Samsung Galaxy S3 Android KitKat 4.4 Update Release is March 2014: 5 Important Things to Know

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By Erik Pineda | January 23, 2014 4:30 PM EST

Samsung will soon provide the sweet KitKat 4.4 treatment to its former flagship, the Galaxy S3, and reports suggest the Android upgrade procedure will commence in March 2014.

Reuters
Models hold a Samsung 'Galaxy S3 mini' (R) phone and a 'Galaxy S3' phone during the mini's world premiere in Frankfurt October 11, 2012.

Android Geeks reported that along with the Galaxy Note 2, the GS3 will finally get a taste of the latest Android, which Google started rolling out in late September 2013.

For sure millions of Android fans will rejoice about this development as Samsung's 2012 hero phone proved to be one of the company's bestselling devices. It is the first Galaxy smartphone that clocked above the 40 million mark in total sales and to date, it remains a definitive attraction for its decent specs (powerful during its flagship days) and solid pricing.

Looking forward, GS3 owners should reconcile their excitement to what really would transpire come the update moment. Provided below are the likely scenarios to attend the Galaxy S3's awaited jump from Jelly Bean to candy bar KitKat:

Silent OTA release

As usual the case, Samsung will not make too much noise on when exactly the KitKat file will hit the update channel. Reports point to March this year but the arrival time will likely come minus the fanfare. The Galaxy maker will not trumpet KitKat's distribution because getting it will depend on market location and network providers' decision.

If the GS3 is set to absorb automatic updates, the device will pop out a message informing users that the OTA update file is ready for download. Otherwise, manual check is an option by tapping on Settings, About phone, Software updates and Check update.

Phased rollout

Firmware updates are never simultaneous, whether iOS, Windows or Android (or even stock Android for that matter. The same goes for the GS3 - the whole upgrade process will surely take on the gradual mode. Some users will get the file swiftly or days only after it becomes available while other will have to wait for weeks or months.

The normal route would be: international versions are first in line the units exclusively distributed by telcos come next. Remember that every upgrade coming from Google are first tested and reconfigured by device makers like Samsung prior to release on their official channel.

Telcos like Telstra do the same - check and adjust before being made to available to subscribers.

Bug fixes

Google, Samsung and network service providers dispatch Android updates with one major aim - to patch bugs that have been detected and identified from the previous build. The object is to make the device, in this case the Galaxy S3, more stable and more secure.

If GS3 owners are expecting better overall performance from the gadget after KitKat 4.4 has been installed, most likely they will get this maximum expectation.

But no major revamps

Much of the changes geared for KitKat 4.4 in the Galaxy S3 are underneath the skin. As such, Sammy fans should not get their hopes too high that this update will lead to a fresh-looking GS3 - such as the one suggested by the recent TouchWiz UI leak from @evleaks.

For realistic expectations, GS3 owners should check out the KitKat 4.4 rendition of the Galaxy Note 3, Gotta Be Mobile said. From this latest phablet, upcoming GS3 features will surely be hinted.

Android graduation

The likelihood is, KitKat 4.4 represents the last Android update for the Galaxy S3, at least the major one. Sure, Samsung and telcos will still provide firmware updates but for the most part, these are designed to patch up issues that will crop up in the future.

But one thing is sure, the Galaxy S3 is ending its lifecycle with KitKat 4.4 running the show.

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(Photo: Reuters / )
Models hold a Samsung 'Galaxy S3 mini' (R) phone and a 'Galaxy S3' phone during the mini's world premiere in Frankfurt October 11, 2012.
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