Good news for Galaxy Note 3 owners in India, Samsung is now seeding the long awaited Android Lollipop update to their flagship phablet of 2013. It is kind of a Holi (the popular festival of colors in India) gift from Samsung to Indian Note 3 (Model SM-N900) users. Being a major OS upgrade, this OTA update is pretty big at around 837MB. It requires at least 3GB free device space before the installation proceeds. The Android Lollipop version is shown as 5.0 after the update and build date reads Feb.9, 2015. Samsung has done a complete overhaul of phone’s User Interface via this update so be prepared for a fresh new look, animations and functions in your phone. As usual the official change-log is hard to find so here is what we noticed after updating our Galaxy Note 3 to Lollipop –
1. All System icons (and other UI elements) have changed to match the new “Material design” look of Android Lollipop (actually the icons are borrowed from Note 4)
2. There is a system-wide replacement of black color (in KitKat) with white color as the background of menus, dialer etc. Unfortunately it will adversely affect the battery performance (as black background consumes less energy)
3. The notification bar and panel has been re-designed with blue color replacing the black and “S Finder” and “Quick Connect” buttons added to the panel
4. Overall the UI and general performance has improved a lot. The device is noticeably faster; UI transitions/animations are smoother than in KitKat. It looks like Samsung has cut down the bloatware and lighten their custom Android skin (TouchWiz) making it less resource heavy. App loading time has also improved mainly due to the use of ART runtime in Lollipop (instead of older Dalvik)
5. Widgets Tab has been removed from the App drawer (main menu), so widgets are now accessible only by “touch and hold” gesture at home-screen
6. The “Hide apps” option under settings of app drawer has been re-introduced (it was not present in KitKat)
7. An unnecessary bloatware “Bloomberg” app cropped up after the update
There are many more changes and we will add them to this list soon
How to update? – If you have an unlocked Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (model SM-N900), then check for Software Update under Settings – General – About device – Software updates. OTA (Over The Air) update notification should appear if it is available for your device – a fast internet connection is recommended to download the big firmware – wait as phone downloads the update – make sure the phone battery is charged to at least 50% before applying the update – it will take about 10-20 minutes to install the update – done!
You can also use Samsung Kies software to update the phone via computer.