Nexus 7 (2012, 2013) and Nexus 10 Android 4.4 KitKat updates roll out starting today, Nexus 4 and cellular Nexus 7 “soon”

by: Chris SmithNovember 12, 2013

Google Nexus 5 black aa 8

After having been officially available only on the newly launched Google Nexus 5, Android 4.4 KitKat is rolling out to other Nexus-branded devices starting today, although it’s not good news for all Android users out there.

The Nexus 7 Wi-Fi versions (both 2012 and 2013 models) and the Nexus 10 will get their respective Android 4.4 KitKat builds starting today, but that’s it.

Nexus 4 owners and tablet users that purchased a Nexus 7 version with cellular connectivity will have to wait a while longer for their KitKat fix.

Google has posted the short news on its Google+ and Twitter Android pages, as you can see above.

We’ll remind you that unofficial Android 4.4 KitKat builds are already available for many devices, including the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 Wi-Fi models and even the unsupported Galaxy Nexus. However, the officially official KitKat update is almost here, so better get ready for it, instead of relying on unofficial ROMs.

Unlike with previous Android updates for Nexus devices, the KitKat upgrade will not include the “Google Experience Launcher,” which is so far a Nexus 5-only software feature. That’s what Google told a publication a short while ago, and it looks like a lucky Nexus 7 owner was able to verify it for himself. Here’s what he posted on reddit about the KitKat update:

I was hoping for a big visual change like the nexus 5. No transparent menu, status or even app drawer.

Here are (2)screenshots,C9RgBW0 [see images below]

The only differences I notice are some of the icons and white status icons. The Google launcher isn’t here either, swiping to the left doesn’t reveal Google now. You also still can’t delete home pages, still the default 5. Editing a home page also isn’t like the nexus 5, the widgets are still in the app drawer.

I installed nova launcher (beta version), the menu & status bar are transparent.

We’ll note that Google itself hinted inside the Android 4.4 KitKat pages that the Nexus 7 may not have transparency effects by posting the following image of a Nexus 5 next to a Nexus 7:

Android 4.4 KitKat

We’ll be back with more news on Android 4.4 KitKat updates as soon as we have them.

+Darcy LaCouvée contributed to this post.

  • Christopher Heidt

    So, in other words, the only change for a ‘non-Nexus 5’ Nexus device is some visual differences… What was the point of the update if only one device will have the majority of the features?! I hope that this isn’t a path that Google plans on continuing down for much longer…

    • Nickan Fayyazi

      Performance improvements, too… plus, this seems to have only been confirmed for the N7. And you can always just install the new Nova Launcher beta; it has the GE launcher (other than swipe to the side for Google Now), complete with a transparent nav bar.

      • Rafa

        For the price we pay and the trust we gave to Google we are not supposed to be forgotten in such a little time, there are no excuses for what they are doing… If i want perfomance improvements i should go Windows Phone, their OS has no changes since it came out! But this is Android and Google…

        • Nickan Fayyazi

          “For the price we pay” huh? Updates are free, and the phones are cheaper than iPhones and sometimes cheaper than WP phones (depending on which Android phone you get).

          • Chris Orovio

            i assume he’s talking about the price he pays for devices

          • Guest

            Depends which countries of you live, in my country you can get GS4+ 32gb sd card with the same price.

    • David

      Like Apple.. older iOS devices get the same updates but some of the features are just available to the newest models, thats how you sell your new products..

      • BDPSU

        Yeah but it’s crap and goes against what “Nexus” has stood for.

        • David

          Everybody whines about that Android Updates are not similar to iOS Updates because every device has it own rhytm. Now you have 4.4 but without some of the features you get with the newest and best product. N4, N7 1st & 2nd, N10 all get the update and have the newest Firmware Version just without the Google Launcher because Google just need something more to sell the N5, it is called a unique selling feature.. like Siiri was on the iPhone 4S. Google said it will be N5 only for now.. but nobody says it will be in this state forever. So guys, whats the problem? Nexus stands for soon updates to the newest Android… and here you go.

          • Michael Hershberger

            Incorrect. Apple did not release Siri for older iOS devices because they lacked the noise canceling microphones necessary for voice recognition to work well. It was a quality control decision.

