Some Galaxy S3 owners are still waiting for the highly-anticipated Jelly Bean update to hit their devices, but they may not have to wait much longer. Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean is expected to begin its launch for Samsung’s flagship handset as early as December, according to Sam Mobile.
The Samsung news blog claims that the update will arrive next month and has cited unnamed “insiders.” The website also listed the firmware numbers for the most recent iterations of Android, allowing unsure users to check their device and see which edition of Android their phone is currently running. The list reads as follows:
4.0.3 = I9300XXA
4.0.4 = I9300XXB
4.1 = I9300XXC
4.1.1 = I9300XXD
4.1.2 = I9300XXE
To check the firmware information on a Galaxy S3 handset, open the Settings menu, choose the About option and then select Model Number.
Android 4.0 versions are known as Ice Cream Sandwich, which is the operating system version that came with the Galaxy S3 at launch. Any firmware labeled Android 4.1 and onward is known as Jelly Bean.
At the end of October, Sprint became the first U.S. carrier to offer the latest treat-themed version of Android for the Galaxy S3. Eastern European nations such as Poland received the update for the flagship handset nearly one month earlier.
Google officially announced Android 4.1.2 in early October when it was released to the Android Open Source Project. This is a division of Android led by Google that is responsible for maintaining and developing further versions of the mobile software.
The Nexus 7 tablet was the first device to get the Android 4.1.2 update, which is said to “improve performance and stability and fix bugs.” The update doesn’t bring too many noticeable changes to the operating system, but does add the ability to view the home screen in landscape mode.
Owners of the GSM Galaxy Nexus were next to get the upgrade, and some users have said that Jelly Bean’s features and interface have become even more “buttery” than before. This is a reference to Google’s Project Butter that premiered with the initial Jelly Bean update, which brings a seamless and “buttery smooth” experience across Android’s interface.
Expandable notifications can also be accessed with a single finger scroll on Android 4.1.2, according to the Verge. This is different from the two-finger scroll that was previously required to access these alerts.
Rumors have also indicated that the update could bring a new multitasking feature to the Galaxy S3, but neither Samsung nor Google has confirmed this speculation. This feature would allow users to run two different applications simultaneously on the device’s screen in separate windows. This multi-window functionality was advertised as a hallmark feature of Samsung’s “phablet” successor, the Galaxy Note 2, and is expected to come to the 5.5-inch device with its next update.
A multi-window feature would certainly make good use of Samsung’s large displays, but it is unclear if this ability will actually make it to the Galaxy S3 in its next update. Android 4.2 is expected to be a more significant upgrade, and is rumored to come by mid-January according to tech blog PC-Tablet.
Check out the video below from PocketNow to see a hands-on demo of Android 4.1.2 on the Nexus 7.