Motorola rolls out Android 4.4 KitKat to Moto X just three weeks after announcement

Summary:I was hoping Motorola might stand apart from others in the Android space when Google purchased them. With their custom Moto Maker service and quick OS updates I think they are showing me they want to as well.

Motorola rolls out Android 4.4 KitKat to Moto X just three week after announcement
Image: Motorola

I was hoping to see something unique from Motorola after Google purchased them and at first we saw the Moto Maker service . Now we see record setting speedy updates to the latest OS rolling out across carrier channels with Verizon, T-Mobile, and Developer Editions getting the update.

Motorola is showing they do offer something unique in the Android space and my decision to buy a Moto X is proving to be a valuable one.

AT&T is soak testing the update so those device owners should get it soon. We don't have information on Sprint's update schedule, but T-Mobile's just popped up without warning either.

The Moto X launched with limited availability three months ago loaded with Android 4.2.2. Full details of Android 4.4 KitKat, along with the Nexus 5 , were revealed just three weeks ago and now I have it on my T-Mobile Moto X.

Android updates have been slow, and even non-existent, in the past so it is refreshing to see Motorola getting the update out across carriers so quickly. I have to say I was surprised to see Verizon get the update first, but am thankful T-Mobile received it just a couple days later (today).

I am thoroughly enjoying my Moto X for all the reasons I listed in that post and enjoy it more every day. According to the Motorola support site, the T-Mobile Android 4.4 KitKat update, others are all about the same, includes the following:

  • Android 4.4 KitKat features: KitKat includes enhancements such as restyled status and navigation bars, a new full-screen mode, color emoji support, improved closed captioning support, stronger security, smarter power use, and more tools and capabilities for better app development.
  • Phone dialer: Improved the phone app with the ability to look up contacts directly from the dial pad, see and tap frequent contacts, and search your corporate directory easily.
  • Camera improvements: Enhanced the "touch to focus" option with a new circular, on screen control that can be dragged by your finger around the viewfinder to adjust a photo's focus and exposure.
  • Gallery: Added new photo editing options to the Gallery app including new filter effects, draw on your photos, advanced cropping, and adjustments to color, exposure, contrast and more.
  • Hangouts: Incorporated a new version of Google Hangouts that supports integrated SMS/MMS messaging. Hangouts can be set as the default SMS app under Settings > Wireless > Default SMS app.
  • Touchless control: Added a new "Find my phone" command to Touchless Control. Just say "OK, Google Now-find my phone" and your Moto X will ring loudly to let you know where it's hiding when you've misplaced it nearby.
  • NFC: Enhanced support for NFC Host Card Emulation (HCE), to improve experiences such as contactless payments, loyalty plans, transit passes, card access and more.
  • Accessory support: Added support for Square credit card reader.

Motorola also included various bug fixes in the update.

The Nexus 5 I purchased was returned for the Moto X, but I almost kept it to enjoy the tap-and-pay experience of Google Wallet. I am stoked to see Motorola add this support to the Moto X with this update and look forward to having a full-featured Google Wallet experience again on an Android phone.

I am particularly looking forward to trying out the updated camera and gallery features. With the awesome touchless controls I primarily dial hands-free now so the improved dialer is appreciated, but not essential.

The Google Hangouts SMS integration didn't impress me on the Nexus 5 due to the separation of conversations, but I will see how it does on my Moto X.

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Topics: Mobility, Android, Smartphones

About

Matthew Miller started using a mobile devices in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since. He is a co-host with GigaOM's Kevin Tofel on the MobileTechRoundup podcast and an author of three Wiley Companion series books. Matthew started using mobile devices with a US Robotics Pilot 1000 and has owned over 200 d... Full Bio

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