Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 Update Arrives: What You Need to Know02/06/2014 • By Adam Mills
Samsung quietly started pushing out the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update today, kicking off the company’s second major Android 4.4 KitKat update roll out. The Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update is limited at the moment but it will start rolling out to other users in the coming days. Here, we take a look at the most important things for Galaxy S4 owners to know.
Last year, Samsung sat back and watched as companies like HTC and Sony confirmed Android 4.4 KitKat updates for their user base. Instead, Samsung let rumors and speculation do the talking. That is, until earlier this year when the company started pushing out the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 kicked off what is rumored to be a lengthy Android 4.4 KitKat campaign from Samsung. Rumors point to roll outs for the Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note 2 and an assortment of other Galaxy smartphones and tablets. One device on the list is the Samsung Galaxy S4 though its Android 4.4 KitKat update isn’t merely a rumor.
Today, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update reportedly started pushing out. This makes it the second Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update to emerge from the shadows and it means that millions of Galaxy S4 users are now in line to receive Android 4.4 KitKat.
With the roll out apparently now under way, we want to take a look at the most important things that Samsung Galaxy S4 users need to know about the Android 4.4 KitKat update and its release.
Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 Update is Limited
At the moment, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update appears to be limited to just two Galaxy S4 variants in just one region. The SHV-E330S and SHV-E330K, devices on Korean carrier SK Telecom, have apparently received their updates and those seem to be the only two devices in the Android 4.4 KitKat fold at the moment.
While this is a little bit different, given that we usually see Samsung push the updates out for widespread international variants, it’s not completely out of character. We’ve seen Android updates land for Korean models in the early goings in the past.
Of course, the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update won’t be limited to just two models in Korea. This is an update that will soon start hitting other devices, probably the GT-I9505 and GT-9500, soon.
It Will Spread Soon
The roll out is standard Samsung Android update protocol. The company generally starts its updates out in a select region for select devices before it starts pushing out the update to other regions and other variants. Usually, we see a gap of a few days, or perhaps a week or so, before the push continues.
Galaxy S4 owners should expect the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update to start spreading in the next few days. The roll out is usually very unpredictable which means that owners will likely have no way of knowing when their Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat will arrive.
Expect a Very Slow Roll Out
Samsung Galaxy S4 owners should expect an extremely long roll out process. Earlier this week we said there was a good chance that the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update would roll out before the Galaxy S4 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean roll out finished and from the looks of things, we were dead on with that assessment.
While we’ve seen some Galaxy S4 Android 4.3 updates emerge in recent weeks, there are still several missing Galaxy S4 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean updates out there. The most glaring are the updates on Australian carriers Optus and Telstra. Both of those updates, for LTE variants of the Galaxy S4, may arrive in March, or weeks after the start of the Android 4.4 KitKat roll out.
This is going to be a very slow process and Galaxy S4 owners will need to settle in and accept the fact that Samsung and its carrier partners will not be in any kind of a hurry to push Android 4.4 KitKat live.
U.S. Carriers Will Remain Silent
Unsurprisingly, we didn’t see any U.S. carriers congratulate Samsung on the start of the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat roll out and offer up their own time frames for release. U.S. carriers don’t like setting expectations and thus, they like to remain silent all the way up until a roll out occurs. This is what U.S. Galaxy S4 owners should expect to happen with Android 4.4 KitKat.
Once the updates do start pushing out, carriers will be quick to celebrate with their Galaxy S4 users and offer any kind of support that they possibly can.
Finally, at this point, it’s looking like the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update will be incremental rather than a game-changer. We still don’t have a full change log available to us, so it’s hard to say what is and isn’t on board, but thanks to leaks, we know that most of the changes will be Android 4.4 KitKat related features.
Galaxy S4 owners should expect emjoi support, some small tweaks to the look of the user interface, wireless printing support, and the ability to more easily switch between the stock messaging application and Hangouts. It’s an update that is similar to the one that rolled out to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 several weeks ago.