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Verizon Galaxy S4 Receiving Kit Kat Update (Updated)

verizon galaxy s4

The Verizon Galaxy S4 is finally receiving Kit Kat (Android 4.4.2). The update appears to be rolling out over-the-air to a number of our readers as build VRUFNC5.

To check, head into Settings>About phone>Software update>Check for new software update. 

I almost can’t believe that the time has come. It seems like VZW GS4 owners have been waiting longer than anyone – oh that’s right, they have. Well, unless you count Verizon Galaxy Note 3 owners, who are still waiting and waiting and waiting.

We are still waiting for Verizon or Samsung to post the official changelog, but once we have it, we’ll update this post.

Update:  Here are the massive changelogs for the update.

Screenshot_2014-04-25-12-48-43 Screenshot_2014-04-25-11-52-20 Screenshot_2014-04-25-11-52-32

Cheers Phil, Chris, and Corey!
  • Jocco

    What a crappy update to the GS4, my battery life went from 2 days with the GPS always on to almost less than a full work day with it off. Sorry, but whomever allowed this update to be released is a moron and incapable of doing code testing.

  • JohnMiller2013

    Warning: If you are on 4.3, and you have a grandfathered Unlimited Data plan that you want to use with a WiFi hotspot , do not accept this 4.4.2 update.

    To make the update notifications go away, and to prevent the update from happening overnight without your consent, you can download Titanium Backup Pro ($5.99), and “freeze” the app called SDM.

    Hopefully there is a free way to do that, but I don’t know of one at the moment.

  • Kelly Chasney

    The wife received the update, she said she tried to install it and it failed. This morning I downloaded the update, as prompted by the phone, installed it, and can not make it past the Verizon screen. It’s sat there for hours and … nothing, just the Verizon boot screen. Is there a download link available for this yet? I can get into her recovery and I’d rather try to apply the update again than wipe the data.

  • Dan Lee Henson

    Lost color for the top status icons but it did fix the bogus notifier for unstable wifi.

  • SmoovePanda

    it says that my update is “Temporarily unavailable” 🙁

  • Astromek21

    My update fails to install… not sure where to start on troubleshooting.

  • shalini

    Yo can check all updates by going into setting section and checking s/w updated. There are other features also you can check about Samsung galaxy s4
    like its Brilliant HD screen, great battery backup,expandable storage 64 Gb. Check here detail features
    http://www.samsung.com/in/consumer/mobile-phone/mobile-phone/smartphone/GT-I9500ZWAINU?subsubtype=android-mobiles&in_ppc_google_hhp_aos-brand-s4-cost-of-samsung-galaxy-s-4_20140401

  • Jeffrey Fazal

    I was just
    waiting for this update for my Galaxy S4 as my friend already updated 4.4.2
    KitKat version on his HTC Droid DNA which seems good. Once my phone is fully
    charged that is currently placed on qi charger, I will definitely update
    this new version on my Galaxy S4.

  • Jaydub3000

    About FREAKIN TIME!

  • Godzilla

    Looks like it wont update if you are rooted even if you defrost everything. Hmmm……….

    • svartalf

      Moreover, you don’t WANT to update this way if you’re Rooted. Seriously. It’ll lock you out hard and bend you over at the same time because it restructures the partition map so you can’t easily or readily downgrade with an ODIN image. Go hit XDA if you’ve not already pooched yourself (I have) and get the hacked upgrades which will let you “upgrade” to KitKat. If you’ve already pooched yourself, you can only hope they can scrounge up an ODIN load that’ll give you root, turn off XNOX (or, rather, SELinux (which is what KNOX mostly is…)), and put you back in control of your device.

      Since they did the stuff they did to lock things down to try to convince “Enterprise Users” that they were “secure” and that people can “trust” them on the security policies (Sorry, I don’t, guys- you pooched yourselves on that score with all the highly insecure Smart cameras and TV’s.) I’m now disinclined to buy anything Samsung now.

  • Guest

    what does the insignia next to the wifi mean??? It looks like an “N”

    • Brandon Decker

      It means nfc is on

    • Jon

      NFC (Near Field Communications). The tech used for Google wallet, textiles, some portable speakers, etc.

