The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update has been rolling out since February. And while it has made significant strides, there are still plenty of devices and plenty of people on Android 4.4.4 KitKat. With details and questions swirling, we want to take a look at what we expect going forward from the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update and release.
When Google first announced Android 5.0 Lollipop at Google I/O 2014, it did not confirm a public release date for Android smartphone and tablet users. Users had to wait until November for the company to finally confirm the Android 5.0 Lollipop release. Soon after Google’s roll out, Samsung started rolling out its first Android 5.0 Lollipop update to the Samsung Galaxy S5.
Since then, Samsung’s made significant progress with its Android 5.0 Lollipop deployment. The update has landed for the Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note Edge, and the Galaxy Note 4. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 was surprisingly late to the party though Samsung’s made some strides in the past couple of weeks.
While Samsung has certainly picked up the pace since February, there’s much work to be done and many questions left to answer. Plenty of Samsung Galaxy Note 4 users are still sitting on Google’s Android 4.4.4 KitKat, an aging version of Google’s operating system.
Naturally, we continue to get asked tons of questions about the Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update. Today, with just a few days left in the month of March, we want to take a look at what we expect from the Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update and release going forward. Our goal here is to help set your expectations ahead of the start of April which, in our eyes, could be a key month for many Galaxy Note 4 users around the world.
Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop Release to Pick Up Steam in April
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update has made some solid progress since the start of the roll out back in February. Samsung’s international roll outs typically make progress without a lot of fanfare. While some of the biggest updates are mentioned, many other updates go unnoticed. We expect the company to continue to make progress with its international roll out in April though you shouldn’t expect the roll out to end any time soon.
In the past two months, we’ve seen the update land for a number of different Galaxy Note 4 models in a number of different countries including the United States. That said, there are tons of Galaxy Note 4 models in tons of different regions still on Android 4.4.4 KitKat. And many of those devices probably won’t see their upgrade anytime soon.
While there are a number of good examples, we’ll use Australian carriers. Optus, Vodafone and Telstra haven’t even confirmed plans to roll out an Android 5.0 Lollipop update to the Galaxy Note 4. They typically confirm roll outs a month or two in advance and thus far, all we’ve heard is silence. Other carriers are in the same boat.
We expect this Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop roll out to take months, perhaps a whole year, to complete. The problems that Samsung’s been having with Lollipop probably haven’t helped.
Same with the Galaxy Note Edge Lollipop Release
Expect the same thing from the Galaxy Note Edge Lollipop update for the international community.
The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, for those that don’t know, is the high-end curved version of the Galaxy Note 4. It’s a concept, not a flagship, and it wasn’t surprising to see its Lollipop update follow the update for the regular model.
In the past week or so, we’ve finally started to see some Galaxy Note Edge Lollipop movement. Most recently, we learned that the Galaxy Note Edge Lollipop update reached carriers in Korea. Samsung still has a long way to go but it’s clear that the update is picking up steam ahead of April.
Expect the roll out to make silent progress and look for the overall release to last a long while.
T-Mobile Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop Release
Sprint and AT&T have both released Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop updates. AT&T’s took place earlier this week and it came out of the blue. The only other confirmed Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update in the United States belongs to T-Mobile though it does not look like the roll out will be happening any time in the near future.
While we don’t expect T-Mobile’s update to be several months away, it’s probably not going to be coming in March. T-Mobile’s Android update page states that the update is still in the “Manufacturer Development”stage, a fancy way of saying that it hasn’t been delivered to T-Mobile for internal testing. It’s still in Samsung’s labs behind the scenes.
Carrier testing is unpredictable but it typically takes more than a week. If T-Mobile hits a snag, and it might, then it would have to send it back to Samsung. We don’t expect that to happen but you simply never know. At this point, we’re thinking April or May for this update and those of you who own the T-Mobile model will want to keep an eye on the carrier’s upgrade page for updates.
U.S. Cellular Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop Release
U.S. Cellular is really lagging behind the rest of the pack when it comes to Samsung Galaxy Android updates. While its competitors have pushed out Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 4, and Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop updates, U.S. Cellular has yet to push out a single one. We expect that to change in the near future, especially now that we’re several months removed from all of these updates.
It’s extremely hard to predict specific release dates so we’ll go with some broader expectations. First of all, we would not expect U.S. Cellular to confirm anything ahead of time. That goes for its website, that goes for social media. You probably won’t have a release date until the Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop release date itself arrives.
