Sony begins worldwide rollout of Android 4.4 for the Xperia Z1 and Xperia Z Ultra

Sony has announced that it will begin rolling out the Android 4.4 KitKat to its flagship devices starting today, beginning with the Xperia Z1 and Xperia Z Ultra. Older devices like the Xperia Z, ZL and Tablet Z will receive the improvements in mid-Q2.

Sony’s various Android skins don’t differ too much in terms of looks, but Android 4.4 adds a number of desirable features for devices with on-screen buttons: Immersive Mode allows an app to hide the navigation buttons when watching movies, viewing photos or playing games. This version will also adds a Quick Settings menu in addition to white status icons.

The full list of changes is below:

  • Google’s Android 4.4; KitKat as standard – bringing performance & UI optimisation…
  • We’ve added our tweaked Status Bar and Quick Settings… now more intuitive and customisable (and pretty easy on the eye)… cleaned up to ensure you only get the notifications you really need
  • If you’ve got a Sony PlayStation 4, you might recognize our new user interface – we’ve added the same sleek launch animation and live wallpaper across the lock and home screens
  • We’re also uplifting Sony’s entire native app portfolio to the latest versions – bringing tweaked / improved / current experiences for (to name but a few): Messaging, MyXperia, Smart Connect, Small apps, TrackID, TrackID TV, Sony Select, Smart Social Camera and…
  • Sony’s Media apps: WALKMAN, Album and Movies, with Sony Entertainment Network cloud service integration* – a more converged and full Sony entertainment experience – Sony Entertainment Network & PlayMemories integration with a more intuitive UI, better download speeds, and more!
  • Our unique custom interface experience: “Xperia Themes”, with downloadable UI packs from Sony Select – skin up to 280 assets across your Xperia smartphone with a variety of styles, and more to follow soon…
  • Next up, we’ll start rolling Android 4.4 KitKat for Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia Tablet Z – and Xperia ZR – from mid-Q2.

No word on when Canadian carriers will begin the rollout, but they were pretty quick on the uptake with Android 4.3, so there’s no reason to think we’ll be waiting too much longer.