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

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.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer on
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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