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.