09
Apr
image

Several weeks ago, we caught wind of Android 4.4.3 and some of the changes it could bring, consisting mostly of bug fixes, both big and small. At this point, according to several sources familiar with the matter, Android 4.4.3 has entered internal testing outside of the core Android team - a process otherwise known as dogfooding. The final release isn't expected to hit public devices for a number of weeks, so those of you expecting it any day now will have to wait just a bit longer.

Disclaimer: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether. As with all rumors, nothing is 100% until it's officially announced.

We do not have possession of any APKs we can distribute or unreleased devices, so please don't ask for them.

Confidence Level

This rumor gets a confidence rating of 9/10. A point is deducted for the lack of release timelines.

The Rumor

Android 4.4.3, also known as KitKat MR2 (Android 4.4.1 and 4.4.2 are known as KitKat MR1), has entered the dogfooding stage and has started rolling out to 1% of Google employees outside of the Android team. Currently, the dogfooding rollout is limited to the supported Nexus line (Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 2012, Nexus 7 2013, and Nexus 10), with GPE and Moto X updates to follow.

The final public releases should be out in coming weeks. Unsurprisingly, the exact schedule is unknown at this point because it depends on the success of the dogfooding tests which will presumably first have to expand from the limited 1% to a larger portion of employees. The point is - don't expect an OTA just yet.

Seemingly confirming our previous rumor, Google reportedly only mentions that 4.4.3 contains critical security and stability issues. No new features are noted.

The Evidence

The information comes from several reliable sources, and we have every reason to believe it's accurate.

Since this post would look boring without any images, here's 4.4.3 running on a Nexus 5 from our previous report:

wm_4.4.3

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.

  • remister

    Hopefully a lot of fixes are in place. I hope somehow they dogfood consumers, just like they did with that one Youtube version.

    • Sam Hollis

      That was a mistake.

      • Henry Green

        A mistake that I would be happy to have again if there was a sign up for early half broken updates.

        • http://mwinter.in/ Yan Gabriel Minário

          Be-a-dog Program

  • iriecolorado

    You don't "dogfood" consumers. "Dogfooding" means consuming your own product.

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

      Where did I say that they're dogfooding consumers? Obviously, the public parts refer to the final builds. There, added "final" to make it more clear.

    • Arthur Dent

      "Android 4.4.3 has entered internal testing outside of the core Android team - a process otherwise known as dogfooding. The final release isn't expected to hit public devices for a number of weeks...

      ...has started rolling out to 1% of Google employees ..."

      What part of that is difficult to understand? FAIL.

      • Simon Belmont

        My guess? Either reading comprehension problem or he didn't read the article entirely and jumped to the comments.

        Either way, the article correctly used the term dogfooding. Not sure why it would be misinterpreted.

        • pfmiller

          It looks like he was actually responding to the post from remister that mentioned dogfooding to consumers.

          • Simon Belmont

            Good catch. I didn't even notice that post below.

            Somehow he didn't respond correctly to remister, though. Oh well.

  • MirandaU

    Weeks? I was expecting it any day now. If takes till May for them to release it, I'd say, that's a pretty strong indicator, we won't see a real new version at I/O. While annoying, none of the bugs in 4.4.2 on Nexus devices warrants for another huge rollout of a bugfix update to bridge a 7 week timespan.

    • J Gonzalez

      i would want a new version soon cuz lately my nexus 4 just keeps turning itself off or as others refer to it "Sleep of Death".

      • TrollSoul

        I hope us N4 users are getting 4.4.3. Everything mentioned seems to be geared towards the N5 and the N7(2013).

    • Simon Belmont

      I don't think that's a strong indicator of anything. The update will get here when it gets here.

      Just like the new major version of Android will get here when it gets here. Remember, Android 4.4.3 is more geared towards stock Android fixes, but a major new version of Android will be geared towards everyone.

  • Simon Belmont

    The data drop out issue has been happening a lot for me lately on my Nexus 5. Odd because it really didn't use to as much, so maybe it's related to the tower near me instead, but who knows

    Anyway, a bunch of the other fixes do apply to me, so I'll be happy to see this pass the dogfooding stage with flying colors and released to the public. One that's been driving me nuts lately is the fact that I have to reboot my Nexus 5 after taking it off the charger or a Power Manager wake lock keeps the CPU spooled up and drains my battery faster (not super fast, but if I reboot the battery life is noticeably better). Here's hoping that's related to the Power Manager wake lock mentioned in the list previously.

