Finally, Samsung Galaxy S4 KitKat update is available for more and more carriers. Now, let’s explore the top 12 new features and improvements in this Galaxy S4 KitKat update (4.4.2).
Because the system update need approval from individual carriers, you may wait a bit longer time than the others depending on the carrier, model, and region.
Galaxy S4 KitKat update: Samsung did it right this time
The Galaxy S4 KitKat update is more or less incremental in the user interface. Most users will just feel slightly new interface after getting this Galaxy S4 KitKat update.
This Galaxy S4 KitKat (4.4.2) update is far better than the S4 Jelly Bean 4.3 update, which is probably the worst Android update. As detailed in this post, there were so many problems in the S4 Jelly Bean 4.3 update.
So far, after trying the Galaxy S4 KitKat update, I’m quite happy with it.
1. Full screen music player on lock screen
The Samsung Galaxy S4 KitKat update brings the full-screen music player control to the lock screen. You can control your music player in the lock screen without unlocking the your Galaxy S4.
The good news is full screen music player on lock screen works for most music players, not just the stock Samsung music player or just Google Play music. Amazon MP3 player works as well.
2. Quick access to camera from lock screen
After getting the Galaxy S4 KitKat update, you will find the camera app shortcut in the lock screen. Essentially, you can snap pictures quicker.
This is a small, but very useful feature.
3. Change home screen easily
In Android KitKat 4.4, Google makes it easier to change launchers (of course, your home screen). Samsung did not crop this feature in this Galaxy S4 KitKat update.
Now after updating your Samsung Galaxy S4 to KitKat, you can easily change the home screen under Settings (Settings–General–Default–Applications-Home).
By default, you can choose TouchWiz home or TouchWiz home easy because only TouchWiz launcher is pre-installed.
Of course, you will have more options if you install any other third-party launchers..
4. Transparent notification bar
Galaxy S4 KitKat officially comes with a transparent notification bar. This means the notification bar now works with all wallpapers.
One minor difference you may notice is that the green battery level indicator now is white.
5. Reset the default applications easily
After installing more and more apps, some operations can be performed by several apps, for example, opening a webpage can be done in Chrome or the stock Internet app. So, you have to setup a default app for such operations. Otherwise, you have to choose the app every time.
Sometimes, you may want to change the default app to other one. In Galaxy S4 KitKat update, resetting the default app is easy. In the task manager widget, you can quickly check and reset the default app. It is not necessary to go to Application Manager.
6. Hangouts as an unified messaging app
The new Hangouts app in Galaxy S4 KitKat update keeps all your messages, conversations and video calls together in the same place so you’ll never miss a message no matter how your friend sends it. So, the new Hangouts is a replacement for the messaging app.
One advantage of the Hangouts over Messaging is that you can share your location and send animated GIFs very easily.
If you feel uncomfortable with the Hangouts and want to switch back to Messaging, it is also painless: just go to Settings–General–Default applications.
7. Real full-screen mode
With KitKat update, Galaxy S4 can automatically hide everything except what you really want to see (book, movie, game..). Just swipe the edge of the screen to bring back your status bar and navigation buttons.
Of course, this feature works on selected apps, not all apps. It seems this feature works better in Nexus (stock) Android.
8. Native support of emojis
Samsung started their own support for emoji since Jelly Bean 4.2. You can find them in Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 even before the KitKat update. Such emojis works with Samsung own devices and iPhones (black and white only).
Android finally brought native support of emoji in Android 4.4 (KitKat). Most of the stock emojis are quite nice. In Galaxy S4 KitKat update, Samsung added a few more emojis.
So, now you can enjoy emojis in more apps, and with more friends.
9. Faster Multitasking
After getting the Galaxy S4 KitKat update, you will find that switching from app to app is easier than ever. Your Galaxy S4 is more responsive. This is due to code and memory optimization in Android KitKat 4.4.
Anyway, my experience with this KitKat update is far, far better than that of Jelly Bean 4.3 update.
10. Report of location requests
In Galaxy S4 KitKat update, Samsung adds an integrated location menu which enables users to easily activate GPS, Wi-Fi and mobile networks, while simultaneously checking the battery usage of apps running location service capabilities.
You can also choose location method as high accuracy (use GPS+WiFi+Mobile network), power saving (use WiFi+ mobile network), or GPS only.
You can access the location menu at: Settings–Connections–Location.
11. Wireless printing is not limited to Samsung printers
Wireless printing from your Galaxy S4 is not new. Galaxy S4 supports wireless printing out of box in most regions. But before the KitKat update, only Samsung printers are supported.
Galaxy S4 KitKat update extends the wireless printing support to other brands of printer as well.
You can access the wireless printing settings at: Settings–Connections–More network–Printing.
12. Updated Google apps
Upgraded Google Mobile Service apps can be found in this Galaxy S4 KitKat update. You can automatically back up photos and video to Google+. You can open, view, rename and share Google Docs and files as if they are just local files.
What do you think about this Galaxy S4 KitKat update?
Please let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.