Android 4.4 KitKat support is ending in August 2023

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 25, 2023
Google Android

Android users who run devices with Android 4.4 KitKat will no longer receive Google Play updates from August 2023 onward. The decision to end support for the ancient version of Android comes almost 10 years after its initial release.

Google notes on the Android Developer Blog that less than 1% of all Android devices run Android KitKat. Most manufacturers have long stopped supporting devices running Android KitKat. Some may still support upgrades to newer versions of the Android operating system, but most won't.

Google writes: "The Android KitKat (KK) platform was first released ~10 years ago and since then, we’ve introduced many innovative improvements and features for Android, which are unavailable on KK. As of July 2023, the active device count on KK is below 1% as more and more users update to the latest Android versions. Therefore, we are no longer supporting KK in future releases of Google Play services. KK devices will not receive versions of the Play Services APK beyond 23.30.99."

Many apps and games do not support Android 4.4 anymore, but there is a selection of apps, or older versions of apps, that users of this system may still use on a day to day basis.

Google's decision to end support for Google Play Services for Android 4.4 limits services further on these devices. The service is used by Google to push updates to user devices and it is also powering Google services, including sign-in functionality.

App developers who still support Android 4.4 may soon stop supporting the version, especially if they distribute their apps and games only via Google Play and not using third-party marketplaces such as F-Droid.

Android KitKat devices won't receive Play Services APK versions beyond 23.30.99 according to Google.

Users of the devices that run KitKat may run into issues when using their devices. Issues may range from being unable to use Google Play to download or update applications over failures to sign-in to services and even issues opening apps on their devices.

As Günter Born puts it, ending support is the death blow for these devices. While some features, such as making phone calls or sending SMS text messages may still work, most services won't anymore. End of support does not necessarily mean that devices become bricks from one day to the next though.

KitKat device owners may check for Android OS updates for their devices to extend the lifespan of the devices even further. Another option may be the switching to custom ROMs, but these are not available for all devices.

Updates to Android 5 Lollypop may still be available for some devices.

Now You: which versions of Android are powering your mobiles?

Android 4.4 KitKat support is ending in August 2023
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Android 4.4 KitKat support is ending in August 2023
Android users who run devices with Android 4.4 KitKat will no longer receive Google Play updates from August 2023 onward.
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  1. Phil said on November 17, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    A few months ago I bought a mobiwire oneida 4g phone from vodafone. When pressing the update button it keeps saying phone is up to date ( suspect now that google have stopped updating it ! The details show that it uses a proprietary operating system. When checking with what is my android it says- Android 4.4.2 KitKat chrome !
    Your help please, am I correct in thinking updates updates no longer exist for my phone ? I gan get Yahoo on it but not Outlook or Google .
    Thanks for any replies Phil

  2. 11r20 said on July 26, 2023 at 5:57 pm

    ‘Root’ that old phone and strip out ALL the Google-Crap & Bloatware.

    One will now have a nice quiet phone > ((Back To The Future))

  3. bruh said on July 26, 2023 at 10:25 am

    I use KitKat 4.4.2, this OS is way better than modern android. it feels nicer and faster, it’s also more intuitive, and the buttons are mapped better.

    However Google Play Store and things like Youtube have been on the rocks for a while already (as in, didn’t work!), so I am not sure what this date is marking, to say the OS was supported, doesn’t seem right to me.

    My security update level is still at like 2017 I believe, what exactly were they keeping up to date? Or is this referring to KitKat 4.4.4?

    1. KitKat4life said on July 26, 2023 at 5:21 pm

      All you need is SkyTube and BraveNewPipe Legacy

      You can thank me later

  4. rinablen said on July 26, 2023 at 12:21 am

    With antivirus, conscript provider, Amway, latest Firefox 69.9 ESR with add-ons unblock and https everywhere more life for the kit Kat.

  5. Boreas Sawada said on July 25, 2023 at 9:54 pm

    Androids 4 to 8 are the best of all versions.

  6. John G. said on July 25, 2023 at 9:21 pm

    Ten years of good maintaining by Google. That’s a good OS!

    1. PressHamburgerMenu said on July 25, 2023 at 11:48 pm

      No, it is not, and you can blame phone makers just as you can blame Google for that, because phones in the past would get 4.4 when Android 6+ was already out and then they wouldn’t get newer versions of anything, also, even new phones today will only get 2 major updates and done, say bye bye to any support for it.

      The only phones that get good support are iPhones, where iPhone 8 was still getting iOS 15(?) and that’s good support because what matters is the OS version, not ‘security updates’ like you are stating, many apps already don’t work for years in Android 4.4, many Chromium browsers already dropped support for Android 5 and next year Android 6 phones will not get further browser Chromium updates either and so on.

      Also on desktop, for example Windows, you can still install Windows 10 and Windows 11 in computers that are 10+ years old as long as they have the resources to run it. You can avoid the TPM request and use generic drivers and all that and it will work decently, which means, people can keep using their apps, for example a computer that came with Windows 8 and never got Windows 10 by the manufacturer, could easily be upgraded and keep getting Chromium browser updates and many other programs professional, open source, close source etc etc, that only support Windows 10+.

      So I don’t understand how Android is a good OS, when the OS is attached to the phone makers and phones, even ‘new’ phones through the years barely got any new updates unlike other OSs.

      I would rather be able to use apps, than some fake ‘security updates’ old OSs got, which is a lie, because 4.4 never got any real update in so many years, and if it did, phone makers didn’t give it to users.

      So Android OS being attached to a lot of variables, doesn’t make it good, even if you think it is because of the fake 10 years support, implied in this article.

      1. John G. said on July 26, 2023 at 9:17 pm

        @PressHamburgerMenu, I meant that there were active nine Android OSs (from v4 to v12) in ten years, all of them maintained. Microsoft couldn’t ever make the same, I guess. :S

  7. The Rods said on July 25, 2023 at 8:26 pm

    “ending support is the death blow for these devices” What a load of crap. My KitKat tablet has been completely degoogled many years ago and there’s still a huge amount of apps for it on apkmirror or other places that do not need google services for anything. Also, apps that don’t get updates anymore still work just fine like clocks, notepads, musicplayers, radioplayers, e-readers, web browsers, SPOTIFY etc etc.. the list is extensive. My kitkat tablet is doing just fine thank you, and will keep on rocking. In fact, it’s MUCH faster/better than my brand new lenovo tab.. the old degoogled ROCKET thing blows the new one out of the water. Degoogle your stuff and all of a sudden they work great. This tablet is from 2014 and can play spotify music nonstop a whole looong day on a single charge. If I use it just occasionally for some surfing and whatnot, it holds a charge for 3 days straight. If I turn it on and do stuff then turn it off, I don’t even know how long the charge holds, probably a couple weeks. Deathblow my ass.

  8. Haakon said on July 25, 2023 at 7:49 pm

    Wow. Time flies when you’re having fun.

    I remember Jelly Bean upgrading to Kit Kat shortly after I bought a 2nd Gen Nexus 7, the bestest tablet ever.

    After I bricked it trying to replace the battery I got a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10A which has been running on Android 8, The Final Update for it.

    It’s still so stable and useful I see no reason to get anything newer. Yet.

    Here comes the squealing… What about teh SECURITY!!!!

    Relax and thank you for your concern. I run a tool that allows me to bend network connectivity to my will, primarily against threat vectors but with an emphasis on privacy as well. It’s well-known the the circles of those technically savvy enough to use it.

    And of course I update all apps via the 100% secure and bulletproof google play.

    1. just an Ed said on July 26, 2023 at 12:58 am

      You forgot the sarc tag. :-)

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