As expected, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update landed in the United States for the first time today and unsurprisingly, it’s the Sprint version of the Galaxy Note 2 that’s getting the upgrade to Android 4.4 KitKat.
Yesterday, it became apparent that the start of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat release in the U.S. was imminent. The Sprint Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update appeared on Samsung’s Open Source development website for developers and once that happens, it’s typically only a matter of hours before an update rolls out to the public. We deemed the update as imminent and it turns out that our suspicions were right on the money.
Today, Samsung and Sprint announced the start of the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat in the United States. Sprint’s Galaxy Note 2 becomes the first U.S. device to get the update though several others in other regions of the world have already received the update. It has been rolling out since late April.
Sprint’s update comes with a change log that mirrors what we’ve seen from other Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat updates though it does come with Samsung Knox 2.0, a feature that has only been available on the Samsung Galaxy S5 and one version of the Galaxy S4. Here is the full change log from Samsung:
- New Lock Screen Access
- Media Controls – full-screen album art and media controls when listening to music
- Camera Shortcut – access the Camera application right from the lock screen
- SMS App Chooser – select a default application for sending and receiving SMS text messages
- Restyled Status and Navigation Bars – status and navigation bars are translucent and can sit on top of apps, along with simplified status bar icons
- Consolidated Location Settings – location services are integrated and more detailed by new Location menu
- Expanded Emoji Icons
- Wireless Printing – supports printing over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
- Prevention Information pop-up message is suppressed.
- Samsung Knox 2.0
It’s still not clear when the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update will land for the other four variants in the United States. AT&T, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon still haven’t announced their plans and they probably won’t reveal their plans until the day that the update arrives. American carriers are notorious for keeping their customers in the dark about the testing and release processes.
U.S. Cellular historically has pushed its updates out shortly after Sprint while the other three carriers usually lag behind the pack. Verizon usually is the last of the major carriers to push out Android updates.
This Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat push coincides with the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat roll outs that are taking place in the United States right now. The Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update still isn’t available on the Galaxy S4 Active for AT&T or the Galaxy S4 for MetroPCS or C Spire.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update on the other hand is currently available on Sprint, U.S. Cellular, Boost Mobile, and Virgin Mobile though it’s not clear when it will arrive for users on AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and others.
Samsung still hasn’t announced whether this will be the end of the road for the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2. Both devices are approaching their second birthdays and Samsung usually kills software support after 24 months. Google recommends 18 months of Android software support.
The company already announced that it will not be rolling out the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update to the international GT-i9300 version of the device, something that we’ve said represents the final nail in the coffin for the Galaxy S3’s update future. The Samsung Galaxy Note 2’s future, however, remains far more cloudy.
Rumors suggest that Google is working on an Android 4.4.3 KitKat update. The update is rumored for the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy S4 but it’s not clear where else it might head.