Galaxy Note 3 KitKat Update: 5 Most Important Things to Know Right Now

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4.2 KitKat update has been rolling out since January but nearly six months later, the roll out remains unfinished. In fact, we’re still seeing Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update details emerge, even as we push closer to the summer.

Last September, Samsung took the stage at an Unpacked event ahead of IFA 2014 and showed off the Galaxy Note 3, a successor to its popular Galaxy Note 2. The device emerged with a number of powerful features including Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, an update that Google had announced in July but one that wasn’t available for many devices at the time.

That same month, Google announced the Android 4.4 KitKat update, a brand new Android update and one aimed at replacing Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with several new enhancements. Android 4.4, like Android 4.3, was and is an incremental update that doesn’t overhaul Android but instead builds upon the foundation that was delivered with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

In November, Google released Android 4.4 KitKat to the public. And while many companies confirmed KitKat updates, Samsung remain silent. That is, until it pushed out the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 update in January.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update was the company’s first stab at Android 4.4 KitKat. The update started out slowly but by February, the Android 4.4 KitKat update push was in full swing to Samsung’s 5.7-inch monstrosity. Many believed that the quick push and the Android 4.4′s relatively small list of features would lead to a short roll out. That, unfortunately, wasn’t the case.

Android 4.4 KitKat is still pushing for the Galaxy Note 3. In fact, we’ve seen a number of new bits of information arrive, nearly six months after the initial push began. We’ve taken a look at some of those details in our recent breakdown but here, we want to go more in depth with the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update and its future.

Yes, Android 4.4.2 KitKat Is Still Rolling Out

Believe it or not, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4.2 KitKat update is still rolling out. In fact, May has been a pretty healthy month for the Galaxy Note 3′s push.

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According to SamFirmware, there have been 38 Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat roll outs between the two most common models, the SM-N900 and the SM-N9005. 20 of those updates were for the SM-N9005 and 18 of them were for the SM-N900. That represents a pretty strong push, especially when you think about how long the update has been rolling out for.

The Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4.2 update is worth installing for most users.

The Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4.2 update is worth installing for most users.

The important takeaway from this is this. Samsung’s Android roll outs almost always span across several months. And if you don’t live in major markets like the United States, you’re almost certainly going to be closer to the bottom of the totem pole. Something to think about as we push further away from Android 4.4 and closer to whatever is next, rumored to be Android 4.4.3 or Android 4.5.

Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 Release Dates Haven’t Budged

We’ve already seen 38 updates push out this month but there are still a number of devices that haven’t received Android 4.4.3 KitKat. In particular, the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 update is missing for several carriers in Australia and all signs point to an arrival next month in June.

Vodafone Australia and Optus announced, many weeks ago, that they’d be targeting May or June. And given that neither of them has received the update from Samsung, it’s looking like June will be the month if users are lucky. Testing can take several weeks to complete and that’s if things go smoothly. If things don’t go smoothly, we could be looking at a release in July or later.

Still, it’s a good thing that their timing hasn’t budged and at this point, we’re extremely confident that a majority of Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 updates will have pushed out by the time June is over.

So, if you haven’t received Android 4.4 KitKat yet, remain patient. The update is likely just over the horizon.

Android 4.4.3 Rumors

Yesterday, the rumored Android 4.4.3 KitKat update appeared on Samsung’s developer site. Today, new information suggests that Samsung is working with Android 4.4.3 KitKat behind the scenes. We’ve heard that the update could come to the Galaxy Note 3 though that remains unconfirmed.

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Rumors state that the Android 4.4.3 KitKat update could deploy in place of Android 4.4.2 KitKat for select devices. These devices were not mentioned by name though the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 are certainly candidates considering how slow their Android 4.4 KitKat updates are moving.

We don’t expect Samsung to make the jump from Android 4.4.2 to Android 4.4.3 with the remaining Galaxy Note 3 updates but there is certainly a chance that we could see Android 4.4.3 KitKat deliver some fixes for the Galaxy Note 3 and perhaps, something more.

Galaxy S5 Features?

The GT-i9500 LTE version of the Galaxy S4 just got a new Android 4.4 KitKat build that delivers Galaxy S5 features. The update, which is limited to Germany, reportedly brings the new Kids Mode and Samsung KNOX 2.0 security to owners of the international variant. This is a bit of a surprise given that Samsung never confirmed Galaxy S5 features for the Galaxy S4 or any other Galaxy smartphone.

Samsung rarely discusses updates ahead of time so it’s not clear if these features will land for any Galaxy users. However, it would be strange to see one variant in one region and one device get Galaxy S5 upgrades so we’re guessing that more Galaxy models will get these features. And given its age, the Galaxy Note 3 is a prime candidate.

We’ve theorized that the features could come with Android 4.4.3 KitKat but that remains uncertain. Perhaps Samsung will roll them out inside another Android 4.4.2 KitKat build or maybe even the rumored Android 4.5 update. It’s not clear but this new development is important to note.

Solid Future

And finally, the last important thing that we think Galaxy Note 3 owners need to know about Android 4.4 KitKat is that Android 4.4 KitKat is probably not going to be the end of the line for Samsung’s current flagship.

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Not only is the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 equipped with serious hardware, it’s also extremely new. Android 4.4 KitKat is its first major Android update. Remember, unlike the Galaxy S4, this device started on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. It’s in real good shape.

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Google recommends 18 months of software support for Android devices and the Galaxy Note 3 isn’t even a year old yet. Samsung usually offers two years of support though which means that this device should be getting updates well into 2015. So, perhaps the best is yet to come for one of the more popular devices on the market.

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