better processors to run the "latest" software.

            This is more of a problem on iOS but is still a problem on Android up until this update if the rumors are true. But even Google isn't supporting the update with it's own Nexus device because the phone doesn't meet the minimum requirements to run 4.4.

  • Malufor
  • Josh P.

    Probably the worst thing google could have done today other than not release a thing was to shun loyal nexus 4 owners... Not even apple shuns their old device owners on release day.

    • ddpacino

      Why is this new to you...?

      • Josh P.

        It's not. I'm used to having to wait or hack to the latest version. My soul concern here is how Google comes off to the dev community as almost not having their shit together in terms of release. And don't that Google is pushing us into a new phone to make $ is insane. They have stated how they break even with these devices and that's about it. It just creates the same thing that this entire trail of leaks for the N5 has done, speculation. If they had said in the coming days. No big deal. A few weeks (which I honestly doubt it will be that long) is a bit harsh.

        • gargamel

          unfortunately, the bigger a company becomes, the more evil and arrogant it is. Google is no different. Dumping the Gnex (after less than 2 years!!), not releasing the binaries, seems like Microsoft to me.

          • animejay

            Actually they have said for the last few years that they support an 18 month support cycle. Every time a Nexus comes out the phone two releases back gets dropped. Happened with the N1, Nexus G, and now the GNex.

          • Randy J. Franjul

            Nexus S, not G, my phone demands some respect mister.

    • yellowdgg

      Actually they did! IOS7 came out and they "retired" the ipod touch 4th gen :(

      • Yanksrock1000

        At that time however, the iPod touch 4 was 2.5 years old though....not a year.

    • Rambir

      It's not out anywhere, you do realise this. Also, the source is out, so AOKP and CyanogenMod.

    • perfectlyreasonabletoo

      Ehh.... I'm willing to bet by the time N5s start arriving at people's doors the 4.4 update will be out for N4.

    • firesoul453

      Actually nexus 5 isn't out yet so no one has the update yet. Most poeple who ordered probably won't get it for over a week atleast and by that time I'd expect those devices to get it too.

  • Enmanuel Romero

    what a lazy!

  • http://jordanhotmann.com/ Jordan Hotmann

    Sooooooooo, what are the odds that we can pull the play services, hangouts, and other apks out of the factory image and deploy them to our phones?

    • Kieron Quinn

      Fairly good, hopefully they're usable on 4.3

    • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

      That'll take a mighty day or two.. ;)

  • Joe

    Two questions 1) if the OTA hits any of the other devices are we able to pull it from that and release it to others? and 2) How long did it take for this to happen when say the Nexus 7 or even 4 was released?

  • TheLastAngel

    They just can't get this right.

  • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

    ..weeks???????? WTF!!??? I'm so disappointed.. like seriously!

    • Fitzelgard Allan Gerard

      Dick move to the loyal Nexus fans. It's like saying to give Halloween candy weeks after Halloween

      • Kyle Riedemann

        Weeks for the OTA, if you really want it then use the factory images when they're posted.

        Or wait for someone on XDA to post a flashable update, and as long as you're completely stock it should be easy.

        • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

          The factory images won't be up for weeks is what I'm pissed at. Don't really need an OTA. I can do it all myself if I could get my hands on the images.

          • Kyle Riedemann

            I'm sure it won't actually take weeks. If I remember right they said that for 4.3 too. If it's already pushing to AOSP, and at least the Nexus 5 factory image is confirmed for tonight, then I'm sure everything else will follow in the next few days at the most.

          • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

            I really hope so man.. Its my b'day and I was so excited thinking there couldn't be a better b'day gift! ...

          • Kyle Riedemann

            I have a feeling this OTA will take alot longer since things like the new Hangouts are included and Google won't want everyone using that all at once. But since AOSP is already going, I'm sure some Factory Images are coming soon.

            The "coming in weeks" sounds to me like it implies a more staged rollout–like we've been getting with Google apps–tempered by the Factory Image downloads. In other words I suspect Google will slow the OTA rollout depending on how many people flash Factory Images, find the update elsewhere, etc.

          • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

            That sounds plausible. Hopefully its that. They never took weeks (a few days at max) to put out factory images post announcement. I hope that remains the case.

          • ProfessorGadget

            Wow! You really need to get a life. It's a phone update.
            I've got the N7 and 2-3 weeks isn't a big deal at all to me.

