Android 4.4 Kitkat update for Nexus 4, 7, 10

Google has officially introduced the new Nexus 5 smartphone and Android 4.4 KitKat earlier today, just as some recent rumors have suggested, but when will it be available?

While you may have though that KitKat will be rolled out rather quickly after becoming official, that’s not exactly the case.

On the company’s official blog, Google said that KitKat will come to various Nexus and Google Play edition devices in the “coming weeks” without actually specifying an actual release date.

As expected, the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, Galaxy S4 Google Play edition and HTC One Google Play edition will all be updated to KitKat, but the company did not say anything about the Galaxy Nexus.

With KitKat, Google wants to update even older devices to a fresh OS, something it hasn’t done before. In fact, in the documentation it provided so far, Google revealed that KitKat has been optimized to run on devices that have at least 512MB of RAM.

Considering that the Galaxy Nexus has 1GB of RAM, we would assume that Galaxy Nexus would be also included in the list of devices to be updated. Maybe it’s just an oversight from Google for now, but we’re certainly going to be back with more details for you.

It turns out that the Galaxy Nexus is too old for the KitKat update – which means that KitKat will not necessarily be supported by too old devices, even if they would pass the specs test. Here’s why the Galaxy Nexus won’t be getting KitKat, according to Google’s answers on its support pages:

Is Google releasing Android 4.4 as a system update for Galaxy Nexus?

No, Galaxy Nexus phones won’t be receiving the update for Android 4.4 (KitKat).

Why isn’t Galaxy Nexus receiving the update to Android 4.4?

Galaxy Nexus, which first launched two years ago, falls outside of the 18-month update window when Google and others traditionally update devices.

Meanwhile, check out the new Android 4.4 features, and official details about the Nexus 5 handset.

  • Nathan Borup

    “coming weeks…” NOOOO! I want it NOW!

    • Jayfeather787

      So do I.

    • adam evans

      Hurry Google, what will come first , a nexus 5 in the post or update to the nexus 4?!?

  • Fitzelgard Allan Gerard

    I doubt coming weeks, feels like a few hours as they’re slowly releasing everything. Tbh it’s all speculations but it will probably come tonight as no one knows but the big G.

    • kumar

      i want kit kat OTA immediately for nexus 4!!

  • MasterMuffin

    GNexus is over its life cycle. Custom ROMs are the saviors again :)

    • Simos Katsiaris

      blame you know who for paying for the development of the phone and then they refused the google updates because of the new radio driver on android 4.3 -_-

    • mrjayviper

      only for the tech literate which is nothing compared to the number of tech illiterates

      • Unwashed Masses

        I doubt the tech illiterate give a single crap about having the latest version of Android on their phone, or even know what that means.

  • Tiago Azevedo

    Google just announced Galaxy Nexus will not be updated! :-(

  • NeedName

    gNex is over 18 months old, and Google doesn’t update after 18 months. . . so. .. . . guess I was wrong about the Nexus line getting long term updates — doesn’t even cover a contract term.

    Google’s 18 month update policy does nothing more than put more perfectly useable devices in landfills quicker. . . sad!

    • blabla

      You have no other way, then to root your phone, if you want 4.4

    • Simon Belmont

      It’s sad (I’m a G’Nex owner, too). But, Google is in the business of selling devices and services, so updating an old device forever isn’t in their best interest (no, I’m totally not defending them, but giving a business perspective).

      We’ll get Android 4.4 on our G’Nex handsets, man. It’ll be in the form of CM11, and I bet it will run really well.

      • Sabin Bajracharya

        Do you know when CM11 stable version will be available? Any guess?

        • Simon Belmont

          Wish, I did, but no. Stable version will probably be quite a while, but nightlies will likely start soon enough.

          The best I can tell you as that we’ll definitely see CM11 on the G’Nex. No doubt about it.

        • sourabh sekhar

          it will be available after 4.5 comes out.

        • Collin dubya

          First rule of Cyanogen mod, don’t ask for ETA’s, it will be released when it’s finished ;)

      • Nasko Hristov

        But, Google is in the business of selling devices, really man? You think Google makes profit from selling Nexus devices at extremely low prices? There is no excuse for not updating the Galaxy Nexus.

        • Simon Belmont

          I said selling devices AND services. The devices they sell facilitates the selling and consumption of their services.

          I realize they probably make little to no profit on the devices (if not actually take a hit on them), but if users buy into Google’s ecosystem (apps, movies, books, etc), then Google gets long term monetary gain from them. Also, Like I said above, I’m not defending their decision not to update the G’Nex, which I think is more related to TI not being in the mobile SoC business anymore and laying off a lot of people to that end (thus no updates drivers for the G’Nex).

