Google’s Android 5.0 Lollipop release is underway and Samsung Galaxy smartphone and tablet users have turned their attention to Google’s brand new Android operating system. And while Galaxy Android 5.0 Lollipop updates are on the way, Samsung’s still rolling out Android 4.4.2 KitKat and Android 4.4.4 KitKat updates to Galaxy smartphones and tablets. With details swirling, we want to breakdown the situation for Samsung users as we push deeper into November.
Back in January, Samsung started rolling out its own Android 4.4.2 KitKat update. The first update landed for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 which, at the time, was one of the company’s flagship smartphones. Samsung’s roll out took place a few months after Google pushed out Android 4.4 KitKat for its Nexus devices and right around the time that other Android manufacturers started making moves of their own.
Earlier this month, Google started pushing out Android 5.0 Lollipop, the successor to Android 4.4 KitKat, though the software is currently limited to Nexus devices and Motorola’s Moto X and Moto G. Samsung still hasn’t commented on Android 5.0 Lollipop plans though we’ve seen a number of details leak out ahead of time.
While Android 5.0 Lollipop is certainly in focus, Samsung’s Android 4.4.2 KitKat and Android 4.4.4 KitKat deployments are still going strong in the month of November. In fact, we’ve see numerous details emerge in recent weeks for top devices like the Samsung Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3, and the aging former flagship, Samsung Galaxy S3.
There’s been a ton to digest and that can be an issue for those that don’t follow along on a daily basis. That’s where we come in. We want to help make sense of Samsung’s Android 4.4 KitKat roll out and offer some details about Android 5.0 Lollipop as well. Here, we breakdown Samsung’s Galaxy Android 4.4 KitKat release status for the month of November.
Galaxy S5, S4, Note 3 Reportedly Skipping Android 4.4.4 for Android 5.0
First things first. While many Samsung Galaxy users are probably hoping that Samsung skips Android 4.4 KitKat for Android 5.0 Lollipop, we’ve only heard that that will happen for a few select devices.
According to information from SamMobile, Samsung won’t be rolling out Android 4.4.4 KitKat updates to the international versions of the Galaxy S5, Galaxy S4 or Galaxy Note 3. This isn’t too surprising given what we’ve heard about the Android 5.0 Lollipop release though it means that many Galaxy users will stay on Android 4.4.2 in the build up to Android 5.0.
While we could see other devices make the move from Android 4.4.2 or Android 4.3 to Android 5.0, we haven’t seen any public, or private, information point in that direction. It appears that Samsung is content to finish several of its Android 4.4.2 KitKat and Android 4.4.4 KitKat roll outs including the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 push and the Android 4.4 push for lesser devices like the Galaxy S4 mini.
Android 4.4.2 KitKat Roll Outs Continue
We don’t need SamMobile’s Android update tracker to know that Samsung’s Android 4.4.2 KitKat update is still strong in various parts of the world. Samsung’s Android 4.4.2 KitKat update continues to land for devices around the globe and the company has several more up its sleeve for the weeks ahead. It’s still very active.
Yesterday, AT&T rolled out Android 4.4.2 KitKat bug fix updates for its Galaxy Mega, Galaxy S3, and Galaxy Note 2. While they don’t bring these devices to Android 4.4.4 KitKat or Android 5.0, they should help deliver improved performance on all three of these aging smartphones. The three change logs simply say “Android OS Enhancements” after all. It’s not clear if these updates will serve in the place of Android 4.4.4 KitKat but there’s certainly a possibility.
Australian carriers, which typically lag behind the rest of the world, have also opened up windows to Samsung’s Android 4.4.2 KitKat update plans. Telstra Optus, and Vodafone recently released updated Android update schedules.
As we’ve noted, Telstra’s recent update is massive and includes eight updates for several key Galaxy devices. The carrier says that its Galaxy Note 2 KitKat update is in testing and that it plans to push the upgrade out later this month. It also says that an important bug fix update for the Galaxy Note 3 will be rolled out in December if testing goes according to plan. Those are two huge updates for Note users.
