The Galaxy S3 might be a couple generations behind now, but it’s still a solid device and more than capable of providing a decent Android experience considering its age. For AT&T users of the GS3, a good thing is about to get even better, as Android 4.4.2 KitKat is beginning to roll out!

Unlike KitKat updates for newer devices like the Galaxy S4 and Note 3, the GS3 update includes a lot more than just new KitKat features, with several Samsung specific changes that affect Touchwiz’s look and feel. Additionally, there’s Beats Music pre-loaded with 3 months of free service, and the list goes on.

Here’s the full change-log for those looking to learn more:

  • Android OS Version upgraded to 4.4.2
  • New Lock Screen Access
  • Media Controls – full-screen album art and media controls when listening to music
  • Camera Shortcut – access the Camera application right from the lock screen
  • SMS App Chooser – select a default application for sending and receiving SMS text messages
  • Restyled Status and Navigation Bars – status and navigation bars are translucent and can sit on top of apps, along with simplified status bar icons
  • AT&T Drive Mode is changed to DriveMode
  • “Beat Music” Pre-loaded
  • Video player closed captioning Settings > My device > Accessibility > Google subtitles (CC) and Samsung subtitles (CC)
  • Unified Location Menu: Settings > More > Location Location Settings is same as Location service in JBP. User can set the Locating method and check the recent location requests
  • Expanded Emoji Icons
  • Wireless Printing is added. You can add printing support to your apps or develop print services to support specific types of printers. Apps > Settings > Connections > More networks > Printing
  • Prevention Information pop-up message is suppressed.
  • Copy & paste improvements
  • Email allows inline editing
  • Phone/Dialer user interface enhancements
  • Settings changes
  • Bluetooth enhancements
  • Immersive mode addition
  • Keyboard enhancements
  • HCE (Host card emulation) Enabled
  • UICC (Universal Integrated Circuit Card ) is set as default
  • GMS apps update (GMS 4.4.2_r2).

Not that most of you are likely out of their contracts or at least close to being finished, it remains unseen whether or not KitKat is enough to keep you from switching to a newer device. Regardless, it’s still a pretty welcome change.

As always, the update will be rolled out in stages, so don’t be too surprised if you’ve yet to receive a notification prompting you to update. If you’d like to check manually, you can always do so by heading to Settings> More> About Device> Software Update> Check for Updates.

Andrew Grush
Andrew is one of the three Managing Editors of Android Authority, primarily responsible for the overseeing of US team of writers, in addition to several other projects such as VR Source and more. He loves tech, gaming, his family, and good conversations with like-minded folks.
  • MasterMuffin

    GT-I9300 will never get this, it really makes me sad :'(

    • santös

      Dude that’s right. Am sad too

    • xoj_21

      well 9300 is the last exynos to have cyanogen working properly. AOSP isnt bad

      • MasterMuffin

        AOSP is great, but official updates are nice

  • Anthony Evans

    anywhere to download it yet? WIfe having to use a gs3 till she decides on her next phone since she broke her note lol

    • MasterMuffin

      Try Kies?

  • Sachin

    If i was using S3, I will never update. Last time jelly bean upgrade was a disaster.

    • Kettzy

      A very stable build was released in India. Why are you worried? Problems occured in some initial releases which got fixed later on.

      • clinhart

        I don’t know what or when these fixes happened. I updated – ruined my phone, no cell or internet connections, only wifi, phone service poor, battery drained superfast due to constantly looking for a signal that it never found. Verizon replaced my phone with refurbished one of course, but as soon as I activated it, it constantly sends message to update the software. I am ignoring it and will not do that again. I will have to live with this until I can upgrade in January. Very bad. And there is no way to turn off the warning. I have tried. I loved my Galaxy Note 3 for the short 2 months I had it. But not likely I will go with Samsung again. Bummer.

        • Kettzy

          The kind of problems that you’ve state were probably related to Hardware and not the firmware. Otherwise, Verizon wouldn’t have replaced your device. Try updating your phone once. At least they’re trustworthy enough to replace your device. Then, you should show some trust in them and try updating your OS. Who knows, you might be positively surprised this time. :) I guess, Verizon’s got 4.4.2 update. You should definitely go for that.

  • Jason

    and no Note II KK love, sgh-i317 on ATT.. Verizon was always last to the party, ATT is in this case. All otter carriers updated already. Hmm

  • As much as I am starting to dislike Samsung, props to them for supporting an old phone like the Galaxy S3 for this long!

  • xFEARzGamer .

    I don’t get it .. why did’t they update the Intl. I9300 to KK ? :(

  • eliHd

    Samsung you lost me as a customer when you don’t give kit Kat to I9300. It is my last Samsung phone. I will Not buy Samsung mobile phone again.

    • Barry Wood

      the international version only has 1 gig ram so with tw and all the bloatware it wont run kit kat you can look on xda and find kitkat roms that will run

      • eliHd

        Kit Kat is supposed to run more efficiently than jellybean. Kit Kat can run with 512mb ram. It’s Samsung’s job to provide such services + not all people knows how to do it.

