Phones Review

Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 4.3 update for US, frustration builds

Under: Android OS, Software
By:Debbie Turner | October 11th, 2013

If you’re in the US and own the Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone you may well be wondering why your device hasn’t yet received the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update. Today we want to discuss the Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 4.3 update for the US as frustration builds.

The Galaxy S4 is available on all of the big four US carriers, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. Android 4.3 released back in July and it seems a long time for people to still be waiting for the latest version of the Android operating system, especially as the Google Play Edition of the Galaxy S4 received the update in early August, two months ago.

Considering this, it doesn’t seem acceptable that this update is taking so long. There have been various rumblings about when the update may become available for the Samsung Galaxy S4 with the latest being that it should arrive at some point this month.

The first devices to receive the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update were various Google Nexus devices, but that was now months ago. Recently we told how Android 4.3 was now available for HTC One owners on AT&T and also Sprint, and it will be coming to other carrier versions of the HTC One soon.

However, Galaxy S4 owners on the various US carriers are still waiting, with no firm date yet given for when they might receive this update for their device. We know from the many comments we’ve received from readers that some US Galaxy S4 owners are becoming increasingly frustrated about the lack of the 4.3 update so far, and also the lack of communication from Samsung.

There have been leaked ROMs of Android 4.3 for the Galaxy S4 but at Phones Review we always recommend that people should wait for official manufacturer and carrier updates. The problem with using unofficial versions of course, is that if you use this method to update and anything goes amiss you may have invalidated your guarantee.

If Samsung could only offer a more specific timeframe than the latest “October” that was pledged, this might do more to console customers that the update was on the way. We have noted on many occasions now that those in the US often have a longer wait for Android updates, and many people blame this on the fragmentation of the Android platform. However, some of the blame should be laid squarely at the door of US carriers.

When a new update has been developed by Google it then has to be readied for use with specific devices. However, although it’s easy to assume that it would then be ready at that point, individual carriers then need to approve the update and some add their own bloatware too. This all adds to the time it takes for the update to reach waiting customers and is why unlocked versions usually receive updates first.

When this update does eventually arrive it will bring many benefits and also support for Galaxy S4 compatibility with the new Galaxy Gear smartwatch. Of course by the time the Galaxy S4 finally receives Android 4.3 it may be time for Android 4.4 KitKat, as this new version is expected to launch later this month

Are you one of the many owners of the Samsung Galaxy S4 waiting for the Android 4.3 update for your phone? Do you feel that as long as everything runs smoothly when it eventually arrives it will have been worth the wait? Maybe you’re disappointed or vexed over the amount of time it is taking to roll this update out? We’d appreciate your comments on this.

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  • daniel

    Us gs4 users should just skip 4.3 and go with 4.4 I’m sure kit kat is gonna be a whole lot better then 4.3 this is ridiculous.

  • rubem

    Im returning my s4…im done with Samsung. They’re always doing this BS!!!

  • magrospic

    Poor show from Samsung. Too busy bringing out new versions of the same phone (e.g. i9506 and E330S, the latter I own) but not updating the basics… next time I’m going clean Google to avoid disappointment!

  • Mark

    Yeah, I hate the constant Delays! Consumers spend a lot of money on their phones! Samsung sucks when they delay!

  • Shanaka Fernando

    I am really frustrated with Samsung waiting for the 4.3 upgrade for the galaxy S4, they just want to make money from new devices but not worried about the valued customers. High time for people to change for iPhone or if Android the nexus.

  • mudu

    Samsung sucks the valued customers I hate samsung andwants to go with htc

  • Charles Steen

    Just today I went ahead and purchased the Galaxy Gear even though I have the Galaxy s4. I am so ready for the update to 4.3 so I can use my new watch. Perhaps Samsung should exert a little pressure on AT&T and Verizon to make the update sooner rather than later, then they might sell more smart watches.

  • Warrior In Christ

    I’m aggravated with this whole galaxy s4 4.3 update crap!!!! Apple product owners (such as myself) have already received our updates, yes I know they’re two completely different companies and product manufacturers, but my point is Apple is on its job, Samsung needs to get on THEIRS!!!!

  • jay

    I don’t think I’ll will be well worth the wait anymore because seeing as it is one of the lates flagships and is not updated to android 4.3 and android 4.4 is already coming out what’s the posing of 4.3 just bump us up to kit kat ….we are looking for the best firmware and up to date o.s. that is why we buy expensive phones if I was gona waste my time waiting for updates I would of bought a crappy phone with no development .luckily we have CyanogenMod paranoid android infamous development and all other ROM developers to provide us with custom firmware for our desperate needs

  • BRIAN FOREMAN

    They give at&t and verizon time to cram all the bloat ware into the new updates. B.s we should have the choice with out root for what crap we want on our phones. Im sick of all the waiting. Seriously thinking of going with the nexus so I will quit getting dicked around.

