Latest Samsung Android 4.3 news: devices, carrier rollout and problems

Latest Samsung Android 4.3 news: devices, carrier rollout and problems

A few things have changed since I last reported on Samsung's Android 4.3 update schedule in North America. Since last week, the Android 4.3 update for the S3 on the Sprint network did indeed come through as expected, and the S4 on T-Mobile finally got the love too. Canadian S3's and Note 2's started getting the update and the AT&T Galaxy S4 update was finally resumed after a hiatus. Let me break down on who's got what and where, and fill you in on what's been going right and wrong with Samsung's update process.

Galaxy S4 Sales
The Android 4.3 rollout in North America is almost complete for the S4 and S3. / © NextPit

Galaxy S4

The following carriers have delivered the Android 4.3 update to the Samsung Galaxy S4: in the USA, AT&T have resumed the update rollout after suspending it due to the numerous problems affecting S4 owners, T-Mobile finally starting pushing the update a couple of days ago, and Sprint and Verizon have been out for a while now. US Cellular, who also pulled the update when AT&T did, have not yet resumed the rollout but it can only be a matter of time if AT&T's update has now been fixed.

Android 4 3 samsung galaxy s4
US Cellular is the only major US carrier not to have rolled out the update for the S4. / © NextPit

In Canada, S4 owners on the Rogers, Telus, Bell, Fido and Wind Mobile networks have received the update. Despite numerous and varied problems on the S4 and S3 internationally, noticed first on British variants, the North American rollouts went ahead and caused many problems for many people. Latest reports seem to indicate that things are settling down as the newer updates appear and owners on some carriers seem relatively unscathed by the update issues. The S4 has had it lucky compared to the issues the S3 has faced though.

Galaxy S3

In the US some networks seemed to skip a lot of the problems the British S3's faced, but there were still a lot of problems. Verizon is the only major US carrier to still be holding back on the Galaxy S3 update to Android 4.3 (you may recall they were the first to release the S4 update and that's where this whole mess started - at least in the US). T-Mobile was the first to rollout the new OS version for the Galaxy S3, followed by Sprint and US Cellular. S3's on the AT&T network are receiving the update now while Verizon customers wait patiently.

android 4 3 samsung galaxy s3
Only Verizon customers in the US are missing Android 4.3 on their Galaxy S3. / © NextPit

In Canada, S3 owners on the Bell, Rogers, Telus, Fido and Virgin Mobile networks have reported the update has arrived, but Wind Mobile customers are still waiting. Admittedly the Android 4.3 update on the Galaxy S3 in North America has been less problematic than that initially released in the UK, who, incidentally, are still awaiting a fix. There have been a variety of issues from Wi-Fi problems, contacts issues, Bluetooth problems, screen freezes, app crashes and blackouts. As with the S4 update, not all S3 owners were affected, or were not as badly affected as some, but all in all, the S3 came out worse for wear compared to the S4 after the update.

Note 2 and S4 Mini

Note 2 owners are a little behind the smartphone flagships, but are finally starting to see the update. The update appeared on S4 mini owners.

Note 2 Android 4 3
Canadian Note 2 owners are ahead of their US counterparts. / © Samsung; AndroidPIT

Why the problems are especially damaging

Apart from the major public relations and customer service failings on behalf of Samsung and their carrier partners, this update fiasco has had other negative consequences as well, beyond pissing off current customers. The looming presence of Samsung's response. This doesn't make for good publicity on the eve of the nation's busiest shopping season.

galaxy s4 mini galaxy s4 watermark
There may be a few less bows tied to Samsung devices this gift-giving season. / © NextPit

What customers want

Despite some of the very vocal threats, accusations and admonishments of various Samsung customers on the internet, we asked in a recent survey what Samsung owners thought Samsung should do to rectify the problem, offering suggestions as far ranging as ''nothing'' to suspending handset repayments during the affected period or offering discounts off future Samsung product purchases. The results were much more balanced and level-headed than the suggestions floating around the internet, with 63% of responders simply wanting an official apology and a timeline for a fix. A surprising 51% (multiple choices were possible) just wanted a fix with nothing else needed. An optional OTA downgrade back to the previous OS version was sitting in the middle and almost no one was interested in anything to do with money.

Have you been one of the affected Samsung owners? What advice would you give Samsung for their next OS update release?

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  • gaban Dec 21, 2013 Link to comment

    So when are we Note 2 users in Malaysia gonna get the update? Any idea?

  • Joe Higgs Dec 16, 2013 Link to comment

    I just received the 4.3 update a few days ago on my Galaxy S3 via Sprint. It has been causing issues constantly. Very laggy, higher battery drain, constant reappearance of all downloads on notification bar, etc. I can't wait for a fix and I really didn't want have to revert my phone. :-\ I'm definitely disappointed that they would allow such a bug-ridden update to continue roll out.

