With the small security update of Android 4.4.4 KitKat already on Google Nexus devices, you’d assume (though incorrectly) that Android 4.4.4 has already made its rounds on other devices. If you’ve been in Android land long enough, you’ll know that most Android devices receive updates months after Nexus users download Google’s latest.
Android rooters are currently working on the HTC One M7 Android L experience for HTC’s year-old smartphone, but Taiwanese manufacturer HTC’s working on the Android 4.4.3 KitKat update for its newest smartphone, the HTC One M8. Android 4.4.2 KitKat brought with it a ton of bugs that Android 4.4.3 KitKat was created to solve. Even with the bug fixes and enhancements to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, telephony, and other features, Android 4.4.4 KitKat’s security fixes are also important. Heartbleed’s not the only vulnerability recently discovered on the Internet and mobile experience.
HTC Management Vice President Mo Versi (@MoVersi) took to Twitter on July 14 to make an announcement, writing, “The target is to get approval this week and OTA out early next,” referring to the week of July 21. Versi received some responses on Twitter about HTC updating the version from 4.4.3 KitKat to 4.4.4 KitKat, but Versi responded, “However, we’ve incorporated the security fixes from 4.4.4 into 4.4.3.” What this means for HTC One M8 customers is that you don’t need 4.4.4 KitKat because 4.4.3 KitKat will take care of the security issues while providing enhancements and bug fixes simultaneously.
Some don’t understand why HTC would bundle the security fixes into 4.4.3 KitKat when the company could update the device to 4.4.4 KitKat instead, but it could be the case that HTC doesn’t plan to update the One M8 until this Fall – when it intends to receive Android L from Google and release it to HTC customers based on the company’s own calendar. HTC has said that it’ll release Android L to the HTC One M8 as well as the HTC One M7 and other HTC devices (including its Desire and new One Mini 2 handset) no more than 90 days after Android L’s release to Android OEMs. With this in mind, HTC’ll have its hands full with Android L so that it won’t have time to concern itself with an incremental update like Android 4.4.4 KitKat. To bundle security fixes in with Android 4.4.3 KitKat is the company’s way of taking a shortcut so that it can work on the more significant release of Android L.
As far as what day we can expect HTC to release Android L, we haven’t a clue. What we do know is that HTC is committed to releasing a semi-last update before Android L, which is always good news for customers who want the latest from Google. The update is expected to arrive on unlocked HTC One M8 devices first, which aren’t tied to a given carrier. If you have a contract HTC One M8, you’ll likely have to wait until this Fall to see Android 4.4.3 KitKat – and closer to the Christmas season before you can expect to see Android L.
Releases are always excellent news, but it’s the wait that kills us. Stay by your device, and get ready to hit that software update button.