The joy, the uncontained joy, the unbridled excitement everyone felt upon hearing rumbles of Google possibly maybe optimizing Android 4.4 KitKat to smoothly run on any device with at least 512 MB RAM in tow. It can’t be put into words.
Imagine you’re walking down the street and all of a sudden you make out a rainbow somewhere on the horizon. And then see a mighty unicorn galloping down on it. And the rider is none other than Kate Upton. Butt naked.
Okay, maybe I went a little too far there, but still, the enthusiasm of Android geeks (myself included) about KitKat working with 512 MB RAM was pretty darn close to the majestic moment I just described. Only ultimately, both stories turned out to have one more thing in common: they’re a figment of our wild imagination.
Yes, Big G has confirmed Android 4.4 theoretically runs fine aided by that pithy memory (just as there have been unicorn sightings reported), but what’s the use if one of the best phones in history, the Samsung-made Galaxy Nexus, won’t get updated?
At the end of the day, I’m afraid we have to make do with whatever we can actually score, so no KitKat updates for gadgets older than 18 months and no Kate Upton. But chin up, Android fanatics, as it’s not all doom and gloom. Here’s the ultimate list of devices confirmed, hinted or suspected to nab Android 4.4 today, tomorrow and beyond:
- Nexus 7 2013, Nexus 7 2012, Nexus 4, Nexus 10
When: Technically now on all four devices, albeit there may still be some users, especially of the N4, left in the dust. Don’t despair, it’s coming. By Christmas. Pinky swear.
- Samsung Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 3
- Samsung Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note 2
When: “By April”, so likely in March or April of next year. Remember, the timeline isn’t set in stone and, most importantly, just because the 4.4 rollout starts today in, say, France, it doesn’t mean it’ll reach American users tomorrow. That’s valid for each and every gizmo on the list.
- Samsung Galaxy S4 mini, Galaxy Mega 5.8 and 6.3
When: Probably closely following the above mentioned quartet, so April, May or June 2014 at the latest.
- Other Samsungs: Galaxy S4 zoom, S4 Active, Grand 2, Note 10.1 2014, Note 8.0, Tab 3 7.0, 8.0, 10.1, etc.
It’s not easy to predict ETAs for the pack as no one from Samsung or “close” to the OEM has spilled the beans as of now. Yet be sure of one thing: phones like the S4 zoom and Active and tabs like the Note 10.1 2014, Note 8.0 and Tab 3 10.1 are in line for 4.4 upgrades. And they’ll get them one of these days. You just need patience.
- HTC One
- HTC Droid DNA
When: By the end of Q1 2014, so knowing Verizon, in June or July. Get it?
- HTC One mini, One max
These are basically the only other HTC-made handhelds that simply can’t stay on Jelly Bean forever, but I’m afraid I don’t have ETAs for you. Want an educated guess? How about… late spring 2014?
- Motorola Moto X
- Moto G
When: Starting in January for users all around the world. In US, carrier-branded models should launch with KitKat out-the-box by March.
- Droid Maxx, Ultra and Mini
When: Supposedly by the end of Q1 2014, albeit it all depends on Verizon and its usually lengthy and painful “testing process”.
- Motorola Droid Razr M, Razr HD, Razr Maxx HD, Electrify M, Atrix HD
The recent confirmation of all these, let’s be blunt, ancient and mediocre Moto phones caught a lot of people off guard. Just don’t expect them to leap from Android 4.1 or 4.2 to 4.4 too soon. Best case scenario, the Razr HD and Maxx HD will be getting the chocolaty treat halfway through 2014. Worst case scenario, the Electrify M and Atrix HD will be left hanging until close to next year’s end.
- Sony Xperia Z, ZL, Z1, Z Ultra, Tablet Z
Here’s where things get truly complicated. And confusing. Sony has these five on the 4.4 to-update slate, but first, the quintet (real word) has to get a taste of the last Jelly Bean flavor, 4.3. Why? Beats me. What’s crystal clear is even the most optimistic forecasts have the Z1 scoring KitKat in March or April 2014.
- Sony Xperia SP, T, TX, V, ZR
Basic math quiz. If the Z1 will be upgraded to 4.4 come March and between it and these five are four other gadgets waiting for bumps of their own, when should you hope to see the Xperia SP, T or V all chocolaty and sweet? July 2014? August? November? A long way to go in any case.
- LG G2
When: Next month, if we are to take for granted the word of a French-based electronics retailer.
- Other LGs: G Flex, G Pad 8.3, Optimus L5 II, L7 II, L9 II, Optimus F3, F5, F6, F7, Optimus G Pro, etc.
Why is LG so hush-hush on the Android 4.4 updating subject? My guess is they don’t even know when they’ll be able to roll out OTAs. You all know their track history. They’re terrible when it comes to such things and there’s no reason to be overly optimistic this time either. However, all of the above mentioned, save maybe for the F3, are certainly due for a KitKat break. The only question is when.
- Asus PadFone Infinity, PadFone Infinity 2
When: “In the first quarter of 2014”, according to official statements, meaning between January and the end of March.
- Huawei Ascend P6
When: In January.
That’s it for now, but before wrapping up, I’d like to underline the list is far from exhaustive and bound to get richer and richer with time. Be sure to keep in touch with The Droid Guy and we’ll try our best to update it regularly (pun intended).