As Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is taken up by more and more manufacturers on their new smartphones hitting the market in the near future, Samsung is in a bit of tight spot in trying to get their best-selling Samsung Galaxy S III updated to Jelly Bean. An update is needed to help customers who bought the popular smartphone happy and not feeling like their virtually new phone is outdated mere months after its release. Add to that news that U.K. carrier EE plans to make the Galaxy S III available with Jelly Bean pre-loaded and you have the potential to upset the early adopters.
Samsung has already announced plans to provide a Jelly Bean update for the Galaxy S III starting in October with international locations like Poland already gaining access to the update. Unfortunately, U.S. owners have to contend with a longer certification process and commitment from their carriers to complete their testing. Earlier today we reported on indications that U.S. owners would not see the update until some time in 2013.
The complaints and rumors about timing of the release for the U.S. market seem to have prompted Samsung to issue an official press release concerning the Jelly Bean update. Unfortunately, other than confirming the commitment to roll out Jelly Bean to U.S. owners and describing some of the TouchWiz improvements, Samsung’s statement does little to address the timing issue. Samsung does indicate that the “specific timing and update method will be announced by each carrier partner.” Beyond that, they indicate the update will be available in “the coming months.” With only two and a half months left in 2012, it seems like a 2013 date for the update is a reasonable estimate.
Below is the full press release from Samsung.
Samsung Mobile to Begin Jelly Bean Update with TouchWiz® Enhancements for Galaxy S® III Smartphones in the U.S.
Available in the coming months, the Galaxy S III update offers the latest Android™ platform; new camera, video and customization enhancements; and access to ESPN’s ScoreCenter app with custom AllShare® integration
DALLAS – October 17, 2012 – Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC (Samsung Mobile) – the No.1 mobile phone provider in the United States and a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the No. 1 smartphone provider worldwide1 – continues its commitment to bringing the latest innovation to market with the rollout of Android 4.1, Jelly Bean, the latest version of the world’s most popular smartphone operating system, to all Galaxy S III smartphones in the U.S. in the coming months.
The update will be made available both over the air and as a download via Kies, Samsung’s content sync and software update solution. The specific timing and update method will be announced by each carrier partner, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and U.S. Cellular.
Galaxy S III owners will receive the Jelly Bean update as well as a host of new and enhanced TouchWiz features, making it a faster, richer and more responsive device experience. Samsung’s best-selling flagship smartphone just got even better.
Samsung refined and enhanced the Galaxy S III experience by adding new capabilities to the camera, video and user interface, including:
· Camera Enhancements:
o 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.
o 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.
o 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® keyboard.
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean offers users a smoother, faster and more fluid experience with expanded feature functionality, including:
· 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.
In addition to the operating system update, Samsung and ESPN worked together to integrate AllShare® technology into ESPN’s popular ScoreCenter® application. This means Galaxy S III owners will now be able to wirelessly push on-demand ESPN global sports coverage and highlights from the ESPN ScoreCenter app to their Samsung SMART TV™. When on the same Wi-Fi network as a Samsung SMART TV, a sharing icon will appear within the ScoreCenter video player which allows users to seamlessly push what they are watching to the TV. The ScoreCenter app with AllShare integration is available today for download through S Suggest™ on all U.S. Galaxy S III devices.
With the Jelly Bean update, the Galaxy S III will also add support for some exciting new accessory experiences.
· AllShare® Cast Wireless Hub: The AllShare Cast Wireless Hub accessory allows users to wirelessly mirror their phone screen to any HDTV or HDMI® display. Whether it’s sharing pictures, browsing the Web, playing games, streaming music, watching videos or projecting business presentations, users can control the action on the big screen wirelessly from their smartphone. AllShare Cast Wireless Hub even supports licensed content playback of premium TV and movies.
· NFC One Touch Pairing Support: Galaxy S III can now pair with supporting NFC Bluetooth® accessories in a single touch. The Samsung Galaxy HM3300 Bluetooth headset will be the first Samsung portfolio accessory to support this functionality (available in the near future), allowing users to pair their headset by touching it to the back of their device.