As we move deeper into the new year, we’re starting to see more Samsung Galaxy S4 and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat updates and more Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat release details surface. Here, we take a look at the seven most important things that Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 owners need to know going forward.
In January, Samsung started pushing out the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat upgrade, its first stab at Google’s brand new Android software. A month later, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat upgrade started rolling out. Since then, the updates have been pushing out side-by-side, hitting carriers and devices across the planet.
In the past few weeks, we’ve seen a number of Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat details and Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update details emerge. We’ve also seen the usual suspects remain quiet despite roll outs by their rivals. With details still swirling around, we want to take another look at how the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 roll out situation looks and how we see it progressing in the future.
Verizon Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat Update Finally Rolls Out
On Friday, just a few minutes after we reported that Verizon CSRs were telling Galaxy S4 customers that the Android 4.4 KitKat upgrade have been approved by the carrier’s quality assurance team, Verizon rolled out the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat upgrade. The update arrived weeks after the updates for its rivals but it’s here nonetheless.
Fortunately, the update comes with a ton of new stuff including Android 4.4 KitKat features. Here is the full list for Galaxy S4 owners who either haven’t seen it or are trying to decide if the update is worth installing:
- New Apps
- ISIS Wallet
- Emergency alert
- VZW Cloud
- VZ Security has been replaced with VZ Protect
- GMS package for KK(4.4.2_r1)
- G+ Photos has been replaced by Photos
- Play Magazine has been replaced by Play Newsstand
- New to KitKat
- SMS to Google Hangouts
- Google Printing framework
- Tap to pay, built a new way (HCE support)
- SMS app chooser
- Chromium WebView
- Apps: Verizon apps icons (look and feel) have been added. ‘G+ Photos’ app has been changed to ‘Photos’ ISIS Mobile, Cloud and Emergency Alerts have been added
- Apps Menu: Menu in Apps has been updated based on UX simplification on Galaxy Note3. Play store and Share apps have been removed. Disabling application feature has been added.
- Widget Menu: The Play Store menu has been removed from the menu.
- Widget: Google+ User Location’ widget has been added.
- Lock Screen: Position of date and time on lock screen has been adjusted. Camera shortcut on lock screen has been added as default .
- Notification: Color of status bar icons has been changed based on Google’s requirement (white theme). The ‘Ongoing ’ notification has been removed.
- Multi Window: The recent multi-window feature with edit mode (implemented in Note3) has been applied. Help Tip pop-up (regarding long-press on back key) has been added. The ‘Create multi-window combination’ menu has been added. The ‘TripAdvisor’ App has been Added.
- Keyboard: Color of keyboard buttons has been updated. The Button layout in handwriting mode has been updated. The buttons are moved from the top to the bottom to keep consistency between handwriting mode and normal keyboard. The set of Emoji in Samsung keyboard has been updated.
- Camera: Settings > Metering mode menu has been changed the text from ‘Metering’ to ‘Metering mode’ Settings > Settings > Review Menu has been changed the text from ‘Review’ to ‘Review pics/videos’.
- Clock:World Clock > Add city > Globe icon has been deleted (Simplification in UX)
- Contacts: “Create contact” tip has been added to Contact tips pop-up. Default value for Do not show again has been changed to unchecked.
- Email: The drawer menu list has been changed in Email app after user set up an email account (single) *Path : Idle / Apps / Email / Drawer menu. The notification pop up has been added when there is no recipient added. *Path : Idle / Apps / Email / Compose / Select send icon without adding recipients. ‘Email notifications’ (in Priority sender settings) subtext has been updated to describe notification behavior in details. *Path : Idle / Apps / Email / Menu / Settings / Priority senders. Email sync settings are changed based on Google KitKat update ‘Period to sync Email’ menu has been added and ‘Number of emails to load’ is removed in IMAP Email sync settings. ( Email / Menu / Settings / Account settings / Select account / Sync settings ) ‘Auto resend times’ menu has been removed. Maximum time is set to 3 times.
- Group Play: Verbiage change: Start screen of Group play.
- Messaging: The default messaging app interaction has been updated (Same as K). When the user attempts to change the default messaging app to Samsung Messages, the below UI will display. The ‘Font size’ menu has been added in Messaging app. *Path : Idle / Apps / Messaging / Menu The ‘Default messaging app’ menu has been added in Messaging settings. *Path : Idle / Apps / Messaging / Menu / Settings. Emergency message settings are deleted from Settings. *Path : Idle / Apps / Messaging / Menu / Settings. ‘Font size’ menu has been added in the Messaging compose page. *Path : Idle / Apps / Messaging / Compose / Menu.
- Music:Music / Songs tab / NC2 added play time on play bar.
- Phone: The ‘Help’ menu has been added in phone app. *Path : Idle / Apps / Phone / Menu.
- Video: Verbiage changes: Information > Announcement.
