Moto X on Verizon

Updates, in their usual staggered order, to begin pushing today

No great surprise here, given that the soak test that just started said exactly that, but it's nice to see something official. Verizon's Moto will be the first in the line to receive Android 4.4 KitKat.

Motorola does note that you won't be able to downgrade your OS after this update, so mind your bootloaders, kids.

Source: Motorola

Here's the full changelog for the Android 4.4 update for the Verizon Moto X:

  • Android™ 4.4, KitKat: Android 4.4, 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.
  • 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.
  • Touchless Control - "Find my phone": Added a new "Find my phone" command to Touchless Control. Just say "OK, Google Now-find my phone" and your Moto X will ring loudly to let you know where it's hiding when you've misplaced it nearby.
  • NFC - Host card emulation: Enhanced support for NFC Host Card Emulation (HCE), to improve experiences such as contactless payments, loyalty plans, transit passes, card access and more.
  • Accessory support: Added support for Square credit card reader
 

Reader comments

Motorola makes it official: Verizon's Moto X first to get Android 4.4 KitKat

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If I sell it, I would have to buy the X first, or I will lose the number I have had for 12 years. Upgrade is 1 year away. DAMN YOU, VERIZON, WITH YOUR LIES ABOUT THE DNA TO MAKE ME BUY!!! :(

Call customer service & ask if they have any deals/coupons if you were to purchase the phone outright. I was offered a $200 coupon off the full retail price of $450. I then sold my 2 year old GNex & was able to keep my unlimited data!

Really? What exactly did you tell them? Because Im looking to buy it outright too. I want to use MotoMaker though, did you?

If you haven't solved your issue yet, Verizon sells the Moto G which is much like the Moto X off contract for only $180 or $200. I would buy it straight from Motorola! Good luck!

I still have my DNA as my backup but the Moto X is a great change. I do miss the 5" 1080p screen when I'm reading for extended periods but overall, the phone is awesome.

Not sure what's more impressive. Kitkat this fast...or that its from Verizon.

Posted via Android Central App

Because Verizon hates freedom and choice. They were punishing you for attempting to choose the freedom they offered you in a Nexus device

The nexus 4 has had the factory images available for some time now and they come with a script to automate the installation.

That is the point. If you want to wait on OTAs get an Apple or a Samsung.

Posted via Android Central App

With the Nexus heading towards a more "consumer-friendly" approach (devices available physical retail stores) most users (the Nexus owners who don't post on sites like this) will probably get their updates via OTA, not sideloading.

This is significant. Kudos to Motorola (and Verizon).

Plus, technically speaking, you cannot sideload 4.4 on to your device, you have to flash it.

Therefore it's a big hazzle... backup & restore proces needs to be in place as well...

Fact is that the update is (and has been) available for a while, so it comes down to logistics as to why the OTA is not yet available. You can bash Google for not having the server infrastructure (doubtful?) or prioritizing poorly their rollout schedule, but people need to stop throwing around blanket statements like the comments above out of ignorance.

To be honest, if you follow android news as closely as most of us do and the OS update is that important to you, then there's no excuse for at least learning how to click on a download link and double clicking a premade script to automatically do everything for you.

To be fair...the never said WHEN the VZ Moto X will get KitKat. Could be a month from now. And with Google...they haven't been announcing anything lately so your OTA N4 update could come tomorrow for all we know.

If you really want 4.4 that bad...install it yourself. It's easy to do

Motorola's official Twitter account says "“Breaking” news: Say hello to to KitKat Moto X fans. Rolling out on Verizon today."

Rolling out today.

As someone who doesn't use Twitter, I didn't know that.

Now I'm somewhat salty to hear this as the N4 still doesn't have KitKat. I installed manually on mine...but had I decided to wait on the OTA...I'd be fairly upset. I buy Nexus phones strictly because I want the 'latest and greatest' as soon as possible...but seeing this shows that Google is going to undermine part of what the "Nexus" brand stands for.

They still have good prices, still have good hardware...but another phone receiving updates sooner than the 'flagship' models is disheartening.

I guess the real test will be to see when phones actually start receiving the OTA update. The N7 update was 'released' several days ago and I've yet to hear anyone say they've actually received it via OTA

Couldn't agree more! I have a N4 & N7 2013 in the UK, & am still waiting for OTA. Am I brave enough to root & sideload? Not a chance!

Posted via Android Central App

I didn't need to root to sideload 4.4 on my N7. You do it through ADB and no rooting is necessary. AC had an article on how to do it.