      • Jaison Abraham

        to me I think that there are too many variants with the galaxy nexus and google have to make a lot of compromises to release the product. the nexus 4 and nexus 5 was the first uncompromising google phones. which for google is easier to update and fix because they just need to design for 1 phone. not design for 3 variants.

        • NeedName

          That’s Google’s fault, they ought not punish customers because they made bad decisions.

          Nonetheless, Google is being very clear that “18 months” is their support window, thus don’t expect the N4 & N5 to get anything better than that.

      • TechDevil

        I think the problem here is why should other corporations using Android for their smartphones bother updating to 4.4 KitKat when Google won’t even do it to their own devices? That’s just sad and very pointless.

        • Simon Belmont

          I agree. It sets a bad example. It shows that not supporting a device that’s fully capable of running the latest and greatest is “okay” when it most certainly isn’t. Yup. :)

          I just think Google was in a jam in this situation. If the employees TI had, that could help with updated binaries, are gone, then Google probably had no choice but to retire the G’Nex. I just have this sneaky suspicion that they really did want to update it, but it would have been a hack job at best. Who knows, maybe I’m giving them too much credit. ;)

          • NeedName

            TI drivers aren’t the problem. XDA members already have 4.4 running on the gNexus, but not perfect yet. Google just doesn’t want to support hardware, thus NO REASON at all to buy a nexus device. . . .

            If I go Android at all it will be something cyanogenmod will be supporting. Otherwise I’ll be looking at other camps.

    • scb1898

      You’d throw your phone in the landfill, because you don’t get an update? If so, that’s crazy!

    • Jose Torres

      Should have realized this with the Nexus One and the Nexus S. I don’t understand why it’s suddenly a big deal that Google doesn’t update 18 month old phones when the Galaxy Nexus isn’t the first to fall on the wayside.

    • Apple_Nexus

      I know, it sucks!

      I thought part of the appeal of buying a Nexus device was that it’d be supported and would get the updates immediately? Apple devices get longer support – the 3GS was supported for 4 years.

      And where’s the KitKat update for the Nexus 4/7/10 already?

  • kronz
  • Sebastián Navarro

    Lg Optimus G Pro E980 ?

  • Steve

    This 18 month thing is news to me. So I guess the Nexus 4 won’t receive the next big update after 4.4? its 12 months old already…

    • Simon Belmont

      It probably will. Potentially the next one after that, too.

      The G’Nex saw three point releases: 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3. The N4 started at Android 4.2, so we can reasonably surmise that it’ll see one more after Android 4.4. Just my thought process on the subject.

      • Sabin Bajracharya

        4.2 and 4.3 were minor release! The only major release GNex got was 4.1. Also google said they will release new android iteration per year basis so kitkat will be the final major update the nexus4 is going to get. Meanwhile it will get minor update but thats it!

        • Simon Belmont

          They’re minor, but they’re point releases. Honestly, I was really expecting the G’Nex to see Android 4.4 officially from Google.

          Especially considering how much they’re talking about lower RAM usage. Oh well, that’s Google for you.

    • jdt1986

      If the Nexus 4 doesn’t get Android 5.0, I’m going to be VERY annoyed.

  • Tanner Hoyt

    I had no idea about the 18 month cycle… I’m sorry, but I’m not going to pay $350 for a phone that doesn’t even get two years of updates. I think I’ll go with the Moto X.

    • Kamal

      Does iOS run on Motto X? ARE YOU RETARDED?

      • Tanner Hoyt

        Oh no, not you again.

        When did I say iOS ran on the Moto X? Apparently you can’t read.

        • Kamal

          You need to get off nexus blogs. nexus5 is unlocked for $350. You want something with a contract for $200 as per your other blog post ing….aka PRISON TIME

          I suggest you really understand what $350 is really in US$ and how much a company like apple rips you off for a $250 BOL phone to sell it for $700… seriously man, idiots like you really belong in the apple ecosystem until they go bankrupt in a few years when everyone is more technologically advanced with Google’s offerings…
          No offense, but you will never get the real android eco system…. don you have a S3? which version does sprint provide you with? any promises abt 4.4 before you start bit$hing about pure Android..
          Like i think, you are still a isheep in disguise figuring out how an android eco system works.. ENJOY THE FACT that one company is giving ppl a real smartphone for $350 or kiss @pples ass and pay them $700 if u want the same thing unlocked.

          • NeedName

            Dude, you have apple problems.

            The commenter you are replying to said NOTHING about apple or ios. . . get a grip.

          • Tanner Hoyt

            You need to calm down. I’m not an Apple fanboy, I just don’t bash them 24/7 like some people do.

            I am currently using an AT&T Galaxy S3 running Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. I was planning on getting the Nexus 5, however, the news about Google’s 18 month upgrading window has made me decide otherwise. Just because I am willing to buy a locked phone for cheaper doesn’t mean I’m an Apple fanboy… It means I don’t consider the Nexus 5 worth it. I don’t need my phone to do that much.

