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Motorola Appears to be Pushing Kit Kat to the DROID MAXX and ULTRA Again

After prepping and beginning to push the Android 4.4 “Kit Kat” update to the DROID MAXX and ULTRA back in mid-December, word spread of a group of devices potentially being bricked and needing revival support from Motorola. All signs pointed towards the update being pulled while Motorola looked into the situation, though no official word ever confirmed that. As of this morning, we are starting to hear from readers who have received the same update (build 19.5.3), which could mean that Moto has worked out all of the kinks.Β 

To see many of the new features you’ll receive with Kit Kat, be sure to check out this platform highlight post. We also went hands-on with Kit Kat for the Moto X, which should give you a great look at what Kit Kat will bring to the MAXX and ULTRA. After all, these three devices are almost identical outside of their appearance.

Since we don’t have an ULTRA or MAXX in house, this is where we ask you, dear reader. If you have not yet installed the Kit Kat update on your new DROID device, are you seeing an update when heading into Settings>About phone>Software update?

droid maxx ultra kit kat

Cheers Alisha and @palmaoh!Β 
  • Dyrelogan

    Kitkat for me broke my Droid Maxx. Shuts off on its own. Screen becomes unresponsive. Battery life is not as good as it was before update. Messages don’t go through. There were several other issues that I had so Verizon sent me a new phone and I am sticking with the OS that’s on it and not update to 4.4 until they either fix it or until 4.5 is out. VERY rushed and under tested kitkat for the Maxx. Back to the drawing board, Verizon and Motorola.

  • Kurt Simon

    How can I block the kitkat upgrade on my Droid Maxx? It blocks foxfi from working to make my phone a wireless hotspot.

  • John Friend

    There aren’t enough changes with this update. And the rooting process is difficult. Happy with performance on 4.2.2.

  • MacroCy

    I’m getting the install update request and would rather not since I use FoxFi and am assuming it would no longer work until they update. Is there any way to stop getting this annoying message. It comes up all the time. Will it automatically update when I turn off my phone? (I’m definitely not tech savvy.)

  • fd2blk78

    If anyone is still in this post, I tried to take the update today. Phone is rooted, and I figured I would lose root, but went ahead with the update anyway. Enabled all of the frozen apps and everything. But the phone went into a boot loop. (it powers up, starts, gets service, then shuts down and restarts all over again) Does anyone know what the first step here should be? The update never started. When I pressed the proceed with update button, it immediately turned off, and restarted. It has been doing this ever since. So from what I can tell the update never actually started. Thanks for the help.

  • Lindsey

    I got the update but, not much seems different other than the settings and emoji. No white icons, no transparent status bar, no option to add extra home screens, no google now short cut. I thought this was supposed to be a bigger update than that?

    • BrandonWhite116

      You need to have an app that takes advantage of the transparent status bar. I suggest downloading the GEL

  • Marc Lewis

    I got the OTA update in a zip file and updated my Maxx that way back when it was announced. Will I still get the update even though its the same?? I have had many minor problems with kit kat. The phone was flawless before and now things crash and loading bars dont move with Google voice.

  • kevin zaleski

    Just got the update but it broke the Home button for me (Droid Maxx, Nova Launcher). It behaves like I pressed it twice every time so I am stuck in the view of all of my screens…

  • parksaar

    Using HD Maxx and have been waiting for Kit Kat expectantly, but still no update. After seeing that fox fi doesn’t work with it, I may wait now. Still love my Maxx though. Only smartphone I’ve ever seen that can last all day with near constant use. Prob will never switch to any other phone unless battery life is this good or better.

    • Michael Tate

      My sentiments exactly!! GREAT phone, even better battery life. I’m happy staying on JB until FoxFi puts out a patch for KK.

  • D.j. Sanders

    Anyone else feel cheated by this update? I honestly can’t see anything different with 4.4 vs 4.2.2. I take that back the settings icon looks different.

  • Phuong Tran

    I just got the update… Now to play around

  • Kristopher Koehler

    Success! Even smoother meow!


  • Sean Byrne

    I just got the update on my Droid Maxx in Chicago. A few questions: anyone know how to make the status bar transparent? Also, I’m not seeing a developer option in System Settings. How do I find that/turn on ART?

