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It’s Official: Android 4.4 Kit Kat Arrives on the Verizon Moto X First, Starting Today

moto x kit kat

Yesterday, soak test details of an upcoming update for the Verizon Moto X cruised into our inboxes, confirming our suspicions that Motorola may have Kit Kat already ready to go just three weeks after Google announced it. We even penned a piece giving Motorola all sorts of props for getting a massive update like this ready so quickly. 

This morning, Motorola confirmed that we should start to see this update on Verizon Moto X devices as early as today. As with any major update, the push happens in stages, so not all will see it right away. No matter what, Android 4.4 is here for Big Red’s variant, and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I wasn’t surprised, shocked, astonished, and flabbergasted.

Here are some of the highlights as Motorola sees it:

  • 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.

You ready? As soon as you see that update hit, let us know!

Via:  Motorola [Release Notes]

  • nathanp8

    My phone is updating now!

  • cjlee89

    Is someone going to pull the zip? If I knew how, I would..

  • Ronald Bernard

    Downloading now…..woot woot!

  • dc76

    Mine is downloading too.. how is this even possible? wooooooooo

  • LoganLopez

    It is downloading for me right now. Just got the phone yesterday and today Kit Kat!

  • shkrmkr79

    mine is downloading now!

  • DoctorOta

    Downloading the system update as I type this. 1:41pm est. Woot

  • jbdan

    Huge congrats MotoX users/updaters!!

  • cjlee89

    Downloading now!!

  • theswillmerchant

    Just got this phone on Friday and now Kit Kat is downloading!

  • PJ

    downloading right now!!!!! Winning! I’m smiling from ear to ear!

  • BobbyP

    I can not believe it is really downloading. I am in shock!

  • Weber

    I’m updating as I type this

  • Devon Delcourt

    Software update:

    Downloading updates 1%

    Oh yeah baby, this made my day.

  • sr_erick

    Sweet spot! Update is downloading now! 🙂

  • William_Morris

    I’m getting the update right NOW!!!!

  • jeepster091

    My moto x is currently downloading the update!

    • William_Morris

      Mine too!

  • Scott

    Just walked away for 5 minutes, came back and this. Didn’t try to force it or anything. It just started. It’s happening!

  • Chris Sickels

    Downloading a large update now for my Verizon Moto X, I bet it is Kit Kat!!!!

  • Joshua Fowler

    My phone is downloading an update right now. I’m posting up a screenshots on IMGUR. Will update in a minute!

  • Surfbm

    Downloading now!!!!!!

  • 2Berad

    Bring on the Droid MAXX KitKat update…. as Spongebob would say “I’M READY”.

  • Kasey Hendrickson

    Checked for the 5th time today and it’s happening! So glad I got this phone!

  • Jason Kahn

    Is the world ending? DId Verizon just pull its head out of its own Arse? Has my horrible LTE service in Manhattan improved since they acknowledged the poor service in cities? Will the Verizon GNEX ever get 4.3?

    The answers:
    1. Maybe
    2. Time will tell
    3. Yes my LTE since Sunday is now actually faster than 3G
    4.. only if #2 proves true

  • Manthas

    Come on 2013 Droids … and, y’know, maybe my N10, lol.

  • Brandon Landfried

    My update is downloading right now!

    • Lunkman

      Mine too!

  • K1cks

    Update is happening now on my vzw moto x

  • roth

    I’m getting the update!!!!

    • Daeshaun Griffiths

      thank you. just checked, me too.

  • Kenny G

    So does Google Wallet finally work for NFC purchases, or did Verizon block it again?!

  • ddevito

    I’m so glad I ditched my Moto X in favor of my N5 to get timely updates 🙂

  • Barlog

    It’s a sad day for Nexus device’s when a Motorola device from Verizon gets a new update before it. I have yet to receive the OTA Kit Kat for my 2012 Nexus 7!!

    • NexusMan

      But a great day for Motorola, Google, consumers, and Verizon.

  • William_Morris

    All I can say is WOW!

  • Gr8Ray

    My theory: Motorola is withholding updates to Verizon’s precious Droid lineup until they release the MotoX updates. BOOM! Soak test? What soak test? This is going OTA!

  • Adam Truelove

    This is really amazing. I don’t know why or how Verizon allowed this to happen. I’m sure they fought it every step of the way and insisted it needed more bloatware or another 3 months of testing.

    • ddevito

      I’m sure VZW had 4.4 well before it was launched. If an OEM has the code, I would think they’d give it to carriers ASAP. Therefore Moto had to have this months before 10/31, had to.

  • Franklin Ramsey

    So Moto X on Verizon is pushing out 4.4 before the Gnex on Verizon even gets 4.3?!?! What is going on!?

    • Adrynalyne

      You dont really believe that the Gnex will get 4.3, do you?

      • Franklin Ramsey

        I’m still hopeful. All other versions of the Gnex got it. I’m hopeful mine will last until the follow up to the Moto X because I honestly don’t see a reason to update to a Nexus 5 until Google figures out battery life and camera do matter.

        • Adrynalyne

          Verizon has to justify the employee wages to test. Thats why I don’t think it will ever see the light of day, officially. They will give you 30 dollars trade in for a Gnex, but 100 for an iPhone 4…

    • Adam Truelove

      Sorry, but the Verizon Gnex will probably never get another update. Best use Shiny ROM.

      • tomn1ce

        I tried shiny 4.4 for about 30-45 minutes and had to go back to PureToro 4.3…too unstable

        • Adam Truelove

          I agree. Use Shiny 4.3.1. It’s perfect.

    • ARP

      What’s going on is an outdated phone.