            It's not like my tablet is going to stop working until 4.4 comes out.

          • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

            Yeah? Well some of us are really into our geek obsession and get very excited over these things. When did anything suggest my life or even my phone would stop because of this? You need to stop acting like Mr. See It All.

          • ProfessorGadget

            Your quote.

            "..weeks???????? WTF!!??? I'm so disappointed.. like seriously!"
            "Get outta here... seems like I can't have either for WEEKS. B'day kind of ruined. :( "

            Your "obsession" seems like you need to get a new hobby or a life if your birthday is ruined over waiting a couple weeks for a phone update.

          • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

            Well dude, I don't find it necessary to explain but you need to shut up as you know absolutely nothing about me. I was really expecting something and it didn't happen. So I'm disappointed. Is that such a hard concept to get your head around? And there's a little exaggeration/humour meant in those posts. But of course, you're too busy riding your imaginary high horse to see that.

          • ProfessorGadget

            Getting a worked up over an anonymous poster on a website is about as mature as getting upset and having your birthday ruined over having to wait a couple of weeks for an update.

            Step away from the Internet and take a deep breath. It's nothing to shed a tear over.

          • ScottColbert

            Shall we call the entitlement whaaaambulance?

          • Fitzelgard Allan Gerard

            I'd like to see you try that comment again with all those developers who put their day and night into it. 'Just an update?' and you don't think people make a living off it? Tell that to JBQ

          • ProfessorGadget

            Developers are a different story.
            These boards are full of whining and complaining about either a platform or an update.
            It's a phone if you are a user. A couple weeks isn't a big deal to me.

            I don't hit update on my N7 when I hear a new update is coming out.
            When it hits the tablet I upgrade. That way I know if I need to wait if there are problems with the rollout of the OS. Then I wait until the .1 version is available.

            Developers whose livelihood depend on it already have access to the SDK for the N5.

          • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

            Its no BIG DEAL to me either. Just expressed my disappointment at hearing the news at the moment. What seems to be your problem? Looking to pick an argument just for the hell of it?

          • Burt Baccarach


  • Tom Elliott

    Weeks?! really theres no excuse, especially with the latest nexus7 which has only just launched.

  • http://www.buttie.pl/ buttie

    That's some disappointing news. I hoped that instant releasing of binaries, sources and images like it was with 4.3 will become a habit.

    • Jadephyre

      After JBQ left some other dude took over... my guess is he has too much to do to get the update out for all the devices on release day /sarcasm

  • Destiny969

    F*** you Google !

    • Tiago Azevedo

      Why saying that?

  • Brandon Hoffman

    Months and months of excitement for android 4.4 all gone to waste... They really fucked up this time could have been an amazing day :(

    • Tiago Azevedo


  • developer

    No GNeX, no party.

  • http://www.thepeoplesview.net/ Spandan

    Something doesn't make sense. How is it possible that Kitkat is meant to come to even older devices with as little as 512 MB of RAM but not to the Galaxy Nexus?

    • lbrfabio

      more than 18months are passed. It's Google deadline for android phones updates.
      This mean that for the Nexus 7 (2012) Kitkat will be the last official update (unless something changes...)

      • Brett

        Likely the last for the Nexus 4 as well :(

        • lbrfabio

          I guess It will have at least the "Summer Update"

        • Ryuuie

          Not likely. The Nexus 4 has only been out for 12 months, not 18.

          • Kriyus

            The next "major" version probably won't be released until this time next year. Which would make the n4 24 months.

          • Ryuuie

            But the Nexus 7 2013 wouldn't be 1 year either and the 4 and 7 2013 have pretty much the same internals.

            Plus, the only reason the GNex is dropped is because TI is out of the SoC business for mobile. Qualcomm will support the S4 Pro longer than TI (or NVIDIA for that matter for the N7 2012) will.

        • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

          I'm sure the Nexus 4 will get at least one more update after this.

          • Brett

            I should have said the last 'major' update. Sure, it may get a few minor updates, but I highly doubt it will go beyond 4.4.x.
            When 4.5 or 5.0 or whatever is next is released, we will be forgotten.

          • Troy

            Who doesn't get a new device every 2 years???

          • Stacey Liu

            A lot of people...what's the need to upgrade if my current phone works fine?

            More cores, better camera? What if I feel like I don't need that?