    • sluflyer06

      Quite the opposite of “only the nexus 5 will have a majority of the features” the reality is we’re getting everything except a couple visual changes. I’ve got my 5 for the rest anyway!

  • Rafa

    What a crap! if google changes are going this way, i guess ill change my nexus and go back to Samsung or even iPhone… Bad way to response such a major update like iOS did…

    • Oli72

      Pls leave so I can get my update faster. Samsung will update tizen faster then nexus.

      • phuongot

        If i want perfomance improvements i should go Windows Phone, their OS has no changes since it came out! But this is Android and Google..

    • Ewe Zu Lin

      Feel free to go back to Samsung if you willing to use that bloated touchwiz and wait for the update much longer.
      And what major update did iOS do? It’s only visual update.

      • Michael Hershberger

        Said no iOS user ever.

  • martin carlosena

    Something tells me the GEL will soon be released in the play store.

    • Christopher Heidt

      I hope that you’re right…

  • Oli72

    Waiting patiently for my mine.

  • ziplock9000

    Not happy with this at all.

  • joshua omalley

    Still waiting……..waiting and waiting………..

  • Kenny Woodard

    Anyone have the Moto X? How do you like it?

    I’m thinking about getting it over the N5

    • Cosies flatten

      Do it.

    • Collin dubya

      it’s a nice phone but you’re getting a much better value with the n5, way more guts for way less money with the n5

  • PL

    My n7 is happy ;)

    • Jayfeather787

      My n7 does not have the update yet.

      • PL

        Same here, but its today!

  • khalidalomary

    No update yet for me nexus 7 2013 32gb WiFi

  • samir

    ios 7 released for iphone 5s then will be soon on iphone 5 and iphone 4s next year thx google . from n4 owner

  • Valtheus

    Really Google? You won’t even give the same exact features to your own devices anymore? I cannot think of any reason not to do that, so i will just call it LAME.

    Thumbs down on Google for this.

    • BDPSU

      It’s BS. I thought my N4 that I just bought 5 months ago would have full updates for quite a while. Not happy.

      • Collin dubya

        relax it’s coming just not right away. there’s already 4.4 roms available if you root your n4


    If this is the way Google is going to handle Nexus updates from here on out, I might have to rethink my use of Nexus gadgets.

    You are going to piss off a LOT of nexus owners by doing this crap – you’d better rethink it. We buy Nexus devices because we know they will be updated quickly with the full features of the latest Android version.

    Why screw over your most loyal users?

  • Joey Shields

    Yes its safe to say I’m pissed right now as a N7 2013 owner…

  • Jake

    I don’t bother upgrading my Nexus4 to Kitkat, because quite a few crucial apps don’t work on 4.4.

    What a mess.

    Immediately after upgrading my iPhone4 to iOS7, some apps didn’t work, but they got updated within a week. (approval delay)

    Google should learn from Apple supporting/driving third parties.

  • John


  • Collin dubya

    if you’re butthurt about your phone not getting the update who cares, if you own a nexus device you really should be rooting your phone and getting a custom rom for it anyways, if you don’t you’re really not unlocking your devices full potential.

  • Jon E

    I have a Nexus 5 and frankly cannot wait for Cyanogenmod on it. This “Google Experience” is complete crap. Yes we get the Now page as a home page but big whoop.

    I love the look of the N5 and the hardware that it has however my S2 that was running the latest CM 4.3 nightly was much better functionality wise. I still find myself trying to find out how to do things that I now realise were a CM enhancement.

    For anyone who is wanting 4.4 on the Nexus 7 etc just put CM on it and you won’t need 4.4

  • PL

    Where is update? I wait whole day -_-

  • Tyquan


  • Brett
  • Mr Mop

    Nexus 7 2012 Wi-Fi still not getting the update >:(

  • Ishaan Malhotra

    Ill stay with 4.3 and use gravity box for the transparency

  • whoop

    I have n4 n7 iPhone4s sprint gs3 and they all stink

  • Michael Hershberger

    Still no update. What a joke.

  • phuongot

    Written, visual appeal