In June, Google took the stage at Google I/O 2014 and announced a slew of new products including Android 5.0 Lollipop, its replacement for Android 4.4 KitKat. At the time, the company showed off a number of new features including the update’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 5.0 release date.
Android 5.0 Lollipop is all but confirmed for Nexus devices and it’s expected to land sometime this week for the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10. Nexus devices aren’t the only ones getting Android 5.0 Lollipop though. Several companies including HTC, LG, Motorola, and Sony have confirmed upcoming Android 5.0 Lollipop releases for their devices. Samsung, the world’s largest Android manufacturer, simply hasn’t done that.
Instead, the company has remained committed to Android 4.4 KitKat and more specifically, Android 4.4 KitKat and Android 4.4.4 KitKat. Android 4.4 KitKat updates continue to pour out of Samsung’s servers as the company continues its quest to get devices up to newer versions of Android. In the wake of Google’s Android 5.0 release, Galaxy users have been wondering about the what’s next. And while Samsung remains silent, a new leak has answered some of those burning questions.
According to information from SamMobile, Samsung won’t be rolling out Android 4.4.4 KitKat updates to the international versions of the Galaxy S5, Galaxy S4 or Galaxy Note 3. This isn’t too surprising given what we’ve heard about the Android 5.0 Lollipop release though it means that many Galaxy users will stay on Android 4.4.2 in the build up to Android 5.0.
Both the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy S4 Lollipop releases have been rumored and this new information suggests that there will unsurprisingly be a Galaxy Note 3 Android 5.0 Lollipop update as well. The Galaxy Note 3, which arrived months after the Galaxy S4 and a few months before the Galaxy S5, has only received one major Android upgrade.
Galaxy S5 Lollipop release rumors put the update’s release in December though that timing remains unconfirmed. Android software release dates are heavily dependent on the testing process and the testing process is extremely unpredictable. So while Samsung might be targeting December for the Galaxy S5 and 2015 for the Galaxy S4 Lollipop update, there’s a chance that its plans could get delayed.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is also expected to get the Lollipop update though it’s not clear when the update will roll out. The Galaxy Note 4 is slightly newer than the Galaxy S5 which means that it could potentially get the software upgrade in and around the same time as the Galaxy S5. Last year, Samsung pushed the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat upgrades within weeks of each other.
Of course, this Android 5.0 Lollipop timing applies to international models only. Carriers are typically a little bit slower than Samsung and unbranded models typically receive their upgrades first. In the past, U.S. carriers have been close to unbranded roll outs though nothing is guaranteed. Samsung rarely confirms specific release date information ahead of time which means that Galaxy S4, Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3, and Galaxy Note 4 users will almost certainly be waiting in the dark.
The Samsung Galaxy S4, Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3, and Galaxy Note 4 almost certainly aren’t the only devices in Samsung’s Android 5.0 Lollipop release pipeline. The Galaxy Note 3, which arrived after the Galaxy S4, will likely be getting the update though that upgrade still hasn’t been rumored or confirmed. Devices like the all new Samsung Galaxy Alpha should be in good shape as well as Samsung typically extends updates for two years.