  • Steve Swall

    hmmm, I was hoping to see the touchwiz changes like the S5 has. Guess not.

  • Colton

    it’d be great if i could just odin to this because i modified feature.xml in the past and cant install update..

  • Chris King

    I’m so glad that all that green is gone using Google launcher with google camera even took a photo sphere. To me that’s the best part of this update is to use more stock Google apps

    • Mike Aurin

      What other stock google apps besides the camera were unavailable without 4.4?

      • Chris King

        The google launcher was buggy on my phone now it runs smoothly. Plus it seems like google is starting to put stock apps on playstore. No art mode which is disappointing

        • Justin

          Even though it’s not a stock Google app, you can now use acdisplay! Can’t wait for it on the Note 3! Along with the Google now launcher and the Google camera.

  • Nick Vargish

    My VZW S4 was rooted, and I had frozen quite a few VZW and Samsung apps. I went ahead and applied the update, fully expecting it to fail, but it worked fine. The phone rebooted and is working normally, though it lost root (expected but annoying).

  • Dave

    Galaxy Note 2 will be soon also. The International Version started getting it today.
    http://gadgets.ndtv.com/mobiles/news/samsung-galaxy-note-ii-reportedly-receiving-android-442-kitkat-update-513959?site=classic

  • jboogie1289

    Tried this on my Note 3 and it seemed to take a while to process. After about 2 minutes, it said that the Software Update service was unavailable. I was thinking to myself it might be there after all. N-O-T!

    Drat!!!!!!

  • Buckoman

    Hm. I get an error every time I try to install it. Goes to the install screen, has the loading bar, then says “Error!”

    I defrosted all apps, restored Xposed to defaults, and unrooted. Still nothing. Anyone else? I’d not care so much about root as long as I get this damn update.

  • Caleb Martin

    Very thoughtful of them to move the software update item up one level so we can more easily see that they still haven’t released an update in the future.

  • casytsm

    PSA: Breaks wifi mode on foxfi. Don’t upgrade if you use it.

  • annaarron

    It’s transporters like Verizon that make being on an Android gadget an upsetting background. Individuals that don’t know accuse Google/Android for Verizons purposeful postpone in OS updates for gadgets on their system moreover Apple. Verizon is basically a horrendous supplier see more goo.gl/3YwOVQ

    • Justin

      Agreed. Verizon held this up. Samsung has pushed countless KitKat updates since early January to flagships. They just want their bloat on it and sometimes it doesn’t play nice so it has to be sent back and Samsung has to work on it. Plenty US carriers have already received it a month or two ago for S4 and N3.

  • jimbob

    So does that stand for Verizon Rarely Updates Fast, Needs Change? Or Verizon Regularly Utterly F#cks Naive Customers?

  • Alex siuda

    Hey guys,

    How do I get stock recovery back in order to install the OTA. I had safestrap installed and unrooted and now I need the stock recovery. Currently on 4.3. Please help!

  • sfca

    And checking S4 Developer Edition on Verizon….Still on 4.2.2.. Glad I spent my $$s on that one.

    • NeilOMalley

      Why buy a developer version if you’re just going to leave it stock?

      • gs

        Why ask a question that has nothing to do with the statement made? If someone likes stock and just wants root to keep backups and restores is that wrong?

        • Mike Aurin

          Wrong? No. Ridiculous? Yes.

  • ravenofdoom

    just to put things in perspective… KitKat was released on Oct. 31, 2013… so that’s nearly 6 months waiting time to get this update. Congrats, samsung + Verizon – you make a horrible team.

  • Michael Nichols

    Does anyone know why my AT&T GS4 that I’m using for T-Mobile Network is still 4.2.2??

  • Johnny Steele

    It is a good thing I can upd-

    Oh wait, I have the Galaxy S5.

    • Scott

      My Moto X’s 4.4 update was released way back in December.

      • Johnny Steele

        I know. My coworker likes to flaunt his speedy updates. Damn you Moto X!!!!!!

  • Rob Barone

    It’s about f******* time!

