Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean is finally rolling out onto some Samsung Galaxy devices, but they are not necessarily the devices for which enthusiasts were hoping to see an update of the mobile operating system. As noted by the German-language blog All About Samsung, the Android 4.2.2 update was rolling out onto Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus handsets in Germany as of Friday, leaving many wondering what plans Samsung has for more-popular devices such as the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 smartphones.
Having been released in February, the Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus running Android 4.1.2 does qualify for a system upgrade, but, obviously, the device is not as popular as its flagship counterparts. The Samsung Galaxy S2 -- more than 2 years old and the recipient of not one but two system updates (from its native Android 2.3 Gingerbread to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean), as indicated by AndroidAuthority.com -- is unlikely to be in the running for any new updates. However, the Galaxy S2 and the Galaxy S2 Plus share the same general specifications, which says a lot for the backward compatibility of Android 4.2.2.
Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean was released last November and made its Samsung debut on the Galaxy S4 smartphone in April. Since then, other devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Mega have been released with Android 4.2.2 running native, but news about updates for devices already on the market has been scarce.
As of Saturday, Android 4.2.2 is also rolling out on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 LTE tablet in the U.K., according to SamMobile.com. Released in April running Android 4.1.2, the Galaxy Note 8.0 is similar to the Galaxy S2 Plus both in terms of its youth and Android system version. This makes us consider that Samsung may be giving update precedence to newer devices running Android versions closer to Android 4.2.2.
Current reports suggest that older devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 2 may not be getting the Android 4.2.2 update at all and that Samsung may update such devices directly to the recently released Android 4.3. Android 4.3 Jelly Bean is now rolling out onto Google’s Nexus brand devices, and most don’t expect to see the new Android version make its debut on a Samsung device until fall when the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is expected to be released. It could be months still until Android 4.3 rolls out onto Samsung devices, considering that Android 4.2.2 was released nine months ago and is only now starting to make it onto less-popular Samsung devices.
Some mobile networks are already preparing for devices to not be updated to Android 4.2.2. Australian carrier Telstra recently indicated on its support page that the Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean update for the Galaxy Note 2 has been “withdrawn” in favor of a new Android version. However, Telstra is the only carrier that has been forthright about any of its plans for updating older flagship devices. It is also notable that manufacturers such as Samsung work with different carriers in various countries separately, indicating that it is possible for devices in some countries and on some carriers to receive system updates at different times than others. Some countries and carriers can also decide to forgo certain system updates that others do not. For example, U.S. carrier AT&T just recently updated its Samsung Galaxy S3 handset to Android 4.1.2, while other U.S. carriers updated their Galaxy S3 handsets months ago.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 was released last September and natively runs either Android 4.1.1 or Android 4.1.2, depending on when it was sold, while the Samsung Galaxy S3, released in May of last year, natively runs Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich and is upgradeable to Android 4.1.2. Considering Samsung’s rough system-release history, flagship devices, which will likely see at least two system updates during their lifetimes, may see long periods between updates, in comparison with less popular devices, which may appear to update quickly, but are less likely to receive much attention thereafter.
However anxious Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 owners may be, the Android 4.2.2 updates for the Galaxy S2 Plus and Galaxy Note 8.0 are at least indications that Samsung is working on updates. We may be able to expect more updates rolling out in the near future, for other devices and in countries besides Germany and the U.K.
Are any German Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus or U.K. Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 owners excited to see their devices update to Android 4.2.2? Let us know in the comments below.
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Fionna Agomuoh is a Technology Reporter for the International Business Times, a vegan foodie, and a lover of Electric Dance Music.