The Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update is now available for more users in the United States as another major carrier has pushed out the highly anticipated update and one that could serve as the last major Android update for one of the world’s most popular smartphones.
Several weeks ago, Samsung USA announced that it would be deploying the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update at some point down the road. The company, as it typically does, left the release date open ended. Release dates are dependent on internal testing and thus, they can shift around before an update actually arrives.
Earlier this month, the first Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update landed. Unsurprisingly, it was the Sprint Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update that landed first. Sprint was also the first carrier in the world to push out the Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update back in February.
A few days ago, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile pushed out their Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat updates. Both are operated by Sprint. Historically, we’ve seen a large gap between Android updates for major carriers and updates for smaller pre-paid and regional ones so these two roll outs came as a bit of a surprise.
Just a few short days ago, the U.S. Cellular Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update appeared on Samsung’s website. This was not the first time that we’ve seen an update appear on the company’s website ahead of release and as we pointed out, the listings typically don’t have any baring on the release date. Not the case of the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update for the U.S. Cellular model it seems.
Today, U.S. Cellular updated its software support page to reflect the transition from Android 4.3 Jelly Bean to Android 4.4 KitKat. The update is Android 4.4.2 KitKat, not Android 4.4.3 KitKat and it appears that U.S. Cellular Galaxy S3 owners have a variety of ways to update to the latest version of Google’s operating system.
The U.S. Cellular Galaxy S3 joins the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4 on Android 4.4 KitKat and the updates, according to the carrier, will mirror one another. That means that the software for the Galaxy S3 will likely be light on the TouchWiz upgrades and heavy on the changes to the Android OS itself.
The nation’s fifth largest carrier becomes just the fourth carrier to push out the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update. AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and many others have yet to roll out the highly anticipated update and it’s not clear when they will get around to it. Typically, those three are weeks behind U.S. Cellular and Sprint though at this point, nothing is set in stone.
U.S. Cellular will likely also be pushing out a Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update at some point down the road though it’s not clear when that roll out might take place. Sprint’s Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update appears to be imminent and could land as soon as this week. A specific release date is still unknown. Sprint typically announces its roll outs on the day of the release which means that an announcement will likely come out of the blue.
It’s not clear if this represents the end of the road for the Galaxy S3. The device is approaching its second birthday in the United States which means that it now sits in a very gray area. Google recommends 18 months of software support while Samsung typically offers 24 months. In other words, this could be it for a device that was once considered to be one of the best smartphones on the market.
Google is rumored to be working on an Android 4.4.3 KitKat update but it’s not clear if it will be landing for either the Galaxy S3 or Galaxy Note 2.