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PSA: What Some Device Owners Won’t See in Their Kit Kat Update

kit kat easter egg

We received an email last night from a reader in distress. He had updated his Nexus 7 (2012) to Android 4.4, and was saddened by the changes he didn’t see after installing the newest version of the OS. Given that there are probably a few people who will run into the same issue, we wanted to quickly go over what some device owners can expect not to see when updating their devices to Kit Kat.

Google has already stated that one of the features (the Experience launcher) found on the Nexus 5 is purely a device exclusive, but as other devices – such as the Moto X – are receiving Kit Kat, more feature dismissals are being noticed.

Google Experience Launcher

Shortly after the launch of Kit Kat, Google announced that the Google Experience Launcher found on the Nexus 5 would be a device exclusive. What that means is that no other device will have the same exact experience as N5 owners, such as the swipe left for Google Now, “Ok Google” voice command from the homescreen, new UI for editing your homescreens, the fullscreen wallpaper chooser UI, separate section for widgets, and other misc. tweaks.

If you install Android 4.4 on a Moto X, Nexus 4 or Nexus 7, you can expect to see essentially the same launcher that comes with Jelly Bean. Your widgets are accessed through the app drawer, you will long press a homescreen to access your wallpaper choose, etc.

Now, if you want the same experience that Nexus 5 owners have, you can do so by seeing this post here. After Google updated the Search app to 3.1.8, anyone that installs the launcher found on the Nexus 5 can have the same experience as Nexus 5 owners.

Translucent Nav Bar and Notification Bar

Google decided for whatever reason that Nexus tablets and the Nexus 4 running Android 4.4 will not have translucent navigation and notification bars. Why this decision was made, we don’t know right off. Although, if you install the update on a phone such as Moto X, the translucent bars are enabled. This UI tweak has been one of our favorite changes about Kit Kat, so we have been bummed that Google opted to leave it out on tablets.


Smart Dialer

Moto X owners updating to Kit Kat have noticed the absence of Google’s Smart Dialer when making and receiving calls. When making a call on a Nexus 5, you can perform a search for a local business right through the dialer and then place a call. In addition, the device will then save that number so in case they call back, it wont be from a random number; it will display the business’ name on the Caller ID. It’s a fancy feature, and it’s possible that a future update could enable it, but don’t expect to see it if you update your Moto X.

Tap & Pay Settings

Almost all installers of Kit Kat will have access to a new Tap & Pay settings menu on their devices. If you do not see it under your Settings, you will only need to make sure you are running the latest version of Google Wallet and have NFC enabled under settings. If you need it, we have download links on our post here. From what we have seen on our Nexus 7 2012 devices, even after installing the newest Google Wallet, the Tap & Pay setting is still not listed.

The Tap & Pay setting allows users to dictate which NFC-powered payment system they want to use. For most of us, only Google Wallet will be visible until other app makers, such as ISIS, update their apps.

If there is anything else that recent updaters to Kit Kat have noticed “missing,” feel free to throw it down below.

  • Michael Villarreal

    Basically all kit kat has for my nexus 7 is slow down the frame rate when gaming.Web browsing is slightly worse as well.

  • mohit jain

    I have updated my nexus 4. Kitkat easter egg have 3 stages. But my phone is not showing first stage that is the spinning k.

  • essex

    had my nexus 7 updated and now it wont connect to my internet also says there are problems with sync this has not happened before this update ..help !

  • videosavant

    I have a Nexus 5 with stock KitKat.

    As far as I can tell, the Contact widget that has been included in Android going back to at least ICS is gone. From my Nova launcher, when I try to add a widget, there is no listing for a Contact widget. When I switch to the KK launcher, it shows a Contact widget, but it is only a 1×1, rather than the 4×1 that used to be available. In the past, the 4×1 Contact widget was directly accessible via Nova Launcher.

    Anyone have any suggestions on how I can reinstate the Contact widget from previous versions?

    In my job, I travel across the Midwest to client homes. Being able to load up a few home pages with Contact widgets made the contact and navigation process very easy. Now, not so much…

  • essex

    My nexus 7 was updated 24 hours ago and now it wont connect to my internet wonderful any ideas on what to do. it does say there is a problem with sync and that it will return later what has happened ?

  • Last google device for me

    GARBAGE! They (The BrainTards @ google) REMOVED the ability to detect activity with the USELESS WHITE ICONS. And what else…?
    Done with google. Buying something else.

