April has been an extremely busy month for Samsung and its Android 5.0 Lollipop release for Galaxy smartphones and tablets. With the month coming to a close, we take a look at what we think owners of devices like the Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy Note 4, and Samsung Galaxy Tab S need to know about Samsung’s Lollipop update and release.
In December, Samsung started rolling out its first Galaxy Lollipop update to the Galaxy S5. Weeks later, the company started pushing out a number of Galaxy Android 5.0 Lollipop updates to top devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy S4, and Galaxy Alpha. And while those roll outs started off extremely slow, we’ve seen all of them pick up the pace as we’ve pushed into the month of April.
This month has been especially busy for Samsung and its carrier partners. We’ve seen the Samsung Galaxy S5 Lollipop update make substantial progress in the United States and around the world. We’ve seen both the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge Lollipop updates pick up steam for consumers in the United States. And we’ve finally seen the Galaxy S4 Lollipop update make its mark in the U.S. and in countries around the world. Samsung isn’t showing any signs of slowing down either.
As April comes to a close, we want to take a look at some of the most important things we think Galaxy users in the United States and elsewhere need to know about Samsung’s big Android 5.0 Lollipop push. This roundup takes a look at the latest roll outs and it takes a look at some of the releases that should be next in line for Galaxy smartphone and tablet users.
Galaxy Tab S 8.4 Lollipop Update Starts Rolling Out
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 Lollipop update started rolling out a few weeks ago and now, it’s the Galaxy Tab S 8.4’s turn to make the move from Android 4.4 KitKat to Android 5.0 Lollipop.
Samsung’s finally started to roll out the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 Lollipop update in Korea, taking the tablet to Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, an older version of Google’s operating system.
According to SamMobile, the update is currently limited to the Wi-Fi only model in Korea though we should see the company pick up the pace in the next few weeks. It’s not clear when the update will start making its way to the United States. Samsung’s roll outs are extremely random and unpredictable so it could take days, weeks or months before users here in the United States get their boost to Android 5.0.
Samsung Galaxy A3 Lollipop Update Begins
Samsung’s finally starting to get its Android 5.0 Lollipop release out to non-flagship smartphones and this week, the company started pushing out the Galaxy A3 Lollipop update for the first time.
The Samsung Galaxy A3 Lollipop update is currently pushing out to owners in Russia and it takes the device from Android 4.4 KitKat to Android 5.0.2 Lollipop.
Samsung Galaxy A3 users are getting the same user interface and features that Samsung’s brought to its other devices. This includes Material Design, changes to the lock screen, and more.
Like Samsung’s other roll outs, the Galaxy A3 Lollipop update will almost certainly be a long process that drags out over several months as Samsung works to get all of its devices updated to the latest firmware.
Galaxy S4 Lollipop Update Making Progress in US
Earlier this week, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Lollipop update started rolling out to another big name device: the AT&T Galaxy S4 Active. The update comes a few days after AT&T release its Android 5.0 update for the regular Galaxy S4 model.
AT&T’s Galaxy S4 Active Android 5.0.1 Lollipop update will mirror the update that pushed out for the regular model. This means that it comes with:
- Android 5.0 Lollipop Highlights
- Songs, photos, apps, and even recent searches from one Android device can be immediately enjoyed across all of your Android devices.
- New User Interface look and feel, more fluid motions
- Priority mode to only allow certain notifications to get through
- Battery saving features and remaining time left to charge or deplete indicators
- Smart Lock to secure phone or tablet by pairing it with a trusted device like a wearable or car
- Most frequently used settings available with just two swipes down from the top screen
- Details at: http://www.android.com/versions/lollipop-5-0/
AT&T notes that the update must be downloaded over a Wi-Fi connection. The file size is between 974GB and 1GB which means that it could take some time to download and install Over-the-Air.
Galaxy S4 Lollipop Release Still Has a Long Way to Go
Unfortunately, AT&T’s the only carrier that’s managed to push out the Galaxy S4 Lollipop update. The other major carriers in the United States remain silent about plans to bring Lollipop to the aging former flagship.
