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Friday, 20 December 2013 11:15

US Moto G getting KitKat

Written by Fuad Abazovic

$180 phone getting Android 4.4.2

The frugal Moto G is probably the most affordable phone that got the KitKat update. It helps that it comes from Motorola, a company acquired by Google more than two years ago.

The US version of the Moto G is getting the KitKat Android 4.4.2 update as we speak and it is not clear when Motorola plans to surprise overseas customers with KitKat. In addition to the regular 4.4.2 goodies and fixes, the update also brings a few camera related improvements to the Moto G.

Despite the fact that Google has assured its partners that it won't grant Motorola any special privileges, the reality is that unless you have a Google edition phone, the chances of getting the latest operating system such as Android 4.4 in any sensible amount of time are really slim.


Moto G was supposed to start selling in January 2014 in the US, but currently Amazon and a few others have it for $180 for the 8GB version, but only the global version is available, while the US GSM version is currently out of stock. Both US and global 16GB versions are currently out of stock, both priced at $199 on Amazon.

Moto G is hands down the best entry level to mainstream smartphone to hit the market this year, as it works just fine and is great for basic users and provides much better value than the Moto X priced at $524.49, a hell of a lot of money for such a phone.

HTC and Samsung and apparently LG are getting Android 4.4 for their flagship phones in Q1 2014 with some hope that the HTC One, Galaxy S4, Note 3 and LG G2 will get Android 4.4.2 before the next OS version comes out. One can only hope to see KitKat for these phones in January but as history proved some centuries ago, pessimists are just optimists with a lot of experience.

Here is the full changelog:

Android 4.4, KitKat: Android 4.4.2, KitKat, is the latest release of the Android platform. KitKat includes enhancements such as restyled status and navigation bars, a new full-screen mode, color emoji support, improved closed captioning support, stronger security, smarter power use, and more tools and capabilities for better app development.

Phone dialer: Improved the phone app with the ability to look up contacts directly from the dial pad, see and tap frequent contacts, and search your corporate directory easily.

Camera - Focus and exposure: Enhanced the "touch to focus" option with a new circular, on screen control that can be dragged by your finger around the viewfinder to adjust a photo's focus and exposure.

Gallery - Photo editing: Added new photo editing options to the Gallery app including new filter effects, draw on your photos, advanced cropping, and adjustments to color, exposure, contrast and more.

Printing documents and pictures: Added support for printing photos, Google Docs, GMail messages, and other content via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and hosted services like Google Cloud Print and HP ePrinters.

Hangouts - SMS/MMS support: Incorporated a new version of Google Hangouts that supports integrated SMS/MMS messaging. Hangouts can be set as the default SMS app under Settings > Wireless > Default SMS app.

Accessory: support Added support for Square credit card reader.

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