Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat Update: 5 Things You Need to Know

The Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update could be the last major update for the former flagship and thus, it’s an update that is coveted by Galaxy S3 users. With details swirling and Galaxy S3 users continuing to ask us questions, we want to take a look at the most important things to know right now about the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update.

Back in May of 2012, Samsung took the stage in London, England and confirmed the Galaxy S3 for arrival. At the time, the device was considered top of the line thanks to its impressive hardware and its software which included the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update and Samsung’s new Nature UX.

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As the Galaxy S3 has gotten older, its hardware has remained the same but its software has changed dramatically. Over a span of nearly two years, the Samsung Galaxy S3 has received a number of big time Android software updates.

First it was Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, an update that arrived a few months after its launch. Next, it was the Premium Suite that delivered Multi-Window View and a number of other high-powered software features. Last year, the Galaxy S3 skipped Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and went straight to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, an update that kept the device fresh.

Next in line is the Android 4.4 KitKat update, the current version of Android, and an update that is poised to coincide with the Samsung Galaxy S3’s second birthday.

Over the past month or so, we’ve started to hear more and more about the Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update as it moved from rumor to official. With details and other Android 4.4 KitKat updates swirling, we’ve been asked a number of questions about the current state of the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update.

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Here, we answer those questions and take a look at the five most important things Galaxy S3 users need to know about its upcoming upgrade to Android 4.4.

Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat Confirmed

The most important thing that Samsung Galaxy S3 users need to know is that the Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update is officially confirmed. Samsung USA confirmed the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat for arrival along with a number of other Android 4.4 KitKat updates, including one for the Galaxy Note 2.

Shortly after that update was confirmed for the U.S., Samsung Poland confirmed it for release though the regional arm was careful to confirm it for the Galaxy S3 LTE and not the regular 1GB version of the aging flagship.Samsung Poland also says that the Galaxy S3 Mini will get Android 4.4, something that Samsung USA confirmed as well.

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Since then, we’ve seen just one carrier confirmation. Sprint, who has been at the forefront of just about every major Android software update, says that it will be releasing a Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update at some point in the future.

If Sprint is releasing the update then other U.S. carriers likely will too. Same goes for carriers around the world that play host to the Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE.

Bleak Future, Long Waits

A short time ago, Samsung Poland reaffirmed the information it dished out earlier this year. The regional arm told SammyToday that it will be updating the Galaxy S3 LTE to Android 4.4 KitKat. The company claimed that 1GB of RAM wasn’t going to be enough to handle the Android 4.4 KitKat update.

Unfortunately, one of the more popular variants of the Galaxy S3, the GT-i9300 international model, utilizes 1GB of RAM. Samsung Poland has thrown its future into doubt and so has Samsung Arabia. Samsung Arabia recently said that it currently has no plans to upgrade the Galaxy S3 GT-i9300 to Android 4.4 KitKat. That could certainly change but that stance isn’t an encouraging one.

Another bad sign: SamMobile’s Faryaab Sheikh says that Samsung has yet to start testing the Galaxy S3 GT-i9300 Android 4.4 KitKat update. Testing usually takes weeks, if not months.

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The news isn’t good for all Galaxy S3 LTE owners. While carriers have announced Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat updates, we haven’t seen any carriers other than Sprint confirm the update for arrival. Carriers, especially those in Europe and Australia, will often confirm updates well in advance. This is a sign that updates could be pretty far off in the distance.

Australian carrier Optus still hasn’t pushed out its Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean updates. Neither has Telstra. This is another sign that points to potential release lag. It’s not something that will affect everyone but there will likely be devices that are months behind the rest of the pack. Samsung roll outs often take months to complete so this isn’t surprising to see.

Release Date Rumors Point to April or May

We’ve seen a number of update confirmations but we’re still not exactly sure when the Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update roll out will commence. Rumors have pointed to two very specific windows. The first, March or April. The second, April or May. So at this point, there is reason to believe that the roll out will start next month or the month after.

Samsung does not confirm release dates ahead of time and usually leaves those details to individual carriers. Some carriers are extremely transparent while others choose not to release any details. Most carriers in the United States are the latter.

You Likely Won’t Get Galaxy S5 Features

Android 4.4 KitKat is an incremental upgrade and isn’t nearly as big as some of the Android updates that Google has delivered in the past. That doesn’t mean that it’s not important, it just means that it’s small.

