The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop release is starting to make progress, so much progress, that we continue to get tons of questions about the update and its roll out. Today, we want to fill you in on a few thing we think you should expect now from the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android 5.0 Lollipop update and its release in the U.S. and around the globe.
Samsung is finally rolling out its Galaxy Android 5.0 Lollipop updates in force to several top devices including the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S5, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop release was the company’s second major Lollipop release and it continues to make solid progress as we push on through February deeper into 2015. That said, there’s still a long way to go before every Galaxy Note 3 user has access to the new operating system.
On January 28th, Samsung started rolling out the Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop update. Samsung’s roll out came as a surprise because it arrived ahead of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update. Historically, Samsung’s pushed out its major Android updates to flagships first before moving onto older devices. Galaxy Note 3 users aren’t upset about it though.
The Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop update represents the Galaxy Note 3’s second major Android update and as such, it delivers a host of new features, enhancements and fixes to owners of the former Galaxy Note flagship.
As the roll out’s pushed forward, we’ve started to get a better read on Samsung’s plans. We’ve outlined many of these Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop details though we continue to get questions about the roll out and the update itself. While we don’t have all of the answers, we’re armed with enough information and enough history to offer another look at what we expect going forward from the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop update and its roll out.
Today, we want to share an updated look at what we expect from the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop in the days and weeks ahead, something that should provide some insight to those that are still stuck on Android 4.4 KitKat.
International Roll Out to Continue, Quietly
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop release is still very limited. The company recently started rolling out the update to the Galaxy Note 3 LTE, also known as the SM-N9005, in the United Kingdom, Hungary, Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Romania. This progress is a great sign for owners of the company’s international variants but those who are still waiting should not expect to learn about their release ahead of time.
To get a sense, we suggest taking a look at SamMobile’s firmware section. There, you’ll notice that Samsung’s made some recent progress that it didn’t outline in a press release. The Galaxy Note 3 LTE Android 5.0 Lollipop recently landed for users in Bulgaria, Italy and the Netherlands. Samsung didn’t make a big deal out of it and we didn’t expect it to. The company rarely promises upgrades ahead of time and tends to remain quiet as its international roll outs progress.
We expect this trend to continue until the company’s pushed out Android 5.0 Lollipop to all of its international and unbranded Samsung Galaxy Note 3 variants.
We’re also expecting March to be a busy month for Samsung. It’s clear that we’re on the cusp of a few massive Galaxy S and Galaxy Note Android 5.0 Lollipop roll outs and we expect to see a number of new updates push throughout the month of March. If you own one of the company’s international Galaxy Note 3 variants, you’ll want to keep an eye out for your upgrade.
U.S. Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop Release a Few Weeks Away
Before yesterday, the only U.S. Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop clue that we had was a sighting on Sprint’s website. The carrier’s UA Profile string confirmed the update for arrival before the carrier could make any kind of official announcement. If Sprint was working on a Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop update then surely other U.S. carriers were working on the update behind the scenes.
Yesterday, T-Mobile confirmed a Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop update of its own. The confirmation emerged on a new Android upgrade page that outlines the carrier’s progress towards a public release. T-Mobile’s Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop update is currently in testing and here is how T-Mobile describes this step which, the carrier notes, is the step ahead of the update’s public release:
During this stage the device will go through T-Mobile certification process testing to make sure you get the best quality software possible.
In our experience with Android updates and release dates, once the software is released to a carrier, it’s typically only a few weeks before it rolls out to the public. This is assuming that errors and problems aren’t discovered on board. If problems are discovered, software is often sent back to Samsung for additional work.
So now we know that both Sprint and T-Mobile have it in for testing. That’s a very good sign for owners on those two carriers and on the other three Galaxy Note 3 carriers. The next step is a public release and with the Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop update starting to make a push, we’d be shocked if the first Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop update in the U.S. was months out.
We expect the start of the Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop roll out in the United States to start relatively soon assuming everything goes according to plan behind the scenes. We’d be surprised if it didn’t start rolling out before April.
Galaxy S5-Style Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop Release
We expect the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop update to mirror what Samsung and its U.S. carrier partners are doing with the Galaxy S5 Lollipop release. For those that don’t have a clue about the Galaxy S5 Lollipop release in the U.S, here’s what that means:
- U.S. to be one of the first regions to roll out the Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop update
- Sprint to be one of the first to the Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop update
- Release date details under wraps until the roll out begins
- Staggered release dates with releases taking place over several weeks
- Silent Mode included
Could we see some surprises? Absolutely. The Verizon Galaxy S5 Lollipop release came as a complete surprise to us and to others who track Samsung’s progress. However, we do expect the overall structure of the roll out to mimic what they’ve done with the Galaxy S5.
Many Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop Updates Way Out
While the update has certainly been making some progress, we don’t expect the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop release to end any time soon. This is going to be an extremely lengthy process and non-believers need only look at what we know, so far, about Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop releases for carrier-branded models. It’s also worth looking at past Galaxy Android roll outs as well.
Galaxy Note 3 carriers, even carriers that like to announce details early like SFR and Rogers, have yet to confirm upcoming Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop releases. This doesn’t mean that those updates aren’t coming but it could mean that the releases are probably still a ways out.
We typically get our first confirmations a few weeks and sometimes a few months ahead of time. So the fact that we haven’t seen anything emerge from anyone leads us to believe that most carrier-branded Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop updates are far off in the distance. How far out? It’s hard to say but we’d be shocked if we saw a majority roll out in the near future.
Android 4.4 KitKat was released for the Galaxy Note 3 back in January of 2014 and we saw updates emerge at the tail end of last year. This is not a fast process and with carriers still silent about their plans, we’re expecting the Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop release to mirror the Android 4.4 KitKat release. So plan accordingly.
Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop Problems
A lot of you are eager to make the move from Android 4.4 KitKat to Android 5.0 Lollipop and we don’t blame you at all. This is a massive update for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 bringing new features, fixes and more. However, you shouldn’t expect your update to be perfect. Expect there to be Galaxy Note 3 Android 5.0 problems.
As we’ve pointed out, the Samsung Galaxy S5 Lollipop roll out has been hampered by complaints in the United States and elsewhere and we doubt that the Galaxy Note 3, a device that’s now more than a year old, will be able to escape Android 5.0’s wrath. Android update’s are never perfect and updates that deliver widespread changes (like Android 5.0) typically come with a new set of issues.
Samsung and its partners will do their best in their labs but despite their best efforts, we should see problems slip through the cracks. That’s we recommend taking a look at our fixes for Samsung Galaxy Note 3 problems now so that you can commit them to memory before your Android 5.0 Lollipop update arrives. And it will arrive. Samsung won’t leave any Galaxy Note 3 models behind.
We also recommend doing some prep work before your Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop release arrives. Those instructions are for the Galaxy S5 but they apply to the Galaxy Note 3 as well.