Samsung issues official announcement regarding Jelly Bean update for U.S. version of Samsung Galaxy S III

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is needed to help customers who bought the popular smartphone happy and not feeling like their virtually new phone is outdated mere months after its release.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.

About the Author: Jeff Causey

Raised in North Carolina, Jeff Causey is a licensed CPA in North Carolina. Jeff's past Android devices include an HTC EVO, a Samsung Note II, an LG G3, and a Motorola Moto X Pure Edition along with a Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1. He currently uses a Samsung Galaxy S8 and (very rarely) a Nexus 7 (2013). He is also using a Verizon-branded Motorola Moto Z Play Droid supplied by his job. Jeff used to have a pair of Google Glass and a Moto 360 Sport in his stable of gadgets. Unfortunately, his kids have all drunk the Apple Kool-Aid and have i-devices. Life at home often includes demonstrations of the superiority of his Android based devices. In his free time, Jeff is active an active runner usually training for his next marathon, owns a Mazda MX-5 Miata, and plays Dungeons & Dragons. Jeff has three grown kids and a golden retriever.

  • Hungry_Droid_Girl

    > In the coming months….


    The full source code for Jelly Bean was released to *ALL* carriers, *ALL* developers, *ANYONE* that wanted it… way back on July 9, 2012.

    Waiting until Jan.2013 to actually GET it on our phones… isn’t exactly my idea of “coming soon.”

    What can we do about it? Absolutely nothing. (And I’m not about to run some “unofficial version” OS downloaded from some random hacker-site.)

    • RTWright

      I would run only one of 2, because they’re NOT some random hacker. and Cyanogen Mod. Both of them are top notch and trustworthy. But I am upset that a brand new device like the GSIII can’t get JB faster than this. First off we don’t need SuckWiz, take that crap and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine. I use Nova and or Apex. I don’t care about OEM launchers, because they always tend to suck, they are over bloated and just do not make good use of the screen size.

      Sprint and all carriers need to get the hell out of the way of updates. The only bloody thing they need to know is that it’s compatible with THEIR services and that’s done through the radios which are put on the chipset so screw the stupid carriers constantly stepping in front of their customers getting updates. Hell the damn International version is already running JB and it is NO different than the US other than it’s got a nVidia Quadcore which we can’t have because of our sorry carriers here in the US are so far behind the times it’s not funny.

      Personally the CPU should NEVER house anything that defines compatibility to the carrier hardware and services. That should only power the operation of the device not it’s communications. That should be on a completely different chip and leave the CPU to do just like it does on the PC’s. I hate the entire upgrade process with carrier based systems. My next device, regardless of price, is NOT going to be on no major carrier. I’m sick of this!

  • I still believe that if you want the updates ASAP, get a Nexus. Problem solved :)