Sunday, December 08, 2013

HTC One 4.4 Kit Kat Impressions

A day after Android 4.4 Kit Kat was announced, HTC USA announced it would release 4.4 for its HTC One within 30 days.  Surprisingly, HTC USA delivered on their promise and Android 4.4 was available OTA on November 30, 2013, exactly 30 days after their announcement.  That is really impressive in this day of product and update delays.  It's expected that carrier specific HTC One will receive 4.4 sometime before February.  In the meantime, here are my impressions of Android 4.4 Kit Kat with Sense 5.5.

The brief OTA change log:


Updates noticed:
  • Added Lock screen widget capabilities.  Switch to the right pane to add widgets.
  • Changed Lock screen keyboard no longer uses the Android keyboard you selected but defaults to the system keyboard
  • Updated Gallery app adding additional online sources like Dropbox.  Now you can view from: Google Drive, Dropbox, Facebook, Flickr, and Picasa
  • Added HTC Apps
  • Added HTC Backup
  • Added Google Photos
  • Updated to Polaris Office 5
  • Updated YouTube
  • Updated Google Maps
  • Updated Camera firmware from 5.1.658161 to 5.5.2321372617 - will show the green box immediately when you open the camera app to display it auto-focussing
  • Battery life seems to be improved the same.  I will update this posting with my findings after a few more charge/recharge cycles but right now I'm estimating about a 10% improvement
  • Updated Weather app now opens to all favorite cities rather than the last city
  • Added emoji to the HTC native keyboard but they aren't the same as the official Google Keyboard emoji
  • Music app now shows play progress in a circle rather than a bar
  • Adds a new "Highlights" drawer to Blinkfeed when you swipe to the left
  • Updated TV App
  • Updated Google Hangouts that can now integrate SMS
Some features from KitKat you won't see:
  • Smart Caller ID - there is no search built into the dialer (I personally wouldn't like this or would like to have the ability to disable it)
  • Google Now Launcher with Google Now on the left pane and home screen listening for "OK Google" voice command
This update isn't as dramatic as the Android 4.2 to Android 4.3 update, which brought significant performance improvements, updated a bunch of Google apps, and updated most of HTC's apps like TV.  I haven't noticed any negative aspects to the 4.06.1540.2 update with Android 4.4 so I'd recommend any HTC One users to get the upgrade when it's available.

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