I am also in the UK with the same two devices. I have sideloaded the update on the N7 2013 , but I will try and wait for the N4 OTA update (for how long I dont know).

Just because we can update, via this rather long winded method, does not mean we should raise the flag and proclaim "the software has been released" (you wouldn't accept that from any other manufacturer/carrier). As far as I am concerned the update is release is completed when I get the OTA.

Does the Kit Kat update change the Moto X' hotwords from "OK Google Now," to "OK Google?" I've seen conflicting reports on YouTube. One video reviewer said that now you only have to say "OK Google," just like on the Nexus 5, while another video reviewer said you still have to say "OK Google Now." Which is it?

Well it's not like the it's the S4 beating the N4 to the KitKat punch. The Moto X is fairly close in concept to a Nexus device. I know. I have the AT&T Moto X and the wife has the N4.

The source link even says starting today too. Not just mentioned on Twitter. "So what could be sweeter than Android 4.4, KitKat, rolling out in phases to Moto X on Verizon Wireless starting today!"

Yeah, so much for nexus owners getting updates. None of my 3 nexus devices have seen any update! Come on google!

Posted via Android Central App on my white Nexus 4 with StraightTalk

@littleemp, true, but it will clear all your user data (unless you already unlocked your bootloader)

Posted via Android Central App

Exactly! Here I am with a nexii 4 and I still don't have 4.4, but Verizon is capable of pushing it out to the moto x?! Not fair and not cool. Why am I feeling abandoned over here? And I'm waiting on the OTA. I'm not using any other methods to get it.

Yeah, I've used the Moto X in a couple stores. Its a great phone, I'd say on par with our slightly better than the Nexus 4 performance-wise, and it has those awesome contextual features as well as maintaining a very small size!

IMO, the Nexus 5 is better hardware (I've never, ever seen a faster phone, anywhere (that includes the iPhone 5S) save for touch latency, which also seems better than any other Android device I've used. But the X is an incredible device with great battery life.

False hope. One timely update doesn't define who Verizon really is. I expect 4.4 to be the last timely update. 4.4.1 will probably be 3-4 months when that happens. Then no more updates after that. R.I.P. Moto X.

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Haha, agreed. I know we all trash talk Verizon at times, but we should give credit where it`s due: Verizon pushed out an update way ahead of schedule. That`s awesome, and there`s nothing negative about it. High-Five to Verizon.

Posted via my GOD-Given Nexus 5.

Well technically this is the second timely update. The camera update was pushed on Verizon, I think 2 weeks after ATT.

Holy crap. The Nexus 4 hasn't even gotten KitKat rolled out yet. Motorola must have scandalous pictures of Verizon executives to have pulled this off!

It's clear to me that A LOT of people here don't understand the difference between being available and the OTA.

Also, it's hardly useless... The process is fairly automated and it can get you running 4.4 in less than 15 minutes.

Okay we got it! You did it and it can be done in less than 15 minutes.
Not to mention that you are the member of the elite group that apparently knows the difference between being available and the OTA?!? Wow you're so smart.
But men what part of OTA update you do not understand?

And as it has been pointed out... unless you have already unlocked your bootloader, you will lose your data.

That is why I'm waiting for the OTA. Although I may not wait much longer.

@Phil, what do you mean by "so mind your bootloaders"? If I unlocked my X through Motorola, will that relock it?

No.

That line is for people who have the locked non-dev ones on Verizon. Looks like this update will overwrite the bootloader with a new one — presumably locked up tight.

For those who want to run cool software on their phones, but don't have developer editions.

Updates often come with more than system Images, you will find many updates that change kernels, radios, bootloaders, and maybe even recovery software depending on a case-by-case basis. These often come with tightened security and no way back.

Just how sensitive is that microphone? That find my phone feature seems cool but how close do you have to be from the phone or are you supposed to shout to activate the feature?

Posted via Android Central App

I tried it in my house about 5 feet from my phone after stuffing it between 2 couch cushions. It didn't work, but you can also activate it from the web which is nice. The voice activated find feature is more of a "what room did I leave it in?" thing.

Let us hope so much. It wasn't that far behind from the Moto X update last time. So, soon. I have a KitKat in the fridge to celebrate!

Curious about what you dislike about the G2 to make you switch? The larger size, which is difficult for one-hand operation, but the specs on the g2 far outweigh the X.

Spec numbers don't matter with real time use. I hate LG software because IMO it tries too hard to be Touchwiz.

