If you have one of three Samsung devices on Sprint, you might just have an over-the-air update waiting for you in your Settings menu. But don't get too excited: not a one of them brings a new version of Android, or even more than one or two new visible features. The Galaxy S III and Galaxy S5 Sport (AKA the S5 Active) phones and the Galaxy Tab 4 (the 7-inch version) all have tiny additions to their software going out today.
Update: Let us not forget the Galaxy Tab S 8.4. AT&T has updated that device this week as well, bumping it up to KOT49H.T707AUCU1ANJ5 after a 32MB download. As for the changes, they're a yawn.
- Carrier Billing enhancements
- Updates to ATT Mail, Keeper, YPMobile
Those changes are largely the same as the Galaxy Tab S 10.5's OTA this week. This 58MB update left the device at build number KOT49H.T807AUCU1ANJ5.
Samsung has been on a KitKat spree lately, and it has just about covered most of its popular devices from the last two(ish) years with the update. Today, Verizon updated its support docs for the Galaxy SIII, which indicates that the update is on its way in the coming days, as well.
Aside from KitKat, this update brings a couple of new enhancements, like the inclusion of Isis. Otherwise, it's basically the same song and dance – updated applications, bug fixes, an improved multi-app experience, the like.
Update: KitKat is also rolling out to Canadian variants of the Galaxy S III running on Bell, Rogers, and TELUS. They are joined by the Galaxy Note II on all of the country's major carriers. The goods are going out over the air, but you can get them via Samsung Kies as well.
It doesn't matter how old a device gets, there's hardly ever a time when an update to a new version of Android is unwanted.
The Galaxy S5 may be the latest thing out, but a quarter-bajillion people around the world are still walking around with the Galaxy S III, and it benefits us all if they're running current software. An update bringing KitKat to the Sprint version of the handset started rolling out earlier this month, and now it's US Cellular's turn. The carrier has announced an OTA that should bump the device up to Android 4.4.2 via version R530UVXCND4.
The Galaxy S5 runs Android 4.4 out of the box, and most of the US and international versions of the Galaxy S4 have been given the KitKat update as well, but millions of owners of the Samsung Galaxy S III from 2012 are still sitting on an outdated version of Android. Sprint seems to be the first US carrier to alleviate that: this support page says the update for the S III is going out starting today.
Samsung has been very cautious in rolling out its KitKat update thus far, with even most Galaxy S4 owners still waiting around on Jelly Bean. This doesn't even take into account all the millions of other Galaxy smartphones and tablets that often take a backseat to the company's flagship. Yet Samsung has now provided a list of all the devices it intends to bump up to Android 4.4.2 before it's all said and done.
Most custom ROMs require separate builds for separate carrier variants - one for an international model, one for an AT&T model, one for a Verizon model, and so on. CyanogenMod is trying to consolidate some of its most popular builds so that a single ROM ZIP file will work across several various device variants. Last month the CM team combined three HTC One builds, and today they're doing the same for Samsung's Galaxy S III, Galaxy S4, and Galaxy Note 3.
Typically Christmas day is a slow one for technology news, but apparently the good folks at the Android Open Kang Project have dragged their coding machines in front of the open fire. Today AOKP has posted the first nightly builds of Android 4.4.2, granting deliciously fresh custom ROMs to all the good little girls and boys. And all the bad ones too, I suppose.
The list of initially-supported devices doesn't cover AOKP's official support list yet, but it covers most of the major Nexus devices, Samsung's Galaxy SIII and S4 American and international incarnations, all five major versions of the HTC One, and a handful of Sony devices (because they tend to be pretty open as far as bootloaders and modifications go).
Today is a good day to be a Galaxy S III owner. Before the Verizon variant's update even had time to get cold, Cricket's is now fresh out of the oven as well. The OTA brings along the changes from Android 4.2 and 4.3, plus Galaxy Gear support and a lot of UI changes which serve to make the software look and function more like the Galaxy S4's stock ROM.
With this update, all US-based carrier variants of the Galaxy S III have received Android 4.3.