The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update has been rolling out since mid-January but the release is still isn’t complete. With many users still waiting for the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update to arrive, we want to take a close look at the latest details and offer up a look at what we expect in the future.
All the way back in September of last year, Google announced the Android 4.4 KitKat update, a incremental upgrade from the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update it announced last July. The update delivered some performance improvements and some tweaks but nothing like the major overhaul that arrived with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
That said, Android updates big and small are a welcomed sight in the Android community and Android owners began lusting after the latest operating system out of Mountain View.
Android 4.4 KitKat’s roll out has been slow though we have seen it land for a number of big name devices including the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, one of the company’s top Android smartphones and a device that has been in the midst of an Android 4.4 KitKat push since mid-January. In fact, the Galaxy Note 3 was the first Galaxy smartphone to get the Android 4.4 KitKat update.
Six months later, the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 Kitkat update is still rolling out. And in recent days, we’ve started to see the situation get a little cloudier thanks to the arrival of two new Android updates, Android 4.4.4 KitKat and Android 4.4.3 KitKat. The two updates are minor but they do bring some valuable fixes to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, the OS that Samsung has pushed out to devices like the Galaxy Note 3.
With two new KitKat updates swirling around and Android 4.4 KitKat details emerging every week, we want to take an updated look at the Galaxy Note 3’s Android 4.4 KitKat situation and provide some clarity for users awaiting the upgrade from Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.
Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4.2 KitKat Roll Out Continues
The Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4.2 KitKat update finished up awhile ago in the United States but it’s still rolling out in various other regions around the world. The Galaxy Note 3 SM-N900 Android 4.4.2 KitKat update recently hit users in Chile while the Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005 Android 4.4 KitKat update recently landed in Hong Kong, in Russia for users on MegaFon, and in New Zealand.
The update brings the same features that we’ve seen hit a number of Galaxy Note 3 variants around the world. For those that might need a refresher, it has been six months after all, here is what the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update will deliver, at a minimum:
- Location Menu: An integrated location menu enables users to easily activate GPS, Wi-Fi and mobile networks, while simultaneously checking the battery usage of apps running location service capabilities.
- Enhanced Messaging: Enables users to choose between Messages or Hangouts as their preferred default messaging application, and select from a larger assortment of updated Emoji icons.
- Upgraded Google Mobile Service (GMS) apps: Users can automatically back up photos and video and can open, view, rename and share Google Docs and files.
Keep in mind, carrier updates will vary. Carriers love to tack on their own enhancements and fixes so the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4.2 KitKat update, overall, will vary from carrier to carrier, region to region.
Missing Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat Updates
There are still a number of Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat updates that remain missing though most carriers should have the update rolled out by the end of July.
Australian carrier Vodafone still claims that it plans to roll out the Android 4.4 KitKat update by the end of the month. As of Thursday last week, the carrier hadn’t received the software from Samsung which means that there is a chance the update could be pushed into July. Releases are very dependent on testing and these dates simply serve as ETAs.
Optus, another Aussie carrier, hasn’t budged from its timing. It’s still saying mid-June to early-July but it hasn’t received the update either. At this point, July seems like a pretty safe bet given that internal testing typically takes a week or two.
Telstra claims that it will roll the update in and around July 14th. It does note that Samsung’s submission was delayed until June 13th but it’s not clear how that might affect the carrier’s timing.
There are likely other carriers out there that haven’t pushed out the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update. Those who are curious will want to contact the service provider though if they haven’t already provided details, there is a very good chance that they will not say anything ahead of the release.
Android 4.4.3 KitKat & Android 4.4.4 KitKat
Now we get to the interesting part. Given that the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4.2 KitKat push is winding down, we expect all of these carriers to deliver Android 4.4.2 KitKat and not Android 4.4.3 or Android 4.4.4. And while there is a chance the Galaxy Note 3 could get one of those updates, we still haven’t seen the update rumored for Samsung’s big screen device.
Rumors have pointed to an Android 4.4.3 KitKat release for the Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE-A model, a device that is only available in select areas. A recent leak from Android Geeks says that the model should get the update in July after a roll out for the Galaxy S5 in June. It’s not clear how Android 4.4.4 KitKat might affect Samsung’s plans.
Android rumors have also hinted at an Android ‘L’ 4.5 or Android 5.0 release, possibly alongside a new Nexus 8 tablet from HTC. Android ‘L’ rumors point to an arrival in Q3 or Q4 though dates haven’t been narrowed down. Google has confirmed that it will show the update off at Google I/O but it’s not expected to be released any time soon.
While Android 4.4.3 KitKat and Android 4.4.4 KitKat aren’t confirmed, we can all but confirm Android ‘L’ for the Galaxy Note 3 and here’s why. The device hasn’t even turned a year old yet and Samsung devices typically get 24 months of Android software support before they’re killed off. Google recommends 18 months.
We would not be surprised if Android ‘L’ delivered featured from the Galaxy Note 4, Samsung’s rumored successor, but that remains unconfirmed. Those dealing with Android 4.4 problems are hopeful that Samsung delivers a swift update to Android 4.4.3 KitKat or Android 4.4.4 but the situation remains cloudy and unpredictable at this point.