KitKat rolls out for Galaxy S4, Note 3 in UK and US

KitKat rolls out for Galaxy S4, Note 3 in UK and US

Summary: Samsung's Android 4.4 update for Galaxy devices looks to be picking up pace with the firmware update now hitting users in Europe and the US.

TOPICS: Android, Samsung

Android KitKat is heading to Samsung's Galaxy S4 and Note 3 via an over-the-air update rolling out to devices in the US, UK and other countries.

The update finally brings two of Samsung's most popular devices up to par with the latest release of Android version 4.4.2, which currently powers about 2.5 percent of the world's Android devices.

"Samsung UK can confirm that a phased rollout of Android 4.4.2 KitKat has begun across UK devices including Galaxy S4 and Note 3. Customers will receive the update over the coming weeks, pending each network’s own software approvals process," Samsung said in a statement.

According to posts from UK users on forums, Samsung's take on KitKat hasn't brought many changes but does improve battery life and now includes a camera shortcut on the lock screen.

Galaxy Note 3 and S4 owners that haven't received the update automatically can use Samsung's Kies desktop application to manually check for an update.

The KitKat update for select Samsung devices comes as HTC continues to iron out issues that caused it to yank its KitKat update for HTC One devices last week. The rollout hasn't been resumed.

Across the Atlantic, T-Mobile this week began rolling out KitKat to its Galaxy S4 subscribers. Key improvements include improved stability and a better on-screen keyboard. The 388MB update brings the device up to Android version 4.4.2/Baseband version M919UVUFNB4.

Samsung last month announced some of the key changes that US consumers could expect as it outlined which Galaxy devices would get Android 4.4.2.

Key improvements included:

  • Location menu: An integrated location menu enables users to easily activate GPS, wi-fi and mobile networks, while simultaneously checking the battery usage of apps running location service capabilities.
  • Enhanced messaging: Enables users to choose between Messages or Hangouts as their preferred default messaging application, and select from a larger assortment of updated Emoji icons.
  • Upgraded Google Mobile Service (GMS) apps: Users can automatically back up photos and video and can open, view, rename and share Google Docs and files.

Read more on KitKat

Topics: Android, Samsung

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • Disappointed with KitKat on my HTC One

    I've experienced several issues:

    1. The TV Guide app now consumes a lot of power. The day after upgrading my phone I noticed it had 18% battery left by 1:00 in the afternoon with little use. Normally the phone lasts all day unless I'm heavily using data. Force stopping the TV Guide app solved the problem. However I now have to manually kill the app after each use.

    2. Visual Voicemail got mucked up. T-Mobile had to "uninstall" (i.e. disable it on their end) it and then renable it. The problem appears to be resolved.

    3. The green line separating the numbers from the call button in the dialer app sits on top of the words "CALL" where it used to have space in between. On occasion that space returns.

    I'm waiting for an update to the TV Guide app which will hopefully solve the problem. Given there was nothing impressive in this update I would opt out if I could do it over again knowing what I know now.
    • Re: Disappointed with KitKat ....

      Here on the Apple side it sounds like the "I wish I could roll back to iOS6" complaint.
      • ReRe: Disappointed with KitKat ....

        Unlike with Apple, if you work at it hard enough you can roll back the OS on an android.
  • Enhanced messaging :-?

    You can do this already. Google Talk gets upgraded to Google Hangouts out-of-the box on the S4.
  • Verizon S4

    no update yet
  • Samsung's update process is ridiculously slow.

    I learnt my lesson. I won't buy with Samsung devices again.
    • Samsung are better than most major Android OEMs

      They're all pretty bad.
  • KitKat in Canada

    Rogers Communications in Canada has the S4 coming out tomorrow [!!!] and a few others models getting it after.
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