Here at AndroidHeadlines, we like software updates. Some of us update our devices on our lunch breaks just because we can, and we universally dislike waiting for an update to arrive from our device manufacturer or carrier, so having a little more transparency helps soothe our tempers. That’s just what Samsung have done earlier in the week by pushing firmware out to carriers (or devices, if you bought an unlocked Samsung) by announcing their plans for the rollout of Android Kit Kat to their high end Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy S5 and as-of-yet-unreleased Galaxy Note 4. They’ve also explained that the new Samsung Galaxy Alpha will come with Android 4.4.4 right out of the box. Samsung have released a lot of handsets and I’ve tried to not reduce this post to a list of model and Android version numbers!
I’ll start with the Galaxy S4, which will be receiving the update to Android 4.4.2 across most parts of the world including the Baltic regions (known for getting software updates first), France, Netherlands, United Kingdom, New Zealand, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. Samsung have not confirmed anything for the Canadian or USA, but we know that Canadian carrier Rogers has started rolling out the update to 4.4.3. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is also being put up to Android 4.4.2 in Russia, the Ukraine, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Portugal. If you’re still using the Note II in Italy, Portugal and Slovenia, you’re also due to receive 4.4.2. If you own the Samsung Tab 4, a number of regions are also receiving the update to 4.4.2. Owners of the 8.0-inch WiFi model in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Trinidad and Tobago should be receiving the update shortly.
Owners of the French LTE model are also in the queue. Meanwhile, French, Italian and Baltic owners of the LTE 10.1-inch model will be receiving the software update notification shortly. Putting the above together, then, what does it mean? Typically, software updates have to go through two separate stages before they reach your hand. Firstly, the manufacturer needs to write and test the update for the handset and in the case of Samsung, sometimes they’ll include new features that have been introduced into newer Galaxy devices. After this, the update is sent to the carrier for what is known as the “integration” phase. This is where the carrier tests compatibility and usability. In some cases the carrier modifies the update by including their own applications or disabling certain features. The carrier I worked for tested all manner of aspects of the update from how reliable the over-the-air process was to any mobile baseband changes, before (to my frustration!) throwing in a couple of “value added” applications.