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Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat Update: What You Need to Know



The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update roll out has begun. However, due to Samsung’s silence, Galaxy Note 3 owners likely have a lot of questions about the Android 4.4 KitKat update, its roll out, its features, and more. Here, we break it all down and detail everything Galaxy Note 3 owners in the U.S., and elsewhere, need to know about the update and its release.

At the end of October, Google detailed a brand new Android update in Android 4.4 KitKat. Like Android 4.3 Jelly Bean before it, the Android 4.4 KitKat update was, and is, an incremental update aimed at building upon the foundation left behind by Android Jelly Bean. It features small but crucial changes including an updated dialer and more.

Right away, companies like HTC, Motorola and Sony detailed their plans for Android 4.4, saying that they would indeed be latching onto Google’s latest and greatest update. We even saw companies like HTC offer specific time frames for the update’s release, something that rarely happens in the world of Android updates. One company was noticeably absent from the festivities, however.

Samsung, up until earlier this week, remained silent about Android 4.4 KitKat updates. The company is notorious for playing its cards close to its chest when it comes to update so its silence on the matter wasn’t surprising. Unsurprisingly, rumors sprouted up, setting expectations for Galaxy owners.

One of the very first Samsung Android 4.4 KitKat rumors suggested that the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 would get Android 4.4 KitKat in January. Turns out, at least part of that was true.

Earlier this week, Samsung started pushing out the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update to users, making it the first Samsung Android 4.4 KitKat update to roll out. Samsung, however, offered very little in terms of details which has left Galaxy Note 3 users looking for answers.

Here, we try and answer some of those questions as we take a close look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update itself and its release date.

Limited Release is Normal

First, let’s deal with the Galaxy Note 3 release itself. For those who may have just bought a Galaxy Note 3 or are simply new to Android or Samsung smartphones in general, the release of the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat is exactly how Samsung always releases its major Android updates.


At the moment, the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update is only available in one region. Samsung selected Poland, for whatever reason, and users there now have access to KitKat and all that it has to offer. This is normal. Samsung always selects one lucky (or in the case of Galaxy S3 owners in the UK, unlucky) region to serve as the company’s unofficial guinea pig.

Once Samsung determines that the software’s performance is up to snuff, it will then start rolling out the software in other parts of the world. Samsung always rolls outs its updates in stages and so Galaxy Note 3 owners in the U.S. and elsewhere need to stay calm and remain patient. The update should start spreading to other Galaxy Note 3 variants in the near future.

U.S. Carriers Likely Won’t Announce Dates

So what about the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update release in the United States? Well, currently, we have no idea when Samsung and its American carriers might release the software. Neither Samsung nor the carriers that house the Galaxy Note 3, a list that includes AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon, have said anything.


Don’t expect that to change. American carriers historically have remained silent when it comes to major Samsung Android software updates and so far, they are taking a page right out of the history books with the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 update. The roll outs will likely come without prior warning.

Expect Staggered Galaxy Note 3 Release Dates

It’s not clear when the first Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update will land in the United States but we can say one thing for sure. All five of the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat updates won’t land on the same day. Instead, U.S. carriers will roll them out, when they’re ready to. Whether that means within days of each other or within months.

Somebody is going to get the update first and somebody is going to be last in line. U.S. Cellular and Verizon are notoriously slow to updates so it wouldn’t be surprising to see them push the updates last.

Android 4.4 KitKat Isn’t a Big Update

Time to start tempering those expectations right now. Android 4.4 KitKat isn’t going to be a massive update for any Galaxy Note 3 owners. While Samsung hasn’t gone into extreme detail about the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 update, a leaked change log suggests that this update is far from major.


The update brings a few changes to the table including a new camera shortcut on the lock screen, album art on the lock screen and better emoji support with the keyboard. Users can also now select between Hangouts and the default messaging app. It’s an incremental change and doesn’t feature anything explosive.

Carrier updates will vary. Individual carriers usually put their own spin on these updates, whether that’s enhancements or fixes, so we should see some minor differences. But don’t expect a new UI, don’t expect a laundry list of new features. This is a small update and should serve as a bridge between Android 4.3 and the next update which should be much bigger.



  1. I'm Dvoraak

    01/16/2014 at 4:40 pm

    One fairly significant change that comes with kitkat is the loss of app ops. If you like being able to pick and choose which permissions your apps get, you should either root early (able to stop the update), root late (allowing you to salvage app ops) or live in fear of this update.

  2. Max Herr

    01/19/2014 at 5:32 am

    What are the hazards of rooting the Note3?

    • Allan J

      01/19/2014 at 9:50 am

      99.9% of the time you will trip Knox if you root a Note 3, and will lose your warranty, there are one or two way to do it without tripping Knox, but it is early days yet, especially with the new bootloader that comes with the Kitkat update, the guys at likes of XDA are good places to get solid advice on rooting an android phone, like the Note 3.

      Personally I am waiting until my warranty is nearer expiry date, which is not until 2016, unless I take a mad turn or there is a 100% way to do it without tripping Knox.

  3. WaNaWe

    01/30/2014 at 3:19 am

    Not to forget the microSD R/W limitations after KitKat 4.4.2 update, what the heck of having the slot in the 1st place if cannot fully utilize it !!!

  4. mrflyz

    02/01/2014 at 12:39 pm

    my note 3 flip cover can no longer function!

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