It's time to fire up that Sprint Galaxy Tab 3 and see what all the fuss is about with this KitKat thing everyone's been talking about... for months. Well, it's not like you bought the Sprint version of the Gtab because you wanted fast updates – it was just dirt cheap, and sometimes free. Consequently, there are probably a fair number of devices out there getting an update today.
When you go around flashing ROMs, you have to expect that things might occasionally go wrong. The previous milestone build of CyanogenMod 11 seemed fine at first, but then Google released the 4.4.3 update. Devices that were eligible (Nexus phones, for example) started producing update notifications, which shouldn't happen on a custom ROM. This was more troublesome than a notification that wouldn't go away, though.
If you used to play around with CyanogenMod Nightlies, but switched to the more stable M-series releases, it has probably felt like forever since M6 hit the scene. Well, M7 is hot off the compilers, just in time to fill that insatiable need to flash your phone or tablet. Don't forget, the M-series has officially taken the place of Release Candidates and Stable builds, so this is considered the most reliable version of CyanogenMod available.
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.
The newer OmniROM has also started publishing 4.4.3 nightly builds for its supported devices, available on the download page.
A couple of months ago, we posted one of our early Google Search/Now rumors, and it was something of a long range rumor compared to others. While things like parking reminders, proper timer management, and bill pay reminders have already seen their public release, the ability to set contact-based reminders ("remind me when I'm with this person"), hasn't come forward yet. But it will likely appear very soon with a new feature in Android called Nearby, which will allow new interactions between you and nearby people, places, and things.
Back in April, owners of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active were treated to the ultimate tease when an update to Android 4.4 KitKat began rolling out, only to be put on hold a few days later. The only explanation was a claim that AT&T and Samsung were "looking into potential improvements." It looks like the time has come -again- for the S4 Active to make the jump to KitKat.
Most people familiar with the Nexus program know that each new Android update usually brings with it a new set of driver "blobs" for each supported phone and tablet in the product line. Even though these proprietary binaries are usually the latest versions when they come out, Google still occasionally receives updates to the drivers even when it's not a good time to issue an OTA. As we've just witnessed from the long lead time on the 4.4.3 release, it can take quite a while before an update is rolled out.
Holy crap, that was fast. According to a flood of tips we just received, at least some owners of Google Play Edition devices are now seeing updates to over-the-air Android 4.4.3. The latest incremental update to KitKat was just published yesterday - some Nexus devices don't even have it. At the time of writing (Tuesday afternoon US) we've been told that the Google Play Editions of the HTC One M7 (2013 model) and the Galaxy S4 are receiving over-the-air updates.
Google has just announced the official Project Tango tablet development kit, an insanely powerful slate powered by NVIDIA's Tegra K1 processor. This thing is beastly - 7" display (unknown type / resolution), 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, Tegra K1 quad-core processor (not the dual-core 64-bit Denver), motion-tracking cameras, integrated depth sensing, Android KitKat, and LTE. The big catch? It's only for developers, and it will cost $1024. Yikes. Granted, this is a high-tech, cutting-edge experimental product designed as a reference and development tool, not something to check your Gmail on while browsing Reddit.
Last month's Android platform distribution numbers showed a continuing steady rise of Android 4.4 in handsets worldwide, but this month's numbers mark a major jump - KitKat is up to 13.6% of all devices, from a mere 8.5% a month ago today. Updates to handsets likely explain some of the rise, though consumers replacing aging devices with updated phone like the HTC One M8 and Galaxy S5 are probably more likely candidates for such a rapid and significant rise in adoption.