Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat Update: 5 Key Details

With the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update set to start pushing out en masse during the month of May, we want to take a look at five most important details that Galaxy Note 2 owners should know about the inbound update, an update that could potentially be their last major upgrade.

Weeks ago, Samsung USA confirmed a Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update for arrival. Shortly after that, Samsung Poland confirmed a Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update. And then, several days after that Sprint kicked off a number of carrier confirmations that have since teased Galaxy Note 2 owners all over the world.

Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat release rumors pointed to an arrival in late April and right on cue, the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update started rolling out in late April. The update joins a laundry list of Samsung Android 4.4 KitKat updates that have either already started rolling out or will be rolling out in the future.

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Samsung’s Android update roll outs typically take several months to complete and from the look of things, the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update is well on its way. Roll outs are extremely unpredictable but Samsung has been set in its ways for years and we have a feeling that the Galaxy Note 2 update will be no different any other Samsung roll out.

Android 4.4 KitKat is important to Galaxy Note 2 owners for a few reasons. First, it delivers Android 4.4 features which include an easier way to switch from the default messaging app to Hangouts. Second, it has the potential to deliver bug fixes that attempt to patch up Android 4.3 Jelly Bean problems. And finally, there is a good chance that this update will be the Galaxy Note 2’s last.

Google recommends only 18 months of Android software support. Samsung typically offers 24 months of support but unlike HTC, it hasn’t issued any kind of guarantee.

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With Galaxy Note 2 owners eager for information, we want to take a look at what we consider the five most important Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 details to emerge thus far. Galaxy Note 2 owners would be wise to keep these in mind as the roll out progresses.

Galaxy Note 2 Won’t Get the Galaxy S3 Treatment

You may have seen the news. The Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update for the GT-I9300 has been cancelled. Those words come from Samsung itself and that means that they are as good as gold.

This disheartening news probably has many Galaxy Note 2 owners on edge, particularly those that don’t follow along with the latest Android update news. There are also plenty of Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat updates out there that haven’t been confirmed and that probably has some owners on edge.

Well, there’s no need to feel anxious. The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 isn’t going to get the Galaxy S3 treatment and here’s why. Not only have we seen a number of carriers confirm Android 4.4 updates for the Galaxy Note 2, something that wasn’t the case with the Galaxy S3 update, the Galaxy Note 2 utilizes 2GB of RAM.

That matters because of this:

“In order to facilitate an effective upgrade on the Google platform, various hardware performances such as the memory (RAM, ROM, etc.), multi-tasking capabilities, and display must meet certain technical expectations. The Galaxy S3 and S3 mini 3G versions come equipped with 1GB RAM, which does not allow them to effectively support the platform upgrade. As a result of the Galaxy S3 and S3 mini 3G versions’ hardware limitation, they cannot effectively support the platform upgrade while continuing to provide the best consumer experience. Samsung has decided not to roll-out the KitKat upgrade to Galaxy S3 and S3 mini 3G versions, and the KitKat upgrade will be available to the Galaxy S3 LTE version as the device’s 2GB RAM is enough to support the platform upgrade.”

That’s a statement from Samsung UK explaining why the Galaxy S3 GT-I9300 won’t get Android 4.4 KitKat. It comes down to the hardware and the performance. The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 offers plenty and unless something catastrophic happens in testing, every single model should still be getting the update.

Hope that clears things up.

Galaxy Note 2 LTE Android 4.4 KitKat Release Starting This Month

Now, let’s get to the important stuff like the release date. The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat is already rolling out. However, it’s limited to the GT-N7100 3G version of the Galaxy Note 2 in France and India. But what about the update for the LTE version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2?

Well, thanks to a credible leak from SamMobile, we now know that the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update for the GT-N7105 LTE model is on target for May. Samsung itself hasn’t confirmed this but the information is solid. The document suggests that the update is in the final stages of testing and it’s just waiting for final approval from Samsung’s Firmware Center.

Owners of the unbranded LTE Galaxy Note 2 should see the update arrive soon though again, Samsung’s roll outs are unpredictable so it’s anyone’s guess as to when, and where, it will arrive.

Update Coming Soon to North America

Samsung’s Galaxy Android update roll outs typically take several months to complete. Carrier-branded models are typically behind the curve and get their updates several weeks after international variants. Specific release dates are hard to come by but it’s clear that we should see a Galaxy Note 2 update emerge for some carriers soon.

Rogers, a Canadian carrier, claims that it will be pushing out the update “soon.” It doesn’t attach a specific date to the update but it’s usually just a matter of weeks before Rogers delivers on its promise. Everything will depend on the testing process.

Sprint and Rogers are currently the only two North American carriers that have confirmed the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update for arrival. There is a good chance they will be the only confirmations because carriers in North America are rarely transparent.

Roll Out Will Stretch Into June, At Least

Here’s another key detail to keep in mind. Not all releases are created equal. While some carriers will roll out the update “soon” there will be others that are far behind the curve.

Take for example Australian carriers, Telstra, Vodafone and Optus. Optus says that its Galaxy Note 2 update will, at the earliest, arrive in June. Vodafone’s prognosis is a little better and it says late May or early June. June is more likely given that it still hasn’t received the update from Samsung, probably because the software bound for the LTE model is still not done.

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Telstra hasn’t even confirmed Galaxy Note 3 or Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat updates let alone a Galaxy Note 2 update. It’s typically months behind the pack when it comes to Galaxy updates. So while June is probably the month that these carriers are targeting, and we single these carriers out because there some of the few that offer official ETAs, there is a good chance that we could see this update stretch into the month of July.

The Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 updates are still rolling out. The Galaxy Note 3 update has been pushing since January, the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 update since February. These things take time.

U.S. Carriers Silent, But Keep Your Eyes Here

Sprint has been first to just about every major Android update in the past year. It was first to the HTC One Android 4.4 KitKat update. It was first to the Galaxy S4 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update. It was among the first to the Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 updates. And it was first to the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat updates. Oh and lest we forget, it’s the only carrier on the planet that has a Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update out.

So why are tooting its horn? Simple. There is a good chance that it will be the first to the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update in the United States.

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Those wondering about the start of the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update roll out would be wise to keep their eyes on Sprint’s User Agent Profile for the Galaxy Note 2. Once the Android 4.4 KitKat update is ready, Sprint should update the UA Prof accordingly. Typically, it’s only about 48 hours from updated page to roll out.

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Other carriers are typically just days or weeks behind Sprint.

Comments

  1. Park Jeseun says

    I’m running a CFW (Revolutionary S5 V3 – Android 4.3) on my S3 without any problem… why can’t Samsung admit that they’re just being lazy??

    Yes.. Before you other commenters blab your mouths. I am aware that we’re discussing 4.4 and not 4.3… BUT.. what I’m trying to say is that.. Why couldn’t Samsung just give us a few UI tweaks.. like say give us the new touchwiz launcher from the S5? They’re just too darn lazy.. too many complaints… less ram, screen size, etc etc.

    Well, I’m running an almost exact replica of the S5 touchwiz launcher on my S3 thanks to CFW’s like “Revolutionary S5 V3 ROM”….. Thanks for nothin Samsung…

  2. John Wong says

    That’s why I have chosen Sprint over other carriers as it has great history to make the availability of the latest update version of Android to its consumers. Well, my wife has Galaxy Note 2 and eagerly waiting for the availability of Android 4.4 KitKat version for it. Even I already updated the latest KitKat version on my Sprint’s Galaxy S3 after full charging it on qi charger in order to explore more apps and features. It’s like a new phone in my hand.

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