Google has finally begun rolling out Android 4.4 KitKat to the Nexus 4, almost three weeks after the update made its public debut alongside the new Nexus 5.
The 239MB download delivers all of the features and improvements that arrived on the Nexus 7 last week, including SMS integration in Hangouts, new Photos and Downloads apps, a much-improved Phone dialer with search integration, wireless printing, and more.
Google may not have started rolling out its new Android 4.4 KitKat update to the Nexus 4 yet, but it has already released the factory image, allowing those who don’t mind flashing ROMs themselves to perform the update manually.
Google Search for Android received a nice new update this week, which adds a whole bunch of new Google Now cards and features that’ll help you keep up with your favorite websites, get movie and TV recommendations, and find interesting articles from around the web.
Although older Nexus devices have received some user interface improvements, the big changes — transparent status and navigation bars, larger app icons, Google Now on the home screen — are only available on the Nexus 5 for the time being. At least officially.
If you have a newer Nexus device, or the Google Edition Galaxy S4 or HTC One, then you won’t have to wait too long for the Android 4.4 KitKat update. But it’s safe to say everyone else is in for a lengthy wait. If you’re already feeling impatient and you want a bite of that KitKat early, then you may be interested to hear you can download and install the new launcher now.
A Google smartwatch powered by Android with built-in Google Now is in the late stages of development, according to people familiar with the matter, who have been speaking to The Wall Street Journal. Google is now in talks with Asian suppliers, which could begin mass producing the device “within months.”
Motorola’s Touchless Control app, which allows you to control your smartphone using only your voice, is now available to download from Google Play. You can use it to set alarms, get directions, find answers to questions, “or do just about anything” — without having to touch your phone at all.
There is one caveat, however. The app’s only available on the Moto X, the Droid Ultra, the Droid Mini, and the Droid Maxx.
Google Now for Android is now even more useful thanks to a handful of new cards that have been added this week. You can now get car rental information, concert tickets, and NCAA football scores — and there’s even an awesome commute sharing card that’ll let you inform loved ones that you’re on your way home when you leave work.
There have also been some improvements to existing cards, including those for public transit and TV.
Google rolled out a major new update to YouTube for Android this week, introducing a brand new user interface with improved navigation, and new features. The app now sports a “card-like” design that’s become a standard inside official Google apps, and you now have the ability to watch clips while you continue browsing for others.