    • Abraham

      That seems to be more like your tower.
      I am with sprint and have great signal in my 3rd floor apartment. Yet, when I switched to the Nexus 5 my signal would completely drop and then be reacquired. This as I read in S4GRU, was the phone doing what it is supposed to do, when connected to an older tower. This tower was upgraded about a month later and now I dont experience these signal drops anymore.

      • Simon Belmont

        It probably is related to the tower. It seems to be better on some days than others. Although my connection doesn't drop (signal bars are showing as connected). The data just stops working.

        For example, yesterday, it happened to me three times (I toggle airplane mode to get the data flowing again). But before yesterday it might have happened once a week (and that only started a couple weeks ago, because prior to that it was rare to happen at all).

        • remister

          I am seeing this also. Weird that I lose the connection on 3 bars of LTE. Right after I do airplane mode, it will work again.

          • Simon Belmont

            Exactly! It's really annoying

            It can actually give you the false impression that you're connected and should be receiving notifications that require a data connection and syncing, but you aren't. I always inevitably found out when I saw my weather or Twitter widget hadn't updated in hours.

          • remister

            Its the faux connection. It was happening back when HSPDA was working the 4G. Are you seeing any really bad connection when you go on HSPDA? Whenever it make take/make a call, it has to drop LTE and go to HSPDA. When I hangup, it takes a really long time to reconnect to LTE and while on HSPDA speeds be like EDGE, even though it is on full bars.

            I am also having bitter taste in my mouth when they took the Data indicator off in Kit-Kat version. We definitely need it in this situation.

          • Simon Belmont

            I see something similar. When I make/get a call, it does go to HSPA+, and sometimes it takes a very long time to reconnect to LTE, but the data speeds of HSPA+ seem unaffected for me.

            Other times it reconnects within a few seconds. I think that's a baseband issue. Since Android 4.4.1 and 4.4.2, they updated the radio and it actually lowered the signal (dBm) of LTE for a lot of people versus the original Android 4.4 radio. I actually flashed the old radio back and the radio signal is stronger again.

          • Nick

            Removing the constant data-indicator on the status bar created a considerable speed increase -- and if you really want to look at the data status, you can always look at the dropdown menu tiles.

          • Simon Belmont

            I just installed this instead: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=info.kfsoft.android.TrafficIndicatorPro .

            It's much more useful, information wise, and it uses no battery and doesn't slow anything down. Even on much older devices.

          • Simon Belmont

            The removal of the data transmission indicator was a shame, and I really doubt that it sped things up that much by doing it. I still see that indicator on my 3+ year old B&N Nook Color running Android 4.4.2 and it doesn't slow down at all because of it. :)

            I started using Network Monitor Mini Pro to place it. Now I can't live without it. Here's a link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=info.kfsoft.android.TrafficIndicatorPro . By the way, it's Artem approved. He uses it, too. ;)

          • coucou

            get "internet speed meter lite" instead of n m m p
            smaller, faster, less intrusive, free

          • Kolyan24k

            Noticed the same last few weeks

        • Richard Bristol

          I have also noticed this problem but a change of sim card seemed to fix it. I just got voadafone to give me a new sim and now everything works fine. I've recently had a 4g upgrade in my area, could this be linked?

      • TonyC

        I suffered the same data drop problem on my Nexus 4 on my commute through a major metropolitan area. To their credit, Google actually replaced my device 3 times and all 4 units suffered the same problem, and one of them suffered the wake lock issue too.

        In my case, I'm pretty confident it's not a tower issue because my wife has the Optimus G and had absolutely no issues on the same commute.

        Reading the change log for 4.4.3 made me feel better, because it proves I wasn't imagining things.

    • Nomaan

      Strange.... I have been reading about all these bugs and wakelock issue and the high cpu usage by camera Daemon but I am yet to face any of those. My n5 came preloaded with 4.4.2 and zero issues so far.

      • Simon Belmont

        Maybe you just don't know that the wake lock issue is happening (it's not a GIGANTIC battery drain, but it's noticeable if you look for it). It only seems to manifest itself after a recharge for me and If I don't reboot after the recharge, my Nexus 5 can drop anywhere from 10-15% at idle overnight (but it seems to stabilize after that).

        If I reboot, it might only drop 2-5% over 15 hours. Clearly there's some issue with the CPUs not being allowed to sleep for some reason. I only noticed this because the charge level in the morning after a recharge was so erratic. I finally Googled it and saw other people were experiencing a similar issue.

