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Android 4.4.3 isn't a huge bump up from the previous incremental release - the biggest change is a new dialer, though there are thousands of adjustments behind the scenes. Even so, the most popular families of custom Android ROMs are quickly adopting the open source code into their bleeding-edge releases. CyanogenMod has already begun the transfer to 4.4.3 with its latest nightly builds.

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The newer OmniROM has also started publishing 4.4.3 nightly builds for its supported devices, available on the download page. Paranoid Android, the alternative ROM focused on innovative design changes, is planning to release nightlies based on the new Android 4.4.3 code in the next build. PA recently added compatibility with CyanogenMod-standardized themes, also available in the Android Open Kang Project. Speaking of AOKP, the makers of the world's only unicorn-powered custom ROM say that they've merged the changes in the 4.4.3 code into their source and will publish new builds once internal testing is finished.

Remember that nightly builds of any ROM for any device tend to come with a few bugs, and usually aren't recommended for full-time use. CyanogenMod has the best selection of currently-updated devices, but owners of Nexus devices can pick from all four, and most flagship phones (without locked bootloaders) can choose from everything except Paranoid Android as well.

Source: PA Google+, CyanogenMod downloads, OmniROM downloads, AOKP blog - thanks, Joshua Garrison!

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    I wonder how long is it going to take them to merge in the next major release

    • Matt

      Expect a considerably longer wait if this is the release with Project Hera. That's an entirely different UI that doesn't seem compatible with most of the tweaks made by the custom ROM scene.

      It took a good 3-4 weeks for builds with some customization post-KitKat release and 2-3 months before the feature set was close to previous feature sets. I wouldn't be surprised if it's 25-30% longer this time around.

      Usually I switch to stock after major releases, test it for a while (get an idea of battery life improvements, new features, etc.) and then go back to a custom ROM once it is on the latest version and has a large proportion of the extra features I used before.

      • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

        Well, not that it bothers me THAT much, I've been on stock ever since I got my Nexus 7 2012 and never went the custom ROM way, but still, just wondering

      • navjot

        I have a feeling that the next major UI overhaul is going to involve Google's apps rather than Android itself. I remember a previous AP article describing how even the new notification panel may be implemented as an app rather than an Android update. In that case, the next major release may involve new APIs but all the UI related stuff could be separate. The benefit of this is that Android updates would be smaller and easier to role out but the downside would be new "Android features" becoming "Google features instead, thus more closed.

    • Simon Belmont

      If it's a big UI overhaul, then probably a really long time. Think Android 2.3 to Android 4.0, long.

      Matt below me has it pretty much covered as to why. Good explanation.

  • J3R3MY_H

    Paranoid Android for most flagship phones (without locked bootloaders) can be found here


  • eibook

    Purity ROM is at 4.4.3 as well.

  • Matteysan

    "and most flagship phones (without locked bootloaders) can choose from everything except Paranoid Android as well." - This is wrong, A lot of devices are updated for the newest PA, usually a couple of days after they are on the Nexus. This is thanks to Andre Saddler. Found here: http://91.hostingsharedbox.com:3000/aospal/roms/

    • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

      But they aren't official ports, are they?

      • J3R3MY_H


        • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

          Funny thing. I vividly remember a g+ post in which they explained they wouldn't waste any more time with unsupported devices and would, instead, just support nexus devices.

  • grumpyfuzz

    Gotta give credit to Banks, his unofficial build of rastakat got updated the day after 4.4.3 was released.

  • Dhruv Aggarwal

    Slim rom is also available on 4.4.3

    • Android Developer

      Tried it, and only think I didn't like about it is that there is no way to choose the normal native recent-apps.
      I really don't like the slim-recent-apps. Don't know why.
      I'm also not sure, but do they change the colors of everything to black&white, without having the native colors? It's just that I've tried so many roms lately...

      • Dhruv Aggarwal

        I also dont like slim recent .. But everything else is gud on it .. And yes . they removed all holo from it

        • Android Developer

          But I liked holo...
          it's because of Google that made such a tiny tweak on the UI (the status bar) , that suddenly so many roms make their entire UI a dull black & white ...
          The holo colors looked futuristic and cool for me. I really don't get why they did it.

          • http://www.jeroenheijster.com/ Jeroen Heijster

            The reason it's black and white now is to save battery. Before it needed to refresh that part of the screen all the time, now they don't have to do that anymore.

          • grumpyfuzz

            I bet the difference in battery is extremely minimal.

          • http://www.jeroenheijster.com/ Jeroen Heijster

            Most likely, yes.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

            The change to black and white was a design decision to give developers a uniform color palette to design around. It has nothing to do with battery life.

            The change you're referring to was the removal of incoming/outgoing arrows from the Wi-Fi and Cellular data icons. Frankly, I don't believe that it had any meaningful impact on battery life or performance, but that's the rational that was given.

          • Android Developer

            Correct, I can't believe it's helping this much.
            There are better ways to handle the overdraw here, but perhaps it could help designers...

          • Android Developer

            Why all the time? how often does your battery percentage change?

            It's usually in a static state, which they could solve easily by flattening the images being drawn.

            As an example, you can launch Gmail and see how little overdraw is being done there, even though the content is quite complex. There they used Views' flattening, but that's just about the same technique...

  • Simon Belmont

    Still 4.4.2 on my B&N Nook Color. I expect to see it updated to 4.4.3 in a week or two, though.

    I don't think there will be anything groundbreakingly better between the versions anyway. In fact, all 4.4.3 has done is make my Nexus 5's battery life much less consistent than it was on 4.4.2 and 4.4 (used to always be 3-4% drain overnight, now it's anywhere from 2% to 20% overnight, with no apparent reason why, no weird wakelocks that I can see, etc), and I suspect it might be related to the updated email app, but I can't be sure (it's showing in the battery stats a lot more) and I wish that Google would just put that into the Google Play Store for this very reason (fixing the issues faster). I think once the big update to Android comes later this month, I'm going to just wipe everything and start over. Factory image, etc.

    • Scott Breitbach

      I've been holding out putting KK on my BN Color, still on JB. Have you had any issues with the CM KK M-builds? Any issues of note when upgrading from JB to KK?

  • Semianonymous

    Any love for the s5 yet?

    • siddude11

      No you will get rape sloth though.

      • Semianonymous

        You sound like a very classy person

  • YoHoJo

    AOKP by Task650 for S3 is 4.4.3 Woo Woo!

  • Ganesh Jain

    My Nexus 5 is still on 4.4.2 😢

    • Muhahahahaha

      My Galaxy Nexus is on 4.4.3! Muhahahahaha!

  • godutch

    But N72013 LTE is still at 4.4.2, does anyone know why it' s being left out by google?

  • Manas

    Well i dont know if somebody has observed or not that android 4.4.3 in nexus 5 got a new option called tap and pay under settings>device under apps......

    Am i the only to notice this change?
    Dont forget to give me credits for this if creating a new article

  • Manas

    Heres a snapshot

  • http://www.androidandfreak.info/ Charan