Samsung’s Android 4.4 KitKat update roll out is underway for Galaxy smartphones including the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Samsung Galaxy S4. And while those updates continue to roll out, we’ve heard rumors about Samsung’s future Android 4.4 KitKat upgrade plans and here, we take a look at everything we know so far about Samsung’s plans for Galaxy users.
Back in November, Google started pushing out Android 4.4 KitKat to its Nexus devices including the Nexus 7, Nexus 4, and Nexus 10. The Nexus 5, the company’s most current Nexus smartphone, debuted with the software right out of the box.
Since then, we have seen companies not named Google push out updates for their devices. Most recently, we saw HTC start the HTC One Android 4.4 KitKat process in the United States and the Sprint and Verizon versions of the HTC One now have Android 4.4 KitKat on board. We’ve also seen Samsung, one of HTC’s biggest rivals, start rolling out Android 4.4 KitKat updates though the company has been far less communicative with its customer base.
Earlier this year, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update emerged out of nowhere, landing for select devices in Europe and Asia. That roll out is ongoing and the update is still far from its goal of reaching all Galaxy Note 3 devices around the world.
Several weeks went by and earlier this week, Samsung played another card. The company reportedly started rolling out the long-awaited Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update though the update remains confined to just two variants in Korea. The company did not publicize the roll out though it did receive quite a bit of attention in the media.
Since then, we’ve heard about other Android 4.4 KitKat updates, and we have enough information to warrant an in-depth look into the progress of Samsung’s Galaxy Android 4.4 KitKat update roll outs. Here, we not only take a look at how the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4 updates are progressing, but we look at rumors surrounding other big name devices like the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2.
Android 4.4 KitKat
Before we delve into the roll outs and release dates for Samsung’s Android 4.4 KitKat updates, we want to start with the updates themselves. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update seems to have set the tone for the rest of Samsung’s KitKat upgrades. The update did not feature any big changes but instead, offered Galaxy Note 3 users some incremental changes.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update is still in the shadows but from the leaks, it appeared to mirror the Galaxy Note 3’s upgrade which included emoji support, an easy way to shift from the stock messaging app to Hangouts, an enhanced keyboard, performance improvements, and some small UI tweaks. We imagine that the Galaxy S4 update is similar.
With a Samsung Galaxy S5 launch incoming, there is likely going to be chatter amongst Galaxy owners about whether any of the new Galaxy S5 software features will be touching down with Android 4.4 KitKat. At the moment, we don’t know anything for sure but given that the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 are rumored to be getting the update as early as March or April, we would set expectations pretty low.
Other devices set to get Android 4.4 KitKat have a much better chance of landing more substantial Android 4.4 KitKat updates but again, users should start tempering their expectations sooner rather than later.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update is live in some regions but from the looks of things, the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update roll out has slowed down a whole lot. There have been a couple of pushes in recent days but the update remains extremely limited, possibly while Samsung works to fix an issue that prevented third-party accessories from functioning normally.
Samsung’s Android pushes typically take several weeks to complete, in the case of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean it has been several months, so this is an update process that is unlikely going to end any time soon.
What we do know is that the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update, at some point, will extend to the United States. The AT&T Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 update leaked out several days ago, confirming its arrival, though no release date is known at this point. U.S. carriers tend to stay quiet ahead of their software release dates and we doubt anything changes this time around.
Point is, the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update is out but its roll out, for the moment, appears to be pretty inactive. What this means for unreleased updates is unclear.
Samsung Galaxy S4
Earlier this week, Samsung reportedly started pushing out Android 4.4 KitKat for the SHV-E330S and SHV-E330K variants, which are found on SK Telecom and KT in South Korea. The updates rolled out out of nowhere and they have no been followed up by any other Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat updates. Things are extremely quiet.
The only things that we do know are that French carrier SFR said that it had plans to roll out Android 4.4 KitKat in January or February and it appears that Samsung is at least on schedule. We also know that the AT&T Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 update leaked out just a few short days ago, a sign that AT&T is hard at work on the update.
And while the AT&T Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update is in the development process, we don’t have any sign of a release. Again, U.S. updates tend to roll out after the international community get their updates so the roll out in Korea is a good sign that things are getting closer. How close, we can’t be sure.
Samsung Galaxy S3
Samsung still hasn’t confirmed the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update, leaving users on pins and needles. Rumors fortunately have softened the blow as a trio of leaks have pointed to the eventual arrival of the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update.
Here is how things stack up at the moment. An early rumor from iTechAddict claimed that Samsung was aiming for April with the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 update. More recently, Android Geeks claimed that the update would arrive in March. A release date isn’t set in stone quite yet though another report from Phandroid supports these two rumors, saying that Samsung will indeed release a Galaxy S3 update. It just doesn’t know when.
March and April are currently the months that Galaxy S3 owners should circle on the calendar though some users should temper their expectations. The Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update still hasn’t rolled out for several variants and those users will likely be near the back of the pack in terms of Android 4.4 KitKat update speed.
Samsung Galaxy Note 2
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2 user base is in the same boat as its Galaxy S3 users. There is currently no confirmation from Samsung but there are rumors that explicitly state that a Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update is incoming.
The same reports peg the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update for March or April. Phandroid backs up the existence of the update but again, it does not know when the update will get released.
We haven’t seen any carriers or any other information emerge quite yet and it could be that we see Samsung quietly push out the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 update like it did with the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 update.
Many weeks ago, a leak from SamMobile suggested that Samsung was at least considering a great number of Galaxy Android 4.4 KitKat updates. Phandroid’s report seems to suggest that at least some of those rumored updates will be landing alongside the Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 2, and Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 releases.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 mini, Galaxy S4 Active, Galaxy S3 Zoom, and Galaxy Mega will supposedly be getting the update though surprisingly, the Galaxy S4 mini is absent from the list. That makes little sense given that the Galaxy S3 is an older, less powerful device. Two tablets have also made the list and it appears that, at least for the moment, that the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 and the Galaxy Note 8.0 will both get KitKat.
If Samsung does announce any of these updates, and it’s possible that it might, it could do so on stage on February 24th, the day that the company is expected to debut the Samsung Galaxy S5, its Galaxy S4 successor.