      • Vardan Nazaretyan

        Same here man.

      • Naga Sridhar

        I have rarely had the camera daemon issue but when it happens, it drains battery like hell!

        Also, I used to use the ART run time. I reformatted my phone and switched to Dalvik and seems no issues since.

  • Simon Belmont

    The data drop out issue has been happening a lot for me lately on my Nexus 5. Odd because it really didn't use to as much, so maybe it's related to the tower near me instead, but who knows

    Anyway, a bunch of the other fixes do apply to me, so I'll be happy to see this pass the dogfooding stage with flying colors and released to the public. One that's been driving me nuts lately is the fact that I have to reboot my Nexus 5 after taking it off the charger or a Power Manager wake lock keeps the CPU spooled up and drains my battery faster (not super fast, but if I reboot the battery life is noticeably better). Here's hoping that's related to the Power Manager wake lock mentioned in the list previously.

  • kamiller42

    I look forward to the fixes. And please give the Sprint Spark update.

  • abqnm

    There is a positive to having to wait...at least we won't have to deal with all the screen shots of the update screen and the about screen all over g+ for a little longer.

    • Arthur Dent
    • Simon Belmont

      Haha. Everyone will start saying "CLEAR THE GOOGLE SERVICES FRAMEWORK" again, even though that doesn't do anything and can cause errors with syncing to Google's servers.

      The only screen shot I'll share is when the update has arrived. Case closed.

      • abqnm

        Please, don't even share that. We all know what it looks like and all the blogs and news sites will be covering it anyway. Every time a release happens, I block everyone on g+ that posts a stupid screenshot about the update.

        • Simon Belmont

          Good thing you aren't following me then. Haha. :)

          I doubt you'll see me sharing it, man. Only a select few will. ;)

          • abqnm

            Haha the ones that I block are the people that post them in the communities because it shows everyone's screenshots in my feed. People that share to a specific circle or public are fine. Except the ones showing they haven't gotten it yet. They need to be beaten.

      • remister

        Hey, I did that for two updates and it worked for me. It did mess up by Play Store and some account settings.

        • Simon Belmont

          From what I read from a Googler that explained how the update system works, it's just a lucky chance that it worked. You basically get one chance a day to get the update.

          The likelihood that you get the update is based on the percentage that they've allowed to receive it. The higher the percentage the more likely (makes sense) up to 100%, whereby everyone can get it, but clearing the framework is really a placebo.

          • remister

            Placebo effect FTW

  • ekh

    Maybe this means a leak is incoming. Hint, hint. Please.

  • Alexei Watson

    Had to laugh at the advert at the top of this page: 'Royal Canin Food'

    • Simon Belmont

      Exactly. The other day when I was reading an article about the Heartbleed glitch in OpenSSL, I saw an advertisement for heartworm medication for dogs from PetMeds.

      If anything, at least the targeted ads are somewhat hitting the mark. If not that, then at least they're funny in an ironic way.

    • Scott

      You don't run adblock?

      • Simon Belmont

        Some sites, I don't. Like AP, for example.

        I turn it off to support the site. I know ad revenue helps them to pay for their servers, etc.

        • Scott

          Do you actually click on the ads though?

          • Simon Belmont

            Not all ads work that way. Some gain the site monetization even if they just load in the browser (since you're SEEING them, which is the goal).

            But, to answer your question, no, I don't usually click the ads. But, I'm pretty sure the site is still benefiting from me seeing at least some of the ads.

      • Alexei Watson

        Not on my phone, and only on select sites on my PC where it's over the top. Don't mind seeing an ad so they can get paid.

    • hp420

      So?? Royal Canin is a really reputable pet food. I don't get why it's funny.

      • Alexei Watson

        Because "dogfooding"

  • keed

    No GApps updates today and now we have to wait few more weeks for 4.4.3.

    Sad day today

    • Simon Belmont

      Eh. Not too sad.

      I'd rather have a rock solid update that actually fixes the issues and doesn't introduce new ones before a more major update coming in the summer that will probably have a whole new set of bugs to fix in a couple maintenance releases afterwards. That, I am more than willing to wait for.

    • Spasillium

      actually there were 3 updates today: keyboard, newsstand, and cloud print.

      • bozzykid

        Newsstand was updated last week but they halted the rollout until they released an update this week.

