As we move closer to Google’s Android 5.0 release, Samsung refuses to divulge Galaxy Android 5.0 Lollipop release date information to owners of its popular Galaxy smartphones and tablets. With that in mind, we want to take a stab at predicting its plans and here, we make some bold Samsung Galaxy Android 5.0 Lollipop predictions ahead of Samsung’s announcements.
In June, Google took the stage at Google I/O 2014 and announced a slew of new products including the Android L update, its replacement for Android 4.4 KitKat. At the time, the company showed off a number of new features including Android L’s Material Design that delivers massive changes to the look and feel of the Android operating system. The company did not, however, confirm an Android L release date.
Last month, Google finally confirmed the Android 5.0 Lollipop update and the Android 5.0 Lollipop update release alongside its brand new Nexus 6 smartphone and new Nexus 9 tablet from HTC. Google’s brand new software is slated to start hitting Nexus smartphones and tablets sometime this month and it’s also going to be hitting a number of other devices as well.
While companies like HTC, Motorola and Sony have detailed their Android 5.0 Lollipop release plans, the world’s largest Android manufacturer remains silent. It has been several weeks since Google’s Android Lollipop announcement and Samsung still hasn’t confirmed any plans to its Galaxy smartphone and tablet users. Of course, this isn’t the least bit surprising given that Samsung always remains tight-lipped in the weeks ahead of release.
Over the past month, we’ve seen unofficial Samsung Galaxy Android 5.0 Lollipop information emerge, information that’s helped us put together some early expectations, expectations that we want to share with you today. Today, ahead of Samsung’s announcements, we want to set the stage and offer some early Samsung Galaxy Android 5.0 Lollipop update predictions for the Galaxy S5, Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 3, and more.
Android 4.4 Updates to Continue Into 2015
First, we expect Samsung’s Android 4.4 KitKat updates to continue into 2015. We’re starting to see the company’s Android 4.4.2 KitKat and Android 4.4.4 KitKat roll outs slow down a bit but there are always some stragglers that fall behind the rest of the pack. It’s not pretty but we’re still seeing Android 4.3 Jelly Bean updates roll out more than a year later.
We’re not expecting a massive push to Android 4.4.4 KitKat though we could see some sporadic updates to Android 4.4.4 KitKat, especially for devices that won’t be getting Android 5.0 Lollipop. And there almost certainly will be some devices that don’t get Android 5.0. We expect Android 4.4 KitKat updates and Android 4.4 KitKat bug fixers to continue into next year.
More Android 5.0 Lollipop Leaks
So let’s move onto Android 5.0 Lollipop. It’s clear now that SamMobile has a source feeding them the Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 Lollipop update as Samsung makes progress. The site has already leaked two versions of the Galaxy S5 Lollipop update, both extremely early builds, the second more reliable than the first. The point is, there’s a very good chance that the site will leak the update again. And perhaps this time, the site will offer the software to the public.
We typically see sporadic Samsung Galaxy Android update leaks emerge ahead of release and our guess is that Android 5.0 isn’t going to be any different. We should see a few test builds emerge for developers ahead of time and not just for the Galaxy S5 either. Don’t expect every device to get a leak though. Leaks are usually saved for top tier devices like the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note.
First Samsung Galaxy Lollipop Release in Late 2014 or Early 2015
The Samsung Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop updates are rumored for November or December. The Galaxy S5 Lollipop update in particular has been rumored multiple times for December. With that in mind, we’re expecting Samsung’s first Android 5.0 Lollipop push to occur either late in 2014 or in the early part of 2015. Similar to what it did last year with the Android 4.4 KitKat update.
It’s clear that the company, and its rivals, are making progress behind the scenes and a release a couple of weeks, or months, after Nexus devices get the upgrade is a realistic window. We’re not ruling out 2015 at this point because of how delicate the testing process is. If something goes wrong behind the scenes, it can push an upgrade back several weeks.
Samsung’s encountered numerous setbacks in the past, most recently with Android 4.4 KitKat, and it’s possible that Android 5.0 will give it some problems in the late stages. Best case scenario, in our opinion, is late 2014 for the first update.
Galaxy S5 & Galaxy Note 4 First to Android 5.0 Lollipop
We are fully expecting the first two Galaxy Android 5.0 Lollipop updates to be for the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4, Samsung’s two current flagship models. Samsung tends to put a priority on its flagships, it wants them to sell and it wants to please its new users, and we should see that trend continue with the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy S5. We’d be shocked if they weren’t at least among the first.
Galaxy S4 & Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop Release Dates
We’re expecting the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop release dates to arrive in close proximity of one another. While they might not come right after the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy S5, we could see a device like the Galaxy Note Edge or Galaxy Alpha take that spot, we’re expecting these two updates to arrive within weeks of each other.