  • Dave

    another long anticipated update that from the looks of it so far, has zero effect on the battery life for performance. this is why when the phone works fine, I have stopped complaining about the update.

  • ravenofdoom

    Great, now the S4 folks will be able to join in with the rest of us not being able to write to SDCard on Kitkat

    • Justin

      Supposedly people who who had the leaks for the S4 and Note 3 have had full SD card access. They may have included the patch Samsung sent out a lil while back.

      • ravenofdoom

        All other final OTA Kitkat releases for the Note 3 and GS4 (not to mention m8) have locked down the write_media_storage permission, so I suspect the same for this release. This is a function of AOSP android / directive from Google, so I don’t see a manufaturer’s way around it… other than providing a system application for file-managing (still can’t access local network/NAS since those apps are limited)

        • Justin

          Yea, true very well could be. But didn’t Samsung release a patch fix supposedly for the KitKat SD card issue? I thought I read that somewhere a while ago. I could be wrong but that’s what made me think that’s why Verizon was taking so long to push this out for the S4 and Note 3, so that they could implement the fix.

          • ravenofdoom

            I haven’t heard this. The Galaxy S5 (the first Samsung device on Verizon shipping with KatKat, which I own) has this problem… as does every other device on KitKat with an external SDCard (unless you root your device and revert back the permission change). There is no fix for this unless Samsung tampers with the permission settings explicitly provisioned by google… which Samsung will not do. There’s a large google groups thread of people ranting about this policy change in kitkat, only to have an google android employee (Dianne Hackborn, on page 5) argue [incorrectly / not adequately] that this change was needed. See/support the thread here:
            https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/android-platform/14VUiIgwUjY%5B151-175-false%5D

          • Justin
          • ravenofdoom

            From all the other sources/sites I’ve seen, the claim in that article hasn’t been substantiated… I think the article writer got ahead of himself, since that’s from February and the latest builds from Samsung have not (and will not, according to my reaching out to Sasmsung’s development/support team) address the issue… as it’s a permission setting directed from Google).

            In short, no… an app developer can’t work around this, excluding having root access. the write_media_storage permission is set only for applications that have system level permissions (e.g. the Camera application, samsung’s “My Files” app… basically ,only the applications that Samsung sets to have system permission)… and no 3rd party app that you install side-loaded, from the play store, or otherwise can be granted this permission level. The only way to do this is to have root access and use something like Root Explorer to change the app to have system permission, or more easily, to change the settings of the write_media_storage permissions to allow user access (e.g. 3rd part access) carte blanche to that permission…. but both the former and the latter require root.

            The only other way In KitKat that you can write to the external SDCard is where an app creates a folder on the SDCard and only that folder is allowed write access by the application. I don’t know much about this approach, as I haven’t seen it implemented by any developers yet, but there was a discussion somewhere else that the folder it creates/accesses has to be deleted/removed upon uninstalling the app… which makes it worrisome to use such a folder for important file-keeping… and still doesn’t allow you to make use of something like a file explorer modifying/writing/deleting files outside that folder.

          • Chris King

            My camera still saves to sd and can move apps there also so there must have been a patch

          • ravenofdoom

            That’s not the issue. Camera is a system application, so yes, it can save to SDCard given the permissions were set by Samsung.. and move apps to SD is a function of KitKat, also a system application.

            The issue is any other non-system (e.g. any 3rd party application) that is incapable of writing to SDcard… which is basically everything besides the camera app, Samsung My Files, and the ability of the OS to move apps to SD (however, those apps even if moved to the SD cannot themselves write files to the SDCard)

      • Murph

        Just completed the update. I see no issues with SD card access so far and most of my apps live there. What could I expect NOT to be able to do if this issue were still present?

        • Justin

          I thought it was just with renaming files on the SD card. Not actually being able to place them on the SD card.

    • zach471

      It’s not locked down. Just moved Zedge to the SD

  • Justin

    Try rebooting the phone.

  • Jon

    I’m probably going to get strangled here, but what is the best way to block the update? I NEED FoxFi.

    • Daniel

      you don’t have to update, its optional at this point

  • Chandler

    I keep getting and installation error, anybody else? Fix?