        • dnice

          This is a very short-sided and narrow view on your behalf. How could Samsung be at fault for software they didn’t know was coming 2 years after they released their phone. Plus whoever is your wireless carrier is responsible for the new update. Maybe after Samsung’s R&D looked at possible update they realized that Kit-Kat would not enhance the phone further. You didn’t buy this phone expecting it to be future-proof! No phone is Future-Proof!!!!!


    Guys I need your help. So currently using towel root my gs3 is rooted. Now when the KitKat update arrives how will I be able to update. Will doing ota update screw anything up or will I have to restore first. Thanks

    • Brandy D Scott

      restore it first then update then root it again

  • Steve

    I got the update a couple of days ago (samsung gIII). It’s fine, just things you need to get accustomed to after a few days. But, one of the most annoying thing I have ever encountered is not occurring: my notification keeps showing a series of Netflix downloads (like 6), non-stop. I clear them, and they reappear, all day long. The downloads appear to be a VCF card, image, vid, and other. When I try to open them it says “cannot find…”. When I click on app info, it brings me to my download manager, and I either have to shut it off (thereby not being able to download anything on google play or otherwise) or just let it keep going. ANYONE KNOW A SOLUTION. I DO NOT EVEN HAVE NETFLIX on my phone!

    • steve

      Found answer on another forum: Settings; app manager; (scroll to right) All; Download manager (and/or Downloads). Clear data, clear cache. Literally saved my life. New download was appearing over and over.

  • freddie

    My phone downloaded the update it rebooted it started the installation but it did not go thru and I tried using the kies but it does not do anything wat else can I do

    • patcol

      I had the same problem and ended having to get another phone off of ebay, as long as your phone is not rooted samsung should be able to repair it free of charge, I would contact them

  • rajesh

    HI I have the GS3 and it says my current sofware is up to date even though i have android 4.1.2. how can it be up to date if theres a new version?

    • tpolen61

      For the sake of functionality, stay on 4.1.2. I really wish I had. My phone is so slow. 4.1.2 was awesome. 4.3 is garbage, and based on some of the comments here, I’m not touching KitKat unless I have a backup phone in my other hand.

  • Billy

    Just upgraded to 4.4.2 KitKat and the camera is not working at all. Gives me an error message.
    I have the SGH-I747 from AT&T. Is anyone have the same issue?

  • loneryder

    Don’t upgrade your S3 yet. Did mine yesterday and now have serious reception problems. Won’t hold the signal, drops calls, constantly switches from lte, 4g, no 3g, “E” whatever that means. AT&T tech center says they have heard of these problems and can only change your sim card in hopes it solves the problem. They are “hoping” that Android will have some fixes soon. Wish I hadn’t updated!!!!

  • ur2tents

    Don’t upgrade if you have a Note 2. I’ve never had problems connecting to wireless networks before and now it takes forever and drops off all the time. Sometimes the phone icon vanishes too! My Note is turning into a paperweight.

  • Young Max.

    HELP. How do I disable the voicemail function on the S3? Driving me nuts with unwanted calls and subsequent messages.. Tks.

  • Lisa R. Franklin

    My husbands phone started the new update but did not finish it. There was a error and now it will not connect to any wifi, says that it needs to have the update but has to download over wifi only. Any suggestions??

  • BrokenEye

    What’s beat music?

    What so-called “enhancements”, exactly, are applied to the dialer interface, the keyboard and bluetooth?

    What are the changes to the settings?

    What is immersive mode?

  • Sam Insalaco

    This update completely broke my GPS functionality on my Galaxy S3. I rely on the GPS for my job, and now can’t use the GPS on my phone at all. Completely dissatisfied with this update to 4.4.2, and no fix on the horizon!

    • HeftyJo

      I was wondering if this was just me. I noticed after the update to 4.4.2 that the GPS on my S3 can take up to 10 minutes to find my precise location. Even if I do the, move the phone in a figure 8 trick, it doesn’t help.

  • fedup

    wtf is up with AT&T wi-fi-only download?! Tried to update; after 20 minutes of downloading the 358MB file, it installed, rebooted, then threw an error & didn’t finish. Still at 4.3. Then when you try again, you have to wait 24 hours!! FFS! No, my S3 isn’t rooted. HATE AT&T, HATE the craptastic battery life of this phone. Argh.

  • Rahul

    Hey i have SGH I747 ANDROID VERSION 4.1.1 there was no update available yet so what i do ??? please help

    • zoomzoomer

      I just got the notification today.. check updates again, it might be there now.

  • Juan Juarez

    One question why haven’t I gotten the update for my att s3?

  • Brandy D Scott

    i got my updates for my at&t gs3 and works amazing i have no problems at all with it. It runs a lot better i am hoping for the lollipop 5.0 update they are talking about releasing for it. I see a lot of comments that people haven’t got the updates and they won’t use samsung again. The update depends on your service provider not samsung