While most of the attention right now is being lavished on the still unreleased Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update, there are likely to be some owners who are looking ahead, further into the future, about a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update. Here, we offer some early expectations for those that are looking beyond Android 4.3 at Android 4.4.
All the way back in August of last year, Samsung announced the Galaxy Note 2, its second-generation phablet and a device that was considered one of the best smartphones on the market until the Galaxy Note 3 replaced it in September. At the time it released, the Galaxy Note 2 was using Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, meaning it was one of the first devices to utilize the update out of the box.
Many owners believed that they would then be getting the upgrade to Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, an update that was announced just a few weeks after the Galaxy Note 2 arrived on shelves in the United States. Rumors suggested that it would be Android 4.2 Jelly Bean that would be coming in the summer. Unfortunately, the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update never came and Galaxy Note 2 owners are still waiting for their first major Android upgrade.
Last month, Samsung revealed that it indeed skipped Android 4.2 and headed straight to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. The Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.3 update, it said, would be rolling out with a host of new features including Galaxy Gear support, Samsung KNOX, and more. Leaks suggest that it will be coming with some Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 software features as well.
Galaxy Note 2 users still have not seen a roll out though signs point to one touching down in the next few weeks. The software is expected to deploy to owners before the end of the year and thus, most Galaxy Note 2 owners are keeping an eye out for their brand new update.
Others though are likely looking deeper into the future thanks to the Android 4.4 KitKat update that Google announced back in October and released just a few days later on the Nexus 5. A Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update hasn’t been announced just yet but we wanted to take a close, early look at what we expect from the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update and its release date.
A Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat Update
At this point, we haven’t seen Samsung confirm any Android 4.4 KitKat updates and we don’t expect it to any time soon. Why? Well, for one, it’s in the middle of its Android 4.3 Jelly Bean deployment. We haven’t seen the updates for the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 finish and so we don’t expect it to turn its attention, at least publicly, to Android 4.4 until after those updates are completed.
Samsung also isn’t known to announce its upgrade plans well advance. The Android 4.3 update was an exception due to it being a massive upgrade for all three devices. The Galaxy Gear is an integral part of Samsung’s lineup right now and it wanted to make sure that users knew that support was coming ahead of the holidays.
So, we’re in the dark. However, we have seen one rumor suggest that the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update is coming. That’s a good sign. It’s also a good sign that the Android 4.3 update represents the first major update for the Galaxy Note 2. We sincerely doubt that Samsung will only offer one big update for a device as widely adopted as the Galaxy Note 2. That wouldn’t sit well with customers and in a market as competitive as the smartphone market, that’s never a good thing.
At this point, we expect there to be a Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update but we don’t think that it’s going to be touching down any time soon.
Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat Update in 2014
If the update does roll out, we expect it to debut sometime next year. For one, we’re getting close to the end of the year and we still haven’t seen the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update roll out. So unless Samsung is planning on releasing the software back-to-back, something that is highly unlikely, we should see the update pushed to 2014.
We’ve also seen the issues that Samsung is having with the Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update. That update and the Galaxy S3’s are fairly similar, save for a few features, so it could be that the Galaxy Note 2 update has been delayed a bit so that Samsung can work on fixes. That’s not confirmed and purely speculative at this point.
Point here is this. Not only are there signs pointing to 2014 but Galaxy Note updates in general are slow so unless Samsung skips Android 4.3, we likely won’t see Android 4.4 until next year.
Roll Out After Galaxy S5 Release
Those who need more evidence need only look at Samsung’s release patterns. Typically, the carrier will introduce a new flagship with a new piece of software on board. For example, we saw the Galaxy S4 arrive with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean before any other device. We also saw the Galaxy Note 3 come with Android 4.3 before any other Samsung smartphone.
Whether it’s for marketing purposes or otherwise, this is a growing trend at Samsung. And at this point, there is little doubt that the Galaxy S5 will be coming with anything other than Google’s brand new Android 4.4 KitKat update.
With that in mind, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Samsung hold off on updates for its older phones until after the Galaxy S5 is released next year. Rumors suggest that that could take place in February so if true, it may be that owners of older devices don’t have to wait long.
Roll Out After Galaxy S3 Release
We’ll go even further. We expect there to be a Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update. And if that’s the case, we expect the Galaxy Note 2 to get its update after the Galaxy S3. Why? Well, Samsung’s focus is typically on its more widely adopted devices and the Galaxy S3 is reportedly the most widely adopted smartphone in its arsenal. Even bigger than the Galaxy S4.
So, while the Galaxy S4 is newer, and should get Android 4.4 KitKat first, we fully expect the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update to arrive before the Galaxy Note 2’s update. Keep in mind, this exact thing just happened with the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.3 update roll out.
Bigger Gap Between International and U.S.
Surprisingly, the U.S. has been and will be, much faster to the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.3 updates. Typically, we see the U.S. lag behind by a few weeks, sometimes even a few months. In the case of Android 4.3, it has been right up there with the other regions of the world. And while it could be that these carriers, and Samsung, have made strides, we think there are ulterior motives at work here.
Android 4.3 Jelly Bean brings support for the $299 Galaxy Gear smartwatch. This is a device that all five major U.S. carriers sell and it’s a device that figures to be promoted as a holiday gift during Black Friday and beyond. Without Android 4.3, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 owners have no use for the accessory. So in our mind, that’s certainly a reason why we’re seeing these updates roll out.
That said, we doubt that Android 4.4 KitKat will offer the same kind of incentive to Samsung and its carriers. So, we expect U.S. carriers to revert to their old ways and release the Android 4.4 KitKat update much further away from the international roll outs. We do, however, have our fingers crossed.
Five Major U.S. Carriers on Board with Android 4.4
If the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update does roll out, there is no chance that it will skip one of the major carriers in the United States. AT&T, Sprint, U.S. Cellular, T-Mobile and Verizon will either all roll it out or all skip it as they won’t want to offer their rivals any kind of advantage.
Of course, users should expect staggered roll outs with some of these carriers releasing their software quick and others lagging behind. Sprint is typically the fastest to software updates so we expect it to lead the charge.
Android 4.4 KitKat Update Problems
Finally, Galaxy Note 2 users should expect there to be Android 4.4 KitKat update issues. As we’ve pointed out many times over, software updates are never perfect and Galaxy Note 2 owners should not expect the KitKat update to be flawless.
Instead, we should see some issues on board and it will be up to users to find a good place for feedback and up to Samsung to release bug fix updates to fix any issues it overlooked. Hopefully, the situation isn’t as bad as the Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 roll out, a roll out that has been marred by issues ever since the update arrived earlier this month.