    • Justin

      Or try a battery pull.

      • Chandler

        I was rooted but no longer am. My bootloader still shows custom unlock and I have tried multiple battery pulls and still errors on me. I think I’m going try a master reset unless anybody has any other suggestions or how to remove that unlocked bootloader screen. Also I did use “am I rooted” and shows not rooted so not sure what’s going as the last time it just updated and unrooted me on its own.

        • abc

          You need to revert to stock and then update.

          • Steve

            I’m stock and have never rooted mine, yet I get the same error issue on installation. I even did a factory reset and tried again and still the same problem. WTF?

        • User73

          Anyone know how to remove the rest the bootloader to factory? I think that is the problem

          • Chandler

            I used the Verizon repair program and was able to get it resolved

      • Fletch

        My install hangs every time. I am forced to do a battery pull and have to Volume Up+Home+Power to get past the failed install. I’m not rooted.

        • Justin

          Have you tried doing the update via USB and the Verizon wireless software update assistant or kies 3?

    • Godzilla

      are you rooted?

  • Justin

    C’mon Note 3. I hear the build to be pushed over the air will be something like ND4 or NDXX. Soon hopefully!

  • Caleb Martin

    Tap and pay via Google Wallet appears to be allowed now.

    • zach471

      I noticed that. Great change

  • Aaron

    I just can’t believe the note 3 is the last major flagship phone on verizon to get KitKat. Oh….wait I’m talking about verizon here. I think my old Galaxy nexus was treated better by verizon………nah……..They hated that phone with a passion lol

    • Alix8821

      Assuming your not rooted?

      I’ve been running the leaked KK for VZW Note 3 all week. It’s great.

      No real UI changes, which I don’t like. Wish it looked more like the new UI on S5. But KK is KK. It’s better, faster… There’s even a custom TW ROM based on the “stock” leak.

      I know rooting isn’t for everyone, but the leak is legit. Hopefully the actual update is just as good, if not better.

      • Aaron

        No I’m rooted. I did root my galaxy nexus (I still play with that phone from time to time). I’m Kinda afraid to root the note 3. I’m worried I might trip Knox and lose warranty.

        • Alix8821

          NO PRESSURE AT ALL… But it takes under 15 minutes, no KNOX issues.
          I even had to get a replacement phone, & got it rooted (running MJE) in minutes.
          KK is also this simple… One file thru SafeStrap, one file thru ODIN… Easy.

          I love it. Don’t lose samsung optimizations and all that makes it a “Note”, but still have root access, can slim things down, customize things, etc.

          Again, no pressure, waited forever, what’s another few weeks. BUT, if you know rooting/ROMing, it’s certainly worth it. IMHO.

          • Aaron

            I’ll think about it. Can you can point me to some GOOD resources to get me started with it? Some step by step stuff would help too 🙂

          • Alix8821

            XDA man. They got it all.. root, recovery, how to fix a brick, the new KK leak, everything…

            If you’re on MJE, all you need is windows comp, & kingo root app. That roots you, verify root, and get into KK!!

            Good luck, if you do it.

  • If I update to this I won’t be able to use Foxfi anymore 🙁

    • scastro87

      That’s my dilemma too. Hope FoxFi updates to make it compatible with KitKat.

    • Then you could root and use Xposed to do native wifi tethering. Once available again that is. I’m waiting for the rooted rom to flash with safe strap..

    • scastro87

      FoxFix updated today so it should work now. I’m updating to 4.4 now and will see what happens.

      • Thanks bro. Let me know how it works out for you.

        • scastro87

          Works, but it’s a little confusing at first

          • How?

          • scastro87

            I’m just dumb. When it says ” go to settings and turn on the hotspot within 30 seconds”, it means that, not that there’s a setting called turn on within 30 seconds. Other than that, seems to work just as well if not faster than before. It’s just another ste (after agreeing to the VPN)

  • Michael Hammond

    Step one, release update to public
    Step two, community strips ROM of bloatware, adds/removes features for customization
    Step three, release custom ROM

  • Murph

    Question: does this bring any of the TouchWiz tweaks (flatter UI mostly) that we’ve seen on the S5?

