Normally the kind of customer who buys a "rugged" phone like the Hydro VIBE isn't all that concerned with having the latest and greatest in software - or at least that seems to be the attitude of the carriers and manufacturers, who don't seem very concerned themselves. Perhaps that's why Sprint and Kyocera launched the phone with Android 4.3 back in May, despite the fact that 4.4 had already been available for seven months.
Google rolled out the 4.4.4 update to devices earlier this year, with the 2013 Nexus 7 seeing the OTA in mid June. Here we are over three months later and Google has finally posted the full factory images and binaries for the LTE version of the N7. It's about time, guys.
Getting the kernel source code for devices is something of a rite of passage for new Android phones. In the United States and other parts of the world with heavy smartphone penetration, the focus is on the big, flashy flagship models - the sooner the kernels are published, the sooner those ROM makers can get cracking on custom ROMs and kernels. But considering the immediate response that Google's Android One program has received, I think those phones may turn out to be some of the most popular ROM recipients around.
Thanks to an awesome, understated design and (eventually) a competitive price, the Moto X has quietly become a favorite among discerning Android users. And it certainly doesn't hurt that Motorola has wasted no time in bringing the latest Android updates to its compact little flagship. Today Sprint's version of the Moto X gets upgraded to Android 4.4.4, up from the 4.4.3 build released in June.
Sprint isn't the last of the "big four" carriers to release its Moto X 4.4.4 update: technically AT&T is still soak testing their release.
Owners of the Xperia T, TX, and V had a little hope before today that their beloved devices would see some of that KitKat goodness, but now their hopes lay dashed to bits at the feet of Sony's heartless engineers. These devices won't be making the jump to Android 4.4 KitKat, but will continue to live on with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.
The Galaxy S4 Mini is not one of the more attention grabbing devices. It's the weaker, smaller variant of last year's flagship Samsung device, and it's only a small phone in the modern sense of the word. Regardless, Sammie is doing right by its customers and keeping the device up-to-date with a fresh version of KitKat. We've already seen version 4.4.2 hit handsets running on Verizon, Sprint, and US Cellular, so it's about time for AT&T customers to get the same experience.
Owners of HTC's latest flagship on Verizon have been patiently (and sometimes not so patiently) waiting on the promised update to Android 4.4.3 for some time now, but it looks like they'll be waiting a little longer. Even though the T-Mobile One M8 got its update today, HTC's US president Jason Mackenzie has confirmed on Twitter the OTA is currently targeted for mid-September on Verizon.
Plenty of phones tied to carriers get left behind in the update game, but the Moto X has kept up surprisingly well. The AT&T variant is currently sitting at 4.4.2, but AT&T has started pushing 4.4.4 updates to a soak testing group. If all goes as planned, it could roll out to everyone soon.
Sony tends not to push its flagship phones on US carriers, for whatever reason. Sometimes a tweaked version will happen along at a later date, and that was the case with the Xperia Z1. T-Mobile got the Xperia Z1s in January of this year, but it was still on Android 4.3. Well, not anymore—KitKat is rolling out now.