Google has been pretty consistent when it comes to updating Android, and seems to announce a new version at least once per year. This year we've seen two updates of our favorite mobile OS, with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean getting announced in July, and Android 4.4 KitKat getting announced just at the end of October. This sort of update schedule has traditionally been difficult for manufacturers (OEMs) to keep up with, as most OEMs create their own overlays that add a lot of new features on top of Android. Because there is so much extra "stuff" in these skins, OEMs generally have to go through a fairly rigorous bug testing process, and then if you're in the US your carrier likely has to go through a similar process, making the update take even longer than it feels like it should. Thankfully big OEMs like Samsung, HTC and Motorola have been steadily improving in their update process, especially in the US, and are getting the newest version of Android out quicker than ever. Android 4.3 just hit the HTC One recently, and we're getting some clarifications via HTC USA's Twitter page about the upgrade schedule for their most popular phones in the last year. First off is the Droid DNA for Verizon customers, which was supposed to get its Android 4.3 update by the end of September. When that didn't happen people were left wondering what's next, and thankfully HTC is answering that question:
So you Droid DNAers should expect a compatibility update this week, followed shortly by the official Android 4.3 update shortly afterward. Thankfully this is not affecting the KitKat release schedule for the phone, and the Verizon Droid DNA will be receiving KitKat by the end of January 2014. That's some pretty fantastic news for the US's first 1080p phone. Another carrier variant that needs some love is the HTC EVO 4G LTE, which is Sprint's variant of last year's HTC One X. HTC has tweeted that it too will be receiving its Android 4.3 sometime this year, but wasn't quite as specific with the timing.
Anyone who bought an HTC One Google Play edition from the Google Play Store over the summer bought it with one thing in mind: they get the hardware they want with the update schedule they want. It's a win-win for anyone who's looking for a cutting edge device with stock Android support, and it looks like HTC has pushed the code to Google for the HTC One GPe to get its Android 4.4 KitKat update. That's right on schedule with what HTC promised just a few weeks ago.
Last but not least are the developer and unlocked editions of the HTC One. These phones traditionally get their operating system updates first, and it seems like that's not going to change this go around either. Both editions are unlocked, and therefore not subject to carrier restrictions and delays when it comes to updating, so once HTC releases the update it should be available on your phone. The best part? HTC is saying they're on track for the end of November for these devices too.
That's some serious promise keeping by HTC, particularly for their newest flagship the HTC One. We can only hope they keep this type of release schedule up, as it makes everyone who buys their devices feel much more confident in their products. The vanilla HTC One is still scheduled to receive its Android 4.4 KitKat update by the end of January, so expect some versions to probably get it even sooner than that, depending on your carrier of choice of course.