Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) said after the introduction of its latest Android 4.3 Jelly Bean mobile operating system last week that Google Play editions of the Samsung (KRX:005935) Galaxy S4 and the HTC (TPE:2498) One would receive firmware updates faster than other variants.
The company kept its promise and has started rolling out the new Android 4.3 Jelly Bean firmware update for both the smartphones on late Friday, nine days after the Nexus devices received the update. The update, with the build number “JWR66V,” weighs in at 150.7 MB for the Galaxy S4 and 185.5MB for the HTC One.
It was jsuresh, an Xda Developers forum member, who first noted that the over-the-air, or OTA, update of the Android 4.3 was rolling out for the HTC One, while Anandtech’s Brian Klug confirmed the same for the Samsung Galaxy S4.
Google rolled out the OTA updates immediately after both Samsung and HTC released their Android 4.3 kernel sources online on Friday, implying that the final firmware update was just around the corner.
So, what is new in the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update?
According to reports, some of the major improvements in the firmware update include larger icons on the widget panels, software support for Bluetooth Low Energy, OpenGL ES 3.0 support for better gaming experiences, the stock Android 4.x gradient instead of the solid black background on the Galaxy S4 in settings and other places, and smoother UI navigation and faster transitions.
In addition, as noted by Xda Developers forum member Aerys, the Android 4.3 update also brings the infrared blaster, or IR blaster, support to the smartphones.
Here are some other new features that are expected to be included in the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean firmware update:
- Android 4.3 adds built-in support for Bluetooth AVRCP 1.3, allowing apps to support richer interactions with remote streaming media devices.
- Android 4.3 extends the multiuser feature for tablets with restricted profiles, which allow tablet owners to quickly set up separate environments for each user, with the ability to manage finer-grained restrictions in the apps that are available in those environments.
- Android 4.3 includes the new “Dial pad autocomplete” feature, which just requires users to touch numbers or letters, and the dial pad will suggest phone numbers or names.
- Android 4.3 adds new developer options to help users analyze their app’s performance and pinpoint rendering issues on any device or emulator.
- Android 4.3 features a Wi-Fi scan-only mode, a new platform optimization, which lets users keep Wi-Fi scan on without connecting to a Wi-Fi network.
For more information about new features and changes in the Android 4.3, check out the official Android 4.3 highlights here.
Meanwhile, reports also have been surfaced saying that the Android 4.3 update includes quite a few bugs, such as compatibility issues with Bluetooth keyboards, a broken Gallery application, slow user interfaces on the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 devices, hang-ups on the boot screen on the Nexus 4 and issues with the Netflix application.
If you own a Google Play Edition version of either the Samsung Galaxy S4 or the HTC One and have updated the device to the new Android 4.3 Jelly Bean firmware, feel free to share your experiences in the comment section.