In addition to things like stock Android and being carrier-unlocked, one of the big features of Nexus and Google Play Edition devices that Android power users love is an easily unlockable bootloader. While OEMs and carriers often make a policy of locking their devices' bootloaders to prevent installation of unauthorized software, Google makes it very easy for us to tinker with devices bearing its brand. All you really need to unlock a Google device is a tool called "fastboot," which is made available through the Android SDK.
Of all the announced new features of the Nexus 5 and Android 4.4/KitKat, one of the cooler ones was a new dialer colloquially known as the "KitKat dialer." It features a revamped UI and includes the ability to search for businesses, contacts, etc. right from inside the dialer. It also features Internet-based caller ID. The name "KitKat dialer," however, is not entirely accurate.
Google Dialer (its official name) is not technically part of KitKat because it is not included in AOSP.
If you own a Verizon HTC One, it's time to start tapping that "check for updates" button. Following Friday's announcement by HTC of an Android 4.3 firmware update, Verizon has updated its support PDF for the device with a full changelog. The new firmware version is 2.10.605.1. In addition to the obvious OS upgrade, there seems to be a fair number of bug fixes including:
- Increased charging speed when using Mophie Juicepack power station
- Corrected faint ringing noise from earpiece
- Play purchased ringtones
- Connection error fixed in the HTC Watch application
- View the correct date using the all day calendar reminder
- Conjunction words are better recognized on device keyboard
- Backup Assistant performance
Update: Looks like it's rolling out now.
Following the HTC One GPE and Galaxy S4 GPE updates that rolled out over the weekend, the LG G Pad 8.3 GPE is now receiving its first OTA. Rumblings about the update started as early as Friday, but we decided to wait until we had the OTA zip link. The new firmware version is Android 4.4.2/KOT49H, which brings it up to date with current Nexus devices.
There is no official changelog with the update, so it's currently unknown what, if any, device-specific bugs may have been fixed.
As soon as the first orders for the Sony Z Ultra Google Play Edition began arriving at users' doors, the bug reports started rolling in. While this always happen with a new handset, two of the issues quickly emerged as critical. To be more specific:
The Google Play Edition update train keeps rolling along. Hot on the heels of yesterday's HTC One GPE update, Galaxy S4 GPE owners are reporting a new OTA update as well. This update was alluded to yesterday, when Samsung released a new set of kernel source and framework files for the device. The firmware version is I9505GUEUCML4, which is Android 4.4.2/KOT49H. This brings it up to date with current Nexus devices.
If you own an HTC One GPE, it's time to start keeping an eye on your system update screen. HTC has released kernel source and framework files for the new update and people are beginning to report receiving the actual update. The firmware version is 3.62.1700.1, which is Android 4.4.2/KOT49H. This brings the HTC One GPE up to date with current Nexus devices.
If you want to know what's changed between 4.4 and 4.4.2, check out our comparison.
As you may have noticed, your friendly neighborhood Android Police writers have been more than a little busy in the last couple of days. Google had the odd notion of launching a new flagship device and a major operating system update on a holiday, so it's understandable if you haven't been able to keep up. If you spent most of last night escorting your kids around the neighborhood (or if you don't have kids, and you spent most of this morning nursing a Halloween hangover), here's everything we've got on KitKat, the Nexus 5, and anything else you want to know.