Originally Posted by Anyong Bluth
I'm pretty sure google separated their core apps from otas due to carrier approval delays for so many different phones. That way the apps can update independent of otas. Typically you can find the newest versions on XDA and simply force an update regardless of what version of 4.x you're running.
Yep, they've definitely de-emphasized the importance of OTA updates from carriers at this point. The sub-version updates (4.4.2, 4.4.3, etc.) are pretty much just fixing little bugs here and there rather than adding a bunch of new features anymore.