The Samsung Galaxy S3 is a true Android classic, but unfortunately the phone isn’t receiving as much love from Samsung in its autumn years.
The Korean E210S version of the Galaxy S3 has recently received its Android 4.4.4 upgrade, whilst the international i9300 variant has been left without an update. Samsung had been toying with the idea of an official KitKat update for the i9300 handset, but has fallen short of delivering.
The reason for the update split is apparently down to hardware limitations. The international Galaxy S3 only shipped with 1GB of RAM, whilst the Korean variant has 2GB and LTE connectivity. A few months ago Samsung claimed that it was having issues making TouchWiz run properly with this limited amount of memory, and that it therefore wouldn’t be updating the handset anymore.
Fortunately the development community has come to the handset’s rescue yet again, having reverse engineered the Korean Galaxy S3’s latest update to work on the international handset. XDA Senior Member arter97 and his team have managed to assemble an unofficial ROM is just a matter of hours, and it is surprising stable for such a quick development time.
However, there are a couple of bugs at this early stage of development. The network signal strength doesn’t quite display correctly, and SMS messaging isn’t working yet. Hopefully the development team will find fixes to these issues soon and i9300 owners will have a fully working version of 4.4.4 KitKat to play with.
If you’re interested in trying out the unofficial Galaxy S3 update for yourself, or just want to keep track of it until the bugs are fixed, you can find everything you’ll need on the XDA thread.
Looks like Android’s development community saves the day again.