It’s official: Android 4.4 KitKat not coming to Samsung Galaxy S III because bloatware won’t let it
Ladies and gentlemen, especially owners of the internationally-sold Samsung Galaxy S III (model number GT-I9300), here’s some bad news for you. After months of speculation, rumors, and leaks on the matter it’s finally been officially confirmed that your device will not get an update to Android 4.4 KitKat. Nor will the Samsung Galaxy S III Mini that got released in international markets.
The information comes straight from Samsung itself via SamMobile. In light of all the contradictory information that’s been making the rounds across the blogosphere over the past few weeks, the guys over there asked the Korean company about the situation directly and they got an answer you won’t like.
But it’s nothing if not predictable. Samsung basically says that these two handsets won’t get the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system because each has only 1 GB of RAM. We’re talking about the international models only here, since the ones that were sold in the US come with 2 GB of RAM and will in fact get the update.
You may know that Google specifically designed KitKat to be able to run without hiccups on devices with as low as 512 MB of RAM, and you’d be right. But that’s Android itself. The software of a Samsung smartphone features that as a base layer, let’s call it, and on top of it is the ever-bloated TouchWiz UI developed by the Korean company as a way to differentiate itself from its competitors.
And it’s obviously TouchWiz, Samsung’s system apps, or a combination of these things that are responsible for this update needing more than 1 GB of RAM to run effectively. Not Android itself, but Samsung’s Android – so to speak. The company is unwilling to trim down its UI overlay to accommodate for the amount of RAM in the Galaxy S III and the Galaxy S III Mini, so that’s that. The former will be forever stuck on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, while the latter is never going past Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
It does seem like instead of getting better at updates with time, Samsung is in fact becoming worse. It’s been taking the Korean company longer and longer to come out with updates after Google releases a new version of Android, and now this – the Galaxy S III wasn’t even 18 months old when KitKat came out.