New Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update details have emerged thanks to a carrier and thanks to developers who are determined not to let Samsung spoil the Android 4.4 KitKat fun for owners of some Galaxy S3 variants.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update has, for months, been a flashpoint amongst owners thanks to early information that spilled out of Poland. In the beginning of the year, Samsung Poland announced that it planned to release a Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update but that the update would be limited to the LTE model. It said at the time that it would not be upgrading the Galaxy S3 1GB due to performance issues.
Samsung USA and Sprint also confirmed the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update though Sprint’s version of the Galaxy S3 features 2GB of RAM instead of 1GB. In other words, the confirmation did nothing to sooth the minds of Galaxy S3 owners with 1GB of RAM.
As the weeks went on, carriers remained silent about the prospects of a Galaxy S3 KitKat upgrade, lending credibility to Samsung Poland’s comments at the beginning of the year.
Finally, in a statement earlier this month, Samsung UK announced that the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat upgrade was cancelled for the 1GB model. It also announced that the Galaxy S3 Mini would not be getting Android 4.4 either. For those that missed it, here is the full statement that was provided to SamMobile:
“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.”
Obviously, this did not sit well with owners of the international GT-I9300 version of the Galaxy S3. While Android 4.4 KitKat may not ever arrive officially, frustrated developers have taken it upon themselves to show Samsung that Android 4.4 KitKat can work on board the 1GB GT-i9300 version of the Galaxy S3.
In a post on XDA-Developers, first spotted by SamMobile, a team of developers have joined together in an effort to prove Samsung wrong. The devs plan was to port the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update over to the Galaxy S3 and from the looks of things, the plan has worked out.
A developer has outlined the pros and cons of the Android 4.4.2 KitKat ROM for the Galaxy S3. He claims that Wi-Fi, 3G, SMSes / MMSes, camera, lockscreen effects, most apps and functions, and the Android 4.4.2 KitKat features are all working on the Galaxy S3. He also claims that calls are still buggy and that the device’s sensors currently do not work properly. In other words, it’s rough around the edges but most features are working normally.
Casual Galaxy S3 owners will want to avoid this ROM until it’s functioning better but those who are skilled at installing software such as this could certainly take the plunge. For the moment, this is the closest 1GB Galaxy S3 GT-I9300 owners are going to get to the official Android 4.4 KitKat update.
Of course, Samsung’s plans could change down the road, especially if these developers prove it wrong, but for the time being Android 4.4 KitKat is not going to be rolling out to the international model.
That’s not all. Canadian carrier Rogers recently confirmed plans to roll out a Galaxy S3 mini Android 4.4 KitKat upgrade. It’s not clear how, or if, Samsung UK’s plans will affect the Canadian carrier’s ambitions but for now, it’s looking like the Galaxy S3 mini Android 4.4 update could hit North America in the future.
Rogers also says that it will be rolling out a Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update, something that points to a widespread roll out not only in Canada but in the United States as well. Rogers and Sprint are the only carriers we’ve seen that have confirmed the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 update for arrival but we suspect that other carriers will join in in the weeks ahead.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 and Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat upgrades are expected to start pushing rapidly during the month of May with some updates expected to emerge in the month of June and beyond. Android 4.4.3 KitKat is rumored for both devices but Samsung and its carrier partners haven’t confirmed one way or the other so at this point, users should expect to receive Android 4.4.2 KitKat.