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Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat Update: Early Look at What to Expect

While most of the attention these days is on Samsung’s Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update roll out, there is another Android update lurking, an update that Samsung hasn’t spoken about yet. That update of course is Android 4.4 KitKat, Google’s latest and greatest and an update that will almost certainly be heading to several Samsung devices. One of those devices is likely going to be the new and improved Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and here, we offer an early look at what to expect from the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update.

Right now, Samsung’s attention is honed in on the Android 4.3 updates that it is pushing out to the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2. Those updates are important as they bring support for the Galaxy Gear accessory, a smartwatch-like device that Samsung and its carriers will be selling during the holiday shopping season.
The attention that Samsung is lavishing on the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update hasn’t left any room for details about the latest Android update for smartphones and tablets, that update of course being Android 4.4 KitKat.

While other manufacturers including HTC, Motorola, and Sony have either announced or begun Android 4.4 KitKat roll outs, Samsung has remained tight-lipped about the prospects for its device owners. This isn’t surprising given that the company typically doesn’t announce updates until we get much close to their release dates.
We don’t expect Samsung to start talking about Android 4.4 KitKat until it rolls out and fixes its remaining Android 4.3 Jelly Bean updates in the United States and elsewhere. That said, when Samsung does announce its Android 4.4 KitKat update plans, we think we have a pretty good idea what device owners will be in for.
In particular, we think we have a pretty good idea about what to expect from the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update, an update that hasn’t been announced just yet but should be among the first to roll out here.

A Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat Update

Samsung hasn’t announced any Android 4.4 KitKat update plans just yet which means that nothing is confirmed. However, we can pretty much all but confirm a Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.3 KitKat update for arrival due to the fact that it is a device that launched only a few short weeks ago. Typically, Samsung devices get several years of support before they are retired so Android 4.4 KitKat will likely be the first of several major upgrades.

Pessimists out there will likely be offering a bleaker forecast for Galaxy Note 3 owners but we truly believe that the Galaxy Note 3 will not only get Android 4.4 KitKat but that it will be one of the first devices in Samsung’s lineup to receive the update. Device owners would love to see older devices get first dibs but in the world of Android, that’s not how it works. There is an intense focus on new, flagship devices and thus, the Galaxy Note 3 should be among the first.

Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat Update in 2014

What about its release date? Well, at this point, despite the early upgrades for the likes of the Moto X, we fully expect the Galaxy Note 3 to receive it Android 4.4 KitKat update sometime during 2014. Why? We have our reasons.
First off, Samsung loves to introduce its new flagships with new Android software. It’s a bit of a marketing tool and it’s something that we’ve seen happen in the past with previous launches. So, what this means is that we expect the Galaxy S5 to be the first Samsung device to Android 4.4 KitKat. That’s not confirmed but that’s what we expect.

Second, Samsung typically outfits these major Android updates with a number of new features taken from the software of other Samsung smartphones. So, in the case of the Galaxy Note 3, that would likely mean software from the Galaxy S5. The final clue is that Galaxy Note updates typically take forever to roll out. The software is complicated and we’ve seen Samsung lag with the roll out speed.
With the Galaxy Note 3 boasting current software, Galaxy Gear support, and software that is dominated by Samsung and not Google,  we don’t expect Samsung to be in a hurry to update things. Expect an update in 2014.

Roll Out After Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 Update

Even further, we expect the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update to come after the roll out for the Galaxy S4. Samsung typically rolls out updates for its Galaxy S first, and then, it rolls them out for its Galaxy Note. We’ve seen it with numerous updates in the past, most recently with Android 4.3, which rolled out first to the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S3.

Yes, the Galaxy Note software is more complicated and likely requires more testing, but the best explanation is that the Galaxy S is more widely adopted than the Galaxy Note series. This puts more importance on the update. So, with that in mind, we expect the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update to emerge first and then a few weeks later, we should see the Galaxy Note 3 update emerge.

Standard Samsung Android Update Process

Galaxy Note 3 users should expect the same Samsung roll out process that we’ve seen time and time again. For those that aren’t aware of how it works, we’ll break it down for you:

  1. First, there will be no communication from Samsung and very little communication from carriers ahead of time. Galaxy Note 3 owners in the U.S. should expect silence.
  2. Next, as we approach the release date, Samsung should come alive and make some announcements. Expect a release date to remain up in the air until the software actually rolls out.
  3. Then, we should see the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 update land in one of the regions that launched the device back in September. Samsung loves to roll out its software update slowly so that it can catch any bugs in the process.
  4. After that, we should see a few more updates before it lands in the United States.

Larger Gap Between International and U.S.

With the Android 4.3 update, we saw a short gap between the roll out internationally and the roll out in the United States. In the past, roll outs in the United States have come much later. Android 4.3 is special though as it enables support for the Galaxy Gear. Without it, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 users can’t use it and thus, carriers and Samsung, can’t make sales this holiday.

So, there is likely going to be less importance placed on the Android 4.4 KitKat update, at least in terms of timing and deadlines, so we expect a much larger gap between the international roll out and the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat roll out in the U.S.

Upgrades for All U.S. Variants

We fully expect all U.S. carriers to upgrade the Galaxy Note 3 with Android 4.4 KitKat. Again, they won’t announce anything ahead of time or offer up any kind of information but that doesn’t mean that they won’t roll updates out. Instead, expect Android 4.4 KitKat to be the first big update that American carriers offer to Galaxy Note 3 users.

Android 4.4 KitKat Update Leaks

Those who simply can’t wait for the Android 4.4 KitKat OTA for their specific device should see some leaks ahead of the roll out. We expect those leaks to be geared at international devices, just like they were with the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 2, and not for the U.S. versions of the device. As always, only those who are well versed in installing leaked software should perform the upgrade though those who start preparing now should be comfortable once the software does leak out.

Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat Update Issues

We expect the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update to bring some issues along with it. We can’t predict what those issues will be exactly but we base our expectation off of the fact that software updates are, more often than not, rarely ever flawless. We always see some bugs pop up when major software updates arrive whether it’s Android, Windows Phone or iOS.

Our hope is that the roll out won’t be as buggy as the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update has been for Galaxy users but at this point, anything is possible. Before the update arrives, we highly recommend searching for a support system. Whether that’s a forum or like-minded users on social media. That way, in case something does go wrong, there are shoulders to lean on.


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