Update rolling out 'in phases' starting today

Verizon has taken to Twitter to announce that the Droid Ultra, Droid MAXX and Droid Mini will start receiving their over-the-air updates to Android 4.4 KitKat from today. The update is rolling out "in phases" according to the carrier, following a short soak test over the weekend. In addition to the new Android OS features, today's Droid update includes a new version of the Droid Zap sharing utility with a revamped interface, according to the official changelog.

It's a remarkably quick turnaround for the Verizon-branded handsets, coming a month to the day after the Moto X KitKat updates started, and less than two months after the Android 4.4 open-source code drop.

If you're seeing KitKat on any of the 2013 Droid phones today, hit the comments and let us know how you're getting on.

Source: @VZWNews; More: Verizon Changelog (PDF)


Reader comments

Android 4.4 KitKat update hitting Droid Ultra, MAXX and Mini


This is fast even for Verizon. That's still not as fast as the moto x, but that was just unbelievable

Posted via Android Central App

This is pretty awesome.

Now I am really excited for the way things are starting to shape up. The other OEMs need to respond in kind with the next version. Updates within a few months should be the norm, not the exception.

Remember, Samsung did say that the next "battle" in the mobile space would be fought with software, as hardware is starting to plateau. Software includes timely updates and bug fixes, amongst adding features.

So, I think all of the OEMs will improve with updates going into 2014.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

Spot on.

The key for the Software battle is going to be keeping it within the confines of the hardware. Something Samsung does poorly right now.

You cannot be using 4 gb for the os when you are putting out a 16 gb phone. At most it should be 2.

Dammit man, I am a commenter not a clairvoyant!

Does that include the note 2? My guess would be the phones hardware is plenty good for 4.4 but I don't believe it'll ever see 4.4 released for it.

Posted via Android Central App

It freaking better. It has had one major update in its year long life so far, and that update literally just got pushed out 2 days ago (at&t). So I suspect its cutoff after kit kat.

Posted via Android Central App

Sadly correct. I think this is why Motorola is able to turn these around so quick. Their UI is basically the standard Android version plus a few tweaks that aren't part of the OS build but rather add on services/apps.

I know that phones aren't PCs, but I don't understand how, for example, Microsoft can release Windows 8.1 and everyone on earth running Windows 8 can get it on release day, but it takes months and months for a phone to get an update.

That's because there are exorbitant skins running on top if Windows 8 plus wireless network compatibility and performance to take into account. And it seems that some carriers hold up updates sometimes arbitrarily.

Posted via Android Central App

I agree, but it is worse that that for mobile phones.

They take the vanilla code and do not just put something on top of it like a theme, they actually change the base itself. That is the longest part of it.

Now let's not really get it confused here, you have to, in essence change some things (well not have to) for the camera/audio/sensors but that should be insignificant and nothing more than removing the d and tweaking the new.

I said it years ago that everything needed to be modular (you can look it up) and Motorola is finally turning it that way.

Dammit man, I am a commenter not a clairvoyant!

There was no soak test over the weekend. They sent out invites over the weekend and yesterday said the test would begin today but apparently that has been canceled in favor of a general release

Posted via Android Central App

Soak test is the first "phase" of the rollout. Was the same with all the moto kitkat updates. They are only doing 3-4 day soaks to weed out any unforseen issues as there have been no major hurdles with this release. Big props yo moto and all the carriers on this.

Posted via Android Central App

I know what a soak test is. It didn't happen this weekend. Kit Kat is downloading for me right now buy I don't know if it's the soak test or if they just decided to do a general rollout as Verizon seems to be indicating

Posted via Android Central App

I got an email from Moto last night saying the soak test would begin today (Thursday Dec 19) I just now got an OTA update so I don't know whats up. Just happy to get the update.

They did this for the AT&T Moto X rollout. The soak test release happened at the same time as the general release. They still want info back from the soak test participants, but are apparently confident enough to roll it out to everyone.