Posted via Android Central App

I swap phones a lot, got rid of my HTC One when the Droids/Moto X came out for VZW, initially was put off by the size of the X and liked the battery of the Maxx. After that went to the Note 3 and then the G2. G2 was great but was very easy to root and install recovery and I started messing with it like I used to do and I really wanted to get away from that. That being said the G2 is an awesome phone just wasn't for me.

The biggest thing is the lack of the Google Experience Launcher, or GEL. On the Moto X, though, that really isn't a big deal since Touchless Control already handles voice, and better than GEL does so far.

To be fair.. is the so-called "Google Experience Launcher" a KitKat feature or a Nexus 5 feature?

It's a Kitkat feature, but for now, it's a Nexus 5 exclusive. Google said it may come to the other Nexus devices, later on.

It's a Kitkat feature, but for now, it's a Nexus 5 exclusive. Google said it may come to the other Nexus devices, later on.

I have GEL on my carrier unlocked AT&T Moto X which I'm using on T Mobile. It appears some here are unwilling to side load apps, so hopefully it ends up in the playstore.

Posted via Android Central App

I have GEL on my carrier unlocked AT&T Moto X which I'm using on T Mobile. It appears some here are unwilling to side load apps, so hopefully it ends up in the playstore.

Posted via Android Central App

I have GEL on my carrier unlocked AT&T Moto X which I'm using on T Mobile. It appears some here are unwilling to side load apps, so hopefully it ends up in the playstore.

Posted via Android Central App

Or you can side load the Google Experience Launcher as I've done with my HTC One. They have a video about it on YouTube.

Posted via Android Central App

The article fails to mention that the rollout starts today. Sucks my Nexus 7 (2013) hasn't received the OTA. WTF Google? (Please don't tell me I can sideload it. I already know that.

Their blog post mentioned the date. Their software update site now says "Android 4.4 KitKat rollout began in November 2013". Their Twitter says "today" too.

I'm so tempted to go get the Moto X from AT&T now that it really looks like it is going to get KitKat soon. I've already got the Nexus 5, which is awesome, but I really want the special features of the X.

I'm aware that it is currently only for Verizon, but I am confident that it will be rolled out quickly to the other carriers as Punit Soni himself says that, "other carriers coming soon."

I have a Nexus 5 and Moto X. Can't wait until AT&T rolls out this update. Unfortunately for me I'm using an AT&T carrier unlocked Moto X on T Mobile, so I'm subject to AT&T's updates and not T Mobile's.

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lol.

Motorola updating fast.

And on Verizon.

Unprecedented.

Unheard of.

(Maybe they need this update for ISIS support.. ;))

I wonder if there are more improvements to the pictures that the camera takes now. This is what has really kept me from buying one.... and the smaller 720p screen.

I love my Moto X but I am not looking forward to KitKat. It is a boring gray mess. It looks dumbed down for iPhone converts. All the under the hood updates look great but it's just ugly. :-(

The reasoning they used for having gray status bars actually makes sense. I like them, myself, on the Nexus 5.

I like a "neutral" color. You seem to like blue. Many people are more comfortable with a neutral color than one that only a fraction likes.

Chaos has ensued. There are people actually running down the street, setting their hair on fire. LTE lightning bolts are zapping people in the ass everywhere.

Anyone who has said that it's Verizon blocking updates instead of OEMs not pushing hard enough can eat crow now. We have two manufacturers who have proved that you can push an update through Verizon if you really want to.

One of them proved that you don't have to be Apple. You just have to care enough to do it.

No, it's carriers. So many horror stories (all off the record of course) about the process and how the carriers buck against them. You can imagine them, and you'd be right. It's one of those things you're better off not hearing first-hand.

Have a feeling this one went so quickly because Verizon is desperate to not be the only carrier in the world without a phone on KitKat.

"Have a feeling this one went so quickly because Verizon is desperate to not be the only carrier in the world without a phone on KitKat."

DING DING DING.

I remember reading a little while back, back when we found out that the Nexus 5 wasn't coming to Verizon, that Google stated that they had different plans for Verizon customers. Do you think this could be one of those plans?

I'm sure Apple has their horror stories too, but they didn't just lie down. They pushed through. Are you telling me that Verizon made it easier on Moto both update rounds than they made it on Google every update for the Galaxy Nexus?

After the Moto Maker exclusive deal I wouldn't rule out this being a Verizon exclusive for a period of time.

How would that make everyone feel?

On one hand I am surprised, on the other hang Moto has been in bed with Verizon for so long I expected it. I guess very soon we'll see it on the dev edition phones, then on AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile last (probably, since they didn't even care enough to sell the phone).

