As we push towards the end of the year, Samsung Galaxy smartphone owners are getting antsy when it comes to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, Android 4.4.4 KitKat updates, and an Android L release. With details swirling, we want to take a look at what we expect from Samsung’s remaining Android 4.4 KitKat updates and the future.
At the beginning of June, Google released two new Android 4.4 KitKat updates. First was Android 4.4.3 KitKat, a massive bug fixer. A few days later, the company pushed out its Android 4.4.4 KitKat update. Both were, and still are, bug fixers aimed at squashing major Android 4.4.2 KitKat problems and they continue to land for key devices as we push toward the fall.
Over the past three and a half months, we’ve seen several Android manufacturers make it a point to deliver these two important updates to smartphone users in the U.S. and aboard. And while it waited several weeks, Samsung finally joined the Android 4.4.4 KitKat party a few days ago as it, and its carrier partners, work to improve their big name devices.
Yesterday, we took a deep dive into everything Samsung Galaxy device users (Galaxy S5, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note 3, and Galaxy Note 2 users in particular) need to know about the Android 4.4 KitKat roll out that now includes Android 4.4.4 KitKat. Now, we want to take a look at some of our own expectations and help users understand what they might be up against moving forward.
Here, we take a look at what to expect now from Samsung’s Android 4.4 KitKat roll out which now includes Android 4.4.2 KitKat and Android 4.4.4 KitKat. We’ll also take a quick look at what we expect from Samsung’s unconfirmed Android L release for Galaxy devices.
Android 4.4.2 KitKat Updates to Continue for Months
If we’re going to make some predictions about Samsung Galaxy Android 4.4 KitKat updates, we need to start with Android 4.4.2 KitKat. Android 4.4.2 KitKat is the update that Google rolled out last November and it’s an update that Samsung’s rolled out to numerous smartphones including the Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note 2, and Galaxy S3.
The Android 4.4.2 KitKat update continues to push out for select devices including the Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy Note 3, and others and we expect Samsung’s Android 4.4.2 KitKat push to continue for several months. In other words, we don’t expect every single device in every single region to skip from Android 4.3 Jelly Bean to Android 4.4.4 KitKat.
If you live in a region outside a key market like the United States or Korea, and you’re still on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, there’s a very good chance that you’ll get Android 4.4.2 KitKat. We don’t expect Samsung to halt its roll outs in favor of Android 4.4.4 or Android L. And because of that, we’re expecting Android 4.4.2 KitKat roll outs to push on for several more weeks, if not months.
Galaxy S5 Android 4.4.4 KitKat Update
We expect the Galaxy S5 Android 4.4.4 KitKat update roll out to continue and we expect the Sprint Galaxy S5 Android 4.4.4 KitKat update to be one of the next in line.
Earlier today, the Sprint Galaxy S5 Android 4.4.4 KitKat update leaked. It may not be the final build but we’re hearing that it’s a release test candidate. What this means is that there’s a slight chance that it could become the final build for Sprint’s Galaxy S5. Sprint’s already pushed out the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4.4 KitKat update so an upgrade for its other flagship makes a whole lot of sense.
We expect carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular to remain silent about upgrades to Android 4.4.4 KitKat though we would not be surprised if they ultimately ended up offering the update to their users.
Android 4.4.4 KitKat is a perfect pre-Android L release update because it comes with an assortment of fixes that are meant to solve Android 4.4.2 KitKat problems. We would expect other U.S. carriers and perhaps other Galaxy S5 carriers around the world to offer up these bug fixes to tackle problems ahead of another major release.
We wouldn’t be surprised if some Galaxy S5 variants, particularly those on smaller carriers, remained on Android 4.4.2 KitKat until the Android L release. Smaller carriers typically have fewer resources (money, engineers, etc) to put towards testing.
Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3 & Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4.4 KitKat Updates
So far, we’ve seen Android 4.4.4 KitKat land for the T-Mobile Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy S3 LTE in Korea. The T-Mobile update rolled out several days ago while the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4.4 KitKat update landed today. We have yet to see a Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4.4 KitKat update make it to Samsung’s aging Galaxy Note. Here’s how we expect things to play out.
We’d be shocked if the T-Mobile Galaxy S4 was the only Galaxy S4 to get Android 4.4.4 KitKat. We still haven’t spotted any other updates lurking around for Galaxy S4 U.S. models though we suspect that someone else, be it Sprint or Verizon or another carrier, will offer up Android 4.4.4 KitKat at some point in the future.
As we’ll point out later, there’s a good chance that Android L is still several months away at least, giving carriers plenty of time to develop Android 4.4.4 KitKat for the Galaxy S4.
It’s important to note that the MetroPCS and C Spire versions of the Galaxy S4 have not been upgraded from Android 4.3. We would not be surprised if they got a bump straight to Android 4.4.4 KitKat at some point in the future.
While we could see Samsung keep the Galaxy S3 LTE Android 4.4.4 KitKat update confined to Korean models, that too would be strange. We expect this update to follow in the footsteps of other major Galaxy Android updates. What that means is that we expect it to slowly roll out to devices around the world. Most Galaxy S3 LTE models remain on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and it looks many of them could skip up to Android 4.4.4 KitKat now that it’s available.
As for the Galaxy Note 2, well, we’d be surprised if it missed Android 4.4.4 KitKat. Too many bug fixes, too many security patches. Android 4.4.4 KitKat is important to the Android OS as a whole.
We expect the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4.2 KitKat roll out to continue for most phones but we wouldn’t be shocked if a device already running Android 4.4.2 KitKat got Android 4.4.4 KitKat sometime this year with a wider roll out following in the weeks after.
Galaxy S3 Android 4.4.4 KitKat: Last Major Update
We expect the Galaxy S3 to remain on Android 4.4.2 KitKat or Android 4.4.4 KitKat if Samsung decides to push it out to everyone. And we think, given the fixes on board, that there’s a good chance that it will happen.
The Galaxy S3 is now more than two years old and typically, Samsung sticks to a 24 month upgrade cycle. In some cases, 18 months. We already saw it kill off Android 4.4 KitKat for the 3G model and we’re not expecting any miracles as we head into the future. Android 4.4.4 KitKat and its bug fixes will, in our eyes, be the last update for this aging flagship.
Most Samsung Android L Updates in 2015
A rumor from SamMobile puts Samsung’s first Android L updates in November or December. That makes sense. Android L is a huge release, Samsung is facing immense pressure from its rivals, several of which have already confirmed Android L release plans. We could see this happening but we would not expect the majority of Android L updates to arrive in 2015.
Instead, we expect to see the start of a roll out with most updates taking place in 2015. We would not be surprised if Samsung’s Android L release mirrored the Android 4.4 KitKat release. Get an update out around the start of the year, speed things up within a few weeks, and get the update rolled out to everyone within a year or so.
These Devices Should Get Android L After Android 4.4
We expect these devices to move up from Android 4.4.2 or Android 4.4.4 KitKat:
- Galaxy S5
- Galaxy S5 mini
- Galaxy S5 Active
- Galaxy S4
- Galaxy S4 Active
- Galaxy Note 4
- Galaxy Note Edge
- Galaxy Note 3
- Galaxy Note 3 Neo
- Galaxy Alpha
The Galaxy S4 mini is another possible candidate. So is the Galaxy Note 2. The Galaxy Note 2 though falls into a gray area as it recently hit the two year mark.
These Devices Should Be First to Android L
We expect the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4, the two flagships, to get to Android L first. After those updates push, we’d expect it to hit a device like the Galaxy Note 3. Owners of less adopted devices should temper expectations. Updates for non-flagships typically come way later.