Two months after Sony began pushing Android 4.4 to devices like the Xperia Z1 and Xperia Z Ultra, the company is now treating some older members of the Xperia family to a taste of KitKat.
Sony announced this morning that it has begun rolling Android 4.4 updates out to the Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR and Xperia Tablet Z. The updates include a number of goodies like performance and user interface improvements, updated versions of Sony’s native apps, Xperia Themes and more. Here’s Sony’s official changelog:
- Google’s Android 4.4; KitKat as standard — bringing improved performance & user interface (UI) optimisation…
- If you’ve got a Sony PlayStation 4, you might recognize our new user interface — we’ve added the same sleek launch animation and live wallpaper across the lock and home screens. You’ll also spot a revamped Status Bar and Quick Settings… now more intuitive and customisable (also with a fresh new look)… cleaned up to ensure you only get the notifications you really need
- As you might expect, we’re also uplifting Sony’s entire native app portfolio to the latest versions bringing tweaked / improved / current experiences for one and all… some of our favourites look like:
- Messaging — a few UI adjustments here & there, including a slicker “send” animation, and deeper Emoji support for some expressive fun… also worth noting, you’ll find smileys wherever there’s an app with a keyboard :) :)
- Email — you’ll be able to both load and see more mails… but don’t fret, navigation of said load is easier with a more responsive viewing pane — split screen modes divide info for easy digest… especially useful / works a treat on Xperia Tablet Z
- Smart Social Camera — our social imaging experience makes its debut on our first Z Series devices; a selection of Xperia Camera apps directly accessible from your viewfinder… including personal favourite “Creative Effect”, and more for download to boot!
- Battery STAMINA Mode – level-upping our unique power management feature, bringing smarter data management & more for prolonging your juice
- Sony’s Media apps: WALKMAN, Album and Movies, with Sony Entertainment Network cloud service integration* — a more converged and full Sony entertainment experience — Sony Entertainment Network & PlayMemories integration with a more intuitive UI, better download speeds, and more…
- And proving pretty popular, now totaling over 2 million downloads (!) — our unique custom interface experience: “Xperia Themes”, with downloadable UI packs from Sony Select — skin up to 280 assets across your Xperia smartphone with a variety of styles…
- Compatibility with our SmartWear Experience; SmartBand SWR10 and Lifelog app — enabling you to record social, physical and entertainment activities and have them all visualised in a beautiful interface… reminisce at that past, make the best of the present and plan for the future
We’ve known since late 2013 that this quartet of Xperia devices would be receiving KitKat, but it’s still exciting to see the updates finally pushing out. After all, these four aren’t exactly the freshest products in Sony’s Xperia family, but they’re still getting treated to the latest version of Android as well as a number of new Sony apps.
As is usually the case with updates, Sony cautions that the timing and availability of these updates will vary by market and carrier. If you’ve got an Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR or Xperia Tablet Z by your side, though, you should keep an eye out for a KitKat treat in the coming days and weeks.