Back in October, Samsung announced that it would be delivering a crucial Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update to the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. The update was deemed crucial because it delivered not only Samsung Knox for an extra blanket of security but it also brought Galaxy Gear to Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 users.
The updates also delivered features from Samsung’s newer Galaxy smartphones including the Galaxy S4. Both the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean updates brought new Galaxy S4 camera features to the table, bringing the two aging former flagships up to speed. Needless to say, both updates were anticipated amongst the Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3 community.
These two roll outs began in November after the Galaxy S4 started receiving its Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update. The updates pushed out to devices across the globe and by the end of December, the two updates had completed for users in the United States. Verizon was the last to both of these important updates though in the grand scheme of things, Verizon wasn’t anywhere close to last.
Both the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean updates have been pushing out in 2014 and even now, in April, neither update is complete. There are still several updates that remain missing though today, Samsung scratched two big name devices off of its list as Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo says that it has finally deployed both updates for its Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 models.
The carrier made the announcements on its website and it appears that both updates are now available for Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3 owners. The update delivers Galaxy Gear support and it also comes with a number of carrier specific upgrades including a brand new NTT DoCoMo backup application. Carriers typically put their own unique spin on Android updates so it’s not surprising to see the Japanese carrier bring some unique enhancements to Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3 users.
These two updates are among the last Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean updates left to roll out. Australian carrier Optus still owes a Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update to owners of its 4G model and Telstra, an Australian carrier, still needs to deliver its Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update.
Both Australian carriers plan to push the update out in April though they have refused to deliver a specific date to their users due to the testing process. Testing can often push an update back.
These two updates roll out in the midst of rumors about Android 4.4 KitKat updates for the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2, both of which have been confirmed by Samsung USA and others.
Earlier this week, a rumor suggested that the Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update would arrive in late April or early May in Korea. That timing was passed along by a Samsung customer service representative and still hasn’t been publicly confirmed by Samsung itself. This means that it’s possible but unconfirmed.
Other Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat release rumors have also suggested that both the Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat updates will emerge in April or May.
Two days ago, a respected source indicated that the Samsung Galaxy S3 GT-i9300 would not be getting an Android 4.4 KitKat update. The source claims that the update still hasn’t shown up in testing, a sign that Samsung may not be preparing an update for public release. While this might seem strange, it does add up with early information.
While we’ve seen a number of carriers confirm Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat updates, we still haven’t seen carriers, other than Sprint, confirm Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat updates. We do expect some Galaxy S3 carriers to deliver Android 4.4 KitKat but it does look like the update’s roll out will be limited to the LTE model.
When the updates do arrive for the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Samsung Galaxy Note 2, they’re expected to be similar to the updates that rolled out to the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4 earlier this year. Both of those updates offered subtle Android 4.4 KitKat changes instead of major TouchWiz upgrades. Samsung Galaxy S5 software features could arrive for the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 but they will likely not arrive with Android 4.4 KitKat.
While the Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3 will get Android 4.4 KitKat, it’s not clear if Android 4.4 KitKat will be their last updates. Both devices are approaching their second birthday and Samsung typically kills software support after a device turns two. The company likely won’t confirm such details until well after Android 4.4 KitKat emerges for both aging smartphones.