Older Samsung