If you are a subscriber to the Vodafone network in Europe, you should keep your eyes peeled for a new Android 4.4.4 KitKat software update arriving to the notifications panel. The new over the air update comes with the build number 23.0.1.A.5.79. There are several theories about why Europe is finding this update. Most are assuming it’s in preparation for the eventual launch of Android 5.0 Lollipop on the Z3 series.
The new firmware is available for the international D6603 and the international D5803 model numbers. You can check what number your device is by stopping over at the ‘Settings,’ followed by ‘About Device.’ The setting is useful for several other options you have to play with too. All users should tap the “download” and “install now” buttons on the display when the OTA notification arrives. However, if you want to put the update on hold for when you are around a WiFi connection you can opt out and install it later. Go to Settings > About Device > Software Updates > Check For Updates to start the installation manually.
The new Android 4.4.4 Kitkat update doesn’t come with a changelog from Sony, thus we don’t know what’s inside. Android 4.4.4 traditionally comes with a revamped phone dialer and Google security patches. From there we usually see bug fixes and performance enhancements. You should know that the total file size of this firmware is just over 130 MB. That means it’s large enough to want to skip the download from the mobile data to avoid unwanted data charges and a slow connection.
All the buzz now is around the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop that is making its way to most flagship devices. There are still a few handsets without it including the Samsung Galaxy S5 in the US. It appears as though the Z3 is close to finding the next Lollipop update with material design, Android Beam, Android Runtime, smart notifications, tap and go NFC and a new Easter Egg ripping off Flappy Bird you should check out right after installing.
Those preferring to err on the side of caution should backup the data from the phone to the internal SD card. You can use the built-in feature or install application from Google Play such as Helium. You don’t automatically wipe the data by installing over the air updates.
As usual, we love hearing your take on events. Europe is a large area, so if you know a specific country that is finding this via the Update center today please leave a comment. All OTA’s roll out to devices at different times.