Verizon has started pushing out Android 4.4.2 via an over-the-air update to owners of the Samsung Galaxy S III and Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini on their network. Both devices receive the usual improvements and changes that come with KitKat along with some Samsung specific improvements. For the Galaxy S III, users will now be able to use Samsung’s multi-window feature on their device, splitting the screen in half to run two apps at once. Samsung’s KNOX 2.0 framework is also included in the update. Verizon indicates there are several smaller changes included, like apps being renamed or some widgets being removed to go with the general improvements to things like stability and connectivity. Read more
Owners of the Galaxy S III on AT&T, fire up your device and get over to the Software Update menu. The carrier is pushing Android 4.4.2 KitKat to the 2012 Samsung flagship. There are a ton of pieces to the update, many of which are redesigned sections. For example, the status bar and navigation bars have been restyled with translucent elements. Of course, the usual KitKat goodies are included.
Hit the break for the full list of changes and additions with the update. Read more
It may be a bit on the old side in smartphone “years,” but the Samsung Galaxy S III is getting some love from Sprint which started rolling out Android 4.4 KitKat to users today. We believe this update will actually bump user devices up to 4.4.2, but Sprint’s update page does not indicate exactly which version of KitKat is supplied with this update. According to the changelog, there are no other updates being deployed to the Galaxy S III other than the KitKat update.
The update is being sent out in stages, so it may be a few days before it shows up on all devices. Users can check for the update manually by going to Settings -> More -> System Update -> Update Samsung Software -> Check for updates.
A couple days ago Samsung announced the devices in their portfolio for which they will provide an update to Android 4.4.2 KitKat in the U.S. However, Samsung did not say anything at the time about international devices. New information was released today indicating the list of international devices will largely mirror the U.S. list. The notable exception is the Samsung Galaxy S III, which did not make the cut. Read more
When new smartphones are released, we are inevitably hit with videos from folks trying to show how well they survive drops and hits, usually in comparison to other leading devices. Although interesting to those who enjoy watching devices get trashed and fanboys or fangirls who like to find any little thing to claim superiority for their favored device, the results of these videos are really just a single data point. For some folks, like SquareTrade which supplies insurance to consumers who buy electronic devices, the breakability of different devices is important for their rate setting and more extensive, controlled testing is required. The company recently completed another round of testing of popular devices and released the top 10 results. Leading the way as the most breakable device was Apple’s iPad Mini, but other Apple devices along with those from Samsung and Google fill out the top 10. Read more
Samsung Galaxy S III and Note II owners have something to look for this spring. The guys over at Android Geeks spoke with a Samsung software engineer that said they will be updated “in late Q1 2014, soon after the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 roll out.” The two devices will get Android 4.4.2. Furthermore, he says that the user interface will get minor changes and Samsung’s own software will not get any new additions.
Source: Android Geeks
According to a new study, the Galaxy S 4 isn’t Samsung’s most popular phone in North America. This study analyzed tens of millions of online ad impressions of Samsung smartphone and tablets within the Chitika ad network. The time frame was within December 1st and December 29th. In that time frame, Chitika saw that S III users generated about 10% more web traffic than that of the Galaxy S 4. The Note series generated about 13% of the overall web traffic.
The fact that many users are still holding on to their Galaxy S III could be why the S 4 hasn’t done as well as Samsung had hoped it would. Of course part of that could be in thanks to users being locked into a two year contract with carriers, and most people’s reluctance to pay full price for an upgrade. That being said, most of those people will have contracts that end this year, so Samsung will need to wow people with the S 5 in order to keep users. The study did find some interesting numbers regarding Samsung’s tablet market as well.
Good news for Samsung Galaxy S III owners on Sprint or US Cellular. You can now go ahead and grab the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update for your device! There’s no detailed information on what US Cellular’s update brings with the exception of a software update. The Sprint variant, however, will also gain compatibility with the Galaxy Gear. While it may not be Android 4.4 KitKat, it is certainly welcome for a handset that was released almost two years ago. And if you are wondering if the handset will get KitKat, a leaked schedule points to March or April.
Source: US Cellular, Sprint
Now we know why updates aren’t always available to everyone right from the start. It’s because problems can arise. AT&T pulled the Android 4.3 update for the Galaxy S 4, and now Samsung has pulled the 4.3 update for the global version of the Galaxy S III (GT-I9300).
Once you look at this list, you will wonder how the update was approved in the first place. Samsung did issue a statement, but you won’t get an answer to that question. Hit the break for it as well as the list of issues.
When the Galaxy Note 3 launched, many people were up in arms over a SIM Regional Lock policy that Samsung implemented, which made it difficult for people to import the global version. At first, it appeared the Note 3 would only work with the SIM for the country that the particular model was intended for. Then it was later clarified that if you powered on the phone with the proper SIM (from the country it was intended for), then it would be unlocked and could be used anywhere. However, many people found this wasn’t the case.
Now Samsung has chimed in again with more clarification on how it works. Apparently there is one more step that is needed in order to free the phone of the Regional Lock: Once the phone is powered on with the proper SIM, you will need to make or received calls for a total of 5 minutes. Once that is completed, the Regional Lock will be removed. Now if you have no way of doing this because you’re in the U.S. with a European model, you can still go to a Samsung Care Center, and they will unlock it for you.