Given the progress that US carriers and Samsung have made with the Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop release, we can’t see the nation’s fifth largest carrier waiting until summer to push this update out. We’d be surprised, shocked even, if the carrier failed to get this upgrade out by the end of May.
Verizon Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop Release
We expect something similar from the Verizon Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update. We expect Verizon to hold its release date back from the public and we expect a release that’s probably no more than two months away. Verizon showed some promise with its early Galaxy S5 Lollipop release but since then, it hasn’t done much.
US Galaxy Note Edge Lollipop Release
T-Mobile’s the only US carrier that’s confirmed a Galaxy Note Edge Lollipop update. Like the Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop upgrade, it’s currently sitting in Samsung’s labs for testing. That means that we’re probably several weeks away at the very least.
If we had to guess, we’d say that US carriers are probably making the regular Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update their priority. It’s a more popular device. That being said, we’d be a little surprised if we saw the Galaxy Note Edge Lollipop roll out hit the United States before the end of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop roll out.
Once the roll out starts, expect it to mirror the Galaxy Note 4’s roll out in the United States. Slow, unpredictable and staggered release dates. That’s how Samsung and its US carriers roll.
Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.1 Lollipop Update
Earlier this month, we saw a partial Samsung Galaxy Lollipop update roadmap leak. The roadmap, from SamMobile, stated that Samsung still hasn’t started development on Android 5.1 Lollipop. Android 5.1 is Google’s new Lollipop update and one that offers feature enhancements and a laundry list of bug fixes for Android 5.0 Lollipop problems.
While that might be the case, a user on Reddit has outlined potential plans for Samsung’s Galaxy Android 5.1 Lollipop update. The user cites information gleaned from a Samsung representative in Europe. We aren’t familiar with the source but he appears to be armed with credible information about the Galaxy S6 Active and about Android 5.1 Lollipop.
He says that Samsung might use Android 5.1 Lollipop to deliver a TouchWiz experience similar to the one found on the Samsung Galaxy S6. The Galaxy S6 comes with less bloatware and it also allows users to uninstall Samsung applications to free up space. Samsung’s well known for bringing new features to older devices and it could be that Android 5.1 is the update that brings some Galaxy S6 features to older devices like the Galaxy Note 4.
Android 5.1 or not, we expect Samsung to bring at least some of the Galaxy S6 experience to the Galaxy Note 4, one of its current flagship smartphones. We always see Samsung bring new features to older devices and the Galaxy Note 4, at its age, is a prime candidate for new TouchWiz features. We’d be surprised if this didn’t happen.
Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.1 Lollipop Release Date
SamMobile is plugged into Samsung’s Android update plans so we believe it when it says that Samsung hasn’t started testing. With that in mind, we’d expect the Android 5.1 Lollipop update or whatever Samsung uses to deliver new features to be extremely far off in the distance. Months and months out from its release date.
The source on Reddit claims that the slimming down of TouchWiz will come to other devices “in the long run” though he doesn’t outline any specific release details for specific devices. Long run, to us, means that it could take some time before Samsung gets these features out. Samsung needs these features to help sell the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge so it probably won’t offer them to older, budget devices tomorrow or the next day.
Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop Problems & Bug Fixes
We expect Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop problems to continue. We’ve seen tons of complaints about the update and we don’t expect users on Verizon, U.S. Cellular or T-Mobile to be immune. Rigorous testing process or not, bugs and problems always slip through the cracks and we’re expecting more Galaxy Note 4 models to experience these problems.
Those of you who prepare your device ahead of the Android 5.0 Lollipop release date will lower the odds for Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop problems but you always assume some risk installing a major Android update like Android 5.0.
We do expect Samsung and its carriers to roll out bug fix updates for Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop problems. Samsung’s already rolled out an update that brings back Mute Mode and we expect carriers to push smaller updates aimed at tackling Lollipop problems in the future. When? That’s hard to predict though US carriers aren’t always the fastest to bug fix updates for their Android devices.
In addition to those bug fix updates and Galaxy S6 features, we expect the Galaxy Note 4 to get whatever Google is cooking up for this years major Android release. The Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge are just a few months old which means that they still has a ton of life left in them. We do not expect support to end any time soon. You can start worrying in October of 2016 when the devices turn two. Samsung typically keeps devices updated for 24 months.