We recently learned Android 4.4 Kit Kat had begun rolling out for Nexus 4 users. Basically, that means Google has begun offering the update in batches, and on the flip side, it likely also means that many Nexus 4 users navigated into the settings and have been repeatedly tapping the Check for Updates button. Well, Dan Morrill from Google has taken to Reddit and shared a bit about the update process and about using that button.
At risk of offering the spoiler in the beginning, that button may not actually be doing what one would hope and/or expect. According to Morrill, “once your device checks in and gets turned down, that’s it until the next batch.” Or in other words, once you hit that button and it tells you the device is up to date — hitting the button again (or repeatedly) will not offer anything different — that is, until Google decides to offer the update to another batch devices.
The catch here, the average end user is never sure when that next batch will begin rolling out. To that point, Morrill suggests checking once or twice a day at most. Further details also touch on how Google does the rollouts. Morrill mentioned how they “typically” begin with 1 percent of devices for the first day or two. This small batch is sent out and Google then watches for “return rates and resulting device checkins and error reports.”
Assuming the initial 1 percent rollout goes according to plan, the process then expands. Again, the word typically was used. But in this case Morrill said the updates then go to 25 percent, 50 percent and 100 percent “over the course of a week or two.” Coming by way of another Reddit posting, Morrill also had comments about clearing data for Google Service Framework. For those unfamiliar, this is a trick that many use in an attempt at forcing an update.
Again, offering the spoiler in the beginning, it was said that doing this could cause a “ton of nuisances on the device.” The explanation here connects back to the primary ID that Google uses to remember the device.
As far as the servers are concerned, the device was basically factory reset. There are many downstream effects of this, but a big one is that this invalidates the tokens used by any app that uses GCM (which is nearly all the Google apps, and a ton of third-party apps.)
Bottom line here, when it comes to getting the latest version of Android as an over-the-air-update from Google — patience is your best friend.