      • Nicholas Polydor

        Is the update for Google Keyboard newer than 3.0.19373.1072412a , @Spasillium:disqus ? If so, do you have a link to the APK? Thanks.

      • Nicholas Polydor

        Is the update for Google Keyboard newer than 3.0.19373.1072412a , @Spasillium:disqus ? If so, do you have a link to the APK? Thanks.

  • Simon Belmont

    Heh. I just looked an announcement about a roll out of an older version of Android from dogfooding to the announcement of its release.

    It took Google just over two weeks to dogfood and then release. So, going by that history, my guess is we'll see Android 4.4.3 by mid-late April (which coincides with what they've already said about a couple weeks).

  • brkshr

    AP has a mole deep within Google... Shhhh...

  • أسماء سراج

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  • Alexander Terry
  • Brett

    One bug I have is that on my Nexus 5 that I use on sprint's network is that I'm not able to place a 3 way phone call. I've contacted Google on the issue and sent them a bug report on it as they requested. Anyone else having this same problem, especially on Sprint?

  • O’s Fan91

    I have a strange bug on my Nexus 5. Sometimes the clock will show the time as an hour earlier (different time zone) it fixes if I restart the device.

    • Serge Cebrian

      i have had the same behavior... for a while.. i deactivated the auto-stuff in the time settings :P
      now it wont happen, but as a side effect it also doesnt auto update when you expect it to do :P

    • Simon Belmont

      @gierso:disqus and the OP: That's most likely due to a tower near you that hasn't been properly set to the correct time.

      The phone gets the time periodically from the tower. Probably a tower issue.

  • http://djsblc.teamfreewill.net/ Lawrence Callaghan

    I hope the Moto G gets the update as well.

  • Nick

    Damn.. Still on 3.4 kernel. Not a huge deal, but I feel like Android could really use some of the more recent kernel improvements. Eh, it's okay though. KitKat has been working so well for me.

    • NF

      I wouldn't expect a new kernel from such a minor release. I did expect it from KitKat but...

  • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

    No "LoLNo" at the bottom this time? ;)

    • matteventu

      lolno

  • Waleed Al Suwaimel

    Hope 4.4.3 will fix the "no ringing, no missed call" bug in N5/N4 devices. https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/nexus/eOToYgJXdrw%5B1-25-false%5D

  • Koola

    More evidence that Google reserves Android 5.0 for 64-bit.

  • Laurent

    Lets hope that this update fixes that issue that everyone with a Nexus 5 and that I know, has:
    https://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=66573

  • godutch

    Just a minor bugfix release, nothing to get excited about, I want a new android version with new features for phones and tablets (and not one for wearables)

  • godutch

    Just a minor bugfix release, nothing to get excited about, I want a new android version with new features for phones and tablets (and not one for wearables)

  • emanueler0x

    I've downgraded to android 4.3 because i've an huge delays with notifications in kitkat & nexus 4, the problem is gone on android 4.3, i hope they can fix this in android 4.4.3

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    Just in time before next major release on Google I/O 2014

  • hyperbolic

    Hope we will get a fix for the camera issues.

  • Stelios A

    I hope they fix the video recording issue with the static noise when recording Video.

  • Stelios A

    I hope they fix the video recording issue with the static noise when recording Video.

  • ray

    I wish i had a nexus 5 device...........

  • A.Noid

    So I clicked on this article, and it came up like it is set to mobile, and I am on my desktop. Anyone else seeing this?

    • hp420

      It was screwed up for me too...I had a text-only page. Try reloading it again. It's fine for me now.

  • hp420

    This can't come soon enough!!! My Nexus 4 reboots multiple times daily for absolutely no reason, and it's driving me totally insane! My phone is almost unusable, because who knows if it may reboot in the middle of a phone call, or while using GPS. When I called Google about it they passed me on to LG, who wanted to do an RMA, leaving me without a phone for a month while they flash a factory image. Yeah, that's likely to happen lol

  • Android Developer

    "those of you expecting it any day now will have to wait just a bit longer."
    Better stop expecting, so maybe it will come sooner.
    :)

    Anyway, anyone knows what's new on this version? was the "speed boost feature" added (don't remember its name)?

    • Lalit Mali

      Performance Boost Thing™

      • Android Developer

        Yes, that's the one.

  • cabbieBot

    *crosses fingers for sprint spark support on the N5*

  • itsgonnalast

    I'm pleasantly surprised to see continued support for the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 2012.