    • Last google device for me

      Yep same here. A waste of time. There has to be some hidden benefits to shareholders in there, certainly no benefit to the people who made them wealthy!

  • Mitch

    The option to switch from phablet ui to tablet ui when changing the dpi settings is completely removed from the OS. Why Google would have any reason to remove that beautiful option is beyond me. Almost worth downgrading back to 4.3….

  • guyladouche

    Anyone that’s side-loaded the Nexus 5 launcher on the 2012 Nexus 7 notice that Google Now no longer works? i.e., it always gives a “no connection” response when you launch it (either by swiping from the left, or by long-pressing the home button and swiping up)? That’s what I’m experiencing. Uninstalled and went back to the stock launcher and Now does properly launch and load. Re-installed the N5 launcher and again, no connection.

    Re. the colored icons in the notification tray, I also miss them. I got info from the colors–i.e., connected to a wifi point, but no real connectivity, etc. I didn’t much care about the activity indicator (speaking of which, you can see the activity indicator by swiping down in the notification tray–the wifi icon will show white up and down arrows, indicating transfer (no arrows lit up = no transfer). I am NOT seeing the colored icon for wifi, as demonstrated in the other screenshots of the 4.4 update for the N7.

    Oh well, it appears that 4.4 has made my N7 much more responsive. For whatever reason, up through and including 4.3, after about a couple days or so from an update, the device would bog down horribly. Even with 20+GB free space (i.e., not a disk issue). Hoping the responsiveness continues, and 4.4 has finally solved that problem…

  • Aime Eerin

    you might be looking at a phone that is clearly better than all the rest.

  • Nedra Gunn

    Now they have disabled flash content for video playback. what a piece of trash, a very shiny piece of trash. They should fire the developer for doing this. They didn’t find a work around to make it faster, they just disabled all of the add-ons and sold all of us a stripped down unit.

    • Ariel Dahan

      Pretty sure Flash has been disabled since 4.1

  • nexus4

    installed GEL but can’t get the translucent bar. Is something missing?

  • chjapa

    Where can I get that red Android logo wallpaper?

    • Tony Murray

      Open up the about screen in settings and click on the version (4.4) several times, then tap and hold until you get that screen. Then press the power and volume-down keys simultaneously to take a screenshot.

  • Kivuos

    GEL gave me one feature I was looking for : deleting the unused pages.. GEL on N7 2012 works good enuf without the glitches. Frankly speaking after sideloading Android 4.4 on my N7 2012, was a bit disappoined when I could not see any visible upgrades…but of course performance was better and after installing GEL got the visual upgrade as well.


    Anyone else missing the Camera Shortcut and swipe to right Functionality on the Lock screen using a 2013 nexus 7 running KitKat – KRT16S – Is this yet another omitted feature?

  • Taufik Lama

    i don’t see anybody complaining there’s no flash player !!! why does it only bother to me??!!

    • Flash is a dying technology. Designers and developer are moving on to CSS 3 and HTML 5. Flash will still have its place online but in a much smaller capacity.

      • Taufik Lama

        totally agree con The html5 partir…bit im talking about a high end device running a master software failing con The flash Player subject.thats all.

  • Tony Murray

    I don’t understand why the “smart dialer” is listed. I have a Moto X and my dialer is the Kit Kat dialer, it is very nice. I have also installed the GEL, so I’m missing zero of the features listed here.

    • Manik Tyagi

      The dialer is missing the business search feature

      • Tony Murray

        Found this out, hopefully it gets added sometime. :/ The new dialer is nice even without that feature. I can still say “ok google call (business)” anytime anyway 😉

  • Leonardo Rojas

    I wonder what changes and improvements will 4.4 bring for my Xperia ZL… Any chance I get the Smart Dialer? Looks useful, but I hope it works here in Peru. Is Google Now being in the first page of the left tied to GEL? If so, I don’t want it. I don’t like it that way :/ Let’s see what Sony will bring n.n

  • jim

    who really cares if your nav bar is transparent ?

  • hello

    You can get the translucent navbar and notifications bar by installing GEL. Atleast thats what happened on my nexus 4.

    • Tony Murray

      Except it is explicitly disabled on the Nexus 10.

  • Mums Phone

    Where”s my post? Don’t tell me you”re censoring comments.

  • Mums Phone

    All the G fanboys, please be nice to me, first time here.

    Well, after a long time allegiance to the fruit company, I thought I would try the other side, and have been let down big time.