Yes but I want bug fixes and security fixes in my ROM. If they were bug and security fixes for just the nexus 5 then that is different.

Yeah the change logs were either Nexus 5 specific or nothing of serious consequence

Dammit man, I am a commenter not a clairvoyant!

Motorola is doing everything right. I really like their CEO. He seems to be really attentive to what his customers want and the company has delivered in a major way.

Props to everyone involved. Updates are only as fast as the slowest link in the chain, so everyone did a good job of getting this done quickly.

Funny how soak testers have to keep their results confidential, but VZW's blabbed about the update on Twitter.

Posted via Android Central App and Droid Mini

And now we wait for the RAZR M.. of course I am running a Kit Kat build already, but they are still a little wonky for this phone at least.

the 4.2.2 builds have been the smoothest..

The M has been one of the best phones I ever had. I can't wait for it to get KK. I'm rooted now but will happily unroot for it.

Since my bootloader is wide open, I will enjoy whatever builds are available based on the firmware that comes with it. I will certainly try a rooted stock build. Great phone though. Especially when compared to the original Razr.

Moto and HTC deserve major props. Delivered KitKat to Moto X and HTC One Developer edition and unlocked models within a month of its announcement; and now Moto and VZW are doing the same for the Droid models. They're on the ball with updates and that's how it should be with Android devices.

My wife loves her S4 but I agree with you. I got a Droid Mini and it's the best phone purchase I've made and I suspected that the new Moto would push updates faster than most - they've not let me down.

S4 galaxy with verizon.Can it be before the new years? Users, can you pls tell me if there is like a great deal of difference b/w 4.3 jelly bean & 4.4 kitkat .Thank you

I sure the fact that Motorola cellphones is owned by Google helps push updates...either way...way to go Motorola and get people the update fast

Posted via Android Central App

No, they are not allowed any special treatment or China will have them executed, seriously

Dammit man, I am a commenter not a clairvoyant!

Executed...seems a little extreme...lets look at it...Moto X updated to 4.4 really quick...and now Moto G getting 4.4.2...and the droid line on Verizon...the same Verizon who is terrible with pushing updates...I don't think it's a coincidence

Posted via Android Central App

Neither Verizon nor Motorola have any crazy tweaks to the Android UI. It's basically stock plus a few items. Verizon unloaded a bunch of its homegrown apps a long time ago, leaving only the navigator and one or two other items. This is from someone who has the original Droid RAZR. We've had a mostly-stock Android experience since go, and especially so after the ICS upgrade.

Motorola is looking very strongly to be my next phone manufacturer when my contract is up in May. These next few months better fly, this battery is starting to give out!

Posted via Android Central App

The fact that verizon is getting 4.4 on its devices before anyone else is something to be embarrassed of by the other carriers. It's great that verizon is doing this and I think they might have to come to realise that getting early updates can attract customers and retain them too. My point is If what is regarded as one of the worst carriers when it comes to updates can update there phones to kit kat then it shouldn't be an issue for others.. Also moto gets a lot of credit too and hopefully other oems learn from this.

Posted via Android Central App using galaxy s4

Not really, this was because of Motorola not Verizon.

Dammit man, I am a commenter not a clairvoyant!

It's hilarious how Verizon holds up the updates when they are slow, but when they are fast they have nothing to do with it. No, this was a combinations of both Moto and Verizon being quick. No one should be embarrassed, they should be proud, and customers should be happy. It's really not that difficult.

no they have earned that reputation. They have to do it more than once or twice to start to get rid of it...

You're not wrong, and I never said they didn't deserve the reputation they have. My point is that pretending that Moto did this completely by themselves is wrong.

These devices are almost identical software wise to the Moto X ... It would be very bad if they DIDN'T roll it out fast

Posted via Android Central App on my daily driver, the Droid MAX

Pics or it didn't happen

Dammit man, I am a commenter not a clairvoyant!

