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Android KitKat 4.4 landing on Google Play editions of HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4

Those lucky folks in the US who have purchased the Google Play editions of the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 will be receiving the latest update to the Google OS in the form of 4.4 Android KitKat as of right now.

The software has already made an appearance on the latest Google Nexus 5 as well as the Motorola Moto X, but the Google Play Edition handsets from both of Google’s biggest hardware partners look to be the next in line to get a taste of KitKat.

The Google Play editions of the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 were specifically created to house a “purer” version of the Android OS in two of the most powerful pieces of mobile hardware to launch this year. Both live free of the HTC Sense and Samsung TouchWiz user interfaces that are pasted over the top on the regular versions. With the Google Play editions, users get no “bloatware” and a faster, more streamlined Android experience on the best hardware. It also means that users will get the latest Android updates sooner than the standard editions of the Galaxy S4 and HTC One.

Android 4.4 KitKat will bring a few new features to the One and S4 including a new launcher, a new dialler that incorporates search, Hangouts with consolidated text messaging, video and MMS, new HDR+ software for cameras and deep app linking for Google search.

However, unlike the Nexus 5, the Android 4.4 OS on the One, S4 and the Moto X does not have the Google Experience Launcher which is currently exclusive to the Nexus devices. In a nutshell, this means that many of the app icons will still look the same after the update, rather than looking flattened and simpler as on the Nexus 5.

See also: HTC confirms plans to bring 4.4 KitKat update to HTC One from January 2014

Google Experience Launcher is solely a Nexus 5 feature and will remain an exclusive to that phone for now. It lets you swipe left for Google Now, trigger Google Search through an “OK Google” hot keyword and there’s also new options for customising the look of your operating system overall.

The update is landing on the Google Play editions of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One as now.

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