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The Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat updates have delivered KitKat features and not much else. Samsung Android updates will often times bring big changes to TouchWiz but that hasn’t been the case with this update. From the looks of things, the Galaxy S3 will be in the same boat as the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4.

Samsung and Sprint both point to a similar update for the Galaxy S3 which means that those hoping for Galaxy S5 software features should start tempering expectations.

This Is Probably Your Last Update

Android 4.4 KitKat is likely going to be the last major Samsung Galaxy S3 Android update. Google recommends 18 months of software support though companies like Samsung typically stretch it to two.

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The Galaxy S3 is going on two years old and thus, Android 4.4 KitKat very well could be the end of the road, at least when it comes to major updates. Smaller bug fix updates might roll out periodically but they won’t be nearly as big as a major Android upgrade. Samsung Poland’s comments shouldn’t instill any confidence in Galaxy S3 owners either.

Comments

  1. Andy says

    One of the highlights in Android 4.4 KitKat is that it has smaller memory and storage footprint with the objective to further reduce Android fragmentation. The given reason that i9300 with 1GB RAM was not capable to run Android 4.4 KitKat is not making sense and defeat the objective.

    • Itsik says

      The objectives is to get your money every year if possible, and those it serves this purpose very nicely.

    • Florin says

      Probably this will be my first and last Samsung phone. And 18 months of support for a phone ? And people are crying about Windows Xp support…

  2. chanku says

    When will update note 2 I am waiting for it when my mobile updated 4.3 it was getting lots of problems notify me immediately pls

  3. Stefano says

    i heard from everyone whom update their i9300 to KitKat that now it works like crap, thanks google for making android heavier and heavier

    better stick with 4.3

  4. Rehan Qureshi says

    i want to upgrade kitkat in my samsung note 1….please do it immadiatealy as soon as possible…thank you
    Regards,
    Rehan Qureshi

  5. Himanshu says

    If Samsung does not release this update for all models of S3 then I will definitely root my phone and will never ever buy a Samsung phone again.

  6. khan says

    Google said while the launch of 4.4.2 that 512mb of ram is enough to run this OS as android is more harder os we want light weighing OS 4.4 is the lightest OS of Google whi

  7. peter says

    we can only guess about the kitkat update for the international version.
    I hope we get one !!

  8. tauseef ahmad says

    When I update my samsung s3 it was not worrking on sim card there was a notice EMERGENCY CALL so I retore the old software & its woeking.
    Why it was not working when I update?

  9. ronf57 says

    @Tauseef ahmad I found one of the most common things that happen when the updates come is they change the settings for your phone voice and data connections-usually to battery draining settings.After the update go into the settings and reset the data and phone network to the one(s) appropriate for your carrier or use. I always must take me phone out of ROAMING international settings after an update because it will constantly be searching for a better connection on all bands and that makes the current connection flakey.After reset I get less dropped calls and faster data.

  10. ronf57 says

    18 months of support for phones this complex is ridiculous. Yes I agree they want to force you to buy a new phone every 2 years minimum. Apples answer was to get people on the NEW number or NEW “S” version 2 year cycle- ever notice one is first year other the second?
    devices this complex and this more important this EXPENSIVE whether buying them outright for $650US–> $1000US or financing the phone thru the carrier (early termination penalty fee+ initial payment) The cost is the same. to consider this throw away junk with a need to budget $400-$500 per year for and it becoming unsupported should outrage everyone and get government legislators to force change for consumers.
    Many-scratch that-MOSTconsumers DO NOTbudget or expect to need to budget $400-$500US annually for computer hardware let alone a cell phone.
    Something needs to be fixed.

  11. gingu says

    i cant belive the dumbasses at samsung havent realised that manufacturers like motorola have come up with 1gb ram phones that run android kitkat so smoothly. samsung is loosing its shimmer. coming out with stretched and compressed models ..all looking the same .

  12. andrew gamboa says

    Still major complaint is unrequested, unwanted forced samsung software installation done without owners permission…

  13. Kenneth Browne says

    I’m on this site trying to find out about the “pros and cons” of KitKat update for my Verizon GS3 and all I see is what carriers are releasing it and when. I’m looking at an “Install Now” page that won’t go away unless I delete or rename the install file, and don’t know if I want to subject my phone and my self to unwanted problems like being unable to re-root after the update. 4.3 already locked my bootloader so there’s no practical way to use custom ROMs.

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