There has been quite a lot of commotion in recent days regarding Samsung’s Android 4.4 KitKat updates for its Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy S3, and Galaxy Note 2 smartphones, particularly, in the United States. With update news swirling, it’s time to take a close look at the Android 4.4 KitKat update situation for Galaxy smartphone users in the U.S.
Back in October, Google announced the Android 4.4 KitKat update, an incremental update to the Android operating system and one that the company delivered to its Nexus devices shortly after it was announced. As the weeks have gone on, more and more devices have seen their Android 4.4 KitKat updates arrive on the scene, bringing not only Android 4.4 KitKat features but unique enhancements and fixes depending on manufacturer.
While it was slow in the beginning, Samsung, the world’s most popular Android manufacturer, picked things up with two Android 4.4 KitKat update roll outs that began earlier this year. We’ve even started to see things heat up in the United States, a region that is not known for its swift Android updates.
Surprisingly, much of the Samsung Galaxy Android 4.4 KitKat upgrade news has centered on the United States, a key region for Samsung in its battle against the likes of Apple and HTC. And this is something that has Galaxy device owners inside of the U.S. extremely excited.
In recent days, we’ve seen information start to swirl and point to a number of upcoming Android 4.4 KitKat updates for carriers in the United States. With so much information out, it can be hard to digest, but not if it’s all in one place.
Here, we want to breakdown everything that we’ve seen or heard about the Samsung Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy S3, and Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat updates for the United States as we move deeper into February and closer to a number of Android 4.4 updates for U.S. users.
Samsung Galaxy S4
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update roll out is underway and here is how the situation looks for those in the United States, at least for the moment.
Weeks ago, the AT&T Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update leaked out, confirming its arrival ahead of Samsung’s official announcement. The leak essentially confirmed what Samsung confirmed yesterday. That the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update is going to be incremental instead of a major overhaul for U.S. Galaxy S4 users.
Despite the leak, the AT&T Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update remains out of reach. There isn’t a release date though there is one clue that points to a possible release in the near future.
We recently discovered a listing that shows the black AT&T Galaxy S4 as running Android 4.4 KitKat. The listing is on Samsung’s website and there isn’t just one listing, the Android 4.4 KitKat name is prominently displayed twice. No other device shows Android 4.4 KitKat on board.
Earlier this month, Sprint surprised a lot of people when it announced the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update roll out. The roll out began last week and it brought the same features that we saw leak on board the AT&T Galaxy S4 update and the same features that Samsung detailed yesterday in its announcement.
Here is the full Android 4.4 KitKat change log for Sprint Galaxy S4 users:
- Android 4.4 (Kit Kat): The Samsung Galaxy S 4 device will be updated to support the Android 4.4 (Kit Kat) software.
- Prevention Information alert: Customers should no longer receive “Prevention Information – An application has been forced to stop for an unauthorized attempt to access system in your device. It may be safe to delete an application obtained from an unauthorized route. Check now?” alert messages on the device.
- Zact Mobile: Device now includes the Zact Mobile compatibility.
Sprint notes that the update will be released in stages which means that there are likely some users who are still waiting for the update. Usually it takes around 10 days or so for the update to emerge in its entirety.
T-Mobile itself hasn’t confirmed the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update for arrival but that doesn’t mean that an update isn’t coming. Samsung did the carriers dirty work yesterday when it confirmed the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 update for the United States. It did not specifically single out T-Mobile but it didn’t single out any carriers.
Instead, it simply noted that release dates will differ based on carrier, something that seasoned Android veterans know is always the case with software upgrades. The update is coming, and we expect T-Mobile to push the update out within the next couple of weeks as it looks to keep pace with its competitors.
According to a leaked document, the U.S. Cellular Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update should arrive today, February 19th. The leaked document came from Android Central, a solid source, which means that there is a very good chance that we could see the update roll out at some point today.
Thus far, we haven’t seen any sign of the update in the usual places though that could certainly change soon. At the very least, today’s target date is a sign that the update probably isn’t very far off, even if it doesn’t touch down today.
