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Samsung Galaxy Android Lollipop Update: What Not to Expect



Google’s new Android 5.0 Lollipop update release is now confirmed for a number of devices including its stable of Nexus smartphones and tablets, the HTC One M8, and the Moto X. Samsung, the world’s largest Android manufacturer, remains silent though we expect the Samsung Galaxy Lollipop update to start rolling out in the weeks ahead. Today, ahead of that release, we look at what we expect from Samsung’s Galaxy Android 5.0 release.

While the attention of most Samsung Galaxy smartphone and tablet users is still on Android 4.4 KitKat and more specifically, Android 4.4.4 KitKat, there’s another update that’s starting to grab at their eyes and ears. That update is Android 5.0 Lollipop, the update formally known as Android L, and an update that’s coming to replace Android 4.4 KitKat in just a few short weeks.

Google’s Android 5.0 Lollipop update will be accompanied by two new Nexus devices including a Nexus 9 from HTC and a Nexus 6 from Motorola. Both devices will help usher in a new era for Google and its Android operating system. Google recently confirmed the update for a number of older devices as well including the Nexus 7, Nexus 10, Nexus 5, and Nexus 4. Other Android manufacturers have joined the fun as well and HTC, Motorola and Sony have all confirmed a slew of Lollipop updates for the future.

As expected Samsung remains silent about Android 5.0 Lollipop in the days after its official announcement leaving Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy S5, Galaxy S4, and other Galaxy smartphone and tablet users in the dark. We’ve seen a number of unofficial Galaxy Android L release details float to the surface though and those details have helped to paint a very broad picture for Galaxy users.

Today, we want to go a step further and outline what we do not expect from Samsung’s Galaxy Lollipop update release. These predictions are based on the current rumors, Samsung’s history, our extensive coverage of Samsung’s Android update releases, and good ole gut feelings. Here’s what we don’t expect to happen down the road.

Android 4.4 Updates to Abruptly Stop

Do not expect Samsung to kill off the Android 4.4 KitKat update roll out. The company is currently in the midst of Android 4.4.2 KitKat and Android 4.4.4 KitKat roll outs to select devices and we expect most of those Android 4.4 KitKat roll outs to continue as we build into the fall and the arrival of the Android Lollipop update.


We don’t expect Android 4.4 KitKat updates to cease until 2015. They’re still going strong and there are a ton of devices that still need to get the upgrade. There’s a chance that we could see a few skip over Android 4.4 and head straight to Android 5.0 but at this point, given that we’re in the roll outs late stages, we think Samsung is going to go ahead and complete the Android 4.4 KitKat upgrade process for devices like the Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S4, and others.

In other words, if you’re still on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, don’t just assume that you’re heading straight to Android 5.0 Lollipop. You could get Android 4.4.2 or Android 4.4.4 KitKat between now and then.

Tons of Galaxy Android Lollipop Release Confirmations

Do not expect to see a ton of Android 5.0 Lollipop release confirmations. Samsung itself typically stays very silent up until the roll outs actually begin. Samsung’s carrier partners also mostly stay silent. There are some outliers though.

French carrier SFR typically confirms Android updates far in advance. So do Aussie carriers Optus, Vodafone and Telstra. In North America, Rogers can be counted on to deliver Android 5.0 update news well in advance. Other that those carriers though, there are no guarantees. In the U.S. especially carriers love to stay quiet so as not to set expectations for their customers.

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge Photos5

Do not expect anything different from this roll out. Most carriers simply don’t communicate very well with their customers and that probably won’t change until they start losing business or until the Android update process changes. We should see most updates confirmed hours or perhaps a day before their arrival for devices like the Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S5.

Concise Roll Out

Do not expect the Samsung Galaxy Android 5.0 Lollipop update to take place over several days or several weeks. Samsung’s Android updates typically roll out over the course of a year or more. Just have a look at Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (first started rolling out in October 2013, still rolling out) and Android 4.4 KitKat (First started rolling out in January, still rolling out).

We don’t expect anything different from Android 5.0. It’s almost certainly going to see a long, drawn out release that extends deep into 2015 and probably into 2016 as well. We don’t expect owners of newer devices like the Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy S5 or Galaxy Note Edge to have to wait until 2016 but we wouldn’t be surprised if lesser devices like the Galaxy S4 mini saw their upgrades roll out late.


