Last year, Samsung started pushing out Android 4.4.2 KitKat updates to its Galaxy smartphones and tablets. What started as a slow moving roll out soon expanded into a widespread, massive push that included the Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S smartphone from 2012. Only certain models received the upgrade to KitKat though.
Non-LTE versions of the Galaxy S3, including the popular GT-I9300 variant, were left behind on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. LTE models began receiving the Android 4.4.2 KitKat update in May of last year though as we’ve learned, the Galaxy S3 KitKat roll out has been extremely unpredictable and very inactive. We’ve only seen a few devices make the move up to Android 4.4 KitKat.
We can now add another device to the list though, an addition that should instill hope into the hearts of Galaxy S3 users who have been holding out for an official bump up to Android 4.4 KitKat or better yet, Android 4.4.4 KitKat.
French carrier SFR today confirmed that it will be rolling out a Galaxy S3 Android 4.4.4 KitKat update to users by the end of February. The update has passed internal testing and it appears that it, and its contents, are ready for public consumption. If SFR manages to get this update out, it will be one of the few that we’ve seen emerge in recent months.
The change log is extensive and it appears that SFR’s Galaxy S3 Android 4.4.4 KitKat update is going to bring some big fixes and enhancements to GT-I9305 users:
Immersive mode for playing
Improved management of contacts
Compatible Bluetooth MAP
Improving the security and stability of the smartphone
Correction of Open SSL security hole
This is a significant update and a significant development given that the Galaxy S3 appears to be left out of the Android 5.0 Lollipop party. It’s not clear if any other carriers will join SFR in this roll out. Carriers that offer early information about Android updates don’t have Galaxy S3 Android 4.4.4 KitKat updates listed in the cards so we may not see a massive push anytime soon.
We still haven’t seen any carriers confirmed a Galaxy S3 Lollipop update either and given its age, there’s a very good chance that it will remain on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and Android 4.4 KitKat.
The Galaxy S3’s Galaxy Note counterpart, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, might receive the bump up to Android 5.0 Lollipop, however. The Galaxy Note 2, which arrived in the same year as the Galaxy S3, is all but confirmed to be getting Android 5.0 down the road. Samsung still hasn’t given the roll out a date and plans are still subject to change based on the testing process.
Samsung’s started rolling out Android 5.0 Lollipop updates to its other former flagship smartphones including the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3. The company is also pushing out Android 5.0 Lollipop to the Samsung Galaxy S5. The Galaxy S5 Lollipop update recently touched down in the United States and is expected to push on in the weeks ahead.
At this point, the Galaxy S3 appears to be the odd one out and that means Galaxy S3 owners will likely be left with two options. Wait around for an Android 4.4 KitKat update to arrive out of the blue like SFR’s or root the device and install an unofficial version of Android 4.4 KitKat or Android 5.0 Lollipop. There are ROMs for both available right now though novice Galaxy S3 users will want to proceed with caution. Unofficial software can sometimes have unintended consequences.