Ever since the source code for Android 4.4 KitKat was released to AOSP, we knew that it wasn’t going to be long before we saw some source-built KitKat goodness for other devices. Shortly thereafter, some preliminary builds appeared, courtesy of the Paranoid Android team, for users lucky enough to be running the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 7 (2013).
However,not every device has a source-built port just yet. And even people sporting devices with 4.4 ports may not wish to sacrifice their daily driver to experimentation. Thankfully, you can already enjoy many of the benefits today, on your existing Android build thanks to the factory images release for the Nexus 5.
The most immediately noticeable change ushered in by KitKat is the new launcher. XDA Senior Member geoworld_200 extracted the Android 4.4 launcher (and its two supporting apps), and wrote easy instructions on how to get it working on your device. The launcher seems to work just fine on most phones running Android 4.2 and above. Some have even had luck getting it to work with Android 4.1, but your mileage may vary.
Then, XDA Senior Member l.m.prowse posted APKs for the new version of Hangouts, Camera, Google Now, Gallery, Contacts, and Dialer. Unfortunately, contacts and dialer have proven difficult to get working. However, the others should work like a charm on most devices running recent Android builds.
[Image courtesy of Recognized Contributor -CALIBAN666-]
P.S. Now that the floodgates have opened, and the inevitable deluge of custom 4.4-based ROMs is upon us, be sure to TIP US when you create or discover a stable and fully featured source-built ROM for your device._________
Want something on the XDA Portal? Send us a tip! -- Join us for xda:devcon 2014!