The Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update will be coming to at least some versions of the former flagship but the Android 4.4 KitKat release outlook for some Galaxy S3 owners remains extremely bleak.
Several weeks ago, Samsung confirmed that it would be rolling out the Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update in the United States. Shortly after that, Sprint confirmed that it would be rolling out the update to its customers, a sign that most, if not all U.S. carriers will be rolling the update out in the future.
A short time later, Samsung Poland announced that it would be rolling out the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update though the roll out would be limited to the Galaxy S3 LTE model with 2GB of RAM. The 1GB model, it said, would not be getting the bump up to Android 4.4 KitKat. In the weeks since then, we’ve seen carriers confirm a number of upcoming Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat updates but Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat confirmations have been non-existent.
Unfortunately, today’s news isn’t much better as a well known insider claims that the Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update for the GT-I9300 still hasn’t entered internal testing. Furthermore, he claims that the Galaxy S3 GT-I9300 Android 4.4 KitKat update will never roll out to users.
Faryaab Sheikh, editor-in-chief of SamMobile, claims that there are no Galaxy S3 GT-i9300 Android 4.4 KitKat update test builds, a sign that the update is, at the very least, very far off in the distance. SamMobile is a site with a solid track record when it comes to Samsung software update so Sheikh’s information is credible.
He also claims that there “will be no KitKat update” for the GT-I9300 version of the Galaxy S3, which lines up with Samsung Poland’s assertion from weeks ago. The GT-i9300 model utilizes 1GB of RAM and it appears that Samsung will not outfit the 1GB model with Google’s brand new version of Android. The Sprint Galaxy S3 is an LTE model and uses 2GB of RAM.
While Sheikh doesn’t speak on the behalf of Samsung, he’s an extremely credible source and thus, the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat release outlook for many around the world is now extremely bleak. While it’s possible that Samsung will change its mind down the road, especially if Galaxy S3 owners raise enough of a stink, there is a good chance that the Galaxy S3 update will only hit some users around the world.
Rumors say that Samsung is planning a Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update for late April or early May. That time frame is also rumored for the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update release. At least one Galaxy Note 2 carrier originally planned to push the update out in April though it’s now looking like carriers will issue the update in May.
Samsung typically does not confirm release dates ahead of time which means that Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 owners will likely be waiting in the dark for Android 4.4 KitKat. The company historically has utilized an extremely slow roll out method in which its updates take several months to push across various regions and carriers.
Both the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat updates are expected to be incremental updates, delivering a limited set of enhancements and features to the two aging former flagships. These two Android 4.4 KitKat updates will include:
- 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.
Carriers typically put their own spin on these updates which means that Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 owners can expect unique enhancements and fixes once the updates arrive.
Android 4.4 KitKat could be the last major Android update for the Samsung Galaxy S3. The device is approaching its second birthday and Samsung typically keeps its devices updated for two years before casting them aside. After support ends, carriers typically issue one or two bug fix updates to iron out any lingering issues.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is in much better shape. The device not only features 2GB of RAM but is younger than the Galaxy S3. While the Galaxy S3 launched in May, the Galaxy Note 2 arrived much later in the year.
Rumors suggest that Google will introduce a new Android 4.5 update in July alongside a brand new Nexus 8 tablet. The Android 4.5 update remains a complete mystery though rumors will likely pick up as we get closer to the summer and Google’s annual Google I/O conference in June.