The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update is rumored but still hasn’t been confirmed by Samsung itself. This has left Galaxy Note 2 users, particularly those with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean problems, looking for answers.
In November, Samsung and its carrier partners began rolling out the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update, an update that replaced Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, not Android 4.2. The reason for the jump has never been explained but it’s thought that Android 4.2 was causing Samsung enough problems that it simply decided to pass on the update altogether.
Almost immediately after the arrival of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 owners began complaining about a number of issues, issues that still affect users to this day. Unsurprisingly, many Galaxy Note 2 owners have started to wonder what might be next from Samsung in terms of software.
Rumors haven’t pointed to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean bug fix updates. Instead, rumors have pointed to an Android 4.4 KitKat update in the Samsung Galaxy Note 2’s future. Samsung hasn’t confirmed anything so it’s still not clear if Android 4.4 KitKat, Google’s latest Android update, is heading to the Galaxy Note 2.
We don’t have all of the answers for Galaxy Note 2 users though we can draw some logical conclusions based on history, based on rumors and based on Samsung’s one Android 4.4 KitKat roll out. Here, ahead of its release, we make some bold predictions in regard to the missing Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update.
Thus far, the only Android 4.4 olive branch that Samsung has offered to its Galaxy users is the Galaxy Note 3 KitKat update. It hasn’t confirmed any other updates, it hasn’t disclosed features, it hasn’t said a thing. In other words, Galaxy Note 2 owners aren’t sure if they will be getting another major Android update.
We can’t confirm anything ourselves but we can say this. There is good reason to believe that Samsung will update the Galaxy Note 2 with Android 4.4 KitKat.
First, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has received one, count it, one major Android update in Android 4.3. The device landed with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on board. If Galaxy Note 2 owners only get one major Android update, that’s a pretty big black eye for Samsung. We can’t see them being OK with that.
Second, the Galaxy Note 2 is still fairly young. It was released in late September and didn’t arrive in the United States until October and November. Google recommends that companies stop updating devices after 18 months of software support. The Galaxy Note 2 is approaching the 18 month mark but it’s still not there.
Third, Android 4.4 KitKat is an incremental Android update. Google made sure that Android users knew that the update was created to run on devices with 512MB of RAM. The Galaxy Note 2 features a quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM.
Finally, the two rumors that we have seen in regard to the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update are credible ones. The first came attached to a rumor that suggested that Samsung was planning a Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update for January. Surprise surprise, the update rolled out last week. That rumor pointed to a release in April.
The other rumor comes from a site that accurately predicted the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 launch date. This rumor, which emerged just a few short days ago, claims that Samsung is aiming for a release in March.
These are good signs as is the fact that we haven’t seen any negative rumors emerge. Often, we’ll hear about companies canning updates before companies can announce that they are canning updates.
We think the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update is on the way.
Release After Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 Update
Because we think the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update is on the way, we want to offer up a few more educated guesses about Samsung’s missing upgrade.
First, we think that the update will emerge only after Samsung has updated the Galaxy S4. The timing of the Galaxy Note 3 update was a surprise given that Samsung tends to give priority to the Galaxy S, but don’t expect the good will to extend to last year’s Galaxy Note model.
Newer, better devices almost always get updated first while older devices lag behind. The Galaxy S4 update has already leaked, we’ve already seen a number of reports point to a release in January and February and Android Geeks believes that the Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3 updates will both land after the Galaxy S4 update lands. It makes sense and we expect things to transpire this way.
Roll Out Within Days of Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 Update
The Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 update has seen its timing attached to the Galaxy Note 2 release and thus, we think that Samsung may be looking to roll these updates out within days of each other rather than weeks. We wouldn’t be surprised to see Samsung roll out these two updates in close proximity, just like it did with the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update.
Release That Pushes Into June
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update is still rolling out, months later. Carriers in Europe and Australia still haven’t rolled out the software to 4G versions of the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2. We expect the Android 4.4 KitKat update for the Galaxy Note 2 to follow a similar path.
We’re thinking that the process should take a couple of months. So if we see a roll out begin in late March or in April, we could very well see some carriers twiddling their thumbs in June. Our hope is that the testing process goes a lot smoother this time around but given that we still have some Android 4.3 Jelly Bean updates to go, our money is on the Android 4.4 roll out being a long, drawn out process.
Slower Updates in U.S.
While it has never been proven, we suggested that U.S. carriers moved quicker than usual to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. You see, the Android 4.3 update brought Galaxy Gear support along with it, and the Galaxy Gear is a device that U.S. carriers invested in for the holiday shopping season. By updating older devices to Android 4.3, carriers had the potential to sell more Galaxy Gears.
Perhaps, Samsung and some of these carriers even rushed on these updates in order to get Galaxy Gear support on board. That could explain all of the problems we saw emerge after the deployments.
Android 4.4 KitKat offers less incentive to carriers so we expect them to take their time testing Android 4.4 KitKat for their devices to ensure an optimal experience. Android 4.3 Jelly Bean brought enough problems along with it.
Because of this belief, we expect U.S. carriers to be a little further behind the curve than they were with Android 4.3.
We think that the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat roll out is a foreshadow of what’s to come. The update landed for one variant last week in one region. This week, it spread to another model in another region. Poland and Russia, for the moment, are the only ones with access to the Galaxy Note 3 KitKat update.
We think we’ll see something similar out of Samsung with the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat deployment, if there is one. A slow roll out that targets one or two variants right off the bat and then a widespread roll out that follows in the weeks afterward. This is how Samsung typically stages its software deployments and we’re guessing that it will stick to the plan with the Galaxy Note 2.
Samsung didn’t announce the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update. It didn’t even release a change log for Galaxy Note 3 owners to look at. Carriers in the U.S., and elsewhere, still haven’t confirmed any specific release dates with French carrier SFR being the only one to produce a release window.
This should extend to the Galaxy Note 2 update. Samsung will likely remain silent, a few select carriers will tease possible release dates, and carriers in the United States will remain silent until the actual release dates. We expect U.S. carriers to offer extensive change logs for the update, however.
It’s clear that there are major issues bothering Galaxy users on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. Battery drain and connectivity issues are among the top complaints. Galaxy Note 2 owners aren’t as vocal as Galaxy S owners but we are still seeing some users present problems to their carriers and to Samsung.
We can’t predict what bug fixes will be on board, it will differ from carrier to carrier, but we can say that major Android updates almost always come with an extensive list of fixes. We don’t think Android 4.4 KitKat will be any different and we think it should come with remedies for some of the major issues plaguing owners at the moment.
That said, we also expect it to come with bugs of its own. This is a major Android update that we’re talking about here and major Android updates are never perfect.
Finally, we think the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update will follow the Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat updates and supply owners with an incremental change from Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. We think there will be some UI tweaks, some of KitKat’s features, and some fixes, but not much else.
We would be shocked if Samsung included the new user interface that’s expected to debut on the Galaxy S5. The only way we see this happening is if Samsung postpones the Android 4.4 KitKat update to later in the year so that it can test out the features and get them on board.