Currently, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 are running on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, the second newest Android version out there. But for many users, that isn’t enough; Android 4.4 KitKat has been out since November 2013, and only a few non-Nexus phones have gotten bumped to the new platform. The Galaxy S4 is expected to be one of the first to get KitKat, but up to now, we’ve yet to hear of any Android 4.4 rollouts for Samsung’s outgoing flagship.
Meanwhile, the Galaxy Note 3 is slowly getting upgraded to the new platform, but may be a couple weeks away from getting upgraded in North America. That said, here’s a synthesis of Android 4.4 update information so far the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3, or, as it’s sometimes called, an “update on the updates.”
We’ll start with the Galaxy Note 3, which, as mentioned above, is slowly but surely getting a bump from Android 4.3 to Android 4.4. Only a few markets in Europe and Asia have rolled Android 4.4 KitKat out for the Galaxy Note 3, including Poland (where the updates were first cascaded), Russia, India, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. That’s for the SM-N9000, or the non-LTE version powered by a Samsung Exynos octa-core chipset.
As for the LTE version (SM-N9005) powered by a Snapdragon 800 processor, updates have rolled out in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and Slovenia in Europe, and Malaysia and Thailand in Asia. This could point to a North American rollout in the next week or two; typically, Android updates for Samsung devices are first rolled out in European and Asian markets, with the United States and Canada among the last to get new Android versions.
However, that might not be the case after all, as Samsung had recently admitted to a “bug” on Android 4.4 KitKat as being the reason why certain third-party accessory makers’ smart cases haven’t been working on the Note 3. Samsung said that it would be rolling out a bug fix to allow third-party case owners to use their accessories on the Galaxy Note 3, but it’s not sure yet when the software update will be available. There’s a good chance Samsung may focus on that update first before moving on to its Android 4.4 update schedule for the Galaxy Note 3.
The Samsung Galaxy S4, on the other hand, may be getting Android 4.4 sometime in February or March. Recently, French carrier SFR was as brash as usual, saying that it would roll out Android 4.4 KitKat for the Galaxy S4 in January or February. With January almost finished and SFR not having rolled anything out yet, there’s still one more month to see whether the rather hit-or-miss SFR would be spot-on with its announcement.
The February/March rollout date, on the other hand, was backed up by SamMobile, which is quite a reliable source of Samsung news and rumors. Apart from that, though, that’s all the rollout release information Galaxy S4 owners have, so it would be best to play things by ear and wait for more information to leak out.