    Having set my eyes on the “new” N5, I waited, and waited, and waited for their release date secrets and BS, and finally bought a $100 Telstra phone which is proving to be excellent. (At least the fruit rumours are at least vaguely accurate)

    All right, I thought, a glitch. Gave my imini to my daughter,and bought myself an N7. dosspintment again. Here’s why I”be eating fruit again at the earliest oportunoty: (read:when I have money)

    1. Too slow even compared my now severely outdated 3 year old imini.
    2. Terrible keypad, sick of having to retype 3 times (just see spelling in this post, and English is my first language). Tried 3rd party apps bit same probs.
    4. Does not understand “no auto correction”! Still does it.
    5. BS with kit Kat update issues outlined in this post.

    Sorry G, but you lost me, and however many othet millions users.

    • Tony Murray

      1. Doesn’t seem slow to me, but I’m coming from a much older device.2. Try sliding on the keyboard, I find it is more accurate when typing words.
      3. There is no 3!
      4. Auto-correct is controlled by the app and unfortunately some apps use it incorrectly. Please report to the app developer, you’ll find most are very responsive.
      5. Apple does the exact same thing, older hardware doesn’t get some features. Is there some feature that is critical that you are missing? Honestly, I think people need to buy a device for what it is when they buy it, not on possible future features.

      Anyway, enjoy your Apple products. I can’t, they aren’t a match for me.

  • seadude4869

    Google is getting greedy! Fuxxk google!

  • Brian Davis

    Why isn’t any tech sites talking about the big let down from the latest Galaxy Gear firmware update?? Every article talks about it being what was missing, but the truth is you still can’t read your notifications details unless using Samsungs stock messaging apps, no Hangouts, GMail, FB or even Twitter. Instead when you see the apps icon and tap on it, the Gear just says to view the details on the mobile device. So…remind me again why I have the watch instead of just using the phone??

  • seadude4869

    WTF! I got the update yesterday for my N4 and I don’t see any different! so google drop all the new features and call it an update! FXXK U google! If it is an iphone, I would get all new features sets for the lastest features! Why is google doing this!

    • Ariel Dahan

      Not quite true. IPhone 4/s users don’t get all of iOS7’s features either

  • kywildcat

    Upgrading to Android 4.4 KitKat will disable flash, for some reason the article forgot to mention that.

  • Brett

    I have a Samsung Victory phone for Sprint. It is an android phone. I currently have 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. When will I be able to update it to kit kat?


    Hundreds of comments but nobody is askiiaskingng the simplest most fundamental question. If so much has been omitted from this “Kit Kat Lite” updateupdate. What if anything has been changed? It seems to me that 4.4 on the Moti X, is nothing more then the 4.3 it should have been released with from the get go. Are there any actual improvements or changes?

    • cjn52

      Camera, tap & pay, hangouts sms works with drive assist, dialer update, there is a changelog to check out

      • SOMFW

        I guess all the reports that Tap and pay doesn’t work, especially with Verizon are not correct? Same goes with the dialer. Numerous posts on here say the dialer is not the same as the N5. My Nexus 7 2013 has yet to receive the update so I don’t know about the others and obviously, the Dialer wont apply. And from what I hear about the new combined SMS / Hangouts, it’s not even worth it. Are you saying the Verizon Moto X got yet another Camera update because of 4.4? By update I mean an improvement , not just changing the layout or locations of buttons.

        • cjn52

          No offense, but you’re like so many I see as I bump around the forums…whine, whine and more wine…These devices are just incredible for what they do. If you don’t like it build your own smartphone

          • SOMFW

            And no offense to you, But you are a Douche Bag! Actually, that is meant with all offense intended. You either are a world class know it all, Which is highly Doubtful! or Everyone else is wrong. Don;t bother replying as to which you think you are.
            Seriously little man, if you have nothing positive to say, just STFU.
            Nobody needs or wants your douche bag opinions. The Author of the article made some claims, you seem to think hes wrong or know differently. Take it up with him.
            I think the time you have spent “Bumping Around” as you put it were in the All Male Steam Baths and Locker Rooms of San Francisco. And maybe NAMBLA Forums.
            Run Along Tool.

          • cjn52

            Lol. Up yours

  • google-device-newbe

    I wish I had not updated my nexus 7 2013 with kitkat, I got it on my google 5 (not activated) but now my nexus 7 does not play flash in the firefox plugin, the only way I had to play flash, and I need to play flash videos for biz, but I miss the green light at the pattern unlock. Not so happy so far.

