U.S. Samsung Galaxy S III can (sort of) rejoice. On Wednesday, Samsung confirmed that the U.S. versions of the current Samsung flagship phone will be getting Jelly Bean.
The one important missing detail was when.
The update to Jelly Bean, AKA Android 4.1 and the latest Android version, will hit Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular “in the coming months.” The update will be available both OTA and as a download via Kies, Samsung’s sync and software update solution.
The announcement wasn’t unexpected, particularly since Samsung started rolling Jelly Bean out to international Galaxy S III handsets in August. Considering Android fragmentation and the slow upgrade process for Android devices, we hope that “in the coming months” means before the New Year.
Android 4.1 includes the following major features::
Google Now: Google Now gives users the right information at the right time, like how much traffic to expect before leaving work, when the next train is scheduled to arrive at the subway station or the score of a favorite team’s current game – conveniently delivered as notifications. Additionally, Google Now provides powerful voice assistant functionality across a range of domains, including weather, maps, navigation, search, image search, flight status and more. Google Now can conveniently be launched from the lock screen shortcut or by a long press on the menu button from any screen.
Rich Notifications: Notifications can now expand and shrink with a pinch to show the right amount of information a user needs. Notifications have been enhanced so action can be taken without having to launch the app first – like sharing a screenshot directly from the notification.
Automatic Widget Adjustment: Customizing the home screen is easier than ever before. Users can simply place a new icon or widget on the screen, and existing icons will move out of the way to make space. When widgets are too big, they automatically resize to fit on the screen.
Meanwhile, typical of the Korean Samsung has added its own modifications to Jelly Bean. The following enhancements to Android 4.1 are on the Galaxy S III:
Camera Enhancements: — New live camera and camcorder filters offer a range of new ways to spark your creativity. Warm vintage, cold vintage, black and white, sepia, color highlights (blue, green, red/yellow), and many more are selectable from the main camera screen.
Pause and resume while recording video allows users to string together multiple captured video clips from a party, birthday or sporting event into a single file with no post editing required.
Low light photo mode takes advantage of Galaxy S III’s best-in-class High Dynamic Range (HDR) capabilities and offers an optimized mode for low light and indoor photos.
Pop Up Play Update: Users can now easily resize or pause the Pop Up Play picture-in-picture video window, taking full advantage of the Galaxy S III’s powerful processor and large 4.8-inch screen.
Easy Mode: Easy Mode is a simplified user experience option for first-time smartphone owners, providing large home screen widgets that focus on the device essentials. The Easy widgets include both 4×2 and 4×4 arrangements of favorite contacts, favorite apps, favorite settings, clock and alarm.
Blocking Mode: Galaxy S III owners can disable incoming calls, notifications, alarms and LED indicators for a designated period of time.
Improved Usability: Users now have multiple keyboard options with the addition of the Swype(R) keyboard.