The Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update and Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update have both been confirmed for arrival. Here, we take a look at what we know so far about two Android 4.4 KitKat updates that could potentially be the last major Android updates for the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 2.
Back in September, right around the time that Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update rumors were heating up, Google confirmed a brand new Android update in Android 4.4 KitKat. It took several weeks but Google showed off the update’s features alongside the Nexus 5 on Halloween.
Android 4.4 KitKat isn’t a massive Android update. Like the two Jelly Bean updates before it, it’s an incremental update that is focused on performance and smaller, meaningful tweaks. Nevertheless, it’s an Android update and Android users love their major Android updates. Especially, owners of Samsung Android devices.
In October, Android 4.3 Jelly Bean was confirmed for the Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 2. In November, the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean updates started rolling out. And after the initial smoke cleared, many started to wonder whether Android 4.4 KitKat would emerge for these two aging devices.
The Galaxy S3 is old. It was introduced back in May of 2012. The Galaxy Note 2 is a bit younger as it was introduced back in August of 2012. Samsung typically updates devices for two years before killing off support. This is why many owners were wondering about Android 4.4 KitKat and if it would arrive or not.
In the weeks since Google’s announcement, we’ve seen Samsung roll out Android 4.4 KitKat updates for the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4 but the updates have yet to arrive for the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2. Fortunately, we know that at least some updates are on their way.
Information is scarce at this point but we still know some things about the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat updates. Here, we take a look at what we know and what we think we know about these two important upgrades from Google and Samsung.
Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 Update
Headed to U.S.
Thanks to Samsung USA and Sprint, we know that the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update is coming to the United States. Samsung was the first to confirm the update for arrival and several days later, Sprint confirmed that the update would be rolling out for its version of the device. Sprint was light on the details and said that it would provide a release date at a later date.
Full Blown Roll Out Likely
This is fantastic news for owners on other carriers in the United States. If Sprint is rolling the update out, there is a very, very good chance that other carriers will roll out the update as well. We know from past major Android updates that if one device gets the software update then every device gets the software update.
In this case, it means that updates for the AT&T, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon Galaxy S3 variants are all extremely likely. Smaller carriers should see the update too though they typically don’t get updates until after the major carriers do.
March & April Release Dates Rumored
We still don’t know when Samsung and its U.S. partners plan to roll the update out. What we do know though is that the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update was rumored for March and April, after the arrival of the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update.
We know that American carriers were at the forefront of both the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat upgrades so there is a good chance that we’ll see them push out Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat upgrades ahead of the rest of the world.
Long Waits or Worse
We know that there are going to be some that will see long waits for Android 4.4 KitKat. How do we know this? Well, Australian carriers Telstra and Optus, and Vodafone have yet to roll out Android 4.3 Jelly Bean updates for the Galaxy S3. There could be others but those are the visible ones. The updates are expected to deploy this month but even then, we could see these delays impact the timing of the Android 4.4 KitKat roll out.
There is a very good chance that some Galaxy S3 devices won’t get Android 4.4. Samsung Poland confirmed that it would not be rolling out the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update. The reason? The 1GB of RAM that’s housed inside. Evidently, the performance of Android 4.4 KitKat on 1GB is not good enough for Samsung’s Polish wing.
We still don’t know how this decision will impact owners of other Galaxy S3 variants with 1GB of RAM. It’s certainly not a good sign but until the update is called off, it’s best to stay optimistic.
Samsung typically offers two years of software support before sending devices off into the sunset so there is a very good chance that this will be the last update for owners of the Galaxy S3 2GB as well.
Finally, we know that all Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat updates are going to be incremental. Samsung USA ran down a list of features coming with the software and Sprint backed up that feature list with one of its own.
Point is, Galaxy S3 users should know that these updates will likely be focused on Android 4.4 KitKat features rather than major TouchWiz features. It’s possible that we could see Samsung deliver Galaxy S5 software features to the Galaxy S5 down the road, we just wouldn’t expect the features to arrive with Android 4.4.
Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 Update
Headed to U.S.
We also know that the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is heading to the United States. Samsung confirmed its arrival and Sprint recently confirmed that it would be offering the update in the future. The carrier did not say when the update would roll out only that it plans to offer the software to users in the future.
We know that there is a very good chance that it will hit Sprint first. Not only was it the first to announce the update but Sprint has been first to virtually ever major Android software update in recent memory.
Will Likely Hit All Carriers
While other carriers have yet to confirm the update, we know that there is a very good chance that AT&T, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon will offer the update as well.
Carriers don’t want to give their rivals any kind of an advantage or talking point for sales so they will probably not skip the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update. With Galaxy Note 2 users coming off contract later this year, it would leave a larger black eye than normal.
Release Dates Rumored
We know that the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat updates are both rumored for March or April. What we still don’t know if those rumors will hold up. The rumors come from credible sources but neither Sprint nor Samsung confirmed any kind of release date or release window for the updates.
Again, we know that U.S. carriers have been swift to Android 4.4 KitKat and they were among the first to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean as well. So it could be that Galaxy Note 2 variants in the United States are among the first to receive Google’s new software.
Good Sign for International Users
Samsung Poland may have killed off the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update but it claims that the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update will be rolling out in the future. And that’s a great sign for users around the world.
The Galaxy Note 2 uses 2GB of RAM, the same amount as the Galaxy S3 models in the United States. That should be enough for a Android 4.4 KitKat update. There is a very good chance that we could see this update land for all Galaxy Note 2 devices around the world.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update is confirmed to have incremental features on board. Samsung and Sprint did not confirm Galaxy S5 software features so users should know that the chances of receiving Galaxy S5 software features are slim to none at this point.
Again, it’s possible that we could see Samsung deliver some software features in a later update but we still don’t know for sure.