10
Dec
ada

Shortly after Android 4.4 hit Nexus devices, a new beta of the popular Nova Launcher home screen added UI elements borrowed from the Google Experience Launcher. Now that version has hit the Play Store with some refinements and additional features. While the Google Now integration isn't possible with a third-party launcher, this is about as close as you'll get to the Kitkat look without going stock.

2013-12-10 21.19.43 Screenshot_2013-12-10-14-48-51 Screenshot_2013-12-10-14-48-41

You'd have to look twice to tell Nova from the stock Google Experience Launcher – the icons, fonts, and colors are all reproduced here, but with the fully customized Nova settings underneath.

10
Dec
CyanogenMod-Thumb

Wild CyanogenMod 11 nightlies first appeared on Nexus devices just under a week ago, and they were followed up only a day later by builds for a slew of other devices. Still, many devices are still waiting for their share of KitKat. Today we can strike two more off that list - Sprint's LG G2 (ls980) and the Samsung Galaxy Express (expressatt).

CM1

CM2

CyanogenMod 11 may have been around for nearly a week now, but don't let that give you a false sense of confidence.

10
Dec
af (2)

Just when you thought Google couldn't drop any more Android news today, the Sony Xperia Z Ultra has appeared in the Play Store as a Google Play Edition device. This phone runs Android 4.4 KitKat on a big 6.4-inch screen and will cost you $649.

2013-12-10 13_19_33-Sony Z Ultra Google Play Edition - Devices on Google Play

09
Dec
image

Google only started the Android 4.4.1 update last week, but it looks like a new hotfix is already good to go, as 4.4.2 showed up for Nexus devices in the last hour. So far, we've seen it on the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, and the Nexus 7, but it's probably safe to say the Nexus 10 is not going to be far behind. Update: Nexus 10 confirmed too.

What's New?

09
Dec
google-nexus-5-01

Google pushed out Android 4.4.1 last week with the build number KOT49E. We spotted the OTA files for all the Nexus devices shortly thereafter and all was well with the world. Well, until today. Sprint has just posted on its support forums and update page that Nexus 5 users can expect an update on their devices today with build number KOT49H – that's slightly newer than the build we got last week.

09
Dec
gn2

T-Mobile customers with the Galaxy Note II, your day has finally arrived: the Jelly Bean 4.3 over-the-air update is finally rolling out, according to this XDA thread. Samsung's Galaxy S4, S III, and the Note II have been getting the same update on other American carriers, but T-Mobile is behind the leaked release schedule (though not by much). The Note II is the last Samsung phone on T-Mobile scheduled to get the update, at least for the moment.

09
Dec
ipswitch

The physical Menu button is an interesting holdout from an earlier age of Android. While Google's devices and those manufacturers that roughly follow Google's guidelines (like Motorola and LG) don't use it, Samsung and a few others do, leaving app developers in a tight spot when it comes to implementing an overflow button. Today a Reddit user found this change to the Action Bar Policy file for KitKat in Google's Git repository.

08
Dec
quintly_Social_Media_Effects_Android_Kit_Kat

Android fans in India were happy to be included in KitKat's international Android 4.4 promotion and have the chance to get their hands on the 2013 Nexus 7. However, the prizes being sent out are not exactly as advertised. Instead of receiving the 2013 Nexus 7, winners in India are getting the old 2012 model. A multinational corporation not living up to its end of the deal? Surely you jest.

kitkat nexus 7 contest india

Winners of the Nexus 7 tablets in every other country were given the new Nexus 7, and those prizes mostly shipped out weeks ago.

06
Dec
kitkat

With a new Android release comes another one of Funky Android's crazy-detailed AOSP developer changelogs, this time detailing every commit made between Android 4.4 (build KRT16M) and Android 4.4.1 (build KOT49E).

dev

As usual, it's really long, and for the most part full of fairly cryptic comments you may not understand unless you have a pretty deep familiarity with the Android OS on a technical level. That said, there are always some interesting, readable tidbits people manage to pull from these logs, so if you can make the time, it may be worth perusing through for some unadvertised goodies packed in Android 4.4.1.

06
Dec
nexusae0_defaultSmsApp
Last Updated: December 12th, 2013

First, we heard that KitKat would bring some changes to the API, breaking many of the SMS apps we've come to rely on. On the day KitKat was released, we were given a more full explanation, shining some light on the technical details and exactly what types of apps would be affected. But did anybody really think this was the end of the story? It turns out that a hidden permission exists which can still grant non-default apps the right to modify the SMS database just like they used to - no rooting required.

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