Android 4.4.3 update rolling out to Nexus, Motorola, and Play devices now

Android 4.4.3 update rolling out to Nexus, Motorola, and Play devices now

Summary: Nexus, Motorola, and Google Play Edition devices are getting Android 4.4.3 this week, but has Google fixed the camera battery drain issue affecting Nexus 5 devices?

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Android 4.4.3 will soon be available for the Nexus 5. Image: Google

The rollout of Google's Android 4.4.3 is under way and, as usual, the first handsets to receive the OS updates are Nexus, Motorola, and Google Play Edition devices.

The full-blown rollout of 4.4.3 follows an announcement by T-Mobile earlier this week that it would release the update to the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 on 2 June, and that the latest Android version would bring security enhancements and bug fixes for the devices. Fortunately, now there's a good deal more information about what the update includes than T-Mobile offered in its sparse notes.

The imminent arrival of Android 4.4.3 was flagged up earlier this week when Google released it as a factory image (for unlocked Nexus devices) and on the Android Open Source Project — the build that third party ROMs such as CyanogenMod based their firmware on.

Motorola kicked off its Android 4.4.3 rollout on Tuesday for Moto X, Moto G and Moto E users. Sadly, for international consumers, the update for the Moto X is only scheduled for the operator's US customers. Device owners on other US carriers will also have to wait.

Moto G owners in the US who bought the device online and those in Brazil who bought it at retail can also expect the update this week. Consumers with the recently released low-end Moto E can also expect the update this week too.

"This latest software update brings an improved dialler with a new interface and new colours to enhance consistency and usability, as well as several stability, framework, security fixes, and enhancements to the power profile capabilities," said Steve Horowitz, Motorola Mobile's SVP of software engineering.

Improvements to the Moto X's camera come in the form of a more consistent exposure, more realistic flash colouring, and better low light handling for the front camera, according to Horowitz.

Meanwhile, Moto X and Moto G owners will also get a new app called Motorola Alert, which sends periodic messages to the contacts they choose. The Moto E only gets stability and security improvements and the updated phone dialler.

The other category of Android device that get a fast-track release are Google Play Edition (GPE) smartphones. According to Android Police, the GPE versions of the HTC One M7, the Galaxy S4, HTC One M8 and the Sony Z Ultra started receiving an 4.4.3 in an over the air update on Tuesday evening. 

Meanwhile, Sprint subscribers with the Nexus 5 should also be getting the update from this week, with the rollout occurring in batches until 9 June.

Anyone interested in digging through the entire Android 4.4.3 changelog can trawl through the list of 7,454 changes in the OS compared with Android 4.4.2 compiled by FunkyAndroid this week. As noted by Android Police, some of the standout fixes include losing Bluetooth functionality from overexposure to Bluetooth Low Energy devices and bad VPN routing.

One issue that might not have been fixed is a battery drain problem plaguing Nexus 5 owners that surfaced this March. According to one user on XDA-forums, the "mm-qcamera-daemon" bug is still there and consuming battery. The update also did not fix a problem with LED Notifications for missed calls, while some users are experiencing poor network strength.

Read more on Android

Topics: Mobility, Android, Security

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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7 comments
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  • Kit Kat, Smit Smat

    How about the REAL issue of External SD write permissions?
    The biggest crime in Kit Kat is the HUGE disability for apps to write to SD.
    We have to root the OS just to hack the functionality back in!
    There is no technical reason for Google to do this, it's a fricken OS scam.
    warboat
  • Canada

    When will it come to Canada for N5?
    flyfishn5
  • no update yet

    I have 5 nexus 5's all on T-Mobile and none of them has received the update yet. Anyone know why?
    clevenger23
    • No update for mine.

      Both my wife and I have a Nexus 5's through Tmobile. Hers updated two days ago, I'm still waiting. I have grown with such jealous rage that I want to take her phone and whisper dirty threats to it, throw it on the ground, run it over with the car 5 times, the urinates it's smashed remains. I'm trying to remain cool though.
      lilnhammy
  • Got my update last night (Nexus 5)

    And can't see any difference. But then I wasn't having any problems!
    roblightbody
  • not sure

    After last update to 4.4.2 of my MOTO max XT926, had to unlock my phone again and now I am getting random shutting downs at least 2-3 times a day. Never had problem before. Now I am afraid to upgrade again. I don't think is worth it.
    kitek17
  • Reicved it on my Nexus 5 but having problem with firmware update

    Hi all, I'm experiencing a problem with my nexus 5 at the moment.
    I was using it until the battery got to 1%, then I turned off the screen and plugged it into the charger. But apparantly I was too late because the phone was turned off, so I turned it on.
    After the google logo a firmware update screen appears. At the top it says Firmware Update, and below an USB-logo it says: "Do not unplug the USB connection until the progress is complete". Below that there's a progress bar, and below that there's a square/box with 'B1' in it.

    I have no idea why my phone wants to update. I'm running 4.4.3 completely. No images of ROMs or stuff like that anywhere on my phone. It's still on 0%, and has been for the last 20 minutes. (at first I thought it might be waiting for a minimal battery charge to perform the update but you'd think it would be enough by now).

    Does anyone know what this is or how to fix this?
    Smiti Singh