Surely the excitement behind this announcement will get the other carriers and manufacturers to step up. My note 3 could use some kitkat. That's right I said it. My phone that launched with the latest version of android a month ago needs this.new update now!!

Posted via Android Central App

Let's see how fast Kit Kat hits the DROID line, then we'll see how serious Verizon is.

Sent from my LG G2 via Android Central App

I had to force-feed 4.4 on my 2013 Nexus 7 this past weekend. Crazy that a phone is getting 4.4 likely before I would have gotten the update.

After using 4.4 a few days.. eh, I'm in no real rush to get it, but the camera changes are always going to be welcome, and the dialer is actually an important change.

I still think it's a ploy. As, a VW customer, I've grown accustomed to rarely seeing updates, especially not in a timely fashion.

Anyway, does anyone know/remember the work-around to get the update faster OTA? Like you Force Stop something, clear the data, and check for the update?

Posted via Android Central App

I thought that Nexus devices were supposed to get updates OTA first. That's one of the draws for the Nexus brand. A bit disappointing, Google.

This is probably the 160th response complaining about Nexus devices on a Moto X/Kitkat post. Maybe Google expects its customers that buy a Nexus device are smart enough to load the 4.4 upgrade on their own from the factory image posted online??

Being "smart" has nothing to do with it. You don't have to be "smart" to follow a simple list of instructions, most children are capable of that task. Some people just prefer to wait. And some people are reallllly impatient and like to bitch about it on the internet.

I agree. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that people aren't going to start dying because they haven't received OTAs on their n4s yet. It'll come.

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This is literally hell freezing over. How is it that the VERIZON moto x was able to get 4.4 before any other carrier AND the google play S4/One? That is seriously a Christmas miracle.

Enoy it, VZ moto x owners, as I sit here with my VZ one still on 4.2 :(

I am surprised no one has mentioned how this makes people who dished out $650/$550 for the official Moto X GSM Developer Edition feel.

Its all well and good that kit kat is rolling out, so don't mistake this as a knock, but usually there is an unspoken hierarchy for development.

Posted via Android Central App

Developer editions get an unlockable bootloader, so those guys can play around under the hood all they want. I don't think quicker updates were ever a promise.

I don't see how the touchless control feature and the hangouts updates are unique to 4.4 since we already have them on our X, Ultra, Maxx, Mini...Seems like a letdown feature-wise, hopefully, performance and efficiency will be even better, not that I have any complaints at all about my Maxx.

Hard to imagine any better battery life on the Maxx, but supposedly KitKat has under the hood features that really improve battery life. It's part of how the Nexus 5 gets away with such a relatively small battery.

Just got my update as well. Saw this article and went to settings --> system updates on my vzw moto x and there it was. Installing update now.

...
I have one too. It's the fastest device I've ever seen, including the iPhone 5S, Galaxy S4 and LG G2.

I think it's a worthy upgrade to the Nexus line. For $400, you really can't go wrong.

Posted via Android Central App

Boy don't you possess an uncanny knack for pointing out the obvious! Yeah, there are tech dorks on a site devoted to Android....shocker. BTW this IS big news, first phone to get Kit Kat.

I'm starting to think this is Google's way of saying screw you last gen nexus owners for not upgrading to a new nexus or moto device. If that's the case it makes me want no more nexus devices. Plus I just got a white N4 in June so I have no need for a new device after 5 months!

Posted via Android Central App on my white Nexus 4 with StraightTalk

Okay. I just took a look at Google Wallet after the update. I don't see the option of using tap and pay. I might be wrong but it looks like it's been neutered. Update. Found the option in the app and it says "not available".

Neutered in the sense that the new Google Wallet under Kitkat was designed to allow it to operate beyond the carrier block. Meaning that the feature that made this available has been neutered.

I think Google Wallet needs to be updated for our phones. Tap to Pay exists in the OS settings now.

Posted via Android Central App

holy smokes, i cant believe its actually downloading it RIGHT NOW, LIKE RIGHT NOW THIS SECOND ITS DOWNLOADING 4.4 LIKE OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG. :)

This might be the consolation prize for Verizon not getting the Nexus 5. Not that there's anything wrong with it! Unbelievable that Verizon gets it first.

Wondering if there will be a big Black Friday push from Verizon on the Moto X. Happy you guys are getting this update so fast and kind of shocked.

Posted via G2 Android Central App

Wondering if there will be a big Black Friday push from Verizon on the Moto X. Happy you guys are getting this update so fast and kind of shocked.

