Many people have been awaiting Google’s Android 4.4.4 update which many expected would get rolled out at Google IO. They weren’t necessarily wrong since Google IO starts on Wednesday and there will probably be a lot of Android news in terms of new versions of the OS and improvements coming to it. However, many expected the Android Kit Kat 4.4.3 to 4.4.4 update to be fairly minor compared to other Android updates, and they were also correct to think so as the entire update was only 2.5 MB to download, as opposed to an entirely new OS image.
Over the course of the past few days, this update has been rolling out and most of the reports are indicating that this is mostly a security fix for the OpenSSL vulnerability that patches the heartbleed exploit. There isn’t much else by ways of this update other than the fact that it may mean that any and all other Android devices that don’t have 4.4.4 are probably or possibly vulnerable. So, from that standpoint, that’s a bit concerning if you’re an Android user without a Nexus phone running Kit Kat 4.4.4. You can get the 4.4.4 update over the air via your carrier or you can download it directly from Google’s repository through the SDK and install it that way. However, that method should only be used by people that know how to flash a phone.
As Google IO starts up this week, we’ll probably see Android 4.5 news or possibly Android 5.0 which will likely incorporate a lot of major UI changes and all of the bugfixes from previous Android versions as well. Hopefully it won’t come with new hardware requirements (like memory) forcing new flagship phones to be 3 and 4 GB. However, I do believe we’ll hear a lot about 64-bit on Android in ways that we haven’t heard before. I think that Google is going to put a lot of focus on improving the core OS’ functionality and adapting towards higher performance while also talking a lot about wearables and Android Wear.