As April comes to a close, it’s worth noting that T-Mobile still hasn’t updated its Android upgrade page with information about a Galaxy S4 Lollipop update. This doesn’t mean that the update isn’t coming but it does mean that a release isn’t close. T-Mobile’s updates go thru two stages, Manufacturer Development and T-Mobile Testing, before they are released. The Galaxy S4 Lollipop update hasn’t even hit the first stage yet.
Galaxy S4 users on Verizon, U.S. Cellular, and Sprint are in the same boat. We simply haven’t seen any leaks or any official information emerge in the weeks since the Galaxy S4 Lollipop update first started rolling out. The update started pushing to users in the international community in late January.
T-Mobile Galaxy Note Edge Lollipop Update
T-Mobile is making progress with its other Galaxy Lollipop releases though.
The T-Mobile Galaxy Note Edge Lollipop update has finally moved from the “Manufacturer Development” phase to the carrier’s “T-Mobile Testing” phase which means that the software is currently in for internal testing.
T-Mobile’s internal testing process is extremely unpredictable though it typically doesn’t take more than a few weeks to complete. Once the internal testing is finished, the carrier will roll the update out to the public.
With a T-Mobile Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop still in the wheelhouse, it’s possible that T-Mobile is planning to roll these two updates out in and around the same time. T-Mobile is the only US carrier without a Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update. These should roll out soon.
Note 4 & Note Edge Lollipop Release Picking Up the Pace
The Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge Lollipop releases continue to pick up speed in other parts of the world as well.
Australia, a country that often lags behind other regions, finds itself amongst the leaders of the pack. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Samsung Galaxy Note Edge Lollipop updates are finally hitting some users in Australia as Optus recently confirmed Lollipop roll outs for its Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge variants. Both updates take the devices to Android 5.0.2.
As we’ve noted, this is a big step for all Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge users in Australia. It’s also a good sign for those that don’t live in fringe markets. It’s clear that Samsung is hitting full stride with these two updates, just weeks after their delayed release.
Some Updates Hitting Snags
Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for everyone. A few days ago, Australian carrier Vodafone confirmed that testing for both the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge Lollipop updates failed behind the scenes.
The carrier notes that it’s now awaiting feedback from Samsung, a sign that these updates could still be a little ways away from rolling out to the general public. An updated Android schedule that the carrier pushed forth today doesn’t offer any updates. It’s a reminder that internal testing can be extremely unpredictable.
While Samsung’s certainly making progress with its Android 5.0 Lollipop roll out, there is still a long way to go for the Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge, and others.
Galaxy S5 Lollipop Update…Update
The Samsung Galaxy S5 Lollipop is still pushing strong in the international community though there is still work to be done in the United States.
Cricket Wireless and MetroPCS are lagging behind the rest of the pack and it’s still not clear when the two updates will make their way to users. Neither carrier has produced anything concrete though users should not expect them to skip Android 5.0 Lollipop completely.
As a reminder, smaller carriers in the United States are often weeks behind major carriers. We’ll continue to keep an eye out though like Samsung’s other releases, the releases will be difficult to pinpoint ahead of the roll out dates.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Lollipop Updates
The Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge arrived with Android 5.0 Lollipop on board but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any Android Lollipop updates in their pipelines.
Carriers like Vodafone and Telstra are currently preparing Android 5.0.2 Lollipop upgrades for the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. These updates are expected to be bug fixers that tackle some of the issues that popped up immediately after their release.
We should see carriers continue to upgrade these two flagships as we push into the summer so Galaxy S6 users will want to keep an eye out for small maintenance releases.
Other Galaxy Lollipop News
We’ve seen a number of other details emerge in recent days. Here’s a look at some of the biggest stories that Galaxy users should be aware of as April comes to a close.
- The Galaxy Note 2 Lollipop update is not under development, putting its release in jeopardy.
- Samsung is working on Android 5.0 Lollipop updates for the Galaxy Core Prime and the Galaxy Mega 2.
- Samsung is working on a Galaxy S6 Android 5.1 Lollipop update, a Galaxy S6 Edge Android 5.1 update, and an Android 5.1 update for the Galaxy Grand Prime. It’s not clear if Android 5.1 will come to any of the other big name devices. Rumors have suggested that it could bring Galaxy S6 software features to older devices but that remains unconfirmed.