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12 Motorola Smartphones Will Taste Android KitKat

By - Source: CNET | B 14 comments

So far a number of reports have discovered that at this time, Motorola plans to update twelve phones with Android 4.4 “KitKat”, which was quietly released on October 31. This is good news for many DROID handset owners who have remained on Android 4.1.2 “Jelly Bean” for quite some time. That said, here are the list of phones (and carriers) that are currently on Motorola’s upgrade list:

  • DROID MAXX (Verizon)
  • DROID MINI (Verizon)
  • DROID RAZR HD (Verizon)
  • DROID RAZR MAXX HD (Verizon)
  • DROID RAZR (Verizon)
  • DROID RAZR M (Verizon)
  • DROID RAZR M Developer Edition
  • DROID RAZR HD Developer Edition
  • DROID ULTRA (Verizon)
  • ATRIX HD (AT&T)
  • Electrify M (U.S. Cellular)
  • MOTO X (All Carriers)

Motorola didn’t actually announce this list of phones and carriers, but rather it was derived from the company’s software upgrade page. Users must first choose a wireless carrier from a drop-down menu, then select one of the many devices listed. Clicking on the DROID BIONIC shows that the phone will remain glued to Android 4.1.2 whereas clicking on the DROID RAZR HD shows the device will be upgraded to KitKat at an unspecified date.

However Motorola did say on Tuesday that the MOTO X will be the first to receive the chocolaty-crunchy update. “Our software team has been hard at work bringing the latest version of Android to our Moto X users more quickly than ever,” reads the Motorola blog. “When it came to KitKat, we couldn’t wait to deliver. Our software strategy is to build on a pure Android foundation and complement existing Google services, not compete with them. We think this latest release is just that—all the features you love about your Moto X with the latest Android OS.”

So what does Android 4.4 bring to the smartphone table? Here is a list of features provided by Motorola:

  • An improved phone dialer. Now you can search for contacts directly from the dial-pad and easily see and tap on those you contact frequently.
  • More gallery goodies. KitKat packs in some cool, new gallery effects—such as Posterize, Highlights, and Edges. You can even use the Draw feature to annotate your photos freehand with your finger.
  • New Hangouts app. All of your conversations now in one place—texts, video calls, and other chats all together in one app. Plus, you can now send animated gifs and share your location.
  • Color Emoji. For when words aren’t enough, the Google Keyboard now includes colorful characters to send in text messages and other communications.
  • Drag to focus and expose. An updated camera app lets you control both the focus and exposure of your photos. Simply drag your finger to set just the right exposure and focus point.
  • And more… Restyled status and navigation bars, new full-screen mode, and enhancements to Motorola features like Touchless Control.
Discuss
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  • 0 Hide
    JD88 , November 21, 2013 8:39 AM
    This is pretty amazing. No other phone manufacturer is providing anything like this for older phones.

  • 0 Hide
    lostandwandering , November 21, 2013 8:55 AM
    Glad to know that unlike my HTC Thunderbolt, my Razr M will actually be supported. However, if Verizon gets the rumored Nokia 929 then update may not be enough to keep me from jumping ship.
  • 0 Hide
    zugzug_64 , November 21, 2013 8:57 AM
    Going to the Motorola site and selecting Verizon and Droid Razr tells me that I'll be staying on 4.1.2 :( 
  • 0 Hide
    zugzug_64 , November 21, 2013 9:04 AM
    Going to the Motorola site and selecting Verizon and Droid Razr tells me that I'll be staying on 4.1.2 :( 
  • 0 Hide
    mmohon , November 21, 2013 9:58 AM
    Does this mean motorola is reducing the customization of blur? So future upgrades might be easier and faster as well?
  • 0 Hide
    clonazepam , November 21, 2013 10:01 AM
    So they upgraded a couple app features... what'd they change under the hood? Anything important or just the gimmicky crap listed?
  • 0 Hide
    weilin , November 21, 2013 10:15 AM
    There may be an error in the article, the DROID RAZR (Verizon) is listed on their site as running JB 4.1.2 along with DROID RAZR MAXX (Verizon). It, along with the Bionic, are based on TI OMAP SOCs.

    It seems that any device that launched with a TI OMAP SOC is no longer being supported. This is very likely to be because TI exited the SOC market and thus no official driver is currently being developed/validated for anything beyond Android 4.1.2. I doubt Google/Motorola is going to accept the liability of taking over driver development for TI.

    Note: the PHOTON Q 4G (Sprint) is listed as "Future plan coming soon" there may be hope for that phone after all
  • 0 Hide
    hannibal , November 21, 2013 10:33 AM
    The best part of 4.4 is that it works with less memory, so it is not so resource hog than previous versions!
  • 0 Hide
    JD88 , November 21, 2013 10:39 AM
    Quote:
    Does this mean motorola is reducing the customization of blur? So future upgrades might be easier and faster as well?


    My guess is that Motorola abandons Blur altogether in the near future, even for Droid models if they continue to exist after the current line.

    Hopefully this means Moto phones will get updates with a swiftness similar to that of Nexus models plus the usual time for "carrier approvial."
  • 0 Hide
    navas22 , November 21, 2013 11:56 AM
    good news for motorola user, it's good to know that motorola take care of put its devices update

    ______________________________________
    galaxy note 3 prix galaxy note 3
  • 0 Hide
    vaughn2k , November 21, 2013 4:32 PM
    It figures that these phones will first get to taste the Kitkat.. duhh?
  • 0 Hide
    lostandwandering , November 22, 2013 6:30 AM
    Quote:
    It figures that these phones will first get to taste the Kitkat.. duhh?


    Yes and no. Nexus will almost always get the updates first. Also keep in mind that half the phones listed are over a year old (Razr HD, Maxx, M and the developer editions).

  • 0 Hide
    jskilnyk , November 22, 2013 10:45 AM
    @weilin TI had some leaked beta drivers for their SOC not to long ago. It wouldn't surprise me if they is why its beings updated. I do know that the current drivers are not compatible with the last 2 or 3 versions of Android.(xda-developers)

    That being said. It makes me happy to see that they are removing blur altogether and the speed at which updates are coming in the future is always a plus.(Even with Verizon's approval process... )
  • 0 Hide
    weilin , December 20, 2013 12:53 PM
    @jskilnyk: They're not though, According to the official website, those Droid RAZR and Bonioc are NOT getting upgraded to 4.4 (the article is wrong).

    I'm speculating the reason why is because a beta driver is probably too much risk assumed by Google/Motorola to package it up and release 4.4 with it. If anything goes wrong they would be on the hook to fix the driver for TI who probably long dumped the driver development team a long time ago.