Home

Share this Story

Video: Hands-on With Moto X Android 4.4 “Kit Kat”

verizon moto x kit kat update

I’m still sort of having a hard time believing that Motorola just pushed Android 4.4 to the Moto X on Verizon three weeks after Google announced it and before some Nexus devices even have it, but hey, no one is complaining over here. We’ve already updated our Verizon variant, so let’s do a quick run-through to show you some of the new goodies. 

The new style of transparent navigation area is included, along with the white icon set in the notification area and transparent background. You’ll find a new dialer, updated camera icon, tweaked notification quick toggles, better location management, new Clock app, and that famous mosaic style Easter Egg. Tap & pay and Printing are now included in the settings as well, though Google Wallet still isn’t playing nice. I’m wondering if Google needs to push an update to Wallet to make it play nice with other Kit Kat devices.

One thing that is most definitely missing is the new Google Experience Launcher, but you shouldn’t have expected it to be there. Google already told us that the GEL was a Nexus 5 exclusive, so when you jump into the app drawer on the Moto X with Android 4.4, you’ll still see Widgets included; a long press on the home screen will also still only get you into a wallpaper picker.

The rest is there, though, at least from what we can tell. Be sure to update if you haven’t! Also, check out our overview of Kit Kat here, if this video doesn’t give you enough detail.

Video

YouTube Preview Image

Screenshots

Screenshot_2013-11-19-11-03-41Screenshot_2013-11-19-11-03-58Screenshot_2013-11-19-11-04-08Screenshot_2013-11-19-11-04-13

Screenshot_2013-11-19-11-04-21Screenshot_2013-11-19-11-04-31Screenshot_2013-11-19-11-04-39Screenshot_2013-11-19-11-04-50

Screenshot_2013-11-19-11-06-17Screenshot_2013-11-19-11-26-24Screenshot_2013-11-19-11-26-42Screenshot_2013-11-19-11-29-37

  • viggysee

    seems that the dialer does not have local business search…wonder if that is a nexus 5 exclusive.

  • J2886M

    BEST DAY EVER

    GO MOTO GO

  • beng8686

    All this BS exclusive stuff is really starting to look like apple tactics…

  • ανώνυμος

    How. Is. This. Possible. 3 weeks AND before any other carrier?? Madness!!

  • Adamania

    Any word on the AT&T variant?

    • Arthur Dent

      That would be good to know. Thinking about buying one today.

      • Adamania

        It’s worth getting regardless. I was on the fence about it at first, but I’m glad I bought it. Don’t let it’s “lack” of specs scare you away. It’s one of the most fluid devices I have ever used.

  • Alexander Garcia

    Awesome wallpaper Kel! =)

  • jt O’Brien

    Why is Hangouts and the old messaging app there?

    • LionStone

      Because you have to make Hangouts default in Settings.

      • Lunkman

        Does anyone know if active notifications work with Hangouts as the default texting app? Didn’t seem to work for me but I’m not sure if I enabled and disabled everything.

        • LionStone

          Not sure exactly til I have them in hand… I know on my DNA I made HO my default Messaging and I still get message rec’d notifications so hopefully the Moto X will act the same with its notifications too.

    • Steve B

      Because the average user would freak out if their messaging app disappeared after an update.

      98% of people would not assume Hangouts to be a text messaging app, sadly.

    • Justin W

      With Google’s thought process, it makes sense. The Nexus 5 didn’t ship with an SMS app, whereas the Nexus 4 and Moto X both did, so they will both still have the SMS app to use, which will prevent frustration at the user’s device changing significantly without them knowing it was going to change or wanting the change to happen. I’m willing to bet, though, that future devices will launch with Hangouts as the standard SMS app (that is, future Moto devices and Nexus devices, anyway… Switching to Chrome as the default web app didn’t force OEMs to switch to it as well, but hopefully OEMs will embrace Hangouts as the new SMS app.

  • Christopher Brown

    Does anyone know if The Battery Percentage Monitoring works on KitKat on the Moto X?

    http://www.droid-life.com/2013/11/11/kit-kat-and-nexus-5-support-battery-percentage-monitoring-no-root-required/

    • Christopher Brown

      Also, can anyone explain to me how the Printing works?

