The Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update is confirmed for arrival and its release gets closer by the day. While we wait for Samsung and its carrier partners to deliver the update, we want to take an updated look at what we expect from the Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update and its release in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Earlier this year, Samsung started pushing out its own version of Android 4.4 KitKat update. In typical Android manufacturer fashion, the Android 4.4 KitKat update started out with its latest flagship smartphones. Samsung Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 owners are currently in the midst of an Android 4.4 KitKat push and those roll outs should continue to roll out for several weeks if not several months.
Instead of leaving its other users in the dark, Samsung went ahead and confirmed a number of Android 4.4 KitKat updates for other Galaxy-branded devices. Samsung USA and Samsung Poland both confirmed updates for devices like the Galaxy Mega, Galaxy Note 10.1, Galaxy S4 mini, and Galaxy S3 mini.
Unsurprisingly, Samsung also confirmed the Android 4.4 KitKat update for the Galaxy Note 2 and the Samsung Galaxy S3, the latter of which is one of Samsung’s most popular smartphones.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 is going on two years old but it remains in the hands of many consumers worldwide, including here in the United States. Given its age (Samsung typically updates devices for two years before casting them aside), there is a great interest in Android 4.4 amongst Galaxy S3 owners. Despite the confirmations, most Galaxy S3 owners remain clueless and in the dark.
As we move further away from those confirmations, we get closer to Samsung’s Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat roll out. And with a release approaching, we want to take an updated and detailed look at how we see the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update going down.
Here is our outlook and 25 things to expect from the Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update and its release.
Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat Release Date
1. Rumors suggest that the Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update release date will land in one of two months, April or May. This is is something that we, at this point, expect to occur and here’s why.
Android 4.4 KitKat isn’t a massive update, it’s much smaller than your typical Android update. It also does come with any big changes to Samsung’s TouchWiz. TouchWiz has been known to have caused Samsung problems in the lab. The lack of TouchWiz features inside Android 4.4 KitKat should translate into a much smoother testing process behind the scenes and thus, a quicker release.
We know that Samsung likes to put a priority on its bigger name devices and the Galaxy S3 is still a big name device. It’s still in the hands of many consumers and many of those consumers will be coming off contract later this year. So, we expect it to be among the first devices to get it after the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 2.
We also think that it will land soon because Samsung likes to roll out its updates in close proximity to each other. While Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 update timing hasn’t been confirmed, we know that carriers are making progress with the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update. At least one carrier currently plans to get it out this April. That kind of timing leads us to believe that we’re close.
2. As far as the actual release date is concerned, we expect a few things. First, expect Samsung and its carrier partners in the United States to remain silent about specific release dates. This is something that we preach time and time again and consumers still pester social media accounts for release date details.
3. This applies to all carriers, U.S. and international. we expect Samsung to start pushing the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update without warning, just like it did with the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat deployments. Both of those rolled out quietly, without any trumpeting.
4. Carriers outside the United States will keep consumers in the loop. Australian carriers like Vodafone and Optus do a fantastic job at keeping customers informed and the same can be said about French carrier SFR and Canadian carrier Rogers. However, specific release dates typically don’t emerge until a day or two ahead of the release, if they arrive early at all.
5. In the United States and elsewhere, we expect staggered release dates. What we mean by that is, we expect carriers to utilize different release dates for their Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean updates. 6. Historically, the release dates have been within a few days or weeks of each other though occasionally we’ll see a straggler emerge a month or two later.
7. We fully expect Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat release dates for most carriers to land during the working week instead of on the weekend. We almost never see carriers offer release dates on the weekend.
8. And while we could see a Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update leak ahead of its release date, we expect most devices to get their first taste of Android 4.4 KitKat on the actual release date.
Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat Roll Out
As for the actual Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update roll out, here is what we expect. 9. We expect all Galaxy S3 variants sporting 2GB of RAM to get the Android 4.4 KitKat update. It’s difficult to make a prediction about the 1GB model at this point though we can say this. We’d be surprised if Samsung skipped it over. We’re not expecting an update at this point but we’re not counting it out either.
10. If an Android 4.4 update for the GT-i9300 and other 1GB variants does arrive, we expect its roll out to take place after the 2GB roll out begins. SamMobile’s Faryaab Sheikh says that testing still hasn’t begun for the GT-i9300 and that means that means that we’re still many weeks away from a release. 11. Other Galaxy S3 users should expect long waits as well. For instance, Telstra and Optus, two Australian operators, have yet to roll out Android 4.3 for their Galaxy S3 variants.
12. We expect one of two things to happen at the start of the roll out. Either we’ll see a U.S. carrier become the first to offer the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 update or we’ll see Samsung stick to its roots and start rolling it out abroad. We would expect the United Kingdom to either be first or close to first given that that’s where Samsung announced the Galaxy S3.
13. In the United States, here is how we see this all playing out. We envision Sprint being the first to the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 update. Not only has the carrier already confirmed it for arrival, something no other U.S. carrier has done, it has shown a willingness to be first to major Android updates for major Android devices.
It was first to the Galaxy S4 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update. It was first to the HTC One Android 4.4 KitKat update. And more recently, it was first to the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat updates. We fully expect it to be first to the Android 4.4 KitKat update for the Galaxy S3.
14. Look for U.S. Cellular to follow closely behind. The nation’s fifth largest carrier has made it a point to get updates out in a relatively quick manner and it was among the first to Android 4.4 for the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4. We would expect it to be among the first to this major update.
15. The fact that Verizon has yet to roll out the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat updates does little to inspire confidence. Verizon roll outs are usually last in line among major U.S. carriers and we fully expect it to be last to the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update given its performances with Android 4.3 and Android 4.4.
16. Expect smaller carriers like C Spire, Cricket and MetroPCS to produce Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat roll outs as well. 17. Expect them to roll their updates out in and around the last major Android 4.4 update in the United States. That’s what usually happens and we expect the same from the KitKat roll out.
Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat Features
18. Galaxy S3 owners in the United States, and elsewhere, should expect their Android 4.4 KitKat updates to be similar. That means Android 4.4 features and that means the switch to a white colored status bar. We can’t see the Galaxy S3 getting Galaxy S5 features with Android 4.4 when the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 did not.
19. Expect carriers to put their own spin on these updates. For instance, a carrier like Verizon will likely offer enhancements and fixes that apply to its customers and its customers alone. Carriers almost always do this and we expect Android 4.4 KitKat to tackle some of the issues that came on board Android 4.3.
20. Speaking of issues, we expect Android 4.4 KitKat to be an imperfect update. Mobile software update’s are never flawless and almost always come with problems on board. While we do expect it to fix some of the issues plaguing Galaxy S3 users in the U.S. and in regions around the world, expect there to not only be new but lingering problems as well. The updates won’t fix everything. 21. Expect the same microSD card issues that have impacted Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4 users.
After the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat Update
22. We fully expect this to be the last major update for the Galaxy S3, a device that is nearing the two year mark. We’d be shocked if Samsung offered another major update later this year. Performance will be an issue but we think that Samsung will can updates so there is added incentive to upgrade to a newer device.
23. Given the problems Samsung has had with TouchWiz, we’re not expecting Galaxy S5 software features to emerge for the Galaxy S3. If they do, they will only be a sliver of the full feature set. 24. We expect Samsung and its carrier partners to deliver a bug fix or two after the arrival of its last update, an update that we believe is Android 4.4.
25. Finally, Galaxy S3 owners should expect to be in the dark after the arrival of Android 4.4. Samsung and its carrier partners likely won’t say if it’s the last update or not. In this case, we hope that we’re wrong.