The Sprint Galaxy Note 2 and the U.S. Cellular Galaxy S3 are the latest Galaxy models to receive the Android 4.4 KitKat update after several months of user anticipation.
Both Sprint (NYSE:S) and U.S. Cellular (NYSE:USM) announced the update on their respective software support pages on Thursday. The Galaxy Note 2 L900VPUBNE2 build software is over-the-air, while the Galaxy S3 R530UVXCND4 build software is available over-the-air and also by download and USB installation. Users can also manually prompt the update by accessing Settings > General > About Device > Software update on their handsets; they will want to have their devices charged at least 50 percent before proceeding with the Android 4.4 installation.
U.S. Cellular details a full change log, which includes updates and enhancements to the Galaxy S3 user interface, the new Hangouts app (which is integrated with the Samsung messaging app), faster multitasking, and wireless printing capabilities. Other enhancements associated with the Android 4.4 KitKat update include enhanced music access, easy camera access on the lock screen, an integrated location menu, and new sound controls. Sprint’s change log says its Galaxy Note 2 will get the Android 4.4 KitKat operating system, which should include all of the aforementioned enhancements.
The Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3 are among 14 Galaxy devices that Samsung Electronics Co. (KRX:005930) confirmed will receive the Android 4.4 KitKat update. The manufacturer says each carrier will determine its own rollout dates for the Galaxy devices they support. Days prior to the rollout, Samsung updated its website to include Android 4.4 support for the U.S. Cellular Galaxy S3, so the rollout was anticipated.
Users have long awaited the Android 4.4 KitKat update for the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and the Galaxy S3. So far only the Sprint, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile models of the Galaxy S3 have updated to Android 4.4. Sprint is the first U.S. carrier to receive an Android 4.4 update for the Galaxy Note 2. Both devices updated to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean in late 2013.
Samsung confirmed in early May that the International Samsung Galaxy S3 I9300 model would not receive the Android 4.4 KitKat update due to incompatibility with RAM capacities. According to Samsung, the 1GB of RAM in the International Galaxy S3 model is not enough to support the Android 4.4 operating system effectively. Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE models like the U.S. Cellular Galaxy S3 are still eligible for updates because they contain 2GB of RAM.
There are currently no indications when other carriers will begin updating their Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3 models to Android 4.4 KitKat.