  • Suralin

    I’m impatient, who has the .zip ? 😀

  • Kevin Shen

    As Chris Smoove would say, “Is this a fake update?”

  • Joshua Fowler

    I’m certain that a number of things are at play here. 1) Motorola is essentially a new company in many regards and as a result has made a commitment to timely updates. Clearly, they’re not kidding. 2) There could be some exclusivity stuff happening – perhaps Verizon, behind closed doors, wanted the notoriety of pushing an update through first? It’s good press for them. We know Motorola did some exclusive thing with AT&T and MotoMaker, so it wouldn’t be out of place for them to do an exclusive thing here with Verizon. 3) The Moto X runs a nearly stock version of Android, and we’ve seen virtually no other manufacturer do that with a phone outside of Google and the Nexus line. The proof is in the pudding – stock is good, and it brings with it swift updates.

    There’s nothing to complain about. We should be happy, whether we’re an X owner or a Nexus 5 owner or we own something else, that this is happening. This is encouraging. This sets a precedent. Other manufacturers are going to take notice. I will say, however, that Samsung owners may be the most likely to be disappointed. They’ve stayed mum on Kitkat, while Motorola and HTC have clearly committed to quick upgrades.

  • ddevito

    Now we know why the Moto X launhced with 4.2.2 – this was the plan the whole time. The X launched and all other OEMs carefully watched the Android OS it would ship with, putting them at ease.

    Now they release the gauntlet and say to the OEMs “why you so slow, you mad?” lol

    • ARP

      Probably not…

      • ddevito

        there’s no way Verizon DIDN’T have this way before 4.4 launched. No way……

        • ARP

          Why not? If they could launch with 4.4, why wouldn’t they? Seems like a stupid reason just so they could “release the gauntlet.”

        • Adrynalyne

          Why do you say that? No OEM crap overlay to slow down testing….

  • Derek Duncan

    This is great news! But I ditched the Moto X because the photo quality was not up to par. I still think the Nexus 5 takes better pics.

  • Cameron Laudick

    Is this update for just soak testers or everyone?

  • Derek L.

    What is interesting is that in the changelog, it says that it adds the ability to use an alternate source for payments instead of the secure element.

  • beng8686

    Hopefully the Maxx isn’t too far behind!

  • Brian Kircher

    I still dont even have it for my N10!

    • mustbepbs

      I think Google forgot about the N10.

      • Adrynalyne

        The ota package is out there. Slow maybe, but not forgotten.

  • Andrew Keller

    Yeah, as a Nexus 7 owner and Nexus 4 owner, I’m definitely thrown for a loop here. I guess my options are more open next year? I don’t know. Guess I’m lucky that I get it at all. Before the side loading hate comes in, just wanted to let you know that I love you all.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    “Restyled status and navigation bars”

  • mustbepbs

    I’m literally at a loss for words.

    This throws a lot of things in the air. How was Motorola able to get this through Verizon so quickly? What about all of the other OEMs that blame the “certification process”?

    • socarwolverine

      Maybe the “certification process” is just an easy scapegoat while the OEM’s drag ass

      • guesswhat

        verizon is for sure a tough carrier with there approval process..but I believe if OEM’s deal with it updates wont be that much delayed on verizon.. it would be a win for the consumers

      • mustbepbs

        If we’re to believe that Motorola gets no “special treatment” from Google, and that them having a close to stock experience sped things up considerably, the other OEMs must be lying. If Moto can get a HUGE update like 4.4 through Verizon, especially with the new payment method, the OEMs aren’t being very transparent.

        • Adrynalyne

          There is lying on both sides.

          OEMs take longer than they should, so they blame carriers.

          Carriers test longer than they should, so they blame the OEM.

          • mustbepbs

            Yeah but Verizon is infamous for their “approval” process according to OEMs, but this flies in the face of that accusation. If Moto got 4.4 on their Moto X on Verizon is three weeks from announcement of Kit Kat, it’s the OEMs that are at fault.

          • Adrynalyne

            To be fair, I have seen some downright shoddy coding from Samsung and HTC. Maybe Moto is just..well..better at it?

          • mustbepbs

            Well they have screwed with it the least it seems. They’re owned by Google so they don’t really need to differentiate much and can let Google’s core features shine instead of aping them to make their own “flavor”.

        • socarwolverine

          I don’t think they ever have been transparent, it was probably easier to blame the carriers, and we all believed it cause the carriers are our first entity to complain to/about.

  • CHRIS42060

    When did Verizon become the company to roll out updates first? Galaxy S4 – 4.3 and now the Moto X – 4.4. Seriously between this, the Pittsburgh Pirates making the MLB playoffs, and the Detroit Lions being tied for first in the NFC North I am starting to think I am in a parallel universe. I am going to start looking for Walter-nate and Faux-livia soon.

    • bonix

      HAHA great use of a Fringe reference.

      • CHRIS42060

        Thank you. I figured there was a high likelihood a lot of you would get the Fringe reference. lol

  • EvanTheGamer

    *waits patiently for Android 4.4 Kit Kat to arrive on my Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note 3…*

    *tumbleweed slowly rolls across screen*

    *crickets start to chirp*

    *cows begin to fly across the moon*

    Gee thanks Big Red.

    • Adrynalyne

      I guess I missed where any other stock Note 3 has it? Blame Verizon when its the right time. Otherwise, you cheapen the experience.

    • Weber

      You’re better off blaming Sammy. You’re lucky you have 4.3.

  • Patrick Chapman

    Just 1 more of a 1000 reasons that when my upgrade becomes available..I will be getting a MOTO device.