    • david rastetter

      i am thinking the same.

  • david rastetter

    this may be my last samsung device. i am a samsung fanboy!!! but they are treating their existing customers like crap. its time to move on

  • Tom

    Lol what a bunch of sad retards getting upset over an update haha

  • GR

    Samsung has no problems telling the world what it thinks about Apple–through its stupid commercials. Maybe it should make a commercial about how it treats its customers–like garbage.

    • Lynn Stout

      And I guess u don’t know that Samsung is the one that built iPhone 5s’s processor so yeah once again iphone=itrash

  • Mark Angliss

    It’s always the same story… first it was Motorola, then it’s Samsung…. the common denominator is Verizon… for once, it would be nice to actually get updated as responsibly as nexus devices…

    • Alias73

      Yup! I agree! I experienced this when I had a Motorola phone. I was very loyal to Motorola until that incident. Now I have the S4 and thought Samsung would be better. Both from Verizon, now I’m thinking I need to leave Verizon. It seems AT&T is much more responsible when it comes to updating their phones.

  • Daryl Funderburk

    Even though this is about the S4, I’m noticing a pattern with Samsung. As a Note II owner, we’ve yet to receive any Android OS updates, other than 1 or 2 stability patches. The same is true with the S3 devices. These, I might add, were up until recently, were their flagship devices. I don’t completely like the ROM option as they are buggy at best due to them being based on a port from similar builds but not exactly yours. It will be interesting to see how Samsung supports their latest flagship going forward…as past behavior has shown, Samsung has no intention of supporting their high end devices in a timely manner. Over a year and not 1 OS update for the Note II or S3 is utterly RIDICULOUS…especially when Google has released 2 Os’s since those devices were released. Watch Samsung with a suspicious eye.

  • John Mackey III

    This is sad. Updates are important but the carrier is bottleneck. The sad part is a fanboi mentality and impatience of users. The fight is against bloatware this is only an issue with carriers and should be addressed there. Verizon and Android are not really seeking business direction from message boards like this, although these posts are important and should not stop. As users we need to address the responsible party. Just to let Dodd users know iOS7 has some serious issues that I dislike on my iPad.

  • William Frencken

    My next smartphone will be Nexus and not Samsung g4 anymore
    Amsterdam

    • 702guy

      You are aware that Nexus is manuafactured by samsung correct?

      • Raphael Uduhiri

        The last Nexus was made by LG and the Nexus 5 is also rumored to be made by LG

        • William Frencken

          I always have a rooted galaxy for some reason with stockfirmware
          if everybody roots their galaxy s4 or every other model
          you can get rid of samsung and flash for example google firmware
          then you have in no time kitkat 4.4
          problem solved

      • William Frencken

        Yes, with the specifications of Mr Google
        thanks for the reply
        wim

  • Sickofwaiting

    Going back to iphone 5s if this isn’t out in Oct.

  • LetsStickItTothem

    Can we say “BOYCOTT” Samsung Phones, until they realize that consumers are what drive there business.

    • Dagger

      As others have stated, it is NOT Samsung, it is the local carrierss, ATT, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. If you want to boycott, try boycotting the right company

  • sumit

    I am used to late updates. It has always been a problem since I had the galaxy s2. Also there is nothing radically new with any update.

  • dave johnson

    I understand there was an issue w/ security. That 4.3 showed your card numbers on your form data for online purchases. Also trouble w/ the bluetooth radio.

    I got an s4 after a gnex. As an aside, if I had to say, a 1.2 Ghz dual core nexus device is as fast as a 1.7 Ghz quadcore. I was in a verizon test batch for 4.2.2 on the gnex. Killed data. Spent days on hold w/ verizon & samsung who accused me of rooting it. Had to wipe the phone, got the the official ota w/ the fix 6 wks later.

    I wouldve been happier had everything worked out just awesome. Which is why I got an s4. Everything is & has worked perfectly on my s4. I am very happy. I am completely nuts about getting the smartwatch, but…

    The hottest selling smartphone of all time…this demographic has a cybersecurity breach & our $419 galaxy gear smartwatch wont work.

    Theyre waiting for a reason.

  • eightball

    What a bunch of babies!!! Ive never heard so much whining about an update. The current version works fine!!! Amazing how people are never satisfied with anything!! The S4 is by far the best Android on the market but now just because an update is on hold, Samsung is crap! Grow up!!

    • Darrell Darrell

      The current version is far from fine for those wanting or owning a gear watch.

  • mets7

    Honestly I don’t think this is a big deal. While I wish they would hurry up and release 4.3 for the S4, its a minor update with a couple new features. No huge overhaul or major upgrade.

