The first Android release without JBQ. Many of you probably remember back in early August, when JBQ left Android (and Google) over some issues with the Nexus 7 (2013), mostly related to Qualcomm. So now we have a new person in charge of AOSP. His name is Ed Heyl, and so far he seems to be doing pretty good with his first Android release.
According to the Android Building group, it looks like the Android 4.4 KitKat code is being uploaded right now to AOSP. There are two new branches which are being called kitkat-release and kitkat-dev, and the release tag is android-4.4_r1. While the code for the Nexus 5 (also known as Hammerhead, for those that will be rooting and ROMming it), is already posted. But the kernel repo is still waiting in line. If you hop onto the platform/build repo for a minute, you'll see that the corresponding build for the KitKat release is KRT16M. This makes us believe that this is the build we will see on the Nexus 5 when it ships in the next couple of days, as well as on other Nexus devices.
So what does this mean for normal users like you and me? Custom ROMs. For those that don't have a Nexus or Google Play Edition device, this is the moment you've been waiting for. Google is uploading all the code for Android 4.4 so developers can play around with it. I wouldn't be surprised to see an Android 4.4 ROM available within 12 hours of all the code being uploaded. It happens every time. Usually once the code is uploaded to the Android Open Source Project, we will begin seeing OTA's rolling out as well as Factory images popping up on the developer site. So far we haven't seen either, but we'll keep our eyes out for it. We did hear earlier that KitKat won't be available as an OTA for a few days, actually Sundar Pichai said "coming weeks". Hopefully we'll see it today or tomorrow.