Though Samsung has largely remained mum about its plans for updating devices to Android 4.4 KitKat, new information has surfaced, which suggests a number of midrange devices may receive the new operating system.
Sources have tipped SamMobile with yet another leaked document, possibly detailing Samsung’s plans for Android 4.4. Previously, another detailed leaked timeline about the possible Android 4.4 update schedule for such high-end Samsung devices as the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note 3, and Galaxy Note 2 came under scrutiny. The latest document suggests Samsung devices such as the Galaxy S4 Mini, Galaxy S3 Mini, Galaxy Ace 3, Galaxy S Advance, Galaxy Ace 2, Galaxy Core, Galaxy Fame and Galaxy Fresh may also update to Android 4.4.
Notably, Google’s “Project Svelte” has optimized Android 4.4 to be compatible with a host of devices, including those with as little as 512MB RAM, which means many midrange to low-end devices will also have the opportunity to update to Android 4.4. It's still ultimately up to OEMs to decide which devices will get the update. This leaked document is by no means a confirmation that any of these Samsung devices will update to Android 4.4, as it states the aforementioned devices are being simply being considered for the update. There's a chance some, many, or all of these Galaxy models may never see Android 4.4. But Samsung does appear to be putting more work into its midrange products as of late, which could means such devices may actually receive more steady support.
Of the listed devices, the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini is considered the most likely to receive an Android 4.4 update. Not only has the device shown up in previous document leaks associated with the Android 4.4, but it is also among the newest midrange phones for Samsung with some of the highest specs for a midrange device. Though Android 4.4 was developed to work with a host of devices, those on the lower end of the low-end may still find themselves excluded for a number of reasons. Keep in mind even Google has retired its Galaxy Nexus from software support. While the Mountain View, Calif. company states it is because the Galaxy Nexus is outside of its 18-months update cycle, it has also been noted that the device includes various specs, which may not be compatible with Android 4.4.
SamMobile notes that the mount of bloatware Samsung adds to its TouchWiz user interface may essentially undo whatever system optimization Google developed with Project Svelte. Many Samsung devices with as little at 512MB of RAM, such as the Galaxy Fame and the Galaxy Fresh may subsequently have very little ROM could end up not having enough capacity for personal use if they were to be updated to the latest software. Though without official word from Samsung on its update plans, these musings remain unconfirmed rumors.
Samsung isn't the only manufacturer interested in expanding support or its lower end devices. Both Sony and Motorola have indicated their commitment to getting a number of high-end, midrange, and low-end devices updated to Android 4.4. Most Android 4.4 KitKat updates are expected to begin rolling out during the early months of 2014. Hopefully, Samsung will decide to open up a little more by then so not to be bested by the competition.
Would you like to see Android 4.4 KitKat running on midrange to low-end Samsung Galaxy devices? Let us know in the comments below.
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Fionna Agomuoh is a Technology Reporter for the International Business Times, a vegan foodie, and a lover of Electric Dance Music.