  • sleepy head

    If anyone should complain about anyone it should be to the carriers who hold up the update process to put they’re bloatware that no one even uses if enough of us complain to them then there might be a change …I don’t blame Samsung because the Google edition of the S4 is running 4.3 and U.S. is always one of the last to get they’re update anyways it’s not a big deal if the update is delayed idk why is everyone being impatient and even getting frustrated enough to not want to buy Samsung phones anymore because they have a lot of quality products and phones even though it would be nice to be up to date just like everyone else.

  • krupal

    Does anybody know exat date?

  • Gezim Musliaj

    I don’t understand,they say Google will gonna launch Kit Kat 4.4 this tuesday and we haven’t yet received Jelly Bean 4.3 for Galaxy S4.
    Thats why Android sucks,iOs is more correct at this point.
    Why the hell the companies that use Android OS can’t have a compromis with each other to launch the update at the same time.I think in this way they are losing too much the interest of the customers compared to iOs which always has a fixed time when the update rolls out and has never dissapointed so much the customers.
    Hope Samsung will notify us as soon as possible whats going on,if we will have the update(4.3) this month or we gonna just “jump” from 4.2.2 to 4.4(which i doubt it could happen).

    • Lynn Stout

      Yeah ios faster updates but u show me a iPhone that can run at the speed android can cause guys that don’t exist

    • Darrell Darrell

      Its no androids fault. 4.3 has been available for a while now. Its the fault of the carriers for not giving it to our phones. If you don’t want to wait then go grab the google play version for your phone.

  • galacticcannibal

    I am 80 years old . still 6’1″ tall weight 180 lbs, in great health physically and mentally. Drink strong Ale every day. Have DELL desktop and laptops connected to Verizon Fios (Fiber optics). Have a Samsung galaxy 4. My only complain is when I travel to Europe or Australia, I get ripped off by my US carrier with outrageous roaming charges on my bill . So I purchased a Vodafone for $40 in England, and installed local SIM card . Guess what no more US rip off bills, for roaming when I travel. As for this delay in getting the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update. I can only say to all of you. GET A LIFE people.

    • Darrell Darrell

      Did we really need all that other stuff at the beginning of your post? Just get to the topic at hand next time. No one cares if you drink Ale every day and use a Dell desktop.

  • Ericeblanc

    Je ne suit pas trop comtent quon n’a pas le 4.3 je trouve ca très long je suis désappointé

  • charlielaz

    I love my samsung s4 I switch from and iPhone. But what’s the friggin deal with updates? Apple was very consistent. Samsung sucks, its like whatever operating system your phone come with – that’s what you’re stuck with. Instead of updating they just release a new phone.

    • James Sabo

      Most of the time you get automatic updates and don’t even know it, or do you mean “new” software releases, it’s a sales ploy by Apple to make people think they are getting something bigger and better and all it is is little tweaks here and there.When Android updates it usually makes a big change. And the software has to be written for each carrier and specific model. Apple only has one version of their software so it doesn’t take forever to write it.

  • Greener

    I’m waiting for 4.3 in hopes that it will solve my bluetooth problems with the Galaxy s4. If the bluetooth is still flaky after the update, I may just sell the s4 and go back to the s3…bluetooth on the s3 works flawlessly!

  • Ryan Rovero

    Im pissed going to get htc next time

    • Aaron Williams

      HTC is just as bad. I got my One X when it was the supposed “newest and greatest” thing running, and they stopped supporting it at all in less than two years. It would be great if they at least released the basic framework so developers go to work. After a while, even they lose interest and before you know it your phone is obsolete.

      • Ivana Twinkle

        Yet HTC already updated the HTC One to 4.3

  • Erik

    I want to buy the watch so get me my update, it’s stupid business

  • Jay W.

    If it does come out this month, it still would’ve took less time then Motorola takes for an update. Not much changed from 4.2 to 4.3 so this is to long to wait for a pitiful little update. I know it’s little because I’ve had it on my Nexus 7 since a week after it was announced. Not happy with samsung but like I said, it’s better than Motorola.

  • jonathan

    I want this update because I want my S4 to work with Galaxy gear !! Hurry up !!

  • Darrell Darrell

    I just installed a google play rom on my s4 as I bought the gear watch and it didn’t work. OMG All I can say is WOW!

    • Jay

      Which carrier your cell phone belongs to? And after installation of Google play ROM are your sensors and other unique features of devices still working?

  • Steven Edmonds

    I just wanna use my galaxy gear. It’s sitting on my nightstand WAITING for my s4 to be compatible…. :/

  • cLos

    Yea I too am just waiting so I can use the gear. Its been collecting dust already. Whst got me was a rep told me it was comparable with the s4.. seriously considering going back to iphon even though I hate it……

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