Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 Update: Early Look at What Not to Expect
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update roll out has only just begun in the United States and it should be a few weeks, at least, before the roll out process finishes up. However, now that Galaxy Note 2 users in the United States and elsewhere know that the device’s Android 4.3 update is coming, many users have their eyes on the future and a Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update.
In the first half of 2013, Galaxy Note 2 users thought that they would be getting Android 4.2 Jelly Bean to replace the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update that came stock. However, as it turns out, Samsung skipped Android 4.2 Jelly Bean in favor of Android 4.3 update, a decision that pushed Galaxy Note 2 upgrades to dates much later in the year.
Fortunately, the Galaxy Note 2′s first major Android update, Android 4.3, started rolling out a few days ago, first abroad and then in the United States. Currently, Sprint is the only U.S. carrier that has rolled out the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update but other carriers like AT&T and Verizon are expected to join it within the next few days.
Once those updates do roll out, Galaxy Note 2 owners in the U.S. and elsewhere will start looking toward the future and what update might be on the horizon. While it’s possible that Samsung will once again skip an Android update in favor of another, all signs point to the company upgrading the Galaxy Note 2 with Android 4.4 KitKat, the update that recently replaced Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.
Android 4.4 KitKat is an incremental update but one that brings some likeable features and enhancements to the foundation that Android Jelly Bean laid down for Android users. It’s not an overhaul but it’s an update that Galaxy Note 2 owners are anticipating.
Samsung hasn’t confirmed anything just yet and we don’t expect to hear about Android 4.4 KitKat until the company finishes its massive Android 4.3 Jelly Bean deployment. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t look at the future. Here, in the midst of the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean roll out, we take an early look at what not to expect from the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update.
Early & Specific Release Date Information
The first thing that Galaxy Note 2 users should not expect, when it comes to the Galaxy Note 2′s rumored but likely Android 4.4 KitKat update, is early, specific release date information from Samsung, carriers, or otherwise. Samsung may announce Android 4.4 KitKat updates for its Galaxy Note and Galaxy S devices, but we don’t expect it to confirm anything well in advance like other manufacturers. It usually takes its time.
What this means is that Galaxy Note 2 users will likely have to rely on leaked information to get an idea about when the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat upgrade will roll out. And even then, leaks are usually non-specific. Take for example the latest leak, an alleged document that points to a possible Android 4.4 KitKat update window for the Galaxy Note 2.
Even if it is the information on there is real, it’s still no specific at all, and suggests that the Galaxy Note 2 will get the update by the end of April. Don’t expect anything more specific than that to emerge until the updates roll out. It’s as simple as that. Our hope is that Samsung changes its policy and starts being more communication like the HTC’s of the world, but thus far, it hasn’t shown a willingness to adapt.
Official Release Dates
To go along with that, don’t expect any official release dates from anyone. That means Samsung, that means the carriers that currently host the Galaxy Note 2 on their 4G LTE networks. Samsung, like most companies, does not like to offer specific release dates for its software. It’s smart because it doesn’t set consumer expectations and it allows the testing process to play out.
Carriers in the United States are the same way. They remain silent about software release dates until the software’s release date. Don’t expect anything to be different with the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 deployment. Official release dates will likely be non-existent and if specific release dates do arrive, they will be via a leak much closer to the actual roll outs.
Release Deep Into 2014
As we’ve pointed out, we don’t expect the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 to be first to the Android 4.4 KitKat update. In fact, we expect it to be the last among the devices that are rumored to be getting Android 4.4 KitKat. Samsung loves to update its most recent devices first, which means that the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 should come first. That leak points to January, but that remains unconfirmed.
The Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 should come next and we think the Galaxy S3 will be ahead of the Galaxy Note 2 given that it’s in the hands of far more consumers. That said, we don’t expect there to be a large gap between the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat roll outs and thus, we don’t expect the software to roll out deep in 2014.
Currently, rumors suggest that it will roll out before the end of April and given that Android 4.4 KitKat is an incremental update and that other manufacturers including Motorola have already put updates out, we can’t see the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update process lagging into summer. It will take a few months but don’t expect it to roll out beyond the second quarter of next year.
Absurd Gap Between U.S. Updates
As we’ve said before, we think the speed of the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean updates in the United States is an anomaly thanks to the Galaxy Gear support that the update brings. Samsung and its carriers need that support to sell the Galaxy Gear to consumers and thus, they probably hustled to get it out. We doubt we’ll see the same type of urgency with Android 4.4 KitKat.
That said, we don’t expect carriers to be lagging behind one another with Android 4.4 KitKat. In other words, don’t expect the U.S. Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat process to last several months. It should instead last several weeks. Smartphone competition these days is intense, given that all five of the top carriers now carry most of the big name smartphones so carriers won’t want to give their competitors and edge.
Timely software updates may not seem like much of a leg up but software support does go a long way with lots of consumers.
Lack of Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat Update Leaks
One thing that users, at least international users, can count on are Samsung Android update leaks ahead of the official roll out. Usually, these leaks come in the form of test software that Samsung’s engineers have been working on prior to the release. Don’t expect this trend to change with the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update.
We should see at least one leak emerge ahead of time, allowing those with the kn0w-how to install the unofficial, but official software. Of course, we never recommend this type of software to those that don’t know what they’re doing but as we’ve said before, the fact that Android 4.4 KitKat is so far away gives those who don’t know how to install this type of software plenty of time to learn.
We’d be shocked if software didn’t emerge ahead of time so Galaxy Note 2 users will want to start keeping an eye out once 2014 rolls around. The leaks typically happen in the weeks leading up to the official release dates.
Changes to the Roll Out Process
Don’t expect there to be any widespread changes to the roll out processes that we’ve seen carriers utilize in the United States and elsewhere. That is to say, don’t expect anything other than slow moving Over-the-Air upgrades that take a week or more to complete and the ability to use Samsung Kies to update manually at select carriers.
We don’t expect that anything will change with Android 4.4 KitKat and that we will see the same options available to those that choose to upgrade to the latest version of Android.