The first Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update release has arrived and unsurprisingly, it lands for a carrier inside the United States, one of the only regions confirmed to be getting a Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update.
Earlier this week, we reported that the Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update for Sprint had been spotted in several places. We first noticed it lurking in a User Agent Profile string on Sprint’s site, a sign that the update was indeed coming and that it could be close.
The update also made an appearance inside Samsung’s OpenSource developer site. Once an update’s kernel source appears there, it typically takes about 48 hours before the update lands for the public. In other words, we believed that the Sprint Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update and the start of the overall Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update were close.
Today, our suspicious were realized as Sprint announced the arrival of the Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update. The update is not only the first Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update to land in the United States, it’s the first Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update to land for anyone. Sprint is well known for pushing out updates in a timely manner and the carrier continues to set the bar for software update speed.
The update was announced in two different places on Sprint’s website. Unfortunately, a full on change log isn’t available and the carrier just says that the update delivers Android 4.4 KitKat. We expect the update to feature more than just Android 4.4 KitKat features and it should deliver enhancements and fixes unique to Sprint.
The carrier says that the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update could roll out in waves which means that it may not become available OTA to everyone today. It looks like those that are unwilling to wait for the OTA can head over to XDA-Developers to download the update themselves as the update has been pulled.
Those who aren’t adept at flashing official software should simply wait for the Over-the-Air update to arrive. Typically, Sprint’s Android updates will take around a week or so to complete, if they roll out in stages.
Sprint’s Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update was the first Galaxy S3 update confirmed by a carrier so it’s no surprise that it’s the first to roll out. Unfortunately, it’s still not clear where the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 update is going to be heading next because confirmations are extremely scarce at this point.
Sprint’s rivals including AT&T and Verizon have yet to confirm the update. American carriers typically don’t confirm updates ahead of time so this shouldn’t come as any surprise. While nothing is set in stone, historically, U.S. Cellular follows Sprint while Verizon brings up the rear. Release dates are extremely unpredictable so there is no really no telling how it will play out.
As for the rest of the world, the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update remains in limbo. Samsung USA and Samsung Poland are the only regional wings of Samsung to confirm the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update and Samsung Poland has said that it only plans to push the update for the 2GB LTE version of the Galaxy S3. The Sprint Galaxy S3 is the 2GB LTE model as well.
Some believe that Samsung could skip over some versions of the Galaxy S3 though others believe that Samsung will push Android 4.4 KitKat for several different variants including the international GT-i9300 model. Samsung still hasn’t confirmed that though we expect to hear more now that the update has finally started to roll out.
International carriers also remain silent about the prospects of Android 4.4. We’ve seen carriers offer roll out schedules through the month of June and none of them have Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat updates listed. So if the update does roll out, it could be that Galaxy S3 owners are waiting for quite some time.
Android 4.4 KitKat is expected to be the last update for the Galaxy S3, a device that was introduced all the way back in 2012. Google recommends 18 months of software support but Samsung typically offers two years of software support for its flagship devices. The Galaxy S3 is one of the most popular smartphones in history.
The Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat release starts just a few days after another important Android 4.4 KitKat release. Last week, Samsung started pushing out the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update to owners of the international model in France. The update remains limited to that one device in Europe but it’s expected to start spreading in the weeks ahead.
These two updates follow behind the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat updates, both of which started rolling out this year. Samsung still needs to fulfill a number of Android 4.4 KitKat update promises as there are a number of devices remaining on the upgrade list it unveiled earlier this year.