  • Arthur Dent

    Any improvements to the camera UI and/or picture quality?

  • Tony Byatt

    Warning some apps do not work on Kit Kat yet…

    -Nexus 5 User-

    • Arthur Dent

      Want to provide the names of some that people should look out for? Or are you just making a general statement?

      • Tony Byatt

        HBO GO and Malwarebytes I know for sure. I’m sure there are others…

      • QtDL

        I’ve read Titanium Backup is another biggie that’s not working in KK.

        • rlorenz

          Only on ART; works fine on my N5 using Dalvik

      • Xanderalmighty

        Capital one didn’t work for my nexus

  • enigmaco

    Pandora is acting crazy, anybody else having issues?

  • Mrhug3

    I’m seriously considering losing my unlimited at this point… I mean, VZW hasn’t made up for all their foolishness, but at least they just took away my Nexus envy.

    • socarwolverine

      Do. Not. Do. It.

  • blix247

    Swipe left for Google Now on the homescreen?

    • Weber

      Only for Nexus 5 and the Google Experience Launcher, methinks.

    • Steve B

      Just install the GEL and you’ll be good to go.

  • Ian

    Printing wasn’t working for me after the update. I found there was an update in the play store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hp.android.printservice&hl=en

    All is good now!

  • n11

    Weren’t N7 owners supposed to get 4.4 last week? “sometime tonight”, I still don’t see anything :/
    Though I am curious to know when KK will come to canadian Moto X’s.

  • Michael

    Camera got an update as well!

    • http://www.mecha-digital.com/ Jason@MechaDigital

      Any improvement?

      • fartbubbler

        I can honestly tell a bit of a difference. Pictures seems a bit crisper, especially in moderate/ natural light.

  • droidify

    Is the video showing an error for anyone else?

    • Steve B

      Yes, at first. Keep refreshing your browser tab and it will eventually play.

  • jimt

    Verizon wants to stop people from leaving Verizon!!!

    • Steve B

      Too late.

      • jimt

        I know I’m off to T-Mobile with my three lines.

        • Steve B

          I went Straight Talk (T-mobile) and I’m completely satisfied. Same coverage and better speeds for me.

  • Kyle Todoulakis

    So….people with the Moto X are getting KitKat before my 2013 Nexus 7? That’s cool.

    • Ian

      Isn’t it though!

  • Kris Cortez

    Wow awesome. Can’t really believe this either! Dling the update right now.

  • Derek L.

    Test the tap and pay, and get back to me, please. Thanks!

    • http://www.unexpectedparameters.com Aaron Hurt

      It works when you download the Nexus 5 wallet apk

  • http://www.unexpectedparameters.com Aaron Hurt

    NFC payments via Google Wallets works with the Nexus 5 wallet apk!

  • Tony Byatt

    A”1″? Bootleg Kit Kat?

  • cocomojoe2

    Where is this new smart dialer with search and yellowpages caller ID?

    • Steve B

      Did you even watch the video? 3:22

      • cocomojoe2

        there is a new interface, but not those features i mentioned

        • Steve B

          Are you blind? Derp.

          This is the exact same dialer as on the Nexus 5. At 3:22 he opens the dailer, then at 3:23 he minimizes the keypad and shows the search at the top. The caller id will work upon call only.

          • cocomojoe2

            I guess so… What am I missing? I don’t see him show off the Caller ID or local search… Derp?

          • Steve B

            Say my name…

          • cocomojoe2

            Well, aren’t you a bit of a douche-nozzle.

            If it doesn’t do local searches, then it is not the exact same.

            I did watch the video and messed with it on my phone.

            It was just a question. Why waste your time responding if it so beneath you?

          • Steve B

            It was a Breaking Bad joke. I was kidding.

          • cocomojoe2

            “Did you even watch the video? 3:22″

            “Are you blind? Derp”

            These are from Breaking bad?

          • Guest

            No, just the last one.

            The others were legitimately questioning whether you missed it in the video or just didn’t watch it. It’s the exact same dialer as on the Nexus 5. You can see the local search at the top at 3:23.

          • Steve B

            If you guys go to the dialer, tap settings can you enable “Caller ID by Google” or is that not showing up?

            Also, Nearby places needs to be turned on as well, assuming you have the option…

          • viggysee

            just looked in settings, neither option is in there…what am I missing.