Posted via G2 Android Central App

This is probably the first and only time Verizon will have the first update...Hell must have frozen over

Posted via Android Central App

Whats the point of these soak tests when the full update comes out the very next day?
It was the same thing with the camera update a month ago.

Not complaining but it seems odd.

Guess Jerry's sources/rumors about this soak test taking longer were flat out wrong, I for one am pleasantly surprised... I'm also not convinced it was pushed this fast just so that they'd have a KK phone... Though I don't have an alternate theory other than dumb luck.

The average consumer doesn't care much about OS versions tho, specially when there aren't any new super flashy user facing features. Besides, VZW would've pushed for an update to their Droid line first if they were that motivated to get KK from Moto.

Either VZW were just the first to react when Moto said it was ready for the X, or I don't know... Winds of change maybe? Could be they really were motivated after missing out on the Nexus 5, but I can't imagine that wasn't intentional. Did Google ever comment officially on whether VZW shot it down or if it was even offered?

Good to see they aren't forcing hangouts for sms and mms like on the N5

Posted via Android Central App

Did anyone else notice that the easter egg doesn't include the K but instead a 1? Is it a taunt that Verizon was the first to update the Moto X or that the Moto X in general is the first carrier locked phone to get 4.4?

Posted via Android Central App

Somehow, the phone seems snappier and faster after the update. The quick updates are exactly why I opted for this over the GS4 and I'm loving every minute of it.

Posted via Android Central App

Yeah, I guess Google is saying the moto x is more of a nexus than a nexus. Not sure why they would rush out the motox update while nexus owners get the shaft. Maybe there is a problem, but more than likely it's just Goog dragging their ass on the ground.

Posted via Android Central App on OG Nexus 7

After being stuck with a Motorola Droid X for two years, I figured I should go with a Samsung. Moto was crap about updates, and Sammy was the biggest android maker on the market. So I got an S3.

"Motorola makes it official: Verizon's Moto X first to get Android 4.4 KitKat"

"Samsung suspends Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 rollout to investigate 'issues'"

F&#k!

HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE!!!!!!!!!!! MY 2013 NEXUS F***IN 7 HASN"T EVEN GOTTEN IT YET. ITS A 32GB WIFI MODEL WTF GOOGLE!!!!?!?!??!

Anyone else get the feeling that Nexus days are numbered? This stunt by Google to ota update the moto x first is a sign of where Google's loyalties lie. Google need to keep moto relevant and what better way to give them preferential treatment going forward.

Posted via Android Central App

Waaahh! why does Moto X get ota first? Waaaahhh!My Nexus 4 is last year's tech just like Moto X,I want ota too! WAAAH! And I know kit kat has been available for my Nexus 4 and I can go get it any time, but I don't wanna have to do any work, I just want them to give it to me WWAAAHHHHH!! I'm gonna go lie under my blankie now.

Now vzw just needs to allow NFC payments via Google wallet and they will be closer to being off my shit list.

Posted via Android Central App

There are directions in the forum on how to get tap and pay working. Basically delete Google Wallet and side load the N5 version of Google Wallet.

Posted via Android Central App

the fact that my 2012 Nexus 7 does not have the update yet and a non Nexus device does makes me wonder why should I buy a Nexus device in the future?

Unlockable bootloader, factory images in case you f-up, butt load of development and its cheap.
Yeah the Moto X is a nice phone but the boot loader is locked and may not get unlocked. The unlockable boot loader is a must for me.

Posted via Android Central App

I can't believe it, I just checked for an update and I GOT IT! I never get them this quickly. I waited nearly a week on my Nexus 7 (2012) before sideloading it. Can't t to check out Google Wallet!

Posted via Android Central App

This is pretty awesome. Funny because I bought a Verizon Galaxy Nexus for the updates. I was going to wait for the Nexus 5, but decided to take the plunge on Moto X, and now I'm glad I made that decision.

Posted via Android Central App

Amazing timing. Last friday, my wife and I decided to make the jump to the Moto X, given the $50 rebate at the time. Was very pleased to see this report 2 days ago before my MotoMaker version arrived. They arrived last night, we powered them on, connected to Wifi, and within seconds, it was downloading the 4.4 KitKat update. AMAZING! We are VERY pleased at the timing of this update. Me, coming from an original Verizon Galaxy S, and their ENORMOUSLY LONG update times, this almost seems illegal.

(On top of all that, we caught the free "Moto Skip" promotion on its last day.