    • greg

      They unfortunately decided to not have a transparent status bar, im not sure why though

    • h2ohustler

      Settings>about phone>build number (tap build number 7 times or so and it will unlock Dev opts)

    • BrandonWhite116

      You need to have an app that takes advantage of the transparent status bar. I suggest downloading the GEL

  • shawnk

    Just now checked and sure enough, we’re downloading now.

  • h2ohustler

    Updated/installed on droid MAXX at 4am this morning. Still a black bar on top and blue icons as well as the two data transfer arrows…

  • got the update when i went to settings and pulled it manually.

  • RoadsterHD1

    RAZR owners are getting KitKat too. Excellent news

  • MangyDog

    Installing KitKat now on my MAXX! Love this phone. Charge it every other night. Had the RAZOR MAXX before.

  • Diane Jones

    Just updated to Kit Kat on my Droid Ultra. Now I will read n see if I should have or not.

  • thumps

    Droid Maxx…..updating now

  • thatguybluu

    Downloading now!

  • Kipp Hollingsworth

    Not for the DROID RAZR MAXX HD on Verizon yet.

  • NedNedson

    I loved FoxFi hot spot app but Kit Kat broke it.

  • fred

    Got update….. but loss functionality of foxfi. Am I suppose to have all those system certifications?

    • Jason

      FoxFi will have to come out with an update for the Maxx/4.4 combination.

  • terry12s

    Checked for an update this morning when I woke up and – Bingo!!! πŸ™‚

  • David

    Downloading as I type this. πŸ™‚

  • DCABuckeye

    Got the update when I woke up this morning. Very quick and works fine. The soak test back on December 19th bricked my phone and Verizon replaced it overnight dispatch. I’ve had zero issues with the new phone and the 4.4 update this morning so far.

  • Ken Farley

    I just received the KitKat update on my Ultra, it only took a few minutes to download and install. Some nice new features. You can go to http://www.vzw.com/droidultraupdate to view the new features.

  • Will

    I can confirm Kit Kat has been released for the MAXX. I’m using it right now! πŸ™‚

  • AnthonyMcEdwards

    Downloading the update now

  • Rich West

    Received Kitkat last night. Working well so far. Corporate email looks the same. Too bad.

  • marylees

    I’ve got the MAXX and adore it. I received the Kit Kat update during the night, so I cannot check settings. Previous posters are correct…this battery rocks. I’m a power user and it will last me all day.

  • sandbag747

    I got the update this morning and everything is working fine

  • Motorola Mini got the update this morning here and all is well πŸ™‚

  • snoball724

    Update took my root away droid maxx any ideas

  • Shurikenv

    just got my update working on installing right now, SLC, UT


    Finally got mine Long Beach Ca

  • Droid_Lover

    Just got update pushed but battery not charged, will update in morning – NYC

  • monk

    got it in SLC tonight

  • AnthonyMcEdwards

    No update on my Maxx here but many of the apps have been upgrading themselves furiously. That happened last year right before my old Razr upgraded itself to Jellybean.

  • Stevennnnnnnnn

    Hate, hate, hate the blue icons for 4G and battery. Obviously whoever approved the color didn’t try anything in immersive mode. The blue looks terrible when full screen. Also the 4G LTE on the quick settings pull downs looks way too big and pixelated. They need to change these things in a future update. Otherwise, my Maxx is perfect now.

  • Daniel Balmer

    Not seeing the update yet on my phone checked for the update on about phone but it says it is up to date is my phone working right?? I’m rooted on jelly bean 4.2.2 by using RockMyMoto.

  • John Friend

    Update available in Chicago, IL

    • RoadsterHD1

      Did you install it?

      • John Friend

        No. I am rooted on 4.2.2 with write protection off. I am considering using slap my moto to keep root while updating. I am thinking about waiting a few days to make sure it’s safe.

        • RoadsterHD1

          Good move. I think I’ll be waiting when it comes around to my turn as well. Unless I hear its going well I’m not installing it.

          • John Friend

            I really hope there is a newer way of rooting besides cydia impactor. If I have to use that I will. I just think many people came from the Galaxy Nexus and were used to a much simpler method of rooting. I do think that its important that people learn some of the basics before attempting to do anything. But the fact is, its not really crucial to know everything about linux and ADB to have a smartphone and root it. Still haven’t found any new video tutorials.