          • Steve B

            Hmm, maybe they neutered it for you guys. Could be the reason you have the old dialer icon.

            Should look like this:

          • viggysee

            is that from the nexus 5?

          • Steve B

            Yes.

          • viggysee

            he’s actually right…it doesn’t have business search…

          • cocomojoe2

            No, no,. Listen to Stevey here… He watched the video.

  • Jordan

    Has the touchless control feature been improved in anyway(speed, etc)?

  • ManiDePRico

    Just as an FYI for the Moto X 4.4 owners out there, the Google Experience Launcher when installed on the Moto X also has the transparent notification and navigation bars!

    • Nick

      For some odd reason I was only getting the transparent bar at the top and not at the bottom. Updating my phone’s wallpaper seemed to kick it into gear though.

    • Travis Walls

      So, does anyone else find it interesting that it knows not to prompt for “OK Google” on the Moto X? In other words, I find it interesting that the launcher that is exclusive to the Nexus 5 knows not to conflict with a feature on a different phone. That, or it doesn’t work on any other phone period…

  • Kevin

    Can you do a Moto X and Nexus 5 comparison? Thanks.

  • Ryan Powell

    I really want to know the story behind the 1 over the K. I’d understand the change if they made it an X but 1 seems weird.

    • Kevin

      1st phone on Verizon to get Kit Kat.

      • gtg465x

        1st non-Nexus to get KitKat

      • Adam Truelove

        via OTA

        • droidrazredge

          via a carriers network and not directly from Google :)

    • droidrazredge

      When I think of the “1″ I get reminded of the this song, even though I don’t like Rihanna that much but the song “Only girl in the World” Maybe Motorola’s like ” Only non nexus phone in the World”

  • no security needed

    quick everyone go to the 3:24 mark and start calling that number on Kellen’s phone

    • Steve B

      Don’t be a dick.

    • droidify

      Wow. You’re cool.

    • Arthur Dent

      Nice job, ass.

    • kixofmyg0t

      How about no.

  • andrew borrelli

    Looks like it still has the default messaging app and not hangouts?

    • Steve B

      Yeah, this is strange but understandable. People would freak out if their Messaging app disappeared after an update. Most people don’t like change.

  • Dave

    So with the 4.4 update does the verizon moto x now have the camera update that came with 4.3?

    • William_Morris

      There was a camera update a few weeks ago and another updated was added to this OTA.

  • Adam Truelove

    It’s like a Kit Kat in a Jelly Bean wrapper.

  • calculatorwatch

    Dang Kellex you’re a pro at the camera shake now. Just takes a while to get used to I guess ;-)

    • Tyler

      I never had an issue with it, i just give it 2-3 shakes and not 2 exactly and it comes right up every time and I just got my phone last friday.

      • calculatorwatch

        Yeah I’ve seen so many reviewers complain about how inconsistent it is, when in reality they’ve only used it for a few days at most. I figured anyone who has one for a couple weeks or more is gonna get to the point where it works every time.

        • Tyler

          Thought the same thing, but when i used it for the first time it literally worked perfectly about 90+%. Maybe the patch that came on my phone had the fix that the software update.

          • DoctorOta

            I’m in the same boat with you I’ve had it work about 90-95% of the time i’ve done the shake and honestly it’s one of my favorite features.

        • myrddinman

          I got used to it while using my MOTOACTV. Since I’m still migrating my data from the GNex, I haven’t tried it on the Moto X yet.

          It was funny to get some of the stares I would get by violently shaking my wrist to turn the watch on, in public :)

      • Terrormaster

        But if you shake it more than twice you’re just playing with it.

  • Dave

    hows the nexus 5 review coming along? I know your busy with the baby though

  • mcdonsco

    So how long do you think it will be before we see this on the Maxx?

  • Anthony

    Here’s the link to install the N5 version of google wallet. Works fine on my moto x.

    http://phandroid.com/2013/11/14/nexus-7-google-wallet-apk/

    • Ryan Powell

      Worked like a champ. Thanks for the link.

    • http://www.unexpectedparameters.com Aaron Hurt

      It works fantastically! Thank you Google.

