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Upgrading to Android 4.4 (KitKat) on the Galaxy Tab 3

You don't have to purchase a new Galaxy Tab model to get Android 4.4, or KitKat, on your Galaxy Tab 3. Samsung has made KitKat available so you can upgrade to the newer version of the Android OS. Eric Butow, author of My Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, shows you how to upgrade to Android 4.4 and how to upgrade your apps so they work with KitKat.
Like this article? We recommend

Like this article? We recommend

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 came preinstalled with Android 4.4.2, or Jelly Bean. If you've been looking at the Galaxy Tab 4 as a possible replacement for your Tab 3 because the Tab 4 has Android 4.4, or KitKat, you'll be pleased to know that Samsung now offers an upgrade to KitKat for the Tab 3.

By default, the Tab 3 checks for new operating system updates automatically, but in this article I'll show you how to install KitKat if you don't have automatic updates enabled. Then you'll learn how to get around in your new spiffier version of the Android OS.

Begin the upgrade process by tapping the Settings icon on the Home screen. Within the Settings screen, swipe down the settings list on the left side of the screen and then tap About Device in the list (see Figure 1).

Figure 1 The About Device settings list appears on the right side of the screen.

Tap Software Update in the About Device settings list. In the Software Update settings list, tap Update. The system checks the Samsung server for updates and then begins to download the KitKat update package as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2 Cancel the KitKat update by tapping the Cancel button in the Software Update window.

Within the Software Update window, you'll see how long the update will take to complete, the total size of the upgrade package (691.96 MB), and how much of the update has been downloaded to your Tab 3. The update takes a while to download, but you can minimize the window and work on other tasks by tapping the Hide button. After you tap the Hide button, you return to the Settings screen.

You can view the status of the download by opening the Quick Settings and Notifications screen and viewing the download and update status, as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3 The update package download status appears in the notifications list.

When the Tab 3 has finished downloading the update package, you may see the Software Update screen shown in Figure 4. If you don't, you can open the Quick Settings and Notifications screen and then tap Software Update in the notifications list.

Figure 4 The Software Update screen provides details about upgrading to Android 4.4.2.

Tap the Scheduled Software Updates check box to install app updates after you install KitKat on the Tab 3. If you don't want to install the update right now, tap the Later button. Begin installing the update by tapping the Install button.

After you tap the Install button, the Schedule Installation window appears (see Figure 5). Set the time to install the software updates if you prefer to install the update at a specific time. The default time is the current time, which means that you'll start installing the update immediately.

Figure 5 Tap the up and down arrows to set (from left to right) the hour, minute, and AM/PM setting for the update.

Start the installation process by tapping the OK button. The Schedule Installation window states that the Tab 3 will automatically restart in 30 seconds to begin the update. You can install the update without waiting by tapping the Install button.

After the 30 seconds have elapsed[md]or after you tap the Install button[md]the window says that the system will restart. You can restart the Tab 3 by tapping the OK button or just wait a few seconds for the system to restart automatically.

The system update takes about 10 minutes to complete. After the system finishes the update, the Tab 3 restarts and then displays a screen that shows you how many apps the Tab 3 is updating for use with KitKat. After a few more minutes, you'll see the lock screen so you can unlock the device.

After you unlock the Tab 3, the Software Update window appears and tells you that the device has been updated. Close the window by tapping the OK button.

Now the system begins to download more app updates, and you can see the update app icons on the left side of the Status bar. Open the Quick Settings and Notifications screen to view the list of app updates, as shown in Figure 6.

Figure 6 The list of updates appears in the Notifications list.

The update cycle occurs two more times: The system restarts, the system continues to install KitKat, and continues to update apps to work with KitKat. When the update is complete and you unlock the system, you can see how many apps have been updated in the Quick Settings and Notifications screen.

You can check to see whether the update installed properly by tapping the Settings icon on the Home screen. In the Settings screen, swipe down the settings list on the left side of the screen and then tap About Device.

In the About Device settings list on the right side of the screen (see Figure 7), the Android Version displays the 4.4.2 version number, which is the version of KitKat available for the Tab 3.

Figure 7 The About Device settings list reflects the Android version number for KitKat.

If you want to check and see whether there are any additional Android updates, tap Software Updates at the top of the About Device settings list. In the Software Update settings list, tap Update Now.

The Software Update window appears and asks if you want to check for new software updates and download them; check for updates by tapping the OK button. After a few seconds, the Software Update window displays a message that states the latest updates have already been installed. Close the window by tapping the OK button.

Now that you've updated Android to KitKat successfully, you need to update some of your apps manually to run with KitKat. Press the Home button to return to the Home screen and then tap the Play Store icon on the Home screen.

In the Google Play Store screen, tap the menu icon in the upper-left corner of the screen (just below the Status bar). In the menu, tap My Apps (see Figure 8).

Figure 8 The Google Play Store menu appears on the left side of the screen.

The My Apps screen appears (see Figure 9) with a list of apps to update in the Updates section at the top of the screen. You can update each app by tapping the app tile in the list or you can update all apps in the Updates section by tapping the Update All button above the list.

Figure 9 In this example, five apps appear in the Updates section.

You may need to accept and/or change the app permission settings for one or more apps that you update. After you finish updating the apps, return to the Home screen.

Now that you have upgraded the Tab 3 to KitKat, you can learn more about KitKat features in my article, "Touring the New KitKat Features on the Galaxy Tab 3" here on the Que website for My Samsung Galaxy Tab 3.

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