          • Brett

            People like me who aren't on a contract ;)

      • Kyle Riedemann

        The Galaxy Nexus is probably not getting this update because TI went out of the business, if Qualcom stays then I would assume the Nexus 4 would continue getting updates.

        • lbrfabio

          The official reason on the Google Page support is the 18months but this could be totally be the unofficial reason.

          Also, I guess they don't want anything to do with Verizon...lol

          • Kyle Riedemann

            Also the Nexus 7 (2012)–Grouper at least–anecdotally seems like alot of developer's test device. I would think 4.4 being better optimized bodes well for the Nexus 4, Nexus 7(2012), Nexus 10 generation continuing to receive updates. Especially if Google keeps splitting apps out into the play store and using Services for heavier lifting.

        • gierso

          as long as its supported and not completely discontinued/forgoten :(

    • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

      It might have something to do with the old TI CPU. TI isn't in this business any more and getting updated binaries, drivers and what not would be a headache I'd imagine. Also, the lower-end device thing definitely means new devices that have just been released or will be released in the near future. No low-end device more than a few months old is getting a KitKat update - that's nigh on impossible from what we know of our OEMs.

    • gierso

      i think that it was meant to be on newer low end devices more than resurrecting development for discontinued devices
      and i also think that the AGING SoC is the main reason,
      as its the main reason similar devices have went into development oblivion. :( (I miss you Razr MAXX)

  • Omar McFarlane


  • Nooooo

    weeks oO why? why? I hate knowing about something and cant get it instantly ;/

  • Chris

    This is ridiculous. What is the point of having a Nexus...I'm very disappointed in Google

    • Tiago Azevedo

      Why are you disappointed with Google?!


    I'm okay with the wait but give us Hangouts now

  • TEST

    Okay, guys. check this out: http://www.engadget.com/2013/10/31/htc-one-android-kitkat/
    HTC said GPE phones will get 4.4 in 15 days. So we should get the OTA in a few days. A week at most.

    • Nick

      oh look, more Engadget spam

      • Jed Weeks

        This is relevant information to me. HTC has confirmed 15 days for GPE phones, it is very likely an update for nexus devices would come before that.

  • hp420

    What???? Factory images are almost always updated within 24 hours, and OTA updates come in about a wek or so after the factory image.....you've got it backwards, bud ;)

  • salmon

    Why is everyone so pissed about the Gnex. Sure it was a nice phone, but roll out was kind of bumpy, and its been two years. Last year when my NS4G got killed alot of people were like 'its been two years, it had a good run.' sure I got 4.2 shortly after being denied a factory image, but thats the good of the nexus. I'm mostlikely putting 4.4 on my old NS4G. and on my N4. I'm sorry to tell the Gnex guys, but its been a good run, time to stick with AOSP builds if you want that feeling of getting updates.

    • Stacey Liu

      The Nexus S should still be getting updates too. I don't care if Google strips features to get updates to run...but older devices should be on the latest API level. Otherwise they're worsening the very fragmentation problem they're trying to solve.

      Even the iPhone 4 got iOS 7. Whether is runs like crap or loses features is a different topic and a hardware limitation. The API level is what counts.

      • lbrfabio

        I guess it's the main reason why many API(sure, not all) are pushed into the Google Play Services where 97% of the devices are covered.

      • Imparus

        that is why a lot of the API is pushed to Google play services, as an example pretty much everything new API to location based stuff comes from Google play services.

  • Joshua Wise

    The comments I've read here are pathetic. Two weeks for an update? Get over it, you may be buying the Nexus device for updates, but you aren't given some schedule or guideline for the device to be updated. Hell, you could be waiting months for an update to be redeveloped with a custom skin, and then to be approved by a carrier.

    Although I do agree the Galaxy Nexus being cut off is a little sad, but Google is here to set standards for manufacturers. They are simply following the guidelines that they set, and that you agreed to.

  • Albert H

    You guys really know how to whine...

    This is KitKat, Android 4.4 with lots of new features. Perhaps some of those features behind the scenes at Google are glitchy? Or maybe they found a show-stopping bug that they want to fix and re-test? Give them some time to do their QA. This is them (hopefully) learning from the mistakes with Nexus 4/7. (Speaking as someone with both, those mistakes are pretty miserable!)