    • http://google.com/+derekross Derek Ross

      That it does ;)

    • QtDL

      So does this mean that VZW somehow disabled or removed ‘tap to pay’ from 4.4 for the Moto X? Is that why you are sideloading it from the N5? I thought that feature was baked into the OS so they couldn’t remove it without violating some sort of agreement.

      • Weber

        Idk why everyone is having issues with this. Mine worked from the start. All I had to do was enable NFC for T&P to show up, and Wallet works.

        • QtDL

          Got it. I don’t think most people know it needs to be enabled to begin with. Everyone is expecting it to work off the bat and when it doesn’t are then installing the other version. That’s what it sounds like from reading the comments.

      • mwt129

        No, it just means that the Play Store version is not the same as the N5 version. The Play Store version just needs to be updated.

    • Stevedub40

      Thank you so much for this!

  • http://people.ign.com/mrfrodo24 MrFrodo24

    Kellex, does 4.4 pass the wife test? lol

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      I don’t think she even knows that I jacked her phone. :D

      • tyguy829

        Hey could you do an overview of the new camera?

      • http://people.ign.com/mrfrodo24 MrFrodo24

        Probably come and ask you a couple days later, “How come the notifications are all white now?”

      • Kevin

        Off topic, what ever happened to your Droid Life intro/outro?

  • tuname1t

    This is Verizon giving the middle finger to the Nexus brand

    • ITGuy11

      Pretty sad, but true.

      • tuname1t

        Yea, I flashed the factory image to my N4, but shouldn’t have had to. Once the factory images are released, so should the OTA.

        • Larry Bublitz

          Same here. You’d think they could figure out a way to have a magical day where everyone upgrades at the same time. I understand all the reasons for a staggered rollout, but if Apple can do it….

    • http://people.ign.com/mrfrodo24 MrFrodo24

      I feel like it’s more of Motorola taking care of business like they promised they would.

      • tuname1t

        I hope you are right, and I also might be a little bitter toward Verizon ;)

        • http://people.ign.com/mrfrodo24 MrFrodo24

          Understandable :)

    • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

      Oh yeah? What other device on Verizon is running 4.4? What other device on Verizon do you think will even get the 4.4 update before March? How many devices on Verizon are running 4.3, like three? Verizon can amass all the middle fingers it can while TMobile has started laughing its way to the bank. I’m not in the US, and none of this affects me, but anyone who applauds Verizon looks like a shady troll to me.

      • tuname1t

        That’s the point Ritesh. Verizon had the gGalaxy Nexus and as many disgruntled users on this site will tell you, it was neglected for updates by Verizon. The whole point of a Nexus phone is timely updates, which Verizon did not supply due to its rigorous “testing process.” Meanwhile, its GSM counterpart WAS updated on time. Now that the Moto X is updated to Kit Kat quickly, some users could see this as a slap in the face (hence the middle finger) by Verizon since they are proving they can get updates out in a timely manner, but refused the same timeliness for NEXUS users. There was no applauding of Verizon in the original post, quite the contrary. So before you throw out the T word, maybe look into the context of said post.

        • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

          With that explanation, I get it now. But in my defense, your original post wasn’t so clear and it sounded like you were applauding Verizon.

          • tuname1t

            No worries man, it was meant with a hint of sarcasm which can be hard to detect in a forum post. No applauding vzw here, ditched them for T-Mo and an N4 last year and don’t regret it one bit.

          • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

            I got to applaud you for that decision though.. ;)

  • Justin Brockie

    How does this impact the Droid Maxx?

    • MikeCiggy

      Hopefully we see this update VERY soon. Not sure their is much difference between the X and the Maxx/Ultra software.

      • Justin W

        I don’t own either, but from what I heard the previous camera update arrived on the Maxx two weeks after the Moto X. If that trend remains common to the two devices, we could see 4.4 for the Droid line in a couple of weeks!

  • Michael Nichols

    Seriously before the Nexus

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    my dialer doesnt search for local places, is anyone having luck?

    • Kevin

      Have you enabled it in setting on the dialer app?

      • Ryan Powell

        I checked and the option isn’t there. Curious why that was left out.

    • puppeteer23

      Yeah, It’s not working for me either. Searches my contacts ok but no businesses.

  • jbdan

    Jb icons?

  • Christian Trevor Clauss

    What kind of sorcery is all this?