            Oh, and the Moto X is only $99 on contract. That’s a great price for a great phone and it will likely be my choice in December.

          • Idontkissapplesass

            The motto x is not going to get 2 years of updates

  • Groud Frank

    The Nexus line was our best hope for consistent and reliable updates and then they drop this on us? And after all this talk about 4.4 running on older devices… I think I will go with Oppo’s N1 or other Oppo devices. At least with Cyanogen Inc, I can expect a better update life expectancy than this.
    GG Google!

    • NeedName

      Oppo is looking good after this news. . . very good!

    • Unwashed Masses

      I don’t think Google ever intended 4.4 to run on “older” devices, only lower-end NEW devices. The have nothing to gain by updating older devices, but stand to make a fortune by expanding into developing markets with affordable off-contract devices with Google Services built in.

  • filaos

    “…the 18-month update window when Google and others traditionally update devices.”

    Screw you Google.
    My Nexus 4 with its dying battery is now on sale, and I’m switching back to Apple. At least they now what “quality components” and “device support” mean.
    18 months… Seriously ?

    • Tanner Hoyt

      I totally agree. The iPhone 4, which came out in 2010 (3 years ago!) got the iOS 7 update. That is what you call support.

      • Mobile Phones Fan

        I suspect you’ve never actually used iOS 7 on an iPhone 4 or IPad 2, both of which are about the same age as his Galaxy Nexus.

        Had you done so, I doubt that you’d be so glib about Apple’s putative ‘support’ for those relatively ancient devices. See…

        • Tanner Hoyt

          I don’t have an iPhone 4, but iOS 7 runs pretty smooth on my iPad 2. It hiccups here and there, but not that bad at all.

          • Mobile Phones Fan

            Fair enough, but then iPad 2 is the newest of the three devices I’ve mentioned (by at least 6 month, IIRC). Even so, it’s taken Apple…what, two further iOS 7 updates to deliver those ‘hiccups’ you’ve described.

            Not what I’d call a stunning success at delivering ‘support for older devices’. And added to the Texas Instruments drivers issue, Apple’s iOS 7 woes lend credence to Google’s decision to withhold Android 4.4 from the GNex.

          • Tanner Hoyt

            My experience on the iPad 2 has been nearly flawless. It lags occasionally, but not very often. Besides, unless an update seriously worsens the performance of my device, I’d like to have it.

            And that apparently has nothing to do with Google withholding the update for the Galaxy Nexus. They said they have an 18 month update window. After a Nexus device has been out for 18 months, they don’t promise any updates for it. That means the KitKat will likely be the last major update on the Nexus 4. That just sucks. They should support their customers better.

          • Apple/Google Fanboy

            I don’t know if you read filaos’ post, but you’re wrong about gnexus release date. It came out in november of 2011, same gen as iPhone 4s. Might want to check your facts =)

          • Brian Shieh

            I think the iPad 2 uses the A5 chip, which is like the iPhone 4s’s. So yes, it is the smoother one vs iPhone 4

          • Tanner Hoyt

            Yes, but that it doesn’t make the phone unusable. It lags, but it is still usable. Besides, most people who have an iPhone 4 are likely about to upgrade by now if they haven’t already. As long as an update doesn’t severely reduce a phone’s performance, the company should release it for as old a device as possible.

        • filaos

          No. The GNex is as old as the iPhone 4S (not the 4 !) and has twice the RAM. And iPhone 4S runs iOS 7 perfectly.
          They got NO excuse except not giving a damn fuck about customers.

      • thereasoner

        Updates with out the features,
        no siri,
        no maps
        and iOS 7 has been said to run like garbage on the iphone4!
        That is what I call BS support!

    • MasterMuffin

      What did you expect from a device that’s half the price of iPhone…

      • filaos

        That’s right. I fooled myself in believing it was a high end device at a bargain price.

  • Ivan Myring

    Still no new nexus 10! For fucks sake!

  • marco00011

    That broke my heart :'(
    Just because it’s older than 18 months isn’t really a reason to me.
    The gnex is capable of handling Kitkat!!

  • Nitinart Nunthong

    I have heard about 18 months support before but I thought it was meant for OEMs not Google. For nexus devices ,IMO ,it should be at least 24 months.

  • Brian Shieh

    Wait, on Engadget, it states that the problem was linked to the Texas Instrument chipset problem, as the business is dead. No more support for the TI processors may be part of the cause.

    • NeedName

      This was all speculation and some “insiders” trying to give Google an excuse. Google is very clear, now, about their 18 month update policy. And XDA has shown, already, that 4.4 can run on the gNexus. . . . Android just has crap support from OEMs, end of story!

