Updates for most Android phones take a long time, but that window has consistently gotten shorter over the past few years. Google has made strides to get the final code to OEMs faster than before, and as a result we’ve seen Android 4.3 and 4.4 updates go out considerably faster than any previous versions of Android did. While Samsung had released the Android 4.4.2 KitKat update for the Galaxy Note 3 in Europe over 2 weeks ago now, US patrons with a Note 3 were left wondering when their update would come. While we’re unfortunately not able to tell you that an official rollout has begun, we can at least tell you that some fine folks over at the acclaimed XDA-Developers forum have gotten their hands on the AT&T build of Android 4.4.2 KitKat for the Galaxy Note 3 (build N900AUCUCMLG) and have released it as a flashable .zip file. What’s more the Android 4.4.2 KitKat update for the AT&T version of the Galaxy S4 (Build I337UCUFMLD) has also leaked out from the same source, both being posted by the user designgears from XDA.
It’s worth noting that both of these update files contain bootloaders, which mean Samsung has updated the firmware of the device to remove root access. It’s likely that root access will be restored in the future, but with the way Samsung has been working lately there’s really no telling. If you didn’t see the news from the other day Samsung is now restricting accessories to ones with an authentication chip inside, meaning some of your 3rd party accessories will no longer work properly after you take the Samsung Android 4.4 KitKat update. We’d like to point out that this is a restriction put in place arbitrarily by Samsung and not one by Google. It’s not confirmed if this is the case for the Galaxy S4 as well as the Note 3, but we don’t see why not if they already did it with one phone.
The update itself doesn’t bring any earth-shattering changes, but more in the way of a few little visual tweaks and performance improvements to help with multi-tasking and overall speed of your device. It does unfortunately bring a slightly larger base file size, weighing in at around 1.5GB for both the Galaxy S4 and Note 3, and is of course only flashable via Samsung’s ODIN update software. As was stated before if you have root and don’t want to lose it, definitely don’t flash these builds quite yet. Someone will get them rooted eventually, and AT&T will likely roll out the official builds fairly soon as well. The Galaxy Note 3’s build seems like a near-final or even final build, whereas the Galaxy S4’s build is a little unstable, having random reboots caused by video codec issues. AT&T will be looking to have those sorts of things fixed before launch of course, which might just be another reason to wait. Otherwise hit up the XDA source links below and give them a shot yourself if you’re feeling brave.
Via: Android Police