Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat Update: What We Know So Far

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update has been rolling out since February. Over the past two weeks, the pace of its roll out has picked up and it now appears that we’re in the midst of a wide scale Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat push. With that in mind, we want to take a detailed look at how the roll out is progressing and the important things that Galaxy S4 owners need to know.

Back in January, Samsung started to push out the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update. The roll out came as a bit of a surprise given Samsung’s history of pushing out Galaxy S Android updates before major Galaxy Note Android updates.

In February, Samsung finally started pushing out the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update. The first device to get the update was not found on the international market but instead, it was found in the United States, a region that has often been slow at getting major Android updates out to its customers.

Since that roll out in mid-February, we’ve seen the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update pick up the pace. Like the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update, it has been cruising along, hitting devices in the United States and elsewhere. There are, of course, plenty of users who are still waiting for their update to arrive.

Today, we want to examine the roll out as a whole and take a look at everything that we know, thus far, about the Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update and its release.

Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat Release Moving Fast

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update has been picking up major speed lately as Samsung and its partners work to get the device upgraded with the latest version of Android.

Earlier this week, we saw the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat land for T-Mobile in the United States. The update, which available OTA or through Samsung Kies, becomes the fourth Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update to land in the United States, following in the footsteps of the AT&T, Sprint, and U.S. Cellular updates.

The United States isn’t the only region that’s seeing update. Today, the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update landed in the United Kingdom for unlocked versions of the Galaxy S4. Users on some UK carriers claim that they have received the update as well. The key thing here is that the roll out in the United Kingdom, one of Samsung’s big markets, has begun.

We expect Samsung to continue its torrid pace as it works to upgrade its GT-i9500 and GT-i9505 variants all over the world. Keep in mind though, Samsung’s roll outs are extremely random and extremely unpredictable which means that the update could touch down for just about any device at any time.

Verizon Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat Update


It’s official. The Verizon Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update will be the last major Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update for the United States. Unfortunately, Verizon has yet to provide any details to its Galaxy S4 owners which means that the update’s status is very much up in the air.

We have heard that the Verizon Galaxy S4 is currently in internal testing which isn’t surprising given that Android 4.4 KitKat has been out since November and has already landed for all four of Verizon’s rivals. At this point, it’s not a matter of whether the update is coming or not, it’s a matter of when.

Unfortunately, we don’t have that information and there are no clues regarding its release date. Verizon typically doesn’t announce software updates until just before the roll out so users shouldn’t expect any early information.

Regional/Pre-Paid Carriers

Of course, Verizon isn’t the only carrier in the United States that’s missing Android 4.4 KitKat. Galaxy S4 variants on Cricket Wireless, C Spire Wireless, and MetroPCS are still on Android 4.3 and users are wondering if, and when, they might be getting the all important bump up to Android 4.4.

Thus far, none of them have budged. Time and time again, users have asked about Android 4.4 on social media, and every single them, they have been rebuked. All three updates remain unconfirmed and all three carriers say that they’ll announce information as soon as they can confirm something.

What we know though is that smaller carriers, more often than not, follow in the footsteps of the major U.S. carriers. In fact, the Galaxy S4 for all three of these carriers got Android 4.3 shortly after the last major Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update rolled out.

In other words, we’d be shocked if these carriers were too far behind the pack. And we’d be floored if they declined to roll out the Android 4.4 KitKat update at all. The Galaxy S4 is still fairly new and Android 4.4 KitKat isn’t a massive update.

Keep an eye out, we could see something soon.

Long Waits for Android 4.4 KitKat


These missing U.S. updates should be just around the corner. We typically see U.S. updates roll out within a few weeks of each other. So, we’d be shocked if May rolled around and these four updates in particular were still missing.

Of course, that’s the U.S. There are some places where we expect to see long waits for the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update. Australia, in particular, has been slow to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and there are currently three devices (Vodafone, Optus, Telstra) that are still on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, the software that Google released in 2012.

If Android 4.3 Jelly Bean is still in testing then Android 4.4 KitKat probably isn’t right around the corner. Those who are still on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean need to start tempering their expectations because there is a good chance that the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update roll out will take months to complete.

Incremental Updates

Galaxy S4 users who are still waiting for updates can forget about surprises. The Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat updates that have rolled out have all been pretty similar. They are stocked with Android 4.4 KitKat features and don’t bring any big changes to Samsung’s TouchWiz software.

We fully expect the rest of the Galaxy S4 updates to be similar, even the ones that arrive late. Carriers will put their own spin on these updates but don’t expect Galaxy S5 features to come along with any updates. It’s not happening.

Android 4.4 KitKat Problems


We haven’t seen any widespread complaints about Android 4.4 KitKat, save for one. A few weeks ago, we detailed an issue with the microSD card that is affecting users after installing Android 4.4 KitKat.

As we’ve pointed out, Samsung devices are known for offering additional support for storage with a MicroSD card. It is one of the reasons many users pick the Galaxy S4 over the HTC One or the iPhone 5s. Unfortunately, Android 4.4 KitKat isn’t playing nice with the microSD card slot on Galaxy devices.

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. And while there are workarounds, they are extremely tedious.

Android 4.4 KitKat is an extremely small update and so, Galaxy S4 owners will certainly want to weigh, and research, these potential issues before installing the update.