Samsung hasn’t announced anything yet but it’s clear that the company has a Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update up its sleeve. The Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update is rumored to be arriving in the next few weeks, meaning, Galaxy S4 owners are on high alert. Here, we take a look at what we don’t expect from the Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update.
All the way back in October, Samsung announced Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, an update that rolled out to most Galaxy S4 devices several weeks ago. The update brought a number of upgrades including Galaxy Gear support, Samsung KNOX for added security for enterprise users, some UI tweaks, and more.
Android 4.3 Jelly Bean is not going to be the end of the road for the Samsung Galaxy S4, not by a long shot. This is a device that is still less than a year old which means it falls well short of Google’s 18 months of recommended support. Samsung typically updates its flagship devices for two years before retiring them.
Next on the docket is likely going to be Android 4.4 KitKat, an update that Samsung still hasn’t confirmed, but one that is currently rolling out to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, the device that landed after the Galaxy S4.
Rumors and leaks all point to a Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 release within the next few weeks and here, we want to start setting expectations for Galaxy S4 owners in the United States and elsewhere.
We’ve already taken a look at what Galaxy S4 owners should expect from the Android 4.4 KitKat update and now, it’s time to take a look at what Galaxy S4 owners shouldn’t expect from their next major update from Samsung and Google.
Update That Is Many Months Away
Right now, rumors point to a Samsung Galaxy S5 release in the months of February or March. Those windows haven’t been confirmed by Samsung but given the sources, they appear likely.
French carrier SFR claims that it will roll out Android 4.4 KitKat sometime between January and February. There has to be some basis for that time frame and our guess is that the carrier has the update in testing. SamMobile also claims that the update could arrive in February though it also leaves open the possibility of a March release. The site is credible when it comes to inside information regarding release dates.
AT&T’s Galaxy S4 update recently leaked and thanks to information pulled from the update, we know that the carrier has at least been working on the software since the beginning of the month.
So unless there are some catastrophic bugs that are discovered in testing, we have to assume that Samsung is currently on track for the release and that the release is weeks away rather than months.
Drastically Different Release Dates in U.S.
The Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update release date will be unpredictable, particularly in the United States where information is extremely hard to come by. However, one thing that consumers should not expect to happen is for these release dates to take place many weeks apart from each other.
Instead, we usually see one or two carriers kick things off before the other carriers follow up a few days later. There are occasional anomalies, Verizon has had its issues in the past, but we expect a majority of major Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat updates to roll out within a few days of each other.
That goes for smaller regional updates as well. Carriers like C Spire usually are only a few days or weeks behind the curve and we even saw some of these carriers beat Verizon to the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update.
It’s a pattern that we’ve seen happen over and over again with Galaxy Android updates so there is no reason to think that Samsung and its carriers are going to come up with a drastically different plan this time around.
Software Leaks for All U.S. Carriers
We’ve already seen the Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update leak for AT&T’s variant, something that came as a bit of a shock given that we typically don’t see updates leak for Galaxy devices on major U.S. carriers. While we could certainly see a few more leaks for U.S. owners, don’t expect to see updates leak across the board.
U.S. Cellular leaks are virtually non-existent and it’s not very often that we see Sprint and T-Mobile software update leak to the surface ahead of time. Verizon updates are also rare. So while it would be nice to get a hold of an official version of Android 4.4 KitKat early, there is a very slim chance of this happening simply because we’ve never seen a widespread Android update leak for U.S.-based Galaxy devices.
Do not expect all Android 4.4 KitKat updates to be created equal. Yes, we expect them to all be incremental but we don’t expect them to come with all of the same features and bugs.
More often than not, carriers put their own spin on these updates. Whether it’s updating carrier-specific apps or software on board a device, adding something carrier-related or fixing bugs pertaining to their device and their device alone, carrier updates are usually pretty different from one another.
In the U.S., we should see similar change logs but don’t be surprised when the Sprint model comes with some different fixes and enhancements. Updates usually aren’t created equal in the United States.
An Accessory Problem
By now, Galaxy S4 owners have probably heard about the debacle that is the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update. The update apparently broke support for some third-party accessories. And while Samsung initially denied that it was Android 4.4 KitKat’s fault, it recently confirmed that it was a firmware issue that broke support and that an update will be coming soon.
We have to imagine that Samsung will ensure that this issue does not occur with the Galaxy S4’s Android 4.4 KitKat update and that third-party accessories, even ones from Spigen, will work properly when the update arrives.