        • tehcodeman

          SlapMyMoto works from 4.2.2 with W/P off. I’m rooted on 4.4 with my MAXX right now. Just follow the same procedure as the Moto X.

  • Daniel Russell

    Don’t have the update yet. I got a new maxx as my battery life on the one that had kitkat from the soak test was horrible. The update hasn’t been pushed to my new device.

    I also hate the white icons, very boring. Blue is much better.

    • Daniel Russell

      Update: I got the update. Woo kit kat.

  • RoadsterHD1

    Kelex, where did you guys get the info?

  • RoadsterHD1

    Moto forums saying its not true. No update has been pushed, in fact, its not even fixed yet. KitKat

  • Chad

    Kit Kat is a pathetic joke!! Did nothing but bring issues to my Moto X.

    • RoadsterHD1

      Yeah thats what I’m hearing. KitKat is a joke.

  • XvierX

    Any word on when the droid mini will receive this update.

  • RoadsterHD1

    Has anyone actually got a new push yet and installed it? Moto has not announced anything as far as I know.

    • Stevennnnnnnnn

      I got it this morning OTA installed on its own.

      • RoadsterHD1

        Me Too. Its works great so far.

  • mcdonsco

    Anyone that was part of the soak know of soak users will get the update again? In the soak Motorola said the problem was the ota package, but sounds like we won’t get it again via a new ota package?

  • bboyairwreck

    Don’t take the update if you want to root it! Root it first, then take the update. This will save you time. Check XDA for support

  • CivilDroid

    In all honesty, i think the main thing I am taking away from this post is that there is a phone that Kellen doesn’t have!!

  • Justin Ellenbecker

    Wallet tap to pay is working now

  • Richard Giordano

    But I thought this update was going to be 4.4.2 (sigh) :'(

    • TheVoiceOfReason

      You still are. There isn’t much difference between 4.2 and 4.2.2.

      • Seiga

        Actually.. Yes there is a major difference. ART was reworked in 4.4.2 compared to 4.4. They worked out a ton of bugs and I would love to see an updated runtime for ART. If you use WhatsApp with 4.4, it will crash on ART, but on 4.4.2, it won’t crash on ART.

  • Hans Dirk Kwazneski

    been on 4.4 for a while now, and LOVING IT. Zero need to root πŸ™‚

  • Brandon

    No update on ultra maxx in social yet

  • ConroeEd

    Mine upgraded fine on the soak test. Just having a little issue with Hangouts sending text messages and a delay with the texts showing up and Acitve Display notifications for emails not opening the email app.

  • Steve Thurner

    My Droid Maxx keeps saying there is no update available…..

  • Rob

    Is there anyway to root your phone for the maxx with kit Kat? I might just hold off until there is a working method. Don’t want to lose my tethering.

    • subiedude85

      I believe you have to install a back door before you upgrade. It’s one of the pwn, slap, or what ever my moto from J Case. It should be an easy search on XDA

  • Jeremy Cope

    No update as of yet

  • Michael Tate

    FoxFi users … the KitKat update will cause you to lose your FoxFi functionality!!!

    • Tim Swann

      wonder if this will ever be “fixed” or if this is intentional and not going to be changed. I have not upgraded to kitkat on my moto x for this very reason actually

      • Michael Tate

        I’m sure FoxFi is working on an update, but it just takes time. I’m not updating either until they implement a patch.

    • Sirx

      Oh no, really?! Thanks for the heads-up! I was trying to read some of the reviews in the play store from people who had already upgraded. But there’s nothing from Jelly Bean to Kit Kat worth trading the functionality of FoxFi…

      • Michael Tate

        Gotta agree with you on that one!! I’ll wait until FoxFi releases a patch. B-)

    • Good info! i use it almost daily. I will wait.

    • Tyler

      Or you could root and not have to rely on FoxFi for tethering…

      • DJ SPY

        Root for these phones is not as easy as it was before. More chances of bricking.

    • gooood glad i paid the $8 or however much Foxfi costs YESTERDAY. ugh

    • Regnad

      FoxFi is unnecessary. Thanks to an FCC ruling a year or so ago, Verizon has to allow phones to be mobile hot spots, unless they are on an old unlimited data plan. I set up my RAZR MAXX a couple days ago. Works great, and is fast.

