We figured that Motorola would be among the first to roll out Android 4.4 updates to their phones, considering the company's relationship with Google. But I don't think anyone suspected that the company would begin rolling out software updates within the month. According to an anonymous tipster, Verizon is beginning the soak test process for the Android 4.4 update to the Moto X, a strong indicator that it could be sent to all the Moto X units on Verizon within a few weeks.

wm_Screen Shot 2013-11-18 at 12.48.59 PM

For the uninitiated, a "soak test" is essentially a beta test for new firmware - Verizon and Motorola are inviting a very select number of users (usually those who are active on support forums) to try out the new software and report any problems or concerns. According to the leaked screenshots, the next soak test for the Moto X will indeed be KitKat. The chart above indicates that pretty much all of the important features added in Android 4.4 will be making it to the Moto X. Considering how light the customization is on that particular phone, it's not surprising. It is surprising to see Verizon move so quickly on an update - the carrier has frequently been criticized for a slow update process, especially for large updates like full Android OS versions. While we don't have any tips to indicate it, it's reasonable to assume that Motorola (if not its other carrier partners) is quickly working to bring the 4.4 update to other versions of the Moto X and the nearly identical 2013 DROID line.


Motorola has confirmed that all versions of the Moto X, plus the DROID Ultra, DROID Maxx, and DROID Mini, will receive Android 4.4 updates, but has not publicly given a timeframe for the update itself. The upcoming Moto G is scheduled to get an Android 4.4 update in early 2014. Aside from the standard KitKat features, the software changelog for the Verizon Moto X includes updates to the Touchless Control and camera apps that are already available on the Play Store, plus support for Square's external credit card reader.

Verizon's soak tests usually precede a public software update by 2-6 weeks, though the somewhat confidential nature of the soak test program means there will be no official timeline.

Thanks, anon!

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Robert Alex Kibler

    Wouldn't it be hilarious if Verizon (and not google) released the kitkat update for Galaxy Nexus?

    • Thomas’

      Hilarious AND unlikely ;-)

    • disqus_HLZr06y3Xk

      VZW has a very public contempt for the Nexus devices, see also N7 release delay so they can hawk their in-house POS and the GNexus debacle.

      Honestly, VZW is happy to let support for the GNex wither and die. They ruined that phone.

      • Robert Alex Kibler

        Yeah, I know. I'm just surprised that the Moto X is getting it already, even though it's a non-nexus device. Trust me, I know all about the Nexus problems, as a Toro owner. Now I just need $350 to buy a Nexus 5..

        • disqus_HLZr06y3Xk

          I am wondering if there was some behind-the-scenes talk regarding updates getting to devices on the VZW network....the Droid brandline is a big $ carrot to dangle in front of the execs at Big Red, and I wonder if Google played hardball to get better support for their devices.......

    • Simon Belmont

      Hilarious, yes. I'd literally eat my hat, if that happened.

      There is no way the VZW G'Nex will see Android 4.4 from Verizon. Just won't happen.

      • Justin W

        I demand a livestream of you eating your hat.

        • Simon Belmont

          Hahaha. I should have learned from David Ruddock.

          Never make bold claims. But, I think I'm pretty safe anyway.

          • Justin W

            Sadly, I'm pretty sure you are safe as well... Now, if it were about the Moto X getting 4.4 before the Nexus 4 (which, for some reason, I thought this was about), we'd have a different story unfolding right now.

          • Simon Belmont

            Indeed. It looks like the Moto X is getting a lot of love (even from VZW), as it should.

            Have high hopes for the Moto G as well. A phone that I've already recommended to a friend whose on VZW prepaid.

      • Gus70

        If you were on Reddit you could be eating something else. But not likely in this case.

    • tylerbrainerd

      Verizon is not the group porting new versions of android. The manufacturers do that. Then Verizon adds their bloat were.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    KitKat to the Verizon Moto X before the Nexus 4 OTA starts? /popcorn

    • Seiga

      Shocker of the year if that happens..... ok... not so much a shocker, but it really says something about how much faith and investment Google is putting towards Motorola Mobility division, Punit Soni and all.

      • Dennis Ulijn

        This has nothing to do with Google owning Motorola. It tells you more how rushed Kitkat is put on the market. From what i hear: GEL not the same on multiple devices, late builds pushed to Nexus devices, camera app not updated (while it's clear the Nexus 5 has meh camera software), and so on. This means that Motorola (as well as all other manufacturers) have as much time to push 4.4 to their devices as Google had themselves.

      • Guest

        Sort of. It has everything else against it historically if you take out the fact that it's a Motorola phone.

        • Seiga

          Can't go judging Motorola based on their past. It's a totally different company. All owned by Google. You have to give Moto a clean slate. Especially since they were true to their word about the first droid 2013 update.

    • grandautotheft5

      u have to give kudos to motorola

  • Paul_Werner

    "But I don't think anyone suspected that the company would begin rolling out software updates within the month."

    I think more people would be surprised that this may be rolling out to any phone on Verizon this quickly

    • Jason Bell

      Exactly. I actually expected the Moto X to get 4.4 pretty quickly, but I expected Verizon to push the update 2 or 3 months after everyone else.

  • Kingu Prima

    The question: will the Moto X get OTA KitKat update before the Nexus 4 :D ?

    • Brian

      And Nexus 7 (2012) :(

      • Walkop

        And Nexus 10.

    • Darkbotic

      And Nexus 4...

    • http://bjunity.org/ Bill B

      Still waiting for KitKat on my Nexus 7 (2013).

  • Aooga

    What about tmobile? I know the 4.4 build leaked, but is there a soak test for that as well, or will they just roll it out sometime soon?

  • Casen Brashear

    The most surprising bit is that it sounds like Verizon is not going to try and find a way to block NFC payments through Google Wallet.
    Color me intrigued.

    • Dominic Powell

      At this point if they did, after Google changed the whole system to HCE, we could have a massive anticompetitive lawsuit on our hands between good & vzw

      • Justin W

        In addition, it's now a core to Android (since it's in the settings or something). I don't think any manufacturer can change it and still receive access to the Google Apps suite (that's what I've heard, anyway, but I don't have/recall a source for that).

  • perhac88

    Sooooo..... Moto X beats nexus 4 to 4.4....Awkward moment by google regardless that they own Moto now...

  • KRS_Won

    I how this goes smoothly. Then maybe Moto can go back and bring KitKat to the RAZR HD.

  • John

    I got tired of waiting for the OTA and side-loaded the factory 4.4 image onto my N7.

    Thank God I won't have to suffer the ignominy of having my Verizon. Moto X getting 4.4 before my new Nexus device.

  • Andrew Hime

    K, so I should be expecting my AT&T X to get 4.4 in the next few minutes, then?

  • Tyler

    It's here!!!!

  • blind ambition

    Fck u moto until now my moto atrix still running on gingershit os!