  • Tyler Casilio

    This is retarded. Basically no point in even updating

  • kashtrey

    So I pinged Punit Soni and he implied that the Smart Dialer is a Nexus Exclusive and that’s just such BS. I’m so pissed that this is the direction that Google is taking with this. It better just be a timed exclusive.

  • Thor

    Wow why isn’t the blog a sphere screaming bloody fragmention with kit Kat? Apple would never do what Google has done. Sad indeed

    • kashtrey

      Hmm, I’ve become over reliant on the /s tag.

  • ckdk44

    Anyone notice, keylime pie being one of the icons in the easter egg on Kit Kat?? I do know that the icons are suppose to represent the past versions, but keylime pie????Someone tell me this is just Google messing with us…OR@@#$$%%$*$($#**@(@1100001100010010010011001100010010 #GOOGLESILENCED

  • chris125

    So google is turning into apple and withholding features? At least the newer gen devices get all those things. Sad they are keeping all these especially from the nexus tablets.

  • jc914

    get the same N5 experience by installing the Google Launcher apk.


  • Steve

    know whats really sweet… ditchin android for a 5s and os7. Soon as my galaxy nexus was written off by Google I wrote off android…

    • Vanquishgc

      Because that makes a ton on sense. The GNex wasn’t going to stay relevant forever, you know. Every model, even Nexus devices, have a shelf life. But you know, damn Google and all for not updating every single phone until the end of time. By the way, since you’re so high on Apple now, why don’t you go ahead and ask some 4 and 4S users how they like iOS7? If my customers are any indication of the masses, they hate it because it’s caused a ton of issues with their phone. Think that won’t happen with the 5S and future iterations of iOS? If you don’t, you’re delusional. Apple doesn’t exactly optimize their software to work on older hardware. But hey man, you hold onto that dream. Finally, Mr. I’m-Done-With-Android-Derp, why is it you felt the need to troll like a douche on a dedicated Android site? Were you just bored, or are you so pretentious that you feel your opinion is so important it just HAD be out on the internet? Actually….You’re perfect for the Apple cult. Enjoy.

      • Maxim∑

        wow so much anger, Im sure if he said “ditchin the nexus for a galaxy note 3” you would bend down for him. let people buy what they want galaxy nexus is old move on

        • Vanquishgc

          Nah man it’s not so much anger as frustration. And if you really take what I wrote in the proper context, it might make more sense. His argument first of all is with Google when it should be more with Verizon. They were the biggest problem when it came to the timely updates Nexus devices are known for. We’re also looking at a two year phone, that with that OMAP processor, might not handle kit Kat very well. I had a GNex and loved it, but it had serious issues. And no I wouldn’t bend down for him if that were the case. I would get it, but he’s talking about damming Google because of one single model. That’s just silly. Listen I agree, people can like what they want. I know iPhone users that own apple everything so an iPhone makes sense. Same thing with Windows. But when you jump ship for such silly reasons, and then troll about it, yeah it gets me amped up. I mean seriously, him ‘sticking it to Google’ isn’t going to phase them one bit. I’ve had eleven different android models. No I’m not bragging. My point is I’ve had great models like the RAZR Maxx, and the Note 2, and some hot garbage like the Charge and the Rezound. But none of that was was Google’s fault. The blame goes to samsung and htc respectively in those cases. Like I said, he’s more than welcome to join the Apple clan, but just don’t be a jerk on this site and don’t expect someone not to call you out on it. Anyone out there agree?

      • Ariel Dahan

        To be fair, one of the huge points of 4.4 was to make it able to run on older devices. With the GNex being a flagship, it should have been one of the supported units to show the under the hood improvements of 4.4 that everyone gets to benefit from (even if it’s not as shiny as the GEL and others that got left out)

  • Danny Calderon

    If you I install the new Google home and the translucent bars will appear.

    • rivard35

      they won’t appear on the lock screen tho

  • ztw1217

    I have the 2013 nexus 7 and the update gave me translucent nav and notification bar…

  • ddevito

    It’s amazing (and entertaining and amusing) to read all the N5 vs Moto X comments. So as a former Moto X owner (who sold it for an N5) here are my thoughts…

    1. Form factor – I haven’t held my N5 yet, but it won’t matter. The X is the first phone I DIDN’T want put a cover on. It’s that great to hold.
    2. Battery Life – far and away the best of any mobile gadget I’ve ever owned.
    3. Active Notifications – it changes the way you use a mobile communication device. It’s the handiest feature on a cell phone since the introduction of the touchscreen. But it has severe limitations (read the disadvantages list)
    4. Speaker/Call Quality – what makes Moto so great. Loud and Clear is an understatement
    5. Customer Support – Moto X support is killer, and unappreciated.

