Four of the major US carriers have received Android 4.4 KitKat update and finally Verizon will get it on May 2.
Google announced that KitKat would be the next name for its next OS update (after 4.3 Jelly Bean) back in September 2013, but finally released Android 4.4. KitKat on October 31, 2013. The Nexus 4,7, and 10 Wi-Fi models all received the update on November 12th, with the cellular data Nexus 7 and 10 tablets receiving the update about two weeks later.
As with Samsung’s Galaxy devices, many customers are forced to wait months until their smartphone receives the latest update from Google. Back in November, a Samsung document leaked that revealed the time frame in which Samsung would release the tasty candy update to its current Galaxy Note and Galaxy S devices. According to the document, Galaxy S4 (GS4) and Galaxy Note 3 owners would start to see Android 4.4 KitKat around January 2014, with the Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3 to receive the latest from Google around March-April 2014.
Samsung’s Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition (GPE) device received the Android 4.4.2 KitKat update on December 14, 2013, approximately six weeks after Google announced the release of Android 4.4 KitKat. With the release of Android 4.4.2 KitKat for the GS4 GPE, many Galaxy S4 customers wonder, “When will I see Android 4.4 KitKat?
Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat Rollout
French Carrier SFR France published some news for both its Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 customers four months ago (December 18, 2013): SFR would release its Android 4.4 KitKat update sometime between January and February 2014. On January 16th, tech site SamMobile released the Android 4.4.2 KitKat firmware build for the international Galaxy S4 (GT-19505), and it wasn’t long before AT&T’s Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 build leaked. A week and a half later, XDA Developers decided to release the Android 4.4 KitKat firmware for AT&T GS4 customers that requires a root access method, but AT&T has yet to release the Android 4.4 KitKat update for GS4 users.
Sprint received its GS4 Android 4.4 KitKat update on February 13th, though anyone who’s downloaded a new update realizes that it can take anywhere from 1-3 days to get access to the latest update. Five days later, Samsung took to the media to officially announce the rollout of its Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update. Why the company waited five days after the KitKat rollout to Sprint is anyone’s guess, but we’re glad they went ahead and made the announcement two months ago.
Fifth-largest US carrier US Cellular has already upgraded its Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, the very latest from Google, and the update has been available since February 20th. Six days later, the GS4 Android 4.4 KitKat build leaked by XDA Developers one month earlier started rolling out to AT&T customers.
T-Mobile rolled out its GS4 Android 4.4.2 KitKat update on March 10th, but there is still no official word from Verizon. While Verizon has remained silent on a coming update, a recent Verizon document leak as of yesterday confirms that Big Red will update its GS4 to Google’s latest sweet treat (Android 4.4 KitKat) on Friday, May 2nd.
Small Carriers Announce Android 4.4 KitKat
AT&T-bought Cricket Wireless, AT&T’s new prepaid carrier that will swallow AIO Wireless whole, has announced the release of its GS4 Android 4.4 update today. French carrier SFR announced that they would release the 4.4 update between January and February, but the carrier just completed its 4.4 testing and looks to release the promised GS4 Android 4.4 update on April 18th. Vodafone Australia, Telstra, and Optus have provided no word on their updates.
What Can You Expect in Android 4.4 KitKat?
For most GS4 users, the Android 4.4 KitKat update will bring changes to the on-screen experience regarding navigation and status bars in the user interface, provide a phone number search from the dial pad, search company directories, new camera effects such as filters, color, exposure, contrast, and cropping adjustments, as well as a new “touch to focus” option for Samsung’s camera. Other additions in software include Galaxy Gear compatibility along with SMS and S-Health enhancements.
Galaxy S4 users that have been fortunate to upgrade to Android 4.4.2 KitKat will see wireless printing, Google Hangouts, and a modified user interface as part of the latest in Google’s sweet OS.