The Samsung Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 Lollipop update has been rolling out since December. And while it has made significant strides, there are still plenty of devices and plenty of people on Android 4.4 KitKat. With details and questions swirling, we want to take a look at what we expect going forward from the Samsung Galaxy S5 Lollipop update and release.
When Google announced Android 5.0 Lollipop at Google I/O 2014, it didn’t say when it would be released to the public. In November, Google finally confirmed the Android 5.0 Lollipop release and soon after, Samsung started rolling out its first Android 5.0 Lollipop update to the Samsung Galaxy S5.
Samsung’s Galaxy S5 started with Android 4.4.2 KitKat and then shifted to Android 4.4.4 KitKat on some carriers. As a flagship, most people believed that it would be first in line to the Android 5.0 Lollipop update and Samsung answered those expectations with an Android 5.0 Lollipop release in the month of December.
Naturally, we continue to get asked tons of questions about the Galaxy S5 Lollipop update. Today, with just a few days left in the month of March, we want to take a look at what we expect from the Galaxy S5 Lollipop update and release going forward. Our goal here is to help set your expectations ahead of the start of April which, in our eyes, could be a key month for many Galaxy S5 users around the world.
Galaxy S5 Lollipop Roll Out to Quietly Continue
Believe it or not, the Galaxy S5 Lollipop update continues to make progress across the globe. You may not hear about it, you may not see it in your region, but Samsung’s made significant progress since December. We expect the company to continue to make progress with its international roll out in April though here’s a word of caution. Don’t expect this roll out to end any time soon.
We’ve seen the update land for a number of different Galaxy S5 models in a number of different countries including here in the United States. That said, there are tons of Galaxy S5 models in tons of different regions still on Android 4.4 KitKat. And many of those devices probably won’t see their upgrade anytime soon.
Australian carriers Optus, Vodafone and Telstra haven’t even announced plans to roll out Android 5.0 Lollipop updates. They typically confirm roll outs a month or two in advance and thus far, silence. Other carriers are in the same boat.
We’ve said time and time again this roll out will take months, perhaps a whole year, to complete and all of the problems Samsung’s been having with the update haven’t helped.
U.S. Cellular Galaxy S5 Lollipop Release
US carriers don’t make things easy on those trying to set expectations but we’ll try anyway. The Samsung Galaxy S5 Lollipop update is currently available on Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, and C Spire. We haven’t seen the remaining Galaxy S5 carriers announce anything specific though with a US Galaxy S5 release far in the past and a minor player like C Spire in the mix, we can’t see the remaining carriers taking too much longer.
We expect the U.S. Cellular Galaxy S5 release to take place before the end of April. Anything beyond that would be extremely shocking. We haven’t seen any leaks and the carrier remains silent about its plans but it would be odd to see the carrier roll out its update three months after the start of the roll out. It’s already lagging.
Don’t expect U.S. Cellular to announce details ahead of time. Expect the roll out to emerge out of the blue, just like Sprint’s update, just like Verizon’s update, just like T-Mobile’s update.
With AT&T Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop updates live, we have to think that AT&T is making progress with its Galaxy S5 Lollipop release. We’d be surprised if AT&T failed to get it out by the end of April.
Smaller Carriers Getting Closer
Smaller carriers like MetroPCS and Cricket Wireless still owe Android 5.0 Lollipop to their Galaxy S5 users as well. And now that C Spire, a regional US carrier, has its update out, we’re confident that these smaller carriers are making strides behind the scenes. We expect the remaining updates to roll out within weeks. It would be sad to see a smaller carrier beat AT&T to the punch again but at this rate, anything is possible.
Galaxy S5 Active & Galaxy S5 mini Lollipop Release
The Samsung Galaxy S5 Active Lollipop update started rolling out in early March. It typically takes Samsung a few weeks to get everything in order before we see a larger push. Thus, we expect to see the Galaxy S5 Active Lollipop update start to get more active in April and May. It has hit a few different regions but it’s still nowhere close to being finished.
We’d expect AT&T to get its regular Galaxy S5 model upgraded to Android 5.0 Lollipop before it trots out the Galaxy S5 Active Lollipop update though again, everything is dependent on testing so anything could happen.
Earlier this month, we saw a partial Samsung Galaxy Lollipop update roadmap leak. The roadmap, from SamMobile, stated that Samsung still hasn’t started development on Android 5.1 Lollipop. Android 5.1 is Google’s new Lollipop update and one that offers feature enhancements and a laundry list of bug fixes for Android 5.0 Lollipop problems.
While that might be the case, a user onReddit has outlined potential plans for Samsung’s Galaxy Android 5.1 Lollipop update. The user cites information gleaned from a Samsung representative in Europe. We aren’t familiar with the source but he appears to be armed with credible information about the Galaxy S6 Active and about Android 5.1 Lollipop.
He says that Samsung might use Android 5.1 Lollipop to deliver a TouchWiz experience similar to the one found on the Samsung Galaxy S6. The Galaxy S6 comes with less bloatware and it also allows users to uninstall Samsung applications to free up space. Samsung’s well known for bringing new features to older devices and it could be that Android 5.1 is the update that brings some Galaxy S6 features to older devices like the Galaxy S5.
Android 5.1 or not, we expect Samsung to bring at least some of the Galaxy S6 experience to the Galaxy S5. We always see it bring new features to older devices and the Galaxy S5 is a prime candidate.
Galaxy S5 Android 5.1 Lollipop Release Date
SamMobile is plugged into Samsung’s Android update plans so we believe it when it says that Samsung hasn’t started production. With that in mind, we’d expect the Android 5.1 Lollipop update or whatever Samsung uses to deliver new features, to be extremely far off in the distance. Months and months out.
The source on Reddit claims that the slimming down of TouchWiz will come to other devices “in the long run” though he doesn’t outline any specific release details for specific devices. Long run, to us, means that it could take some time before Samsung gets these features out. After all, it has a Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge to sell.
Galaxy S5 Lollipop Problems
We expect Samsung Galaxy S5 Lollipop problems to continue. We’ve seen tons of complaints about the update and we don’t expect users on AT&T or U.S. Cellular to be immune. Rigorous testing process or not, bugs and problems always slip through the cracks and we’re expecting more Galaxy S5 users to get tangled in Android 5.0’s web.
Those of you who prepare your device ahead of the Android 5.0 Lollipop release date will lower the odds for Galaxy S5 Lollipop problems but you always assume some risk installing a major Android update like Android 5.0.
Bug Fix Updates
We do expect Samsung and its carriers to roll out bug fix updates for Android 5.0 Lollipop problems. Samsung’s already rolled out an update that brings back Mute Mode and we expect carriers to push smaller updates aimed at tackling Lollipop problems in the future. When? That’s hard to predict though US carriers aren’t always the fastest to bug fix updates for their Android devices.
In addition to bug fixes and Galaxy S6 features, we expect the Galaxy S5 to get whatever Google is cooking up for its yearly Android release. The Galaxy S5 isn’t even a year old which means that it still has a ton of life left ahead of it. We do not expect support to end any time soon. You can start worrying in April of next year when the device turns two. Samsung typically keeps devices updated for 24 months.