    • Kris Carlon Dec 18, 2013 Link to comment

      Hey Joe, there's not much I can offer except a fix for the phantom downloads problem: jsut go into your App Manager and scroll to the All tab, then find Download Manager and clear the cache. That'll get that issue sorted at least.

  • Pteryx Dec 11, 2013 Link to comment

    Thanks for the info. I will check out that XDA Forum.

  • Pteryx Dec 11, 2013 Link to comment

    Is the Rugby Pro (SGH-I547C) one of the phones that is supposed to be updated to 4.3? My understanding is that it is a S4 variant.

    • Kris Carlon Dec 11, 2013 Link to comment

      Hey @Pteryx, the Rugby Pro came out six months before the S4, so they are unrelated. The Galaxy Rugby LTE model hasn't been listed by Samsung for the 4.3 update yet (and may not be at all), but there's a pretty lengthy modding thread at XDA Developers Forum you could check out. Just search for all the obvious keywords and see if anyone's got a stable ROM for your phone. Right now that's the only way you'll get 4.3 on your Rugby Pro.

  • pete pickett Dec 9, 2013 Link to comment

    The one major disappointment for me was not being able to quickly turn off MOBILE DATA anymore. I had to add the NOTIFICATION TOGGLE app to quickly get to it. Otherwise so far, so good.

  • ah64pilot Dec 9, 2013 Link to comment

    I'm an idiot. I updated last night...blindly. I didn't know there were issues with the update...

    Now, I keep getting "downloaded" files notifications in the status bar and when I clear them they come back within a minute. When you try to open it the file cannot be found or there is no app to open them with...

    Some of them, like Word docs I don't need anymore I just deleted...and I STILL get the downloaded file notification.

    Other issues...once in a while the screen will just go black. No reason, just black. Then it comes back, or you wake the phone and the lock screen is up after 1 second of being black.

    Really regretting hitting that button last night...sheesh :-/

  • Ricardo Garcia Dec 9, 2013 Link to comment

    T-Mobile Galaxy Note 2 4.3 Update is now OTA

  • Wendy Ferguson Dec 7, 2013 Link to comment

    Hi I'm in Australia and Have heard nothing about the update to 4.3 I have an S4. Any ideas about when we might see this update in Australia?

  • Jacqui Rodrigues Dec 5, 2013 Link to comment

    @kris AT&T no problems so far. I'll keep you posted :-)

  • udaykumar Dec 5, 2013 Link to comment

    Will Galaxy grand duos (I9082) which is on 4.2.2 ( and almost 3 stability updates) will be getting a 4.3 in near future..??

    • Kris Carlon Dec 5, 2013 Link to comment

      Hi @udaykumar, I haven't heard anything specific about Galaxy Grand Duos, but considering the fairly recent update to 4.2.2 I would hesitate a guess that if it makes the jump to 4.3 (or even 4.4 directly), it won't be for a while. Samsung have said they will release their KitKat update plans in due course, so keep your eyes peeled.

      • udaykumar Dec 6, 2013 Link to comment

        @Kris , Thanks for your inputs.

  • Jacqui Rodrigues Dec 5, 2013 Link to comment

    @kris carlon got it!! So far running smoothly. Woo hoo!

    • Kris Carlon Dec 5, 2013 Link to comment

      Hey @Jacqui, what carrier are you with? Fill us in on what you see (if there's any persistent problems). I've been hearing good things so far about the stability patch for the S3 in the UK and Ireland (rolling out today), but maybe you won't even need that. Good to hear it's working well for some people at least.

  • Jacqui Rodrigues Dec 4, 2013 Link to comment

    @kris carlon oh don't get me wrong - - I don't plan on switching back to Apple! I do love my phone, I was just excited about the update and it's taking sooo long. I'll be trying again tonight. Fingers crossed!

  • marc Dec 3, 2013 Link to comment

    Still not received 4.3 for my s3. Live in the uk on 3 network

  • Jacqui Rodrigues Dec 3, 2013 Link to comment

    @kris carlon thx for the update. I just converted from Apple to Android less than a year ago and love my new phone & tablet but this has been a bit of a disappointment... Oh well soon enough. Please keep us posted! Thx :)

    • Kris Carlon Dec 3, 2013 Link to comment

      hi @Jacqui, don't let this put you off. Generally speaking Android updates are relatively stable. Perhaps some minor issues that are ironed out soon enough, but nothing like this. Perhaps you can just check out other OEMs next time you need to upgrade! Let your wallet do the talking!

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