For several weeks, we heard rumors about Samsung’s Android 5.0 Lollipop update release plans. We heard that the company was hard at work on several Lollipop updates including upgrades for the Samsung Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy S4, and Galaxy Note 3. These four devices represent four of its newest smartphones so the leaks, rumors and details did not come as a complete surprise.
Samsung made good on several of those rumors last week when it confirmed the start of the Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 Lollipop roll out in Poland. It also confirmed updates for the Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note 3, and Galaxy S4 though those updates will not be starting until sometime in early 2015. Specific release dates have yet to be confirmed.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 Lollipop update is the only Samsung Galaxy Lollipop update that’s rolling out and unsurprisingly, we’ve been getting a ton of questions about Samsung’s plans for its current Galaxy S flagship. Samsung is fairly secretive about its Galaxy Android roll outs and release dates and it also puts a lot of the control in the hands of individual carriers.
The testing process is very unpredictable and thus, Android update release dates for Galaxy smartphones and tablets are unpredictable. That said, we’ve got some idea about what to expect.
With the Galaxy S5 Lollipop release ongoing, we want to take a look at what we expect now from Samsung and its Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 roll out. This will rope in what we know so far and what we see for the future. Our goal here is to get you as prepared as possible for the update and set your expectations, something that for the moment, Samsung refuses to do.
If you’re expecting Samsung to confirm every single Samsung Galaxy S5 Lollipop update or every single Galaxy S5 Lollipop release date in the coming days, you might want to think about tempering your expectations.
Samsung might make an announcement, once it deems the initial Galaxy S5 Lollipop roll out a success, but we expect that announcement to be broad. In other words, we would expect it to confirm the update for its Galaxy S5 variants and leave the release date information to its individual carrier partners. That’s how these things work.
Unfortunately, most carriers keep their ETAs and release dates to themselves. U.S. carriers in particular. It’s a glass half-full, half-empty situation. While it’s nice to have early ETAs and release dates, ETAs and release dates for software updates often change around. So, either way, there could be a source of frustration.
Do not expect U.S. carriers to be included here. We almost never see U.S. carriers, outside of Sprint, confirm early Galaxy Android update release details. Instead, expect Australian carriers, Rogers in Canada and some other European carriers to outline their plans ahead of time. Just remember, ETAs are often pushed back so these early details might change over the course of time.
Galaxy S5 LTE-A Android 5.0 Lollipop Update in 2015
Last week, Samsung confirmed that it would roll out the Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 Lollipop update to the Galaxy S5 LTE-A model sometime in early 2015. We expect Samsung to stick to this timeline for one of its important Galaxy S5 variants.
We also expect that timing to encompass Samsung’s other Galaxy S5 variants including the Galaxy S5 Active, Galaxy S5 mini, and the Galaxy K Zoom. Variants like these typically follow weeks or months behind the regular model so we would expect roll outs for all of these sometime next year. Early 2015 is a possibility but not a guarantee.
The Galaxy S5 Lollipop roll out is limited to Poland and three carriers in Korea at the moment but we should see some pick up over the next few days as Samsung looks to continue its push in Europe and Asia. We also expect the company to start asserting itself in other key regions with the United States being one of those markets.
The U.S. is always at the forefront of these major Galaxy Android updates and we expect to see the same thing here. Look for Sprint to be among the first to the software update as the carrier attempts to lure consumers to its network in 2015. Sprint’s been on a roll with Android updates and we don’t see it slowing down any time soon.
Do not expect updates to pour out during the holidays but we definitely see a few more rolling out before the end of the year.
Similar Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 Lollipop Updates
Expect your Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 Lollipop update to be similar to the one that rolled out to users in Poland and South Korea. We expect to see carriers implement their own bug fixes and enhancements but we don’t expect to see any major features missing or any significant differences between the versions of this update.
As expected, the update delivers a number of big time changes including Google’s brand new Material Design. In accordance with Google’s wishes, Samsung redesigned many of its key applications to fit the new look of Google’s brand new operating system. We expect carriers to adopt all of these changes and tack on some changes of their own.
A Move to Android 5.0.1 Lollipop
Google’s Android 5.0.1 Lollipop update is out and it fixes a number of bugs on board the operating system. Given its presence as Google’s most stable version of Android, at least at the moment, we would expect Samsung, or at the very least some carriers, to push out the Android 5.0.1 update instead of the Android 5.0 Lollipop update.
If the Android 5.0.1 Lollipop update sticks around, and it might, we could see a roll out to the Galaxy S5 as Google, Samsung and Samsung’s carrier partners work to stabilize the Galaxy S5’s software. We haven’t heard about any major bugs yet but then again, the software is very limited right now. We expect Lollipop issues to emerge once the roll out starts pushing out at a rapid pace.
Samsung upgraded its Galaxy devices with Android 4.4.2 KitKat and over time, Android 4.4.4 KitKat, and we would not be surprised if the company made a similar move here with Android 5.0.1 Lollipop.
Lengthy Roll Out
Finally, expect this to be a lengthy roll out. In true Samsung fashion, the company’s already taking its time with the initial push. We expect it to slow roll out its international upgrade and for it to take several months to complete. Same goes for the Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 Lollipop process for individual carriers.
Again, release dates depend on internal testing and as we’ve seen, testing can been a bumpy road. Look for the majority of updates to land next year and for the update to take several months to roll out.