I'm just hoping that we get the new dialer. I read elsewhere that we wont be getting it. I guess I'll find out in a few minutes.

It got the 4.4 dialer SANS business search. The business search is only available on the nexus and "possibly" the GPE devices.

Unfortunately, you have to root for it to perform business searches AND dial.

That's like sweet OR sour chicken.

Why are you frustrated? We launched with 4.3, 4.4 is nothing all that huge and you will have it in January.

Besides, you have a superior phone

Dammit man, I am a commenter not a clairvoyant!

He's JG Wentworths cousin.He wants his update and he wants it now!!!

Sent from my Note 3 rockin Jelly Bean 4.3

Blame the carrier then, I have it on my Note 3 with Sprint. Verizon backed ISIS or you would have it as well

And the messed up part about it is that Verizon doesn't even support ISIS on their own Note 3. So I don't have Google Wallet or ISIS. That's why I want Kit Kat because this becomes a non-issue.

Posted via Android Central App

Apparently there are some issues causing the download to be delayed and slow, but they are rolling out the soak test now, it just didn't start when they wanted.

Posted via Android Central App

Ummmm...I just downloaded mine. Does anyone see any difference? Same dialer, same icons, same...everything. I get a transparent notification on the lockscreen, but on the stock launcher, no transparency or white icons. Say it isn't so...

I just went and looked at Verizon's Moto X kit kat screen shots, and they have all these. Am I the only one seeing this?

That's pretty awesome! Hopefully the Note 3's are scheduled to get Kit Kat by Jan 1 (wishful thinking).

Posted via Android Central App

I can now tap to pay Woohoo!

Well maybe, I haven't actually tried it yet, but I got a notification that I could

Posted from my newly Kit Katted Droid Ultra

Yeah I saw that too ... Wonder if it will last or if Verizon just hasn't gotten around to blocking it yet

Posted via Android Central App on my daily driver, the Droid MAX

In case anyone is curious, I'm running into some issues with the new Kit Kat :( nothing major. guess I'll head over to Moto's forum and do some reporting, since that's what this soak test is about

Posted from my newly Kit Katted Droid Ultra

No meu Moto X o KitKat trava muito frequentemente. E Depois que atualizou para o 4.4 o jogo Subway Surf era impossível de jogar pois trava de mais. Espero que melhorem na próxima atualização. Abraço!

There are a number of posts on Motorola's board of folks' phones (non-rooted ones) being bricked by the update. They're stuck at the boot logo and recovery fails. I wouldn't be surprised if Motorola has paused the update.

I feel like the moto x update and the droid releases are connected. Droids are Verizon's flagship phones. If they want to change their imagine it's afford place to start.

Posted via Android Central App

Just received my new Mini today and got it all set-up to find out it still has 4.2 Anybody know why I wouldn't have a notification to update to Kit Kat yet?

No update on my maxx yet. HAve a friend with the Mini & she don't have an update neither.
May be Verizon is just making fake announcements jut to have people happy at least for a while.

I really hate Verizon... I will be moving soon to AT&T and be able to buy a Nexus.

8 days later and still hitting System Updates just to be met with, "Your device is up to date! No update is necessary at this time."

Not sure I'm really missing much but it would be nice to have better camera performance.

As of today I still have not gotten the update on my Droid Maxx :-( I have been checking daily - starting to get impatient!

I have the droid mini and I haven't either. I've been checking ota several times a day and plugging in to try Motorola device manager, still nothing. Kind of pisses me off when it's been 10 days since the release and the only updated news I've been able to find is that as of today nearly all the new droids have received the ota already in North America, which conflicts with all the droid owners in the forums who have yet to receive it.

Guess Google/Moto forgot to test their release before they sent it out. Google Maps is UNSTABLE in this release. Got a Razr Maxx, and when I try to zoom into something it just goes off into nowhere.

Poor QA.