The carrier’s also outlined plans for three Galaxy S4 updates including upgrades for the Cat.4, regular model and Galaxy S4 mini. The Cat.4 model is expected to get an upgrade to an undetermined version of Android in early December. The company has stressed that it will be Android 4.4 KitKat and we doubt the Galaxy S4 will get Android 5.0 this early.
Telstra’s regular Galaxy S4 will also get a platform update but an “issue identified in late stages of testing will require a new FW submission to rectify.” It’s not clear when it will get the bump. The Galaxy S4 mini is also set to get a new Android update though it looks like delays have pushed its release into the latter half of December. A Samsung Galaxy S5 bug fix update is also in the works and if testing works out, it should emerge in December. It’s not clear what fixes the Galaxy S5 upgrade will have on board.
Vodafone’s update is a little more detailed. The carrier says that it will deploy a Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 Android 4.4.2 KitKat Maintenance Release on November 17th. It also says that testing of its Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 4.4.2 KitKat update is complete though Samsung is looking into an issue with the FOTA. It’s not clear when that will get resolved.
The carrier will also roll out a S-Beam Maintenance Release to its Samsung Galaxy S4 Cat.4 and it’s also awaiting three other Android 4.4 KitKat updates. Samsung is expected to deliver an Android 4.4 KitKat update for the Galaxy Note 2 and two bug fixers for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Samsung Galaxy S5 down the road.
Now, we’ve detailed these plans for a couple of reasons. First, to alert those who own these devices. Second, Australian carriers typically provide a nice look into the future for all Galaxy users and this look into the crystal ball reveals Samsung’s plans to continue its Android 4.4.2 KitKat roll out in the face of Android 5.0 Lollipop.
Android 4.4.4 KitKat Release Going Strong in U.S.
Android 4.4.4 KitKat is still rolling out as well. Yesterday, AT&T announced a Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 4.4.4 KitKat update that delivers bug fixes and features to Galaxy S4 owners. AT&T says that the update is now available Over-the-Air (OTA) and that the update comes with the following changes, changes that include Knox 2.0.
Android 4.4.4 Update includes:
- Miscellaneous improvements, bug fixes and security updates
- E911 Call issue fix
- Added Knox 2.0
- Remote Support
- Device Help
Today, T-Mobile followed in its footsteps with an Android 4.4.4 KitKat update for the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition. The update will deliver Android 4.4.4 KitKat, IPv6 improvements, and a new Download Booster. T-Mobile says that the update is going to be rolling out to users between November 12 and November 28 and that users should see a prompt.
These are just the latest Android 4.4.4 KitKat updates for the U.S. but there’s a chance that they will not be the last. The United States has been Samsung’s focal point, as far as Android 4.4.4 KitKat is concerned, and so there is a good chance that we see a few more push out ahead of the Android 5.0 Lollipop update that’s set to arrive in the weeks ahead.
Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat Update Update
Here’s an interesting note. Vodafone Australia’s new updated schedule does not list an upcoming Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update. It’s not clear why though it could be that Samsung killed off plans for it. Vodafone had the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update listed on its website for several months so this is certainly disheartening for Galaxy S3 users stuck on Android 4.3.
The Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update starting rolling out in May but it’s only landed for a select few devices, most of which reside in the United States. It’s puzzling and this only thickens the plot.
What’s Next After Android 4.4 KitKat?
Here’s what we know so far about Samsung’s plans for Android 5.0 Lollipop:
- Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 Lollipop update all but confirmed with release date rumored for November/December 2014.
- Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update also rumored for November/December release.
- Galaxy Note 3 Android 5.0 Lollipop update rumored.
- Galaxy S4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update all but confirmed with release date rumored for November/December.
Updates for other devices have yet to be rumored though there’s a very good chance that we’ll see Samsung push out a number of other Android 5.0 Lollipop updates down the road.