Samsung has been fairly good at updating its devices in the last year; Android 4.3 is on many of its older phones. The Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II and even a few of last year’s lower end models have gotten the update, which is an achievement on its own–most manufacturers abandon phones after a new one comes out. But KitKat hasn’t graced a single Samsung phone, and it looks like we’re close to seeing it.
A new build of KitKat for the Samsung Galaxy S4 has leaked, and it’s surprisingly stable. It’s a test build, so this isn’t nearly the final build that will be rolling out officially, but already there are very few bugs. What it offers, while seemingly minor, is a pretty big step for Samsung.
The company has finally moved away from the Gingerbread days just a little bit by making the battery in the status bar white. Like I said, minor but quite significant by Samsung UI standards. Unfortunately, the green highlights remain in all other parts of the user interface, so this isn’t quite the user interface refresh people are hoping for. Maybe more will be changed between now and release time.
There is also a new camera shortcut on the lockscreen, slightly better performance and benchmark scores, and an improved keyboard. It’s not a big update so far, but there is a bit of time for Samsung to change up some stuff. The update is rumored to be released sometime in February or March. Even if not much is changed, being on the latest version of Android will be an improvement in and of itself.