We’re betting on Samsung following its Android 4.4 protocol. This past year saw the Galaxy Note 3 KitKat update push out in January, Galaxy S4 KitKat update push out in February, Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update push out in April, and Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update push in May. If you want to look back even further, the Galaxy S4 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update pushed out in October while the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean updates pushed in November.
So, with that in mind, we think the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4, powerful devices that they are, will see Android 5.0 Lollipop upgrades push out in early-to-mid 2015.
All Devices from 2013 & 2014 Get Android 5.0
What about other Galaxy smartphones and tablets? Well, we haven’t heard anything but we’ll say this. Samsung typically keeps devices upgraded for two years before kicking them to the curb. Devices from 2013, like the Galaxy S4 mini, are only a year old which means that their Android 5.0 Lollipop updates fall within reason. Devices from 2014, like the Galaxy Alpha, haven’t even gotten their first Android update so there’s a very good chance they’ll get the call too.
We have a feeling that most, if not all 2013 and 2014 smartphones and tablets will make the move up from Android 4.4 KitKat to Android 5.0 Jelly Bean. Older devices typically have to wait but for many users, the wait is going to be worth it. Android 5.0 Lollipop is going to be a massive update for all Android devices, not just Samsung smartphones and tablets.
Galaxy S3 & Galaxy Note 2 Skip Lollipop
Some variants of the Samsung Galaxy S3 stayed behind on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. Others have yet to receive their boost up to Android 4.4 KitKat. To us, this is a sign of the end. Cancelled updates and extremely slow roll outs are never a good sign.
Samsung’s other flagship from 2012, the Galaxy Note 2, is in much better shape but it’s now two years old and there’s no real incentive for Samsung to spend time and resources on an upgrade. We wouldn’t be shocked either way. We’re just not expecting an upgrade at this point and will be pleasantly surprised if Samsung, a company that’s in the business of selling phones, upgrades a phone that’s now well over two years old.
U.S. Galaxy Lollipop Releases Among First
Samsung continues to put a focus on the U.S. when it comes to Android upgrades. The U.S. was among the first to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. It was among the first to Android 4.4.2 KitKat. And it’s one of the only regions where Android 4.4.4 KitKat is live for Galaxy smartphones and tablets. Sprint, in particular, has made it a point to get updates out extremely fast and we’re expecting the U.S. to play a big part in the arrival of Android 5.0.
Similar U.S. Roll Out Structure
We’re predicting a very familiar U.S. Android roll out structure for Galaxy smartphone and tablet users in the United States. For those not familiar with how it works, here’s a recap.
First and foremost, flagship devices get better treatment. The newer your device is, the faster you’ll get Android 5.0 Lollipop. Carriers aren’t equal either. While carriers like Sprint are usually in the front of the pack, other carriers like T-Mobile make up the middle and the rear. Android update release dates rarely fall on the same day.
Smaller regional and pre-paid carriers typically get dibs last. Carriers like C Spire and MetroPCS almost always follow major roll outs and can often be weeks or months behind. This is exactly how we see the Android 5.0 update playing out for Samsung Galaxy users in the United States.
Very Little Communication in U.S.
Adding on that, we expect U.S. carriers to keep up their usual wall of silence. That is to say that they probably won’t release any specific release date charts outlining their plans. Instead, we’ll likely get an announcement on the day of a roll out and if we’re lucky, a few days beforehand.
Lots of Communication Elsewhere
That’s not the case in all parts of the world though. For instance, Australian carriers keep their customers informed with weekly and monthly schedules that outline roll out plans. Same goes for select carriers in Europe including SFR and Vodafone Spain and Rogers in Canada. We have a feeling that some of these carriers might out some of Samsung’s plans ahead of time, offering insight to owners of Galaxy devices.
Big Features + Bug Fixes
Thanks to the leaks, we know that Samsung’s Android 5.0 update for the Galaxy S5 is full of new features, tweaks and fixes. While the updates are in their early stages, we expect every single Galaxy Android 5.0 Lollipop release to contain crucial bug fixes, enhancements and an assortment of new features that help to make the device feel fresh.
We do not, however, think change logs will be equal. For instance, while the Galaxy S5 might get some Galaxy Note 4 TouchWiz features, there’s a good chance that the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4 will get stripped down versions of the software. Older devices almost never get the full version of a major Android update. Again, Samsung is in the business of selling devices and leaving features off makes newer devices look better.
Android 5.0 Lollipop Bugs
There will almost certainly be Android 5.0 Lollipop bugs on board every single update that Samsung rolls out. It happens every time. It’s just a fact of life, software updates are never perfect. We would not be surprised if at least one Samsung Android 5.0 roll out has to be suspended due to the amount of bugs on board.
Android 5.0 Roll Out Thru 2015
Last but not least, we predict an Android 5.0 Lollipop roll out that stretches thru the entire year. Samsung has a ton of different devices in a ton of different regions on a ton of different carriers. This is now a quick process and we think it’s going to mirror the countries approach to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and Andrid 4.4 KitKat.