  • tkc122

    Kellen – Congrats on the coming baby! :)

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      He arrived last week!

      • rader023

        Two weeks ago for my first. Congrats!

      • mustbepbs

        Name?

        • Ian

          Lil’ Kellen

          or Lil’ K for short

        • myrddinman

          Kellen One

      • TLufsey

        Is the baby running stock KitKat with quad core snapdragon 3gb ram 1080 full HD screen and a 18mp camera with ois?

      • http://google.com/+derekross Derek Ross

        Dude. Being a dad is probably the coolest thing I’ve done. My 4 year old son and 2 year old daughter amaze me every day and make life near indescribable to someone else that isn’t a dad. That feeling is beyond words…and the best part, it only gets better as they get older :) Anyways, CONGRATS!

      • Steve B

        Congrats!

  • blakjakdavy

    Try sideloading the version of google wallet from your nexus 5 – that’s the only way to get tap to pay working on the 2013 nexus 7 right now.

  • Adam Truelove

    So for everyone talking about the Nexus 4 not getting it, they’re specifically talking about the OTA right? Because the 4.4 factory image for the N4 has been available for a week or so.

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Yeah I think just the OTA is what they mean.

      • Adam Truelove

        Ok, that’s what I figured. The factory image is available, why the hell is it taking so long for Google to push the OTA?

  • Pierito

    You are on FIRE today. Big ups to Droid-Life…Love you guys/gals.

  • Tyler

    ART runtime is available.

    • Adam Emshwiller

      this is something i was hoping for! that and Tap and Pay! :)

      • Kevin

        I see what you did there. :)

    • MikeCiggy

      Do you need to do something to enable ART? My mother has the X and i haven’t gotten KK on my Note 2 yet so I unsure.

      • OreoMan

        You need to get into the Developer options via Settings>About Phone>Build Number and tapping the Build Number box like 5 or 7 times.

      • Weber

        Go into your dev options and enable it in the “Select Runtime” row

        • MikeCiggy

          Thanks guys, going to check it out on her X next time i see her.

          • Justin W

            Heads up though – there are some apps that don’t work with ART yet, so if you do mess with it, I’d suggest returning it to Dalvik, or at least letting your mother know how to get it back if any apps don’t work correctly.

    • edoggy

      Notice a speed difference on the Moto X with ART?

      • Tyler

        So after waiting about 15 minutes for my phone to reboot and for it to reoptimize my apps. I can’t really notice a big difference without having one with the dalvik next to it. I feels slightly quicker to load apps but that might be a placebo thing.

        • gtg465x

          Same thing I thought when trying it on a Nexus 4. Don’t really notice a difference. Some people swear it made their phone 9 times faster, but I’m not so sure these people are in touch with reality.

      • DoctorOta

        I’m switching my X over to ART i’ll give it some time and see if i notice any difference to add in here.

  • PooCaster

    My Verizon Moto X got 4.4 OTA before my Nexus 7 2013…..have I been ported to a parallel universe?

    • Col_Angus

      Bizarro World!!!

      • lgreg64

        yes

    • Kyle Todoulakis

      I’ve just come to the conclusion my 2013 Nexus 7 won’t be getting any updates. Let em just check real quick….WHOA! Oh wait, no…never mind.

      • PooCaster

        I did exactly the same thing :P

    • Ben

      I ended up manually updating my Nexus 7 2013. The OTA is apparently not goign to happen. lol

      • michael arazan

        Still nothing on my 2012 N7 and I got the 4.3 in 3 days.

    • MotoXDE

      Does anyone with the developer edition have the update yet?

      • Albert

        Yes, I got it this morning.

  • WCM3

    i dig the baby wallpaper. Nice work, Kellen! :)

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Wife’s phone, but thanks! :P

      • Fattie McDoogles

        Are we expecting our first Droid-Life baby?

        • Nick Floria

          the baby came out last week.

          • Pierito

            When was the release date? lol

          • Josh B

            VZW is expected to announce the release date sometime in the near future.

          • http://www.mecha-digital.com/ Jason@MechaDigital

            The soak test was about 9 months ago.

            …but seriously, folks

      • ceejw

        Did she end up waiting for Moto Maker?

        Edit: never mind I hadn’t watched the video yet.