Samsung has confirmed that two Galaxy models will not be receiving the Android 4.4 KitKat update, the Galaxy S3 I9300 and the Galaxy S3 mini 3G models.
Recently, SamMobile shared a leaked internal document detailing the expected Android 4.4 rollout timelines of several Galaxy devices. The document also noted that the Android 4.4 update for the Galaxy S3 I9300 was “cancelled due to unresolved problems.” At the time sources indicated that Samsung had trouble implementing its TouchWiz apps onto the Android 4.4 KitKat software for the international Galaxy S3 model; however, Samsung Mobile UK has since released a statement explaining that the RAM capacity in these Galaxy models prevent them from being viable for update.
“In order to facilitate an effective upgrade on the Google platform, various hardware performances such as the memory (RAM, ROM, etc.), multi-tasking capabilities, and display must meet certain technical expectations. The Galaxy S3 and S3 mini 3G versions come equipped with 1GB RAM, which does not allow them to effectively support the platform upgrade. As a result of the Galaxy S3 and S3 mini 3G versions’ hardware limitation, they cannot effectively support the platform upgrade while continuing to provide the best consumer experience. Samsung has decided not to roll-out the KitKat upgrade to Galaxy S3 and S3 mini 3G versions, and the KitKat upgrade will be available to the Galaxy S3 LTE version as the device’s 2GB RAM is enough to support the platform upgrade.”
Currently, no other updates for Galaxy devices have been cancelled. After the Galaxy S3 many of the most recent Galaxy devices have at least 1.5GB of RAM; many have 2GB of RAM and the Galaxy Note 3 had 3GB of RAM.
There is the question of why the Android 4.4 KitKat update is being cancelled for Galaxy S3 I9300 and the Galaxy S3 mini 3G models when the firmware is supposed to be optimized for better device distribution. Google implemented within the Android 4.4, Project Svelte, which is intended to allow the update to run on devices with as little as 512MB of RAM. XDA Developers note that it may be the excess bloat ware features in Samsung devices that prevent compatibility with Android 4.4.
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Samsung confirmed that 14 Galaxy devices would be receiving the Android 4.4 KitKat update. These include the Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S4 mini, Galaxy S4 Active, Galaxy S4 zoom, Galaxy S 3, Galaxy S 3 mini, Galaxy Mega, Galaxy Light, Galaxy Note 8.0, Galaxy Tab 3, Galaxy Note 10.1, Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition.
Thus far most Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 models have updated to Android 4.4. Other models that have begun to update include the AT&T Galaxy S4 Active, the Sprint Galaxy S3, the Galaxy Note 2 in France and the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition.
Users can check for the Android 4.4 update manually by accessing Settings > General > About device > Software update on their Galaxy updates.