With Android 4.4.1's release earlier today, many of you have been asking about and expecting the corresponding factory images, especially for devices without OTAs at this point: the 2012 Nexus 7s, the Wi-Fi 2013 Nexus 7, and the Nexus 10. Factory images can help recover soft-bricked Nexus devices, update the OS or its parts without losing data in case an OTA doesn't want to apply, or go back to stock after trying a custom ROM.
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.
Hurry up, ladies and gentlemen! If you sprint to Walmart between November 20th and 26th, you can apparently pick yourself up a very vintage Moto X running none other than Android 2.3. Those on-screen buttons and #HOLOYOLO accents look pretty spiffy on this fine Gingerbread device, don't they?
Curiously, on November 29th, the same phone not only drops to half price for Black Friday, it also gets a ninja upgrade to Android 4.2 and a $100 Walmart gift card (which is actually a pretty good deal since you're effectively netting 50 bucks - after signing a contract, of course).
Hooray! Shortly after the Nexus 4 OTA zip link was finally discovered, we can now say the same about both data-connected Nexus 7s - the 2012 3G edition and the 2013 LTE. These are the last devices we didn't have manual update links for, so now it's safe to say that the KitKat Nexus rollout has been fully completed.
Good news, everyone! The coveted Nexus 4 OTA to Android 4.4 is finally here after a brief delay caused by several serious bugs. It started rolling out very slowly a few days ago, but it wasn't until just now that we were able to finally identify the OTA zip urls for those of you who want to flash KitKat manually without having to wait any longer. No need to mash the Check for updates button over and over - let alone it doesn't actually do anything.
Back on Halloween, Google promised that proprietary binaries and factory images for the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 would arrive shortly after devices received their OTA updates. Even though some OTAs haven't even rolled out yet, as of a few minutes ago, all modern Nexus devices now have Android 4.4 KRT16O factory images and drivers available for download.
This means you can flash stock Android 4.4 onto any supported device, even if an OTA either wasn't available yet or wouldn't work for some reason.
- It officially brings Search version 3 (3.1.8 to be exact) that shipped in KitKat to all devices running 4.1+. This includes an updated UI, new refresh animation, among other things.
- Because Search houses the Google Experience Launcher (GEL) inside, this update also brings GEL to all devices running Android 4.1+. All you need to do after installing Search 3.1.8 is install the launcher app from here, and voila - GEL for all, not just KitKat devices.
Following closely behind the 2012 and 2013 Nexus 7 KitKat OTA updates, it's finally the Nexus 10's turn to receive the same treatment. You can now flash the 219MB KRT16O Android 4.4 build without having to wait for your tablet to alert you, no matter what your rooting/bootloader situation is. Of course, if you've modified the system partition in such a way that the OTA won't apply cleanly anymore, you have to either revert those changes or wait for the factory image.
Yesterday, Google announced the kickoff of the KitKat OTAs for the Nexus 7 and 10, though we haven't seen the update for the 2012 N7 actually pop up until a few minutes ago. (If you have a 2013 Nexus 7, head over here.)
2012 Nexus 7 Wi-Fi (not 3G yet) owners, listen up. You can now flash the 185MB KRT16O Android 4.4 build without waiting any longer, no matter what your rooting/bootloader situation is.
Now that the KitKat update has started rolling out to various Nexus devices, we're, unfortunately, seeing no traces of the Google Experience Launcher, which confirms an earlier report stating as much. No GEL means no transparency in the default and a pretty barebones boring AOSP launcher. It also means no Google Now integration and no "Ok Google" hotword support while on any home screen.
Boring Nexus 7 launcher
However, not all is lost.
Last night, roughly two weeks after the Nexus 5's release, Google announced the first round of KitKat updates for the Nexus 10 and 2012/2013 Nexus 7. While most of us are still waiting our turn, maniacally mashing the Check for updates button, the over-the-air update url has been discovered.
That means you can easily flash the 243MB KRT16O Android 4.4 build right now without waiting any further, no matter what your rooting/bootloader situation is.