Keep in mind, roll outs are also dependent on region and carrier. Carriers in obscure markets will also probably lag as Samsung focuses its efforts on key markets like Korea, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Slow U.S. Galaxy Lollipop Updates

Speaking of the United States, do not expect it to be slow to Android 5.0 Lollipop. Sprint especially has been extremely quick to Android updates but we expect other carriers like AT&T and Verizon to be part of the initial wave of Android 5.0 Lollipop updates for Galaxy smartphones and tablets. The U.S. market and its top five carriers is always at the forefront of updates.

Galaxy S5 Review - 15

We expect this to extend to smaller regional and pre-paid carriers as well. Smaller carriers like C Spire and Cricket are typically just a few weeks off the pace of the larger U.S. carriers and we should see them roll out their own Android 5.0 updates in the weeks after the major upgrades. They should be out ahead of most regions around the world as well.

Copious Galaxy Android 5.0 Leaks

Do not expect to see tons of Android 5.0 Lollipop leaks ahead of time. We’ve already seen one huge leak from SamMobile though it did not make the update available to the public. We should see a few Android 5.0 Lollipop leaks ahead of time though we’d be shocked if a substantial number of Android 5.0 updates emerged ahead of their release.

Samsung historically has kept a tight lid on its Android upgrades ahead of their release and in recent years, that lid has tightened and leaked updates have been few and far between. We could see a few for top devices leak, think Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4, but owners of lesser devices like the Galaxy Note 3 should temper expectations going forward.

Galaxy S3 Android Lollipop Update

Again, do not expect there to be a Galaxy S3 Android 5.0 Lollipop update. Samsung did not roll out an official Android 4.4 KitKat update for the international model and only a select few Galaxy S3 LTE models have received Android 4.4.4 KitKat thus far. That doesn’t help to instill any confidence in a surprise Android 5.0 release in the future.


The Galaxy S3 is an aging smartphone and it will turn three years old next year. And while it’s a widely adopted device, it’s clear that Samsung is having problems with Android 4.4 KitKat (a much smaller update than Android 5.0) behind the scenes. We’d be shocked if Samsung decided to bring it up from Android 4.4.

No Android 5.0 Lollipop Problems

Do not expect Android 5.0 Lollipop to fix every single Android 4.4 KitKat problems on Galaxy smartphones and tablets. Furthermore, do not expect Android 5.0 Lollipop to be void of bugs.

Samsung’s Android updates almost always come with fixes on board and we think that its set of Android 5.0 upgrades will almost certainly come with an array of bug fixes aimed at stabilizing the company’s operating system. That said, Samsung’s Galaxy updates almost always come with bugs and problems of their own. Especially large updates like Android 5.0 Lollipop.

So, don’t go into the Android 5.0 release thinking it’s going to solve all of your problems. It might fix a few things but there’s a good chance that it will come with some new problems, problems that Samsung and its partners will need to alleviate with Android 5.0 Lollipop bug fix updates.



  1. Malcolm Rigg

    10/22/2014 at 5:47 am

    When a tablet has an sdhc card for extra memory, is it only for storage or is it integrated into the operational storage of the device? I have a 32Gb all UK 2.5inch map but had to break it down to under 4Gb sections. What is the maximum filesize each tablet can store and process in internal or external (SD card) memory?

  2. David Mc

    10/22/2014 at 7:21 am

    Samsung could save themselves a bunch of money, time, complaints, and problems if they would just mostly adopt stock Android, and maybe lay some custom stuff on top of it rather than spending so much on such heavy customizations as they do. I think they are lining themselves up to abandon Android at some point in the not too distant future, but if and when they do they will start losing even more money than they are now (which I think is due to their dev cycles and heavy customization.) Their Galaxy products are good and stable hardware wise, but TouchWiz is simply too heavy, slows down their machines, and slows down their adoption of new versions of Android in my humble opinion.

    I’ve previously had a Galaxy S (Captivate), and S4 which was where I really saw their heavy handedness and just sold it in favor of a OnePlus One … which I like very much. Plus with the way they are locking down the bootloader they make it very difficult to load any other ROM. They are trying so hard to act like Apple with a Samsung based walled garden. Yuck!

  3. Josh Thompson

    10/22/2014 at 12:32 pm

    These very same features have been available on my new Note 4 since day one which has 4.4.4. Are you sure this is 5.0?

  4. Cil

    10/23/2014 at 3:02 pm

    I live in Brazil, one of those obscure markets. Neither local Samsung nor carriers deliver updates usually. That made me jump to Motorola. Now, did Google gave me back my right to use my microsd card as I see fit or will I have to jump to Windows Phone?

  5. lol-lipop

    12/27/2014 at 7:38 am

    @ Matt “i-fail” Mendoza… Ya right ~ coming from a decent os, to one that’s locked down tighter than a nuns cu*t… Try again…

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