I'm bringing you news today that Samsung are working to release the update to Android 5.0 Lollipop for North American devices later this month. The source is from an individual on Reddit, who works closely in conjunction with Samsung and has share details of an email sent out by Samsung to prepare the retail devices for the update. The instructions explain that employees must first update the retail demo devices with the system update and then install the newer version of the Samsung Retail Demo Mode. From my experience with Samsung's retail demo devices, these are not the full handset as they lack the modem, IMEI and SIM slots are deactivated. I've also witnessed the retail demo devices obtaining the update to a new version of Android some days or weeks before customer devices receive the update, but this is also true of individuals having the same device on the same carrier.
We've known for some time that Samsung are pushing to release Lollipop as soon as possible. I'm sure that the January timetable has been set down independently of the other big name competitors out there and here I'm thinking of HTC and LG rather than Motorola (Moto's update schedule competes with the Google Nexus devices rather than the HTCs of the world). We're also led to believe that HTC are working on releasing Android Lollipop for the Sense-equipped HTC One devices in early January 2015, too. And of course, with any and all of these updates, timescales can (and often do) slip behind. From my perspective, if the device I'm currently using works as well as I need it to on whatever the software version it has, I would much rather the software engineers take their time and resolve any issues with the device, rather than rush out an update just to one-up their competitors. I'm less likely to buy that manufacturers' devices again if an update ruins something on the unit!
I've always wondered where Samsung's flagship smartphone, in this case the Galaxy S5, appears next to the flagship phablet, in this case the Galaxy Note 4 with a side helping of the Note Edge when it's time for Samsung to develop and release updates to Android. The S flagship is released before the Note device and has a lower specification. Samsung give the Note more software features and so this could mean that their engineers will have to take longer integrating features with the new update. However, the original post highlights that the S5 is receiving the most attention. Perhaps this is because there are many more Galaxy S5s out there, or perhaps it's because the Note 4 and Galaxy S5 have the same core software, with the Note 4 having more features bolted on? Older Samsung devices such as the Note 3 and Galaxy S4 will be updated once the S5 and Note 4 have received their update.
Do you have a recent Samsung flagship device and are you sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for the Lollipop update? If you are using a Note 4, are you frustrated that the older S5 is receiving the update first? We'll let you know as soon as the over the air updates start rolling across the United States of America, but meanwhile, please do let us know your thoughts in the comments below.