      • Brian Shieh

        well, the Android Upgrade Alliance (if this has any relevance to it) is apparently unheard of now. Maybe Google decided to refute the group? Sadly yes, most phones are capable of running a newer OS. I had a Motorola Atrix 4g that ran JB 4.1 fine without any hiccups or crashes. It’s about the money nowadays.

  • Paul K Deuster

    I am a Gnexus owner too and i am sad that it wont get kitkat. But i an switching anyway, two years is a long time and the Gnexus doesn’t have the performance I expect from a smartphone although I still love it and pass it to my family members.

    To all of you who talk about apples great support! Damn you the crap costs nearly the double of a nexus they HAVE to do long term support.

  • Ivan Budiutama

    A bit disappointed with the (new term?) not updating a 18 month old device. I mean, I was expecting when they release 4.4 that can run on “older” devices. I have a high expectation they will show us (and OEM) how it’s done. even surprising us by updating their Nexus S line to set up a nice example on how powerful KitKat can be. I guess I am expecting too much. Maybe it’s just me

    I am switching too nevertheless, but now the “Nexus” long term update seems less tempting now, Sony has a great track record, I think their Xperia S (released on GB) is now on 4.1.2. Maybe I should go with Z1 instead?

  • Kk Rech

    I dont want a Nexus 5, update my Nexus 4 now! That was the reason I bought a Nexus!

  • iamtravis182

    Its too bad that Google isn’t supporting their phones with the latest OS longer. That being said, at least with a Nexus, you get to enjoy the fruits of an open dev system where you will be able to flash the latest ROMS on your phone with little hassle.

    I ordered a Nexus 5 and am looking foreword to the phone itself, but I am most excited about having the max amount of freedom on a major mobile device possible.

  • TechDevil

    After hearing that Galaxy Nexus won’t get the update to 4.4 KitKat, I don’t even bother buying the Nexus 5, knowing it will only get updates for 18 months. Google is just as bad at updating as all other corporations, apparently, so I’m buying Note 3 now!

  • johnny boy

    can someone tell me if the nexus 7 2012 edition going to get the update ???

  • Florin N

    quit bitching and upgrade from that GNex.It’s not like a Nexus 4 or 5 costs a fortune, plus the GNex is too old anyway (and has many variants, unlike the 4&5 which are just 1 global version)
    Point is: if you want a clean Android experience, it’s very cheap to get it.Support for 18 months sounds pretty fair.

    • Nizo

      Not a thing wrong with my Gnex. Runs everything I need it to with nary a hiccup. Never even bothered with a custom ROM, 4.2.1 is good enough for me. I don’t see shit on KitKat that makes me feel slighted. If your phone does what you need it to do, when you need to do it… then who cares if it has the latest and greatest hardware/software? I don’t get that thinking. It’s like hey, my penile implant is bigger than yours!!! Who cares? You have money to throw away every year when the latest and greatest is released w/ newest OS? Great! Go get it! If not, oh well, I promise you you’ll be just fine. Don’t let these yuppie SOBs make you feel like you have to upgrade your phone yearly.

      That being said, it kinda pisses me off that the Gnex won’t see 4.4, since I just got it less then a year ago. But OH WELL (I am on Sprint so it wasn’t like I was going to see an official release anyhow). 4.4 offers nothing I MUST HAVE anyway. All I can say to anyone, is stay AWAY from Sprint. God they suck bad. No signal anywhere unless you are within a mile of a major interstate. Unlimited data for life… with the catch… that you’ll never actually be able to use it, so of course it’s unlimited!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Mr T

        Agreed, the GNexus is a fine device. Its hardware looks a bit prehistoric nowadays but it runs almost everything flawlessly. I can see why someone would be pissed that it doesn’t get the last version of Android but as you said it’s not like you’re missing much aside from cosmetic tweaks.

  • Mike Zacierka

    Samsung G.Nexus is my first smartphone which hasnt been replaced after 3 month to search for newer or better. I have it 15 months and I dont give a &%$& about updates:)I love it with 4.2

  • Hazem

    Could you tell me when is 4.4 gonna come out for Xperia Z family?they haven’t even release 4.3 yet hope they do soon.

  • 18 Month update window?

    That means my nexus 4 will be unsupported in 6 months then?

  • sunny

    I guess the 18 month service window is for devices whose production has been stopped i.e. no active sales….
    Nexus 4 might last longer than expected by you guys :)

  • androidkin

    I believe the Galaxy Nexus has TI OMAP processor. TI stopped making processor in late 2012. So it’s possible without proper processor drivers and support new OS versions cannot be installed.

  • Michelle

    What about the LG Optimus G Pro which isn’t even a year old yet??? LG needs to go back to the bottom of the cellphone list as worst customer support. They abandon their phones as soon as they release a new one. LG SUX! Never again!