    You might also say: "But the Nexus 5 kids are getting it for $349!" But remember that the Nexus 5 is on *pre-order*, and no one is actually getting to hold a Nexus 5 for a good while. (November 8th the earliest for Sprint, other carriers haven't announced.) They may still have bugs to fix before committing to a release. Plus, this is their new flagship device... can you really fault them to trying to get their new OS to work perfectly on their new device coming out of the door?

    As for Galaxy Nexus... I can hypothetically feel your pain, but still... there are technical reasons for doing so. TI and Samsung probably said no to Google for any further updates. KitKat does bring a ton of new features and a new kernel. The new kernel part is no joke - latest version for 4.3.x is kernel version 3.4.x, and we've leaped to 3.8.x in KitKat. It needs new drivers, and those companies said no... and Google doesn't want to support the development of new drivers since they're already dedicating effort to other devices. (In theory, although Google does have fingers on the driver code, the OEMs are generally the people who work on it. Google only reports problems and works with them to iron out bugs, but that's it.)

    And besides, if you're here, you probably know how to root and flash the heck out of your device, so why complain? I'm sure someone at XDA has the knowledge to port it, and you guys will be flashing away pretty soon after. (And if you don't know about flashing/rooting, read up on it if you care that much.)

    Sorry for sounding negative - but seriously, can we just be happy that KitKat is coming out with these awesome cool features? (Other than the Galaxy Nexus users, but I'm sure they'll get their treat soon after, right?)

    • lbrfabio

      Kernel is still 3.4.x

      • Albert H

        Source? Not that I think you're lying or anything, but the rumor mill is looking at kernel version 3.8-3.10. The developer documentation doesn't mention any kernel version in particular, but they do mention zRAM, which was in staging tree as of 3.7. (Counter: they could have picked out the zRAM patches for their kernel, which wouldn't be a surprise since they do regularly diverge from mainline.)

        Regardless, we'll only know for sure once kitkat has been uploaded to git for the whole world to see!

        • lbrfabio

          I'm not sure %100 for the Nexus 5 but older devices will probably stay with their current kernel version as they always did with previous release.

          Consider this: nexus 7 2012 shipped with 3.0.8 (or something similar). Now it has 3.1.10 while the Nexus 4 has the 3.4.

          I think the Galaxy Nexus doesn't have the 3.4 too.

          Also, the SDK still use the kernel v3.4, which of course doesn't exclude a kernel upgrade but it's a point to the other direction...

          Anyway, in the AMA on reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/Android/comments/1plg15/got_to_spend_some_time_today_with_a_nexus_5_ama/
          the guy said the kernel it was 3.4.
          The build was recent(he updated to 4.4.1...) so I guess we won't see 3.83.10 until next release

  • Dev_blind

    Fuck this ritesh guy. All I see here are his whining posts

    • Ritesh

      But it's my b'day.. it's been ruined... I had to rush home and leave my wife who is in labor to make sure I got the latest update first. I hope I don't miss it! (the update that is)

      • Stacey Liu

        Ok I was agreeing with your sentiment until I read this. You abandoned your wife for a software update? Get out of here.

      • Christopher Mason

        Really?? You abandoned your wife who was in labor because you thought a software update was coming out today? Are you trolling or what?

        • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

          Its a poor troll with a fake account in my name. Don't feed it.

    • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

      Wow! Some cunts are really fecking jobless! And someone even created a fake account in my name.. smh

  • Jadephyre

    So this basically is Google giving us the finger for what? Three weeks or more?
    The phrase "timely updates" hasn't filtered through to them yet, has it?

    • lbrfabio

      Where did you see three weeks or more?
      Considering that the S4 and HTC One GPE will be upgraded within 15 days, the rest of the nexus devices the upgrade will probably get the update before them. Maybe a week, 10 days at most, if not before....

      • Jadephyre

        Nowhere, it's a guess, and if those devices will get it 15 days, then the N4/N7 may get it a day earlier, which is still two weeks too long.
        If you release a new OS on a new phone, see to it that devices that still have time left on their upgrade cycle get it at the same friggin' time, why is that so hard for Google to understand?

  • alongtime

    No l need it now NOW!
    Ios7 yes sir as its you can have it on release day now thats a weird concept
    A disjointed nexus 4 owner

  • Araan45

    guys think about it, they realsed on Halloween, do you expect Google wants to leave them doing there job or being out with there co workers, friends, or family. I think they want them being out.