updated 12:33 pm EST, Thu November 7, 2013
Newest Android version coming to Sony flagship devices
Sony on Thursday confirmed that Android 4.4 KitKat will be making its way to many of the company's Xperia smartphones. The Japanese electronics giant listed what it called the "first raft" of Xperia products, leaving the possibility that the update will be coming to more devices beyond the initial five listed. KitKat will initially hit Sony's Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia Tablet Z, Xperia Z Ultra, and Xperia Z1, though the company has not given a time frame in which users can expect updates for those devices.
The update to 4.4 KitKat will bring a number of interface changes, tying some of a devices functions more closely into Google's own services. The phone app can search across a user's contacts, nearby places, and Google Apps accounts for contact information. The Hangouts app also supports SMS and MMS messaging.
Thursday's announcement also noted that Android 4.3 Jelly Bean would be rolling out for the Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR, Xperia Tablet Z, Xperia SP, Xperia Z Ultra, and Xperia Z1. Updates will begin rolling out for those devices next month, though Sony notes they will occur in a phased process, with availability varying by market and carrier. The Xperia T, Xperia TX, and Xperia V will also receive Android 4.3 updates next month.
Sony is the latest major Android manufacturer to confirm that its devices will receive KitKat updates since the operating system's launch. Google-owned Motorola confirmed last week that many of its devices would be receiving the update, though a number of Motorola devices that came out as late as last year will not be seeing the new operating system. HTC has also indicated that KitKat will be landing on its flagship devices in the near future. Samsung, though, has given no confirmation on KitKat shipping for its latest phones and tablets.