So Sprint started rolling out Jelly Bean (Android 4.1) to the Samsung Galaxy S3 and it should be coming to all carriers if it hasn’t already. Some of you were waiting for the update and some of you could care less simply because you don’t know what the update does for your phone. First you have to understand that the S3 uses a User Interface (UI) called TouchWiz. TouchWiz adds special Samsung software to its phones. Each manufacture has its own UI that it puts on phones, but Samsung seems to have got it right with battery usage, S Beam and S Voice. So how does Jelly Bean change the S3? Well first make sure you read: Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) your phone’s next update.
You will notice that your pull-down notifications have changed. The first thing you will notice is the redesigned date and time section at the top. The TouchWiz settings bar is tucked neatly under that. Jelly Bean’s expandable notifications are now integrated, so you can pull down on email messages to get a preview. Also appointments and pictures have added functionality like Snooze, Email, Quick Reply and Share.
S Voice and Google Now
S Voice is definitely great however I know that Google Now has more words than S Voice and it seems as if some individuals (possibly because of accents) have to enunciate more. Google Now can’t be accessed by swiping up but Holding down the menu button and from a lockscreen shortcut. Voice Search is also enhanced with spoken answers, access this through the microphone. One thing that remains the same however is when you finally activate Google Now’s card system, it will read your information in “Contacts” and if you have your home and work address filled out properly it will give you estimated time to leave your house to go to different locations marked on your calendar, including work.
S Beam and Android Beam
S Beam doesn’t seem to change much except for the addition of file transfers over Bluetooth. I suspect now S Beam will work better with all NFC enabled phones (check your settings under “Wireless & Networks” and click “More”). Samsung and Jelly Bean added additional support for One Touch Pairing through NFC with Bluetooth devices. The first of which is a Bluetooth headset the first of which is: Samsung Galaxy HM3300.
Modes and Home screen adjustments
Enhancements to the home screen can also be seen as Widgets are automatically sized and icons are moved to fit a particular home screen page. You now also have the ability to manipulate the sizing of widgets more. In an effort to make moving from iPhone to Android easier on the S3, Samsung has taken the liberty to add “Easy Mode” and “Blocking Mode”.
Easy Mode – is for new users to learn their way around the handset.
Blocking Mode – shuts off notifications, calls, alarms and LED indicators without powering off.
With Jelly Bean and TouchWiz the camera is updated as well. There’s a little bit of magic in almost all of the camera’s features. Low Light Mode will give you great low light shots. “Live Filters” – simply this feature allows you the functionality of seeing the version of the photo in Black and White, Sepia, Vintage and more while you are taking a photo. The Video feature has been enhanced with Pause and Resume.
Swype – Are you on Swype beta and downloaded it to your phone? No need. Samsung has added swipe to the S3.
Pop up Play – pauses the Pop-Up Play picture-in-picture video window.
ESPN Scorecenter – Whether it’s Giants, Yankees, Knicks or Jets, Mets and Nets, if you are a Sports fan and have a Samsung Smart TV with All Share you are going to love this feature. You will be able to push on-demand ESPN sports coverage and highlights straight from the smartphone app. Um word to the wise, download ESPN app if you haven’t already through S Suggest on your Samsung Galaxy S III.
One of my testers (Tiffany Murchison) stated a few more enhancements:
“The camera has more voice options, commands like “shoot, zoom, say cheese”. The settings bar has more shortcuts, like if you touch & hold wifi, it opens all the wifi settings. There is no longer a choice to use Vlingo with S voice. S voice is much better, recognizing key words like “meeting duration” for calendar options. The calendar view has a few changes. Instead of an arrow, calendar view options are shown by pressing an icon of a calendar with an eye. (I preferred the arrow, the eye looks spooky) The driving mode settings are now under speech to text settings & is no longer on the short cut bar. Also, there are more widgets: a favorite contacts widget, favorite apps widget, my call sound widget, Simple alarm clock widget and more widgets based on installed apps like Facebook and ZDBox.”
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