Samsung starts talking Android 4.4 KitKat updates for U.S. devices

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini

Samsung is finally going public with plans to update some of its U.S. phones and tablets to Android 4.4 KitKat.

In total, 14 devices are set to get the update:

  • Galaxy Note 3
  • Galaxy Note II
  • Galaxy S4
  • Galaxy S4 Active
  • Galaxy S4 Zoom
  • Galaxy S III
  • Galaxy S III Mini
  • Galaxy Mega
  • Galaxy Light
  • Galaxy Note 8.0
  • Galaxy Note 10.1
  • Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition
  • Galaxy Tab 3

Samsung hasn't said exactly when these devices will get Android 4.4 KitKat, noting that availability will vary “by carrier and product, with updates beginning today and continuing throughout the coming months.”

Compared to some of its rivals, Samsung is joining the update party a bit slower. Motorola began updating its Moto X to KitKat last November, and U.S. carrier versions of the HTC One are getting the update this month. HTC has also tried to be more transparent about its update process, with a website where users can follow the progress of updates for various phones.

Still, it's good to see a wide range of Samsung devices getting the update, including some that launched in 2012. The update for Samsung's Galaxy S III is especially encouraging, given that the phone originally included Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. This will be the fourth major version update for the Galaxy S III.

Android 4.4 includes lots of cosmetic and interface changes, many of which aren't likely to translate to Samsung's custom “TouchWiz” interface. But according to Samsung, the update will include Google Drive integration, new Emoji icons and the ability to set Hangouts as your default SMS app. Users will also get a new location menu with battery stats on location-based apps.

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