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Republic Wireless rolling out KitKat for Moto X, reactivations for older devices

Existing Moto X owners will receive the update over the air by next month.


Big day for Republic Wireless. First, the company announced plans to offer the Moto G smartphone on its low-cost, no-contract service.

Now, Republic is rolling out a highly anticipated update: Android 4.4 (KitKat) for the Moto X. That will bring the handset alongside Motorola's own, unlocked version of the Moto X, which has been receiving KitKat updates via the major carriers during the past month.

Republic's Moto X runs on the Sprint network. Although company reps couldn't say exactly when users would receive the update, which will be pushed out over the air, the timetable appears to be within the next few weeks.

KitKat, which first debuted last November, will endow the Moto X with features such as auto brightness, a new and improved phone dialer, an emoji-enhanced keyboard, and app-linked searches.

The just-announced Republic Moto G will come with KitKat preinstalled.

In other news, Republic will soon offer a reactivation option, meaning you can "hand down" or sell any Republic handset, and the recipient will be able to reactivate it for service.

"Now if you have an old Republic Wireless phone, you can give or sell that old device," said company CEO David Morken. "New members will be able to buy used devices and join Republic to save money."

Republic reps offered no additional information regarding short-code text messaging, which is not currently supported on any of the company's phones, other than to reiterate that its engineers plan to enable that capability within 90 days.