Top 3 Things Nexus 4, Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 Users Need to Know About Android 4.4.2 KitKat

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By Precious Silva | December 13, 2013 4:27 PM EST

Google surprised Android users when it released the Android 4.4.2 KitKat update. The release came shortly following the release of Android 4.4.1 to Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 devices. For users contemplating whether they should update or not should understand what Android 4.4.2 has in store for their devices. 

Following the release of the Android 4.4 KitKat, Nexus 5 users started reporting a host of issues. The bugs were not surprising as with other OS release. However, there were enough complaints to prompt Google to release an update soon after. The Android 4.4.1 KitKat update promised to fix bugs including more camera features.

Expecting the Android 4.4.1 update to be the solution to all, people were astonished to find Google rolling another KitKat update. According to reports, users can skip the Android 4.4.1 for Android 4.4.2. A closer look at the fixes and additions should explain why. 

Slow Roll Out 

People may have to wait longer for the Android 4.4.2. Analysts note how Google like to execute its updates gradually. It has a specific way of spreading its OS updates to Android-based systems. According to a statement from Dan Morrill, a Google engineer: 

"Rollouts are conducted in phases. Typically they start at 1% of devices for around 24 - 48 hours; we watch the return rates and resulting device checkins and error reports (if any), and make sure nothing looks wrong before sending it to more. Then typically it goes to 25%, 50%, 100% over the course of a week or two." 

"What the percentages mean is that when your device checks in, it has a 1% chance (for example) of being offered the OTA. If it doesn't (randomly) get an offer, it will never get an offer until the next batch." 

"OW, once your device checks in and gets turned down, that's it until the next batch. Mashing on the "check for updates" button just causes your device to check in again, and get automatically turned down again. Think about how that makes your device feel! WON'T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE PHONES?!" 

"That said, once the new batch does start, hitting that button does give you a new roll of the dice - but once. Since devices usually only check in for system updates every 24 hours (I think? Certainly on a many-hours basis) this can get you your shot sooner than it would happen on its own."

People should check for new details about the Android 4.4.2 once or twice a day to see where their devices are at already. 

Avoid Using Google Framework Services "Trick" 

Impatient users often look for ways to install updates ahead. Often, users ran into Google Framework Services when searching. It was considered a legitimate method before until issues on Nexus devices started surfacing. Google warned the public about using such "trick." As Morrill explains: 

"Doing this changes the primary ID by which Google knows your device. As far as the servers are concerned, the device was basically factory reset. There are many downstream effects of this, but a big one is that this invalidates the tokens used by any app that uses GCM (which is nearly all the Google apps, and a ton of third-party apps.)" 

While it may destroy the device entirely, the problems persisting after are also not worth the try. Instead, people can use "adb sideload" to install the update ahead of the OTA. 

Manual Upgrades 

Whenever Google announces or rolls out an OS update, there will always be manual upgrades available. People already found files for manual installation shortly following the release of the Android 4.4.2. These files let users use sideload and Android SDK to upgrade their devices ahead of OTA. 

Only those with enough know-how should proceed with manual update. There can be a number of issues with manual installation without the right background. Users can opt for this with enough guidance. Staying updated about the update should also be helpful.

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