Will Verduzco · Nov 19, 2013 at 04:00 pm

Verizon Leads the Pack with KitKat Update for the Moto X

Pinch me; I must be dreaming. Could it actually be? Is the Verizon Moto X really the first carrier-branded device to see official Android 4.4 KitKat love? Is this the same Verizon that even managed to make the term “Nexussomewhat of a misnomer?

Well, it seems as if the largest US carrier may be in the process of turning a new leaf. After all, we recently saw Verizon become the first major US carrier to update the Samsung Galaxy S 4 to the latest flavor of Jelly Bean, version 4.3. Now, the same can be said for the carrier’s variant of the highly regarded Moto X.

Rather than the previously leaked information regarding a soak test, this update will make its way to users in the form of a staged rollout delivered via OTA. And while most will have to wait for the update to appear, some users have already reported receiving the update notification on their devices.

The strategy behind the Android 4.4 update for the Moto X was to “build on a pure Android foundation and complement existing Google services, not compete with them.” As such, the build is similar to stock Android, but with a few device specific additions. Some of the key highlights for the update include:

  • An improved phone dialer. Now you can search for contacts directly from the dial-pad and easily see and tap on those you contact frequently.
  • More gallery goodies. KitKat packs in some cool, new gallery effects—such as Posterize, Highlights, and Edges. You can even use the Draw feature to annotate your photos freehand with your finger.
  • New Hangouts app. All of your conversations now in one place—texts, video calls, and other chats all together in one app. Plus, you can now send animated gifs and share your location.
  • Color emojis. For when words aren’t enough, the Google Keyboard now includes colorful characters to send in text messages and other communications.
  • Drag to focus and expose. An updated camera app lets you control both the focus and exposure of your photos. Simply drag your finger to set just the right exposure and focus point.
  • And more… Restyled status and navigation bars, new full-screen mode, and enhancements to Motorola features like Touchless Control.

We can’t sufficiently underscore the significance behind this update’s impressive timing. After all, this news comes before any of the Google Play edition devices receive their updates. Furthermore, while factory images for Android 4.4 on the Nexus 4 have been posted, the official OTA has not been released. The Verizon Moto X update certainly sets a good example for how carriers and OEMs should operate.

Head over to the Official Motorola Blog for more details. Let us know your thoughts on the update’s timing in the comments below, and don’t forget to visit our Moto X forum to get in on the discussion.

[Via: The Verge]


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Will Verduzco

willverduzco is an editor on XDA-Developers, the largest community for Android users. Will Verduzco is the Portal Administrator for the XDA-Developers Portal. He has been addicted to mobile technology since the HTC Wizard. But starting with the Nexus One, his gadget love affair shifted to Google's little green robot. He is also a Johns Hopkins University graduate in neuroscience and is now currently studying to become a physician. View willverduzco's posts and articles here.
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