Sprint users rejoice! Today marks the arrival of the Android 5.0 Lollipop mobile operating system update to your Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One (M7), but the Galaxy S4 and Note 3 are also not far behind.
The Galaxy S5 announcement was made by Sprint on Wednesday, pointing to a message on the support page changelog listing the three main components of this update: the OS patch itself, enhanced VoWiFi UI, and the removal of the Lumen tool bar. The HTC One M7 announcement was made on HTC USA's Twitter account around 2 p.m. PST.
Of course, as with any Android update, it doesn't all happen at once. If you're a Galaxy S5 user or HTC One M7 user on the Sprint network in the U.S., you can check to see if you missed the automatic notification by visiting your settings.
As for the older Galaxy S4, SamMobile has recently revealed a video showing off the Lollipop update on the Galaxy S4 after previously showing off a similar video of Lollipop on the S5. The Samsung-centric tech site notes that the phone's performance was much better and memory management was greatly improved through the new software.
The 5.0.1 Lollipop update is available for the Galaxy S4 right now, but only in Russia's GT-19500 international model. This is great news for Russian Galaxy S4 users, but there's no definite word on when we can expect that same update on our U.S. carriers.
Reports from Russia do indicate that the patch is rather large at 1 GB, which means that Samsung had to remove a few pre-loaded extras to make room on the older phone.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is right along side the Galaxy 4 update in Russia, so we imagine Samsung is doing its best to get the new software out soon. Testing in Europe is common for many Android releases. As we saw with the same pattern of release on the Galaxy S5, Samsung released the Lollipop update to Russia, Poland, and Malaysia in December, and then in the UK a few weeks later. Now that Sprint's S5 model is rolling out the update to U.S. customers, we can look at that schedule for a good idea of what to expect with the S4 and Note 3 path from Russia to the U.S.
Sprint recently let it slip that the U.S. carrier will be rolling Lollipop 5.0 out to the Note 3 very soon for the SM-N900P model, but it doesn't look like it will be that more recent 5.0.1 patch.
As far as most experts can tell, Samsung is getting these Lollipop upgrades out of the way in preparation for the big reveals of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S Edge, which are both expected to be shown off at the Mobile World Congress on March 1. If that's the case, we may see Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile following Sprint's lead by offering the Lollipop updates within the next three weeks or so.
But on the other side of the fence, some believe that Samsung may intentionally delay upgrading all older phones to Lollipop to further entice customers into making that upgrade to a newer S6 or S Edge phone. With the way wireless contracts work, those who bought the S4 or Note 3 in 2013 are just about due for a new phone anyway. The S4 was released in late April of 2013, but the Note 3 was released in September of that same year.
Android 5.0 Lollipop brings with it several improvements to those devices running on the Google platform. These include an improved notifications system, a beefier battery life, reduced app lag, and a brand new Material Design interface that add efficiency and an overall cleaner look. While the operating system originally launched on November 3, 2014, it has so far been slow to roll out to many Android devices.