US Cellular’s Moto X gets Android 4.4 KitKat today

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With nearly every other version of the Moto X starting to get Android 4.4 KitKat, some US Cellular folks have been wondering when they’d be let in on  the fun. Thankfully it won’t take quite as long to get it as some might have thought (due to the carrier being just outside the big four here in America). Motorola’s Punit Soni has announced that the US Cellular Moto X will be getting KitKat as early as today.

The rollout is taking place in phases, so it’s possible not everyone will be able to get in on the action right away. Users will be treated to many great changes — some of which are brought along with KitKat, and some of which Motorola decided to put in on their own. Here’s the full list:

  • Android™ 4.4, KitKat®: Android 4.4, KitKat, is the latest release of the Android platform. KitKat includes enhancements such as restyled status and navigation bars, a new full-screen mode, color emoji support, improved closed captioning support, stronger security, smarter power use, and more tools and capabilities for better app development.
  • Phone dialer: Improved the phone app with the ability to look up contacts directly from the dial pad, see and tap frequent contacts, and search your corporate directory easily.
  • Camera – Focus and exposure: Enhanced the “touch to focus” option with a new circular, on screen control that can be dragged by your finger around the viewfinder to adjust a photo’s focus and exposure.
  • Gallery – Photo editing: Added new photo editing options to the Gallery app including new filter effects, draw on your photos, advanced cropping, and adjustments to color, exposure, contrast and more.
  • Hangouts -SMS/MMS support: Incorporated a new version of Google Hangouts that supports integrated SMS/MMS messaging. Hangouts can be set as the default SMS app under Settings > Wireless > Default SMS app.
  • Touchless Control – “Find my phone”: Added a new “Find my phone” command to Touchless Control. Just say “OK, Google Now-find my phone” and your Moto X will ring loudly to let you know where it’s hiding when you’ve misplaced it nearby.
  • NFC – Host card emulation: Enhanced support for NFC Host Card Emulation (HCE), to improve experiences such as contactless payments, loyalty plans, transit passes, card access and more.
  • Accessory support: Added support for Square credit card reader

To check for an upgrade, head to Settings > About Phone, and then hit the System Updates menu to see if your device is ready to pull it down. You should be looking for version 143.44.2.ghost_usc.USC.en.US. You’ll want to be on WiFi with a decently charged battery, so be sure to hold off until you can meet those conditions. Now we’re just waiting for the likes of Sprint and Republic Wireless to be invited to the party, something we suspect won’t take too much longer to happen.

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