    1. AMOLED – oversaturated and doesn’t compare to other 2013 phones. This will only get worse as time goes on.
    2. Active Notifications – are great, but so limited. You can only see the latest notification. This feature is so epic Moto really needs to improve it.
    3. Touchless Controls – are useless with security enabled – epic fail. Trusted bluetooth devices are awesome, so you’re okay in a car. At home? Not so simple and I used this feature more at home than in the car. The other huge epic fail is that they’re not really touchless. Dictate a text but you still have to touch the screen to send. Really? That’s so stupid, very very stupid. Another feature that is so close to being perfect but Moto screws it up.
    4. Camera quick gesture – far and away the most inconsistent whizbang feature. It works 35% of the time the FIRST time you shake the phone. Very odd why this is so inconsistent.
    5. Bloatware – yeah I had to mention it. Stock this, stock that – it still has bloatware and no one likes it.
    6. AOSP apps – this can’t be understated. Yeah Moto is a Google company but they still use the AOSP versions of some G-Apps (Calendar, etc) which stinks because it misses out on some cool features, and when you install the Google version it doesn’t replace preinstalled ones. Moto Assist also only uses the preinstalled versions.
    7. Specs – when a phone is released with questionable specs, it doesn’t say much for the future of the device. For people like my wife the X is perfect and she doesn’t give a damn about performance much, but for people like me (and YOU) this is huge and something that only gets worse at an accelerated rate as time goes on. Have a two year contract with the X and obsolescence stares at you right in the face.
    8. 4.4 Security – THE BIGGEST DISADVANTAGE OF THEM ALL. One of the reasons I almost decided to keep the X was that if I felt Moto and/or Verizon were going to stop updating the phone, then I would go ahead and root/flash a rom, etc. But in 4.4 that changes everything as it becomes SOOO much harder to gain root access. And don’t hesitate for a minute to think Verizon knew this and was so glad to update the phone to 4.4.
    9. Price. Moto disappointed by not having this phone off contract for a decent price. What does moto gain here with a $500 price for this thing? They’re already losing money, they should have dropped the off contract price and this thing would have been much easier to work with, rather than a loooooong two year contract.

    Yeah the Nexus 5 has disadvantages, but it’s $350 for an awesome spec’d phone with no contract, and it saves me money along the way each month. So to me it was a no brainer.

  • TylerChappell

    I really hope that this isn’t a sign that from here on out Google will be doing what Apple is doing. Updating devices so that they have the same version number of Android, while missing important/major/or desirable features from that version per device. It’s shady. And it only makes the morons cry fragmentation even more.

    • Maxim∑

      I agree with you but not 100% against it. I would rather have some new features than none. sometimes hardware is the limitation but thats not the case with the BRAND NEW N7 and the 1yr old nexus 4/n7……….

  • NemaCystX

    I think those absent features will come later it seems Google trimmed down on features to make the updates roll out quicker. I did see a KitKat 4.4.1 MotoX on some tech blogs that were being tested so it seems if there is already a 4.4.1 floating around, there has to be a reason for it to be out there already in testing.

  • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

    All I have to say is, if apple produces a 4.5-5″ device I’m gonna go hang out with Ron on the dark side for a little bit. Google is really starting to piss me off. First my Nexus 4 got the ota after the moto x and now the omission of some pretty key features is just not excusable. Personally I’m just not all that impressed with kit Kay anyway.

  • David Lopez

    Custom roms 😉 Slimkat its pretty cool for N7 2012!

  • Bob G

    Will Nexus 4 have smart dialer?

  • All I wanted was clear nav and notification bar on my n72013 🙁

  • I actually hate the translucent bars. I like the separation between my notifications and icons and the wallpaper/screen. Apparently Im the minority in that but thats how I feel.

  • Kiril Vatev

    Wait, I am confused. My Nexus 7 2012 with the official OTAs on 4.4 has the translucent navigation and notification bars. Am I missing something?

    • Adrynalyne

      They only do if the launcher supports it.

      • Kiril Vatev

        So the article should actually read like this?

        1. No GEL.
        2. No GEL.

        Honestly, I am okay with that. I’m pretty sure most of us here don’t use the stock launcher anyway.

        • Adrynalyne

          Well no, because they make a valid point about the dialer too.

          • Kiril Vatev

            Sorry, I just meant 1 and 2. There are two other good points, you are right.