Android 4.4 KITKAT might take a while to officially come to the world’s top devices, but aftermarket firmware — AKA ROMs — will likely bring the goods we’re looking for much sooner. While we can’t quite possibly put a finger on every ROM out there, we do have an idea of when some of the most popular ones will be pushing the latest version of Android. Let’s take a look!
The folks at CyanogenMod are still working to bring us final, stable builds of Android 4.3 in the form of CM 10.2. The team has already gotten their first “M1” build out, which is a milestone release that users can begin to report bugs on. They’re ultimately working to bring us up to Release Candidate status, and then the first stable release will be the final Android 4.3 release.
From there, the team will have their sights set on KITKAT. AOSP code has already been pushed to the CyanogenMod Github. This means project maintainers will be working to add all of the unique features that makes CyanogenMod, well, CyanogenMod. The first flashable goods could happen as early as the end of this month, though that will only be in nightly form (and the team isn’t making any promises on an exact timeline).
Much like CyanogenMod, AOKP is still working to bring a final, stable Android 4.3 build. They have dedicated half the team to getting that final milestone out, while the other half is full steam ahead on Android 4.4. The team says to expect the build to be “nearly barebones” KITKAT for the first release as they work to bring a timely build to the masses. Fret not, though, as they’ll be hitting the midnight oil to provide quick updates that will bring back features that everyone loves.
The team behind Paranoid Android has already gotten early AOSP-based builds out. There is one caveat to mention — they will take this opportunity to start anew, and will use this major release as the starting point for a new code base. Like AOKP, this means features will be added in stages through the use of frequent updates.
As I said before, there are many different ROMs for many different phones, so it’ll be impossible to keep tabs on every last one of them. It’s important to note that circumstances will be different for every device, even with the ROMs above, so getting an “ETA on an OTA” isn’t going to be very fruitful. In fact, most of these developers would rather you not ask.
That said, it’s best to find a community that surrounds your specific device, and follow maintainers of those devices for the latest info, Somewhere like XDA, RootzWiki, or the All Things Root sections at AndroidForums.com are good places to start. It’ll be a while yet before we see KITKAT in stable form on devices other than those donning the Nexus name, so it’s best to just be patient and leave it up to the awesome development community surrounding Android.