Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat Release: 5 Key Details

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 4.4.2 KitKat update continues to roll out at a steady pace as we push deeper into 2014 and closer to a possible Android 4.4.3 KitKat release. With details swirling, we want to take a close look at the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update’s progress and delve into the most important things Galaxy S4 owners need to know about its release.

Way back in early February, Sprint became the first major carrier to deploy the Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update. The update came out of the blue and came as a bit of a surprise given that American carriers typically are not the first to major Android software updates. International variants typically best their American counterparts in terms of speed.

Since that day in February, we’ve seen the Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update explode onto the scene and land for a great number of devices in the United States and elsewhere. In fact, the update has been pushing out so far that casual Galaxy S4 owners are having trouble weeding out the most important details.

Here, we get rid of the noise and offer up the five most important things that Samsung Galaxy S4 owners need to know right now about the Android 4.4 KitKat update itself and its roll out.

Verizon Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat Update MIA

The Verizon Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update remains the only major Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update missing in the United States. Despite pleas from its customers, particularly those dealing with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean problems, the carrier remains silent about its plans for a roll out.

Unlike some of the other Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat updates in the United States, the Verizon Galaxy S4 update remains tucked away in the shadows. It hasn’t appeared on Samsung’s website, it hasn’t appeared at the company’s Open Source site, and it hasn’t seen any possible dates pop up in the rumor mill. Verizon Galaxy S4 owners are almost completely in the dark.


We saw almost because we’ve heard that the Verizon Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update is currently in internal testing. Unfortunately, we were told that several weeks ago. More recently, we discovered this image from SXTP-Developers  and this comment a senior member of XDA-Developers. April seems likely for a release but it remains unconfirmed.

It has been a couple of weeks since we saw the last Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update hit the U.S. so we do expect an update to arrive soon. Verizon is usually a few weeks behind the rest of the pack.

At this rate though, Android 4.4.3 KitKat could be out before Verizon pushes Android 4.4.2 as rumors suggest that the new Android update will be out in two to three weeks.

Smaller Carriers Silent

Verizon isn’t the only carrier in the United States that has yet to roll out an Android 4.4 KitKat update. C Spire Wireless, Cricket Wireless and MetroPCS all carry the Galaxy S4 and none of them have announced their plans for the Android 4.4 KitKat update. Owners continue to ask about the updates but continue to get generic, uninformative responses from carrier social media accounts.

First thing to know is that social media accounts rarely deliver solid details. Asking them is typically going to be a waste of time so it’s best to just sit back and remain patient.

The other thing to know is that smaller carriers typically cluster around the last major carrier’s update. C Spire, Cricket and MetroPCS all pushed out Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean updates in and around the last major carrier update. Once one of these updates rolls out, be it a smaller carrier’s update or Verizon’s, the other updates should be right around the corner. It always seems to work out that way.

More Updates Inbound

There are more Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat updates on the way. We know this because some carriers, not called Verizon, like to keep their customers informed.


French carrier SFR earlier this month said that it hopes to have the update out by the end of March. Optus, a carrier in Australia, says that it plans to have its updates out within the next couple of weeks if testing goes according to plan. Even Vodafone Australia, which recently rolled out Android 4.3 Jelly Bean for its Galaxy S4 models, says that it will start testing Android 4.4 KitKat updates soon. ThreeUK has said that it expects the update soon.

In other words, there are a ton of updates on the way. Only a select few communicate this type of information with their customers and our hope is that others follow their lead as we head deeper into 2014.


There is also some bad news afoot. Telstra Australia recently saw its Galaxy S4 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean release suspended due to issues. With no Android 4.4 KitKat update in sight, Galaxy S4 owners there could be waiting awhile to get off Android 4.3.

Optus originally said that its Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update would land in early-to-mid April but now it says that it doesn’t have an ETA for its customers. It still hasn’t received Android 4.4 KitKat from Samsung.

In the Android update world, release dates are always subject to change and that’s something all Galaxy S4 owners should know.

There is Still Reason to Avoid Android 4.4

There is still a very good reason to avoid installing Android 4.4 KitKat for the Galaxy S4. While we haven’t heard about widespread Android 4.4 KitKat issues, even AT&T owners seem to be doing fine, there is an issue that will affect all Galaxy S4 owners who install the Android 4.4 KitKat update.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 Update changes what apps can do with the Micro SD card.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 Update changes what apps can do with the Micro SD card.

After installing Android 4.4, some applications will no longer be able create, modify, or remove files and folders on the external SD card. Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 owners have been complaining about the issue for weeks. There are workarounds but they are either extremely tedious or require rooting the device.

Obviously, this isn’t going to be a huge deal to those that don’t use the microSD card slot for expanded storage but it is going to be a major problem for those that rely on it for extra space. Heavy microSD card users will want to think about avoiding the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update and reading up on the remedies for the problem. It’s a mess and it’s probably not going to get fixed any time soon.