The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 for T-Mo subscribers is receiving a new software update to build number T217TUVUBNL1. It keeps it on Android 4.4.4 KitKat. You can verify the current build you are running by navigating to Settings > About Device.
It’s a giant update for consumers who were stuck before on 4.2 Jelly Bean before today. if you are one of the lucky owners you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how different your software looks after installing. There’s at least 3 major updates you’ve jumped before landing on 4.4.4 KitKat. Android 4.4.4 is the last stage of KitKat and nearly up to date with the latest Android software available for any device. Of course, we recently watched Android 5.0 Lollipop release and is rolling out to a number of devices as we speak.
Android KitKat is one of our favorite releases to date. It comes with a much smoother ROM compared with Jelly Bean. You’ll find your browsing through the OS is nearly seamless and noticeably quicker. There’s a bevy of features to go along with it including full screen album art available for the lock screen, a camera short cut available from the lock screen, a color change to the status bar, all white and transparent icons on the stats bar, new emoji faces for texting, new landscape keyboard improvements for typing, new Easter Egg from the Settings, immersive mode to use all the display real estate and more. Most of the aforementioned features come with Android 4.4.2. The last 4.4.3 brought minimal features but one big security scare. Luckily the folks out of Mountain View then patches the OpenSSL security issue in 4.4.4 which you have here. Furthermore, you get a revamped phone dialer with a new font and different shade of blue.
The crew over at Sam Mobile have made the official UVUBNL1 firmware available to download manually. You can find that here. Typically, you must install the OTA file using a suitable version of the Odin application. Anything from Odin 3.07 to 3.09 will work. From there you must boot the Tab 3 7.0 SM-T217T in download mode by pressing the button sequence. Upload the firmware file through Odin by clicking the AP or PDA option. Leave the default settings as they are and click the start button. Download the Odin app to a Windows computer. You may need up to date USB drivers if you cannot connect the phone to the computer.
As usual, the OTA is arriving for users in the United States at different comes because they roll out periodically. There’s no secret button to make it come any faster, nor do we know the data the phone carriers use to decide who gets it when. You’ll automatically find the notification coming to your display alerting you when it’s ready. Tap the “download” and “install now” options on the screen when you are ready. We recommend starting the installation when you are around a WiFi signal instead of the mobile data plan. The plan comes with the usual expensive charges and the network is busy with other users downloading the same. It’s best to avoid the high data traffic from a more stable connection.
Those of you preferring to err things on the side of caution will want to back up the existing data before updating. You don’t automatically wipe the data by installing official firmware releases. It’s more of a precaution if you must apply a factory reset.