    • CivilDroid

      that would be nice if it does. im not counting on it though.

  • About time, Verizon!

  • Jimmy Leang

    **Insert FoxFi is broken comment here**
    I like KK and all but one thing i rely on is FoxFi. I got the S5 and for me to tether i have to switch back to my S3. I used to have an S4 until it fell out of my pocket on a roller coaster. Shame on me..

    • Godzilla

      If you pay for data on verizon you no longer need foxfi, you get the hotspot function included.

      • *droidz*

        Is that new in 4.4? that is definitely not my experience on a limited data plan.

        • Godzilla

          Its not new at all, it has been that way since I have had this phone. I uninstalled foxfi cuz i dont need it, i just click on hot spot and it works. Maybe it depends on what plan you have.

          • *droidz*

            6gb and doesn’t work. 🙁

      • Jimmy Leang

        Im still on the unlimited data plan. 😀

      • BGRUGGER

        ok Eli5…I was never able to use hotspot for “free”, i would always call and get it turned on for a day, weekend, whatever, and i would get prorated $1/day.

      • scastro87

        Us unlimited data need FoxFi

  • Godzilla

    I downloaded it but did not install. I am rooted with frozen apps and it wont install like that. I am gonna wait and see what happens and if it gets rooted again as advised from friends.

    • Nick Vargish

      I was able to apply the OTA to my rooted S4 with many frozen VZW/Samsung apps. The update applied with no problems, phone is working fine.

      I lost root, though. Which is annoying, but expected.

  • James Hill

    Only a week after the LG G2 KK update.

  • Garrett Ostrom

    Ahhhh, downloading now. I don’t really know why I’m so excited, especially since nothing really changes…

  • viewthis66

    Here’s to hoping the Note 3 follows shortly after. Btw will the Note 3 get the new Touchwiz as well? Not necessarily at the same time as getting Kit Kat but maybe after at some point in another update, or will the Note 3 never get the new Touchwiz?

  • Scott Tilney

    Optimizing app 33 of 172….

  • Skrewee Lewee

    I’m not telling my wife. I refuse to let her 2 year old phone be more up to date than my Note 3!!! Damn you Verizon! DAAAAAMMMMNNN YOU!!!

    • Bob F

      sooooo… she got her S4 over a year earlier than the rest of us?

    • Michael Hammond

      /fail. S4 came out less than a year ago for VZW.
      sorry dude

      I made my last 12-month payment for paying full retail to keep unlimited from day of release. So yeah, it came out May 25th last year.

      • yungqb7

        May 23rd to be exact (for in-store sales). Woke up early to be the first one at the best buy store near me. Now I just need to wait on a ROM for this, then I can finally set hangouts to be my default messaging app lol

    • Skrewee Lewee

      Man I need more coffee. Wife has my old S3. Mom has the S4. Either way, I refuse to let either one upgrade before me. UGH, I’m seriously dumb sometimes?!

    • guitarshredder87

      http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2726558

      Come and join the party that is 4.4.2 on the Verizon note 3

  • Jeremy Wood

    FINALLY!

  • Mudokon83

    Come on S3 Come on S3 Come On S3….

    • KPunk

      It’s not going to happen. The Galaxy Nexus didn’t even get KitKat.

      • Mudokon83

        Samsung said they’ll be giving kitkat to S3 S4 and S5, so I think it should happen soon, maybe next month.

      • Jon Adams

        You do know how old the Gnex is now and you are aware that there are updates prior to kitkat that it’s already missed, right?

        • KPunk

          Yes, the Gnex was released in November of 2011 with the S3 released in May of 2012, about a 6 month difference. The Gnex stopped being officially supported at Jelly Bean 4.3. Hopefully the S3 users get lucky with one final update, I personally will be surprised ESPECIALLY on Verizon, but then again, Samsung seems to support there products pretty well.

      • Cael

        Samsung never used the OMAP

  • jboogie1289

    Damn that!!!! Send out the OTA for the Note 3!!!! Guess May 2nd came faster than normal. Ugh!!!!!

  • KG

    Since there is no root for Verizon S5 at this point, safe to assume that S4/N3 will also lose theirs with the 4.4 update, with no way of getting it back?

