In a bit of a surprise, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update has started rolling out today, ahead of the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update. The update, which has started rolling out in Poland, replaces the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update that has been on the Galaxy Note 3 since it launched back in September.
Weeks ago, a rumor claimed that the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update would start rolling out in January. A few days ago, that time frame seemed to be in jeopardy thanks to presumed release dates from a carrier going missing in action, Samsung’s inactivity, and a rumor that suggested that the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update wouldn’t roll out until February or March. Historically, Galaxy S updates have landed before Galaxy Note updates. Not the case with the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update is rolling out now, in Poland, and it’s evidently rolling out for the quad-core Snapdragon version of the device. It’s the same device that is found in the United States. The version of the update is the same one that leaked over the weekend for Galaxy Note 3 users.
While Samsung hasn’t said what’s new, a leaked change log from SamMobile reveals just about everything that Galaxy Note 3 owners need to know about Android 4.4 KitKat.
There is a new camera shortcut on the lock screen. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 now shows album art on the lock screen. There is better emoji support with the keyboard. And users can now select between Hangouts and the default messaging app. There is more but it’s clear that this update is very incremental and not as big as many of Samsung’s past Android updates including Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. Android 4.3 Jelly Bean was a massive upgrade for Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 owners.
The missing information is unfortunately the most important information. Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update release dates, beyond Poland, are unknown. U.S. carriers haven’t announced anything just yet and thus, it’s impossible to say when the updates might roll out to the Galaxy Note 3 models on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon.
Typically, we see them emerge in the weeks after the international roll out begins and that’s what we could see happen here.
It’s still not clear when the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update will roll out though we expect that there is a good chance that it could roll out in the next few weeks given that its leaked test firmware also seemed stable and given that the Galaxy S4 is Samsung’s current flagship smartphone. Users won’t want to expect a massive overhaul though.
In addition to the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4, Samsung’s Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 are also expected to get Android 4.4 KitKat at some point down the road, possibly in April.