In late April, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update started rolling out. Over the past three weeks, we haven’t seen the massive roll out that many were expecting leaving many Galaxy Note 2 owners wondering about the Android 4.4 KitKat update and the future after it.
Back in 2012, Samsung took the curtain down from around the Galaxy Note 2, its highly anticipated Galaxy Note successor and a device that arrived with a ton of high-end features including Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. At the time, the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update wasn’t widely available so the fact that it was on board the Galaxy Note 2 was seen as a big deal.
Several months after the arrival of the Galaxy Note 2, Google announced Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Many believed that the Galaxy Note 2 would be among the first to get Android 4.2 but, as we learned, that wasn’t mean to be.
Samsung ran into issues with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and it was forced to skip ahead to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, a massive update that delivered Galaxy Gear Support, Knox, and Galaxy S4 camera features in addition to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean features. The update represented the first major Android update for the Galaxy Note 2.
In November, Google released Android 4.4 KitKat, a brand new Android update and an update that many expected to come to the Galaxy Note 2. And while users had to wait close to six months, the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update finally arrived at the tail end of April.
Since then, we’ve seen a number of Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat details emerge. We took a look at many of them in our recent Galaxy Android 4.4 KtiKat breakdown but we want to take it a step further here. Here, we take a look at the five most important Android 4.4 KitKat details Galaxy Note 2 owners need to know, right now, about their latest update to their Android operating system.
Yes, It’s Rolling Out
We’ve received a lot of questions about the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update and its roll out and we don’t blame you. The roll out, which started in late April, has been extremely slow. Typically, it’s only a couple of weeks before we see a massive push but we simply haven’t seen that with this roll out.
It’s clear that the update is pushing out though. According to SamFirmware, 11 Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat updates have pushed out for the GT-N7100 model of the Galaxy Note 2 in May. On the other side, only one Galaxy Note 2 KitKat update for the GT-N7105 model has pushed out. The latter is only available in Nordic countries.
While it may not be Samsung’s healthiest roll out, it’s still showing signs of life and we expect the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 update to push out to every single Galaxy Note 2 model in every single region of the world including here in the United States. We’d bet the house on that.
This Is Normal
If you just picked up the Galaxy Note 2 or simply haven’t been paying attention, this situation is par for the course. Samsung typically doesn’t talk about Android updates and their release dates, save for the occasional confirmation, and usually we see the international model (in this case the GT-N7100) get the update before carrier branded versions (in this case the GT-N7105 and others).
We also tend to only get sporadic confirmations from individual carriers. Carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon usually don’t talk about upcoming updates so that they keep consumer expectations to a minimum. Remember, these updates need to be poked and prodded before they are released to the public and because of that, their release dates often shift.
Thus far, we haven’t seen anything out of the ordinary. It might be moving slower than some might like but this is how Samsung operates. So the important thing is to remain patient. This is a roll out that could take several months, at least, to deploy and we wouldn’t be surprised if we were still talking about it this fall, right around the time Galaxy Note 4 details start heating up.
We have seen some Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat release timing emerge in recent weeks. French carrier SFR says June, so do Optus and Vodafone Australia, and Rogers in Canada says that it plans to roll out the update soon. Sprint, in the United States, confirmed the update many weeks ago but the update still hasn’t shown up in the places that it will show up before its arrival.
At this point, all signs point to a major push next month though we want to caution Galaxy Note 2 users. Optus and Vodafone have held firm to these June release dates but keep in mind, they both originally thought that they’d have the update out in April or May. These are, after all, ETAs and not firm release dates.
In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if we saw another shift. Neither carrier has received the update from Samsung and that means that there is at least several weeks of testing that needs to get done before the update is deemed suitable for public consumption.
The important takeaway for all Galaxy Note 2 owners is this. It appears that we could see a massive push start in June but don’t pull all your eggs in one basket.
Android 4.4.3 Rumors
Earlier this week, the rumored Android 4.4.3 KitKat update appeared on Samsung’s developer site. On Friday we heard, once again, that the Galaxy S5 Android 4.4.3 KitKat update was in testing. We’ve heard rumors that point to an arrival for the Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3, and Galaxy Note 2 and the fact that Samsung is working on the update is a great sign for all Galaxy users.
Rumors have also suggested that Samsung could deploy in place of Android 4.4.2 KitKat for select devices. Devices were not mentioned by name though the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 are certainly candidates, considering that their Android 4.4 KitKat roll outs have slowed down considerably in the past two weeks.
That of course is merely speculation and the fact that we’ve seen the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat push several times this month is a sign that we could see Android 4.4.2 KitKat now and Android 4.4.3 KitKat down the road at some point. Still, it’s important for Galaxy Note 2 owners to keep their eyes on Android 4.4.3 because it’s an update that very well could emerge for the device this year.
Future Isn’t Clear
The Galaxy Note 2’s future still isn’t clear. While we saw Samsung kill off an Android 4.4 KitKat update for some Galaxy S3 users, the Galaxy Note 2 is a much younger device. It also comes with powerful hardware specifications including 2GB of RAM and a quad-core processor. Samsung killed the GT-i9300 Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 update due to performance issues. It singled out the 1GB of RAM as one the reasons.
Google recommends 18 months of software support for Android devices though Samsung typically offers two years. What this means is that there is still a chance, given that every Galaxy Note 2 should be getting Android 4.4, that we’ll see whatever is next land for the Galaxy Note 2 somewhere down the line.
It’s important to note that we’re saying there is a chance. There is also a good chance that Samsung will keep the Galaxy Note 2 here to encourage upgrades to newer devices. The Galaxy Note 2 turns two later this year and many users will be coming off contract.