  • JLC

    F the update…….It will break root.

  • proparham

    everything in touchwiz should be ugly , even the update pop up.

    • That’s a Verizon customization. 😛

      • proparham

        well good thing i’m not in the US 🙂

  • Shawn

    so the S3 has been forgotten right?

    • jzwerlz43

      the s3 started out on ice cream sandwich and has made it all the way to 4.3 i’d say that’s pretty darn good. id love kit kat as much as the next s3 owner but i’d say that’s pushing our luck a bit for a phone thats two years old

      • hkklife

        Not really. It still is probably the most “successful” of the Galaxy S series, at least on VZW. GS3 are still quite widespread and actively being sold subsidized and attached to 2yr contracts, as well as through a variety of prepaid channels, as is the GS3 and GS4 mini which have weaker specs. If the Note 2 gets KK then I think the GS3 should eventually get it too, even if it’s isolated to just the 2GB RAM + Qualcomm variants.
        Other 2012-era phones getting KK are the DNA, Note 2, and supposedly the RAZR M/HD/HD Maxx and the Motos have 1/2 the RAM of the GS3. Even with the TW bloat, KK should run fine. It’s just a matter of $ at this time.

        • jzwerlz43

          if it does that would be awesome! if not i cant complain though. i plan on getting a new phone end of summer either the new moto x or lg g3 at this point since neithr the s3 nor htc one appeal to me enough

  • Chris King

    Previous Samsung phones liked a fully charged battery before otas otherwise some people experienced
    shorter battery life afterwards

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      I don’t think that was a legitimate bug, more speculation

      • Chris King

        Yeah not sure but ever since I have just in case

  • Frank Drewniak

    Downloading it now.

  • Big e

    Wow. Can’t believe my wife’s old Dna and now s4 gets kicker before my new note 3. Just crazy

  • Nicholas Slaughter

    Fiiiiiiiiiiiinally some sense has come back to Verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrizon.

  • bobbyp

    I wonder what next months Android distribution numbers are going to look like. There have been a lot of KitKat upgrades going on.

  • Trace

    DA FUQ? I hate verizon!

  • droidify

    Damn and I thought the G2 was the last device on earth to get it

  • Chris King

    Thank you droid life I knew you could get back in the game. You guys are the greatest

  • Kyle

    Now all those S4 folks complaining about the DNA getting KitKat will shut up

    • Ray

      No I will not shut up im American I complain

    • Murph

      Guilty.

    • DJyoSNOW

      VZW Note 3 :'( (had to ) ANYBODY

      • guitarshredder87

        http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2726558

        My Verizon note 3 is running 4.4.2 already.

        • guitarshredder87

          Here, just took this. I sent the story/link to @droid-life but apparently they ignored it….

          • TylerChappell

            Don’t feel bad, I doubt your message was the only on in their inbox. Sheesh, so many “me first!” hipsters. ;] Congrats though, for getting it one day after my phone from November 2012. 😛

          • All_I_do_is_post_gifs
        • DJyoSNOW

          Gotchya ;D (; voids warranty 😉

    • Where is the Narrator? I’m sure he has something to say about this.

    • hkklife

      The remaining stragglers, at least on VZW and for flagship devices, are the Moto Razr M/HD/HD Maxx as well as the Note 3 and Note 2 and GS3.
      Otherwise, all of the new Droids along with the One Max, One M7, G2 and GS4 have all received KK.

      • Dave

        Galaxy Note 2 will be soon also. The International Version started getting it today.

        • mkaz80

          I sure hope so. I’ve been waiting a long time for this. My wife’s GS3 needs it too.

          • Dave

            Has yours ever not charged fully overnight or started dropping percentage big time? Mine does every now and then.

      • TylerChappell

        It’s sad that that little trio of Moto devices has fallen so far behind the Moto X and Moto G lol

    • michael arazan

      Time for the GS3 and Note 2 people to start about when they are getting Kit Kat.

      So where the hell is my KitKat for my GS3 : P

  • Caleb Martin

    Finally! Downloading as I type…

  • Chad Baker

    holy crap