Manually Update Android Devices To 4.4.1 Or 4.4.2 With Adb Sideload

Learn how to manually update android 4.4.1 or 4.4.2 on android devices with ADB sideload

Rodrigo Queiroz
10 Dec 2013
  • 4 min read
  • 1201
  • 50
  • 200

Most people out there with Nexus 4, 5 and 10 are getting the OTA for android 4.4.1. This update will improve Nexus 5 camera and a couple of bug fixes in general.

But not strange enough there are people already claiming to receive OTA update for Android 4.4.2. This tutorial will cover Android 4.4.1 and Android 4.4.2. Choose whichever you want; however I believe that most people who hasn’t received the OTA already will probably get the Android 4.4.2 anyways.

If you cannot wait for the OTA like myself continue reading, as I will show how to manually update your android device to Android 4.4.2.


Android 4.4.1

Nexus 5 camera improvements

The main focus of Google’s Android 4.4.1 was to improve the camera on Nexus 5. Previous versions of Android 4.4 KitKat suffered from blur specially when snapping fast moving scenes, due to shutter lag and auto-focus delay.

Google’s stated that Android 4.4.1 improves the camera with faster focusing, faster white balancing, for true colours, the ability to pinch-zoom the view finder in HDR+ mode and less shutter lag.

What else?

Improvements on Nexus 5:

  • Low speaker volume bug affecting certain applications has been fixed
  • Haptic feedback has been tweaked
  • Default email client bug has been fixed (It wasn't syncing correctly)
  • Status bar bug has been fixed (Stopping the transparency from turning opaque)
  • Overall performance improvements (in benchmarks)

Changes affecting all devices updated to Android 4.4.1:

  • Default photo application has been changed to the 'Gallery' app
  • Immersive mode no longer breaks when adjusting volume
  • Settings icon in 'Quick Tiles' has been changed
  • New softer keyboard sounds

Android 4.4.2 update known changes until now:

  • Fix for clearing the VM Indicator
  • Fix for delivery of the VM Indicator
  • Various additional software fixes
  • Security enhancements

How to manually update your Android device with ADB sideload

Note: If you are upgrading from Android 4.4 to 4.4.2, you need to first upgrade to 4.4.1 and then from 4.4.1 to 4.4.2.

1. You need to download and install the Android SDK.

I will not guide you through the steps as it’s out of the scope of this tutorial.

2. Plug your device to your machine; you can use any Operating System as long as you can install the SDK. Make sure USB Debugging is enabled.

To make sure you have everything set to start, lets test and see if ADB is properly working. Open command prompt.


adb devices

You should get a serial number followed by a device.


List of devices attached 
01a8uf2804eb20ad    device

If you see something like the above then you are on the right boat.

Download Android 4.4.1 (KOT49E)

Download Android 4.4.2 (KOT49H)

Once download is finished, rename it to something like

3. Type

adb reboot bootloader

Your device will reboot to the boot-loader, use Volume Down button until you reach “Recovery“, and press the Power button.

Your device will boot to an Android logo with an exclamation mark. Just press Volume Up Button and select Apply update from ADB, press Power button to select it.

4. Type

adb sideload <filename or path of>

If everything went fine, you should see your update file being transferred and the update will be executed automatically.

Once it’s finished just reboot and you are good to go.

Enjoy your android update :). I do not take any responsibility in case you break your device, apply the update at your own risk.