This is a massive upgrade and one that Verizon Galaxy S4 owners need to consider. Just remember, there is a pesky Android 4.4 KitKat upgrade issue that affects the microSD card and Galaxy S4 owners will want to read up on it before installing the update. There are workarounds for the issue but it’s going to cause headaches for many owners.
Verizon Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat Update MIA & Beaten Out
The Verizon Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat upgrade wasn’t the only major Verizon Android 4.4 KitKat upgrade missing in action. Verizon also owed Android 4.4 KitKat upgrades to its Galaxy Note users. Today, the carrier pushed out a Galaxy Note Android 4.4 KitKat upgrade but it’s not the Verizon Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat upgrade that customers have been looking for.
Instead of an upgrade for the Verizon Galaxy Note 3, today Android 4.4 KitKat landed for Verizon’s version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition. The Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition is a larger version of the Galaxy Note that comes with a massive 10-inch display. It’s a tablet and not a smartphone like the Galaxy Note 3.
Verizon has detailed all of the changes that come with the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition’s update and like the Galaxy S4’s update, it delivers a number of changes. Those who are interested in the full change log can find it here through Verizon’s website.
It’s still not clear when Verizon will roll out the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat upgrade but today’s update means that it has been beaten to KitKat by two other Samsung Galaxy devices, including a tablet.
Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat Updates Also Missing in U.S.
While Verizon finally pushed out its Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat upgrade, there are still a couple of Android 4.4 KitKat updates that remain missing in the United States. One is the Verizon Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update but there are two others.
C Spire Wireless and MetroPCS have yet to push their own Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat upgrades live. Competitor Cricket Wireless starting pushing its Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update several days ago. Both carriers remain mum about their versions of the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat upgrade and MetroPCS recently told a customer that it “can’t say” when it will be released.
Galaxy S4 Active Android 4.4 KitKat Update Still On Hold
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active Android 4.4 KitKat upgrade remains on hold as Samsung and AT&T work to make necessary improvements to the software. It has almost been a week since AT&T halted the upgrade and we still haven’t seen any concrete news emerge for Samsung Galaxy S4 Active owners.
Release Dates Get Specific
The news hasn’t been all bad though. The Samsung Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat updates at some carriers received some specific launch windows in the past few days.
Last week, Vodafone Australia announced plans to bring Android 4.4 KitKat to Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 owners in late April or in May. Seeing as though the updates haven’t made it into the labs for testing just yet, our guess is that they will likely be arriving in May. The testing process typically takes a few weeks to complete and as of last Thursday, the carrier still hadn’t received them from Samsung.
Vodafone Australia is just one of only a few carriers that issue detailed software update information for their users.
Galaxy Note 3 Users: What to Expect Going Forward
So here’s how we expect things to play out for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 moving forward. First, we expect the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat upgrade to push out in the near future. It’s clear that we’re in the midst of a push by Samsung and Verizon and last week’s Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat release was a great sign.
Historically, carriers like Verizon have rolled out these major updates in close proximity of one another, the most recent example being the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.3 updates that rolled out within days of each other.
We expect the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update to follow the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update’s lead and provide a massive set of changes for Galaxy Note 3 owners. While the change log probably won’t mirror the Galaxy S4’s exactly, it should come with a number of enhancements and improvements unique to Verizon.
At this point, it’s safe to assume that a majority of the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat upgrades that remain missing in action will emerge during the month of May. We’ve seen that timing emerge for carriers like Optus and Vodafone in Australia and we’re expecting other carriers to follow suit. And like Verizon’s update, we expect those updates to come with their own unique enhancements and fixes.
Galaxy Note 3 owners should expect to receive any Android updates that arrive this year. The device isn’t even a year old yet and Samsung typically keeps devices updated for between 18 and 24 months. Rumors say that we could see an Android 4.5 update in July but that remains unconfirmed for the moment.
Galaxy S4 Users: What to Expect Going Forward
As for the Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat upgrade, we’re expecting the two missing carriers in the United States to push their updates out in the near future. Often we see smaller carriers cluster their release dates around the last major release, which in this case was Verizon’s, so we could certainly see both of these updates pushing out in the near future.
MetroPCS and C Spire Wireless users should not expect the carriers to cough up any details ahead of the actual releases. They, like Verizon, will likely remain silent as they work behind the scenes to get the updates ready for public consumption. And like Verizon, we expect their updates to come with unique fixes and enhancements though we doubt that their change logs will be as extensive as Verizon’s.
As for the rest of the world, we’re expecting a majority of the missing updates to emerge in May alongside the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat upgrades. We’ve seen several carriers target this window and it’s looking like May is going to be an extremely busy month for Samsung and its partners.
We would not, however, be surprised if some Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat upgrades were pushed into the month of June thanks to testing. More often then not, we see some carriers get bogged down by delays.
The future after Android 4.4 KitKat is unclear but we’re expecting the Galaxy S4 to get whatever Google throws Android users way this year. Whether that’s Android 4.5 or something else remains to be seen but the Galaxy S4 just turned one and it should have at least six months of life left in it.