The Samsung Galaxy S4 for T-Mobile is the next in line to update to Android 4.4 KitKat. The U.S. carrier announced the update on Monday, and Android 4.4 is now available for the T-Mobile Galaxy S4 over the air and via Samsung Kies.
The T-Mobile Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 update follows the T-Mobile Galaxy Note 3 update, which hit last week. As with the Galaxy Note 3 update, users had no warning of when the Galaxy S4 update would begin. Currently, the Android 4.4 updates are now rolling out for the Sprint Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4, the U.S. Cellular Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4, the AT&T Galaxy S4.
The Android 4.4 KitKat M919UVUFNB4 build software is 387.59 MB, and requires at least 50 percent battery power to complete the update. Users should be able to prompt the update manually by accessing Settings > General > About device > Software update on their T-Mobile Galaxy S4 handsets. We did so on our T-Mobile Galaxy S4 handset and the update was available, so we proceeded to install.
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Downloading the update manually took approximately one hour, though we did not time this closely. If your device is charged less than 50 percent, it will not let you proceed with the update. We ran into this problem and charged our Galaxy S4 handset up to 60 percent before continuing. The actual update installation took approximately 30 minutes, including various optimizations, which ran after the update completed. Once our Galaxy S4 handset rebooted, Android 4.4 was running. The handset also updated a number of already installed apps and also prompted us to make Google Hangouts our primary SMS service. We declined this option at first but went back later and updated our settings.
The most immediate differences are the white status icons. Android 4.4 appears to run much smoother than Android 4.3; simply flipping through our app pages, we noticed a quicker reaction time. Keyboards also appear to have increased accuracy. We have also tested out the Immersive Mode feature new to Android 4.4. When playing music from the stock music player, the music art appears as the device’s background image. The skip and play/pause buttons are wider for much easier access.
We have not experienced any immediate difficulties with Android 4.4. Notably, many recent adopters of Android 4.4 for the Samsung Galaxy S4 report such issues as Bluetooth failure and battery drain. We have tested Bluetooth on our T-Mobile Galaxy, pairing it to a MacBook Pro with no trouble. Our battery usage appears no different that what we experience with Wi-Fi and/or data networks activated. Users with battery issues can find tips to maximize battery power here.
According to T-Mobile’s change log, the Android 4.4 update for the Galaxy S4 includes improved stability, a new camera shortcut on the lock screen and improved on screen keyboard. Users should keep in mind that the camera shortcut on the lock screen can only be accessed with the “swipe” screen unlock option.