Samsung has finally started rolling out the Android 4.4 KitKat update though the release is limited to the Galaxy Note 3. The Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update is rumored but still unconfirmed though the Galaxy Note 3 release and some recent rumors have seemingly shed some more light on the missing Galaxy S3 KitKat update.
The Android 4.4 KitKat update has been relevant since all the way back in September when Google announced that it would be using the software to replace the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update that had rolled out in July. Google reveled the Android 4.4 KitKat update alongside the Nexus 5 in late October and soon after, companies started to confirm Android 4.4 KitKat updates for their smartphone stables.
While HTC and Motorola confirmed updates, Samsung, the world’s most popular Android manufacturer, remained silent about the update’s prospects and instead, let rumors and leaks and carriers do the talking for it.
Since the arrival of Android 4.4 KitKat, we’ve heard quite a bit about Samsung’s plans. Rumors suggested that the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat upgrades would arrive in January. Half of that rumor was proven correct by the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update that started rolling out earlier this week.
A Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 update appears to be close and there are rumors swirling around, suggesting that the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat updates are on the way. The prospects of a Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update are particularly interesting given that the Galaxy S3 is approaching the two year mark is clearly on its last legs. If Samsung rolls out Android 4.4 KitKat as rumors suggest, there is a possibility that it will stand as the device’s last major update.
Samsung itself hasn’t confirmed anything but we’ve seen some possible details emerge and here, we take a close look at the most important things users need to know about the Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update, an update that remains in the shadows.
Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 Update Still Live
The first thing that Samsung Galaxy S3 owners need to know about is the fact that the Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update is still alive and well. There are a handful of carriers, some major, that still haven’t rolled out the Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update. Keep in mind, the last Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 update in the U.S. rolled out in December.
This is important because it likely means that some Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat updates, if there are any Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat updates, are going to be a long way behind the rest of the pack. In the case of Australian carrier Telstra, we still haven’t even see confirmation of an Android 4.3 update.
Point is, Galaxy S3 owners, particularly those still on Android 4.3, need to start tempering expectations, right now. Because while the initial Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 update might be on the horizon, some owners may be waiting awhile.
Release Rumored for March-April
Today, we finally saw a new development in regard to the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update release date. Early rumors pointed to a release in April alongside the Galaxy Note 2 update but today, a new rumor from Android Geeks suggests that things might actually be a little bit closer than that.
They claim that a Samsung software engineer told them that the Galaxy S3 update is slated for March, shortly after the arrival of the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update. The Galaxy S4’s update is rumored for January, February or March. No specific date was mentioned.
So for the moment, the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update release window has expanded. March and April can be circled on the calendar though Galaxy S3 owners will definitely want to circle them in pencil. Software release dates are always subject to change and everything is going to depend on how well the updates perform in testing.
If Samsung doesn’t like something that it finds, it could ultimately push the update back and perhaps, choose not release the update at all. Time will tell.
Expect Nothing Out of Samsung
Samsung still hasn’t said anything about the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update roll out. It hasn’t even officially said what’s on board the update. Galaxy S3 owners should expect the same when it comes to their Android 4.4 KitKat update and its release.
The company will likely remain silent, roll out the update on an unpredictable date, and roll it out in an unpredictable order. U.S. carriers likely won’t say anything about their intentions either as they, unlike foreign carriers, typically stay silent when it comes to upcoming Android software updates.
Familiar Roll Out
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 roll out was predictable. Samsung, per usual, rolled out the update to a random region, in this case Poland, and that’s where the update remains. It will remain there until Samsung decides to start pushing it out to another region and perhaps, another variant.
Point is, Galaxy S3 owners should know that Samsung’s likely won’t change anything around with their update. The company will more than likely roll the update out in stages which means that some regions will get the update long before others. Carrier-branded models are typically towards the back of the line.
We think that the Galaxy Note 3 roll out process is a foreshadow of the future.
Android 4.4 KitKat Features
The Android 4.4 KitKat updates for both the Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy S4 are meager. The Galaxy Note 3 update brings some UI tweaks and a few new features but nothing substantial. We know that the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update will follow suit thanks to the two leaks that we’ve seen emerge this month.
We haven’t seen the Galaxy S3 or Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat updates emerge just yet but smart money is on them following suit. In fact, Android Geeks claims that both updates will come with some UI changes but won’t come with new features. While this doesn’t rule out a massive UI change, it does make it less likely to happen.
So, at this point, it’s possible that the new TouchWiz UI that’s rumored for the Galaxy S5 could skip the Galaxy S3 completely. The Galaxy S3 is nearing the end of its software support as it’s around 18 months old. Google only recommends major Android updates for 18 months. Perhaps, Android 4.4 KitKat and its rumored changes will be the last thing that Galaxy S3 owners get.