U.S. Cellular Galaxy S4 owners will likely be faced with a staged roll out which means that repeated attempts to pull the update for many people won’t work. Again, it typically takes around two weeks for updates to complete.
Surprise, surprise. We still haven’t seen any mention of a Verizon Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat. This should not come as much of a surprise given that Verizon is perpetually in the bottom half of carriers when it comes to timing for major Android updates.
It did show some signs of progress with the Galaxy S4 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update but it was dead last amongst major carriers to the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean updates for both the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2. It’s possible that it could be last here.
We haven’t seen any smaller carriers confirm updates either though we do expect carriers like C Spire Wireless, Cricket and others to put forth Android 4.4 KitKat updates for their Galaxy S4 variants.
These carriers typically deliver their updates in the days and weeks after the major roll outs so users should not expect them to be on the forefront of the roll out. Instead, they will be on the tail end of it.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update is also active and here is how the situation looks for those who own the phablet in the United States.
Several weeks ago, we saw the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update leak for the AT&T model. In fact, the update leaked out on the same day as the AT&T Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update. Oddly enough, we still haven’t seen the final update roll out to the public though that leak, along with Samsung’s announcement, confirm it for arrival.
Sprint’s Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update is close. How do we know that? Simple. Samsung posted the Sprint Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update’s kernel source to its developer website yesterday which means that an OTA roll out is likely imminent. We saw Sprint announce the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update just a day after Samsung posted its kernel source to its website.
We haven’t seen any signs of the update today though the day is far from over. Typically, Sprint announces these updates through its software update pages which means that Galaxy Note 3 owners should be able to find the announcement either here on Sprint’s website or here on Samsung’s website.
Like the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update, we expect the Galaxy Note 3 update to be incremental and take several days to reach every Sprint Galaxy Note 3 user.
No word on the T-Mobile Galaxy Note 3 update just yet though again, Samsung confirmed Android 4.4 KitKat for the Galaxy Note 3 in the U.S. which means that it will more than likely be coming to T-Mobile at some point in the future.
While we can’t pinpoint a specific date just yet, carriers often release updates within a few days or weeks of each other which means that a T-Mobile Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update is likely close given the proximity of the Sprint and U.S. Cellular Galaxy Note 3 updates.
The U.S. Cellular Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update, like the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update, has been pegged for today thanks to a leaked document from Android Central.
We haven’t seen the update announced just yet though again, there is still plenty of time left in the day. Once the update is announced, it will appear on Samsung’s website and on U.S. Cellular’s software upgrade page.
The update is expected to be incremental and like all Samsung software updates, it should take a number of days to roll out. The leaked document suggests a 10 day roll out period which means that we could see the software complete before the end of February. That is, if it rolls out today as planned.
We haven’t seen any news about the Verizon Galaxy Note 3 update either. Again, Verizon is typically near the back of the pack when it comes to major Android updates for older devices so it would not be surprising to see the carrier last to the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update release. That’s not confirmed of course but it doesn’t look like it will be first.
Samsung Galaxy S3
Yesterday, Samsung confirmed the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update for the first time, confirming its roll out for the United States. This is huge for those who bought into the device in 2012 because it means that it still has some life left. Obviously, it’s also good news for all Galaxy S3 owners in the United States but especially those who have endured.
So while we know that it will likely land for all U.S. carriers including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Verizon and a host of smaller carriers, we just don’t know when.
Rumors point to a release starting in March or April, after the arrival of the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update. Those dates aren’t for the United States in particular but they do provide some expectations for those in the U.S.
The U.S. has been near the front of many of the latest Galaxy Android updates so it’s possible that we could see it be in the front of the line for the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update. And that could mean March or April.
Samsung Galaxy Note 2
Same goes for the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. Samsung confirmed the update for arrival in the United States, not surprising given the age of the Galaxy Note 2, though it did not say when the update would start rolling out. It did say that the update’s release would depend on carrier.
Like the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update, the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update is also rumored for March or April which means that we could see Samsung produce roll outs similar to the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4 which are rolling out simultaneously. Look for the update to stretch across several weeks inside of the United States as carriers work to complete testing.