      • Michael Tate

        I’ve got unlimited data and won’t give it up for a discounted phone. I’d rather pay full price for the phone and keep my unlimited data. So… FoxFi is necessary for me and many others still.

        • Droid.

          Just root your phone, and you can make the factory Hotspot work.. no need for third party apps. I have a Droid Ultra, Rooted.. and I run the stock hotspot… FREE. No added cost. πŸ™‚

        • rmontr1 .

          Hey Mike, thanks for the heads up. I was close to doing it. I’m in the same boat as you and use it every day. Grandfathered in unlimited data. How did you find out that update would kill Fox Fi? Have you heard anything from Fox Fi writers addressing it? I have the Droid Razr but started back originally with first real “Droid”. Would love to have gone on to MAXX but my understanding now is that Any change causes loss of Grandfather status. Anyone know differently?

        • rmontr1 .

          Anyone know if the update can be stopped long term until requested? The queries will get annoying.

  • Ressa Delp

    I have the MAXX and LOVE it. Huge step up from Razr Maxx. Haven’t seen the push to my phone yet. :/ Looking forward to it tho.

  • breadable

    Have the update installed and running. All is well here so far. Other than a few status bar changes I don’t notice much new, I’ll have to check out the Kit Kat highlight post. I did switch the runtime over to ART, we’ll see how much that increases battery life and app load speed

  • gujupmp88

    got the update but now my phone keeps restarting πŸ™
    gets to the homescreen and connects to 4g, but then shuts down and restarts the same process.

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      Did you root it with RockMyMoto?

      • gujupmp88

        it is stock

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          No idea then, call Motorola/Verizon. If they can’t fix it, at least they can get you a new one.

  • Stevennnnnnnnn

    Got the update this morning and installed without any issues. Didn’t like the nav bar so installed Nova Launcher immediately. Much smoother than before and I noticed a significant increase in response time for active notifications. No big hit to battery life yet.

  • Kyle

    My MAXX was updated during the soak test and the upgrade went relatively smooth – 99% of everything works just great. The 1% that doesn’t – from the active notifications on the lock screen, I cannot get into “email”. Everything else works just fine, but when I get an email that opens the stock app (not Gmail), it just unlocks the device and goes to whatever screen I had open the last time. Very frustrating!

  • Justtyn Hutcheson

    Please, oh please have the white icons….

    • Someone

      It doesn’t, theyre still blue, a little disappointing

      • Justtyn Hutcheson

        Here’s hoping Google can use this situation as an excuse to bring the hammer down on Verizon and make an example of them and their meddling.

        Cut off access to the Play Store & Google Services for 2 hours. Verizon will have such a storm of complaints hit their customer service that they’ll comply with a new update guaranteed.

    • tehcodeman

      Nope, sorry. Xposed and GravityBox[KK] to the rescue!

      • Sankyou

        Yeah that GravityBox is great. Just added GravityBox actions which allow you to do things that you used to need Tasker + Secure Settings to do. It even let’s me schedule turning off LTE – which the aforementioned tools did not.

    • Robert Macri

      Moto X has white icons… why would they leave the Maxx blue? Doesn’t make sense.

      • tehcodeman

        Agreed. But it gave me another reason to keep root with KK (thanks to jcase). So great job to Verizon for encouraging me to circumvent their locked bootloader nonsense.

    • breadable

      Verizon apparently needed them to stay blue…

    • Lucky Armpit

      I’m not getting the White Icons and Google Toolbar changes that are getting a lot of people upset. What will change when I get KitKat?

      • Justtyn Hutcheson

        The white icon change was supposedly mandated by Google to allow them to blend with apps better when they use the API to turn the status bar transparent. The blue will clash when overlaid on many wallpapers and apps.

        As for what changes with KitKat, none are groundbreaking really, just more polish and reduced/better memory management.

        • Lucky Armpit

          Thanks for the reply. I meant what will change in KitKat as in, visual changes with the blue vs. white (sorry I wasn’t clear earlier). Understood now, thanks!

    • MichaelFranz

      it doesnt, i can assure you that. I have had it since the soak. Its annoying because as much as i loved the ICS blue over the GB green, the white is more polished.

  • J2000pro

    Ugh. Hard to want to accept this knowing it’ll kill fox fi. . .again. . .

  • Jason

    No updates here yet ;(

  • Colin Gray

    I wish.. but not yet

  • Jim Vargas

    I can’t wait for them to get this line of Droids out of the way…figuring the 2012 Droids are next in line…my Maxx HD is anxiously awaiting KitKat

    • xt926

      Same here I’m on slimkat but I want a stock kitkat

  • flyingpuck

    Nothing yet, but I will keep checking!

  • Mike B

    So far I’m not really impressed with the kitkat update on my maxx. I got it in the first round of the soak test and it bricked my phone for 3 days until Moto sent me some files to flash and fix it. Verizon made them keep the Jellybean blue status bar icons but they are using the Kitkat icons on the rest of the staus bar(gps, etc.) so it looks half-themed. Also the blue icons look terrible on the transparent status bar that kitkat enables. They also kept the jellybean dialer. It would have made more sense to change the necessary things in the moto x kitkat rom and send it to the droids but that would be too simple for vzw.

  • RiotingPanda

    Awesome! I had one device Accept the update, then a replacement device that bricked. Hopefully this fixes everything up.

  • Teddy Chen

    No update here.

  • Sankyou

    Mini as well I would assume. Not my phone but a coworker has one and has been asking…

  • AndrewScottRox

    I’m curious why I don’t see very much love for the MAXX. Droid branding aside, it seems like a pretty awesome device, especially with that battery.

    • Matt Groff

      Locked bootloader.

      • MichaelFranz

        meh…frustrating, i wish they would let us have our fun. I dont even want a CM or AOKP etc, i just want a more dev optimized moto stock rom.

        • Big_EZ

          Yep, just a few tweaks and it’s almost perfect (needs a microSD slot to be perfect for me)

          • LiterofCola

            Agree with you there, would kill for an SD slot in this puppy.

          • droiddddster

            x232323. this was the only part that was almost a deal breaker.

      • CivilDroid

        Groff! pimp RAZR utility bro

      • Big_EZ

        Yes, but we hear a ton about the Moto X. They both have dev editions, but most people go for the subsidy (that we already pay for on our bill)

    • IDoNotLikePhysicalButtons

      Physical buttons.

      • AndrewScottRox

        The HTC One has physical buttons and it is regarded as one of the best phones of 2013, however, going off of your name, it doesn’t sound like you would like that one either.

    • silver_arrow

      It is sold by one carrier in one country.

      • Adrynalyne

        That didn’t stop the iPhone from gaining fame while stuck on ATT.

        • silver_arrow

          Yes but the iPhone was sold on carriers all over the world, not only on AT*&T. It was only sold on AT&T with the 2G model which was extremely expensive but popular because it was a huge change.

        • Kevin

          Well the iPhone was the only product available at the time that everyone knew about as a “real” smartphone. That’s what was so famous about the OG Droid, it’s exclusivity to Verizon.

    • Cesar

      Probably a combination of being Verizon exclusive and being expensive.

    • Sankyou

      Verizon exclusivity and the X have held back the MAXX. I’m saying this as a former VZ customer with the original Razr Maxx that contemplated and jumped ship for the X on TMobile.

      • AndrewScottRox

        This makes sense. I gave some serious debate between the Moto X and the MAXX. In the end, the Moto X won because I found a great deal on it and didn’t like the Droid branding of the MAXX. I still think it’s a killer device and really would have been fine going in either direction.

    • Jaime Kerr

      Didn’t stop me and I love this damn thing.

    • crazed_z06

      Because it’s not the Moto X

    • Manthas

      No idea, but it’s a great phone.

    • ceejw

      Because Verizon made the Maxx’s status bar blue in 4.4

    • Kevin

      Maybe because it’s a Droid? Ironically Droid Life doesn’t like Droids. Nobody really likes Droids except the people that own them.

      • LiterofCola

        you’re an idiot

        • Kevin

          No need to get butthurt.

    • michael arazan

      I like the maxx a lot, but’s it’s very ugly and an old body design isn’t good to hold. If the maxx had the X casing it would have sold a lot more. I’m sure the design was verizon’s.

    • LiterofCola

      Easily best smartphone I’ve ever owned or played with.

      EDIT: Downloading now

    • John Friend

      This phone is carrier specific. So if you came from a gnex it naturally would have more development.