Yesterday, Samsung started rolling out its Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update several weeks after confirming the update for arrival. Here, we take a look at the most important things Samsung Galaxy Note 2 users need to know about the Android 4.4 KitKat update, its features and its release.
Several weeks ago, Samsung USA and Samsung Poland announced that they would be delivering Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat updates at some point in the future. At the time, the company did not offer any specific details. Shortly after the confirmation, Sprint confirmed that it would be rolling out the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update. A short time later, French carrier SFR and a pair of Australian carriers confirmed the update for arrival.
Australian carriers Telstra and Optus both confirmed the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update for late April or May, a sign that the international roll out was imminent. And, as expected the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update release commenced on Friday, landing for a single Galaxy Note 2 variant in France.
If you’ve been through a Samsung Galaxy Android software roll out before, you probably know what you’re in for. Those that may have just bought the Galaxy Note 2 or just need a refresher course have come to the right place.
Here, we take a look at the most important things that Galaxy Note 2 users need to know about the Android 4.4 KitKat update, its deployment and what to expect from its features.
Roll Out Limited, For Now
The first thing that Samsung Galaxy Note 2 owners need to know is that the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update is currently limited to just one device in one region. The Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update is currently available for the GT-N700, the international version of the Galaxy Note 2. The update is limited to users in France but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to limited for much longer.
Samsung Android update roll outs follow a distinct pattern. Samsung starts with one or two devices, usually international variants. Assuming that the initial push goes smoothly, the next batch of updates typically roll out a few days, or weeks, after the initial push. There’s no way to predict the timing because it’s at the discretion of Samsung and its carrier partners.
It’s also impossible to predict the devices that are next in line. The only clues that owners get are from carriers that are willing to share information with their customers. Those are few and far between. So, most Galaxy Note 2 owners are going to be waiting in the dark while Samsung and its partners work to deploy the upgrade.
Samsung Galaxy Android updates usually span across several months, rather than several weeks, so it could be that the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update rolls on for months. The Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat updates, for instance, started rolling out in January and February respectively. Both are still rolling out and are far from complete.
In other words, while it’s smart to follow the latest developments, you probably won’t find out about your specific release date until that specific release date arrives.
Upcoming Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat Updates
Fortunately, we do know about a couple of different Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat updates. Some carriers outside of the United States are extremely candid with their customers when it comes to Android software updates and several have outlined potential time frames for their upgrades.
French carrier SFR claims that it will be rolling out the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update in May. It does not provide a specific release date because release dates are subject to change. Everything depends on how an update performs in testing and testing can be extremely unpredictable. That’s why we see release windows but never specific dates. Dates come once testing is complete.
Optus, an Australian carrier, says that it plans to deliver the update in April or May. At this point, customers should just assume that the update won’t land in April because carriers are typically weeks behind the initial push. Australian carrier Vodafone says the same thing. It says that its “ETA” is late April or early May. We expect the update to land in May, at the earliest.
As for the United States, we’ve only seen one carrier confirm the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update. Sprint was one of the first carriers to confirm both the Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat updates. Sadly, the carrier failed to deliver any kind of release information so it’s difficult to say when it will release the update.
U.S. carriers are typically near the front of the line so it may only be a matter of weeks before we see the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update hit the United States.
A recent rumor suggests that AT&T, U.S. Cellular, T-Mobile, and Verizon will all roll out Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat updates and we expect that to take place.
If the update is pushing out to the international model and carriers are confirming it, there’s a strong chance that this update will land across Galaxy Note 2 smartphones.
Android 4.4 Features
So that’s how the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat roll out will progress from Friday’s surprise release. So how about the Galaxy Note 2’s Android 4.4 KitKat update features?
Well, Samsung still hasn’t released an official change log but it looks like SamMobile was able to get their hands on the very first Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat upgrade. Their information points to an incremental upgrade and one of that follows in the footsteps of the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat updates.
Instead of Samsung Galaxy S5 features, the update apparently delivers Android 4.4 KitKat features. That means a new status bar, a new way to easily switch between the default messaging application and Hangouts, full screen album art, and performance enhancements. It’s the incremental update that we expected it to be.
Of course, not all Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat upgrades will be created equal. Carriers will put their own personal touch on the software which means that Galaxy Note 2 users can expect unique enhancements and fixes that apply to their version and their version alone. American carriers will often use these major Android updates to squash bugs and we’ve heard about a number of issues plaguing uses on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.
Keep in mind, there is a chance that Android 4.4 KitKat will bring some issues of its own. Often times, issues won’t materialize for weeks, even months after a release so what might seem like a stable update may not be a stable update. Only time will tell.
We should also point out that the updates will all likely be Android 4.4.2 rather than Android 4.4.3, Google’s rumored update that has yet to push out for Nexus users.