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Nexus 7 Android 4.4 KitKat – Where is it Google?

by Todd Haselton | November 20, 2013November 20, 2013 10:00 am PDT

Android KitKat - Two Bars, Android Mascat Yellow

First things first: I’m not here to start war between Android and iOS users. If you know me and read TechnoBuffalo, you know that I use both platforms daily. I personally own a Nexus 7 (2013) and an iPhone 5s. I recently sold my iPad mini. What I do want to draw attention to, is an empty promise that Google made when it started selling its new Nexus 7 (2013) tablet. The idea, as all of us tech-heads know it, is that buying a Nexus devices gets you the latest Android updates first. That’s the whole appeal of the devices, despite being very good on their own. Unfortunately, Googe has yet to follow through on that promise for the Nexus 7 (2013).

The Nexus 5 launched early this month with KitKat, more than two weeks ago, and while Google says Android 4.4 KitKat is rolling out to the Nexus 7, I have yet to see an update. What I don’t understand is why the software rollout needs to take so long. If it’s launching, it should be available for everyone on the same day.

Can you imagine the heat Apple would be under if it ever “rolled out” an iOS update to its phones or the iPad? People would be calling for Tim Cook’s head. Yet somehow it’s OK for us, with Nexus devices that don’t need carrier software approval, to sit around and wait for an update that’s already available to some? That seems awfully silly.

Here’s why it’s even worse: Verizon’s Moto X is already getting Android 4.4 KitKat. That phone isn’t a Nexus device, and the software obviously had to go through Verizon’s software approval process first. Meanwhile, those of us who paid for a device that was designed to support new versions of Android don’t have it yet.

The reason I bring this whole article up is because I have two friends who recently purchased the Nexus 7 (2013). They’re asking me daily where the update is and told me, as former iPad owners, that this wouldn’t have ever happened had they owned an iPad. It’s true. When an iOS update rolls out it hits everyone at least within a few hours of one another. Google is the only company I can think of that still gets away with these weird software update roll-outs. Even Microsoft doesn’t do that.

I don’t have an answer to why it’s taking more than two weeks for Android 4.4 KitKat to hit my tablet. When I bought it I assumed I’d get all new Android updates within a few days of the new operating system being announced. That’s just how it should work. And I know I can dig through forums and find the update to apply myself, but I shouldn’t have to.

If Google wants to sell a consumer friendly device, and I’m going to argue the Nexus 7 is indeed that type of device since it’s sold in consumer shops like Best Buy, Staples and RadioShack, then it should start providing consumers with what they deserve: the latest software the day it’s available.

Google and Android are big boys now, huge players in the software and hardware industry, and it should act like every other company by providing software updates to all at once.


Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...

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