After shipping its latest version of Android, 4.4 KitKat, with the Nexus 5 smartphone, Google has begun rolling out the new OS to its older devices. Users with a Nexus 7 (2012 and 2013 Wi-Fi editions) or Nexus 10 tablet will be pleased to hear that the Android 4.4 rollout begins today. Additionally, Google says the Nexus 4 and cellular-enabled Nexus 7 will receive an update to 4.4 shortly.
4.4 KitKat should speed up older Android devices
Android 4.4 KitKat brings a number of additions, including optimized performance for lower-end devices that should, if it's all Google says it is, significantly improve things for owners of the original Nexus 7 tablet. It also adds yellow pages functionality to the dialer (you can just search for local businesses instead of dialing a number), moves the Google Now screen to the left of the home screen, and replaces the default SMS app with Google Hangouts. There are many more features included in the update, and you can read about them here.
No update for the Galaxy Nexus
Outside of Google's harem of Nexus devices, several Android manufacturers have committed to updating their smartphones to 4.4. HTC says all North American owners of its flagship smartphone, the HTC One, will receive an update by the end of January 2014, while Motorola is bringing 4.4 to the Moto X and its three latest Droid handsets. One smartphone that's — somewhat surprisingly — being left behind is the Galaxy Nexus. Google only committed to 18 months of updates for Nexus devices, leaving the Samsung-made smartphone stuck on 4.3 for the rest of its days.