Samsung Galaxy S4: What to Expect With Android 4.4 KitKat Update?

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By Precious Silva | December 4, 2013 12:40 PM EST

Samsung sold more than 10 million units of the Samsung Galaxy S4 line during its first month. This time, Google is rolling out the Android 4.4 KitKat update on the famous smatphone line. The tech giant has also started rolling out the update to a range of its Google Play Edition devices like HTC One Google Play Edition. As the rollout continues, what can people expect from the Android 4.4 update of the S4? 

Better and More Improved S4 

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition is the first device to get the update. People can choose their carrier for the unlocked version but it is available for a higher starting price at $649. The carrier-locked edition is cheaper starting at $199 on the Google Play Store. One benefit of getting the Play Edition is that people have the choice whether or not they want a contract. They can avoid subsidized price carrier charges. 

Devices under Play Edition receive updates automatically from the latest software. They follow a similar mechanism with Google's Nexus line. Many users of the Play Edition devices like the idea that they can enjoy the Android experience without needing to use carrier-added or pre-installed Google applications. Nonetheless, the Play Edition devices still do not count as pure Nexus phones. 

Play Edition devices, nonetheless, can run Nexus Android software. Some people prefer the Nexus line because they are less expensive but handsets like Samsung Galaxy S4 offer added features not available on the Nexus line. 

What does the rollout mean for other users of the S4? 

According to the previous announcement of Google, the Android 4.4 KitKat update came with the Nexus 5 and will roll out to other Nexus devices such as the Nexus 4, 7 and 10, including HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition. Google will roll out the update to the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 simultaneously. 

This leaves the question when other Samsung Galaxy S4 owners will find the update ready for their devices. There are no clear announcements yet as to when Google will provide a general update for all S4 users. Moreover, Google has more control over devices under Play Edition. The company has to deal with locked contracts and other terms for non-Play Edition devices. 

Another concern plaguing Android users is the fragmentation regarding the Android 4.4 rollout on pre-Nexus 5 devices. Google lowered the hardware requirements for their latest update. Devices can now run KitKat even with 512MB of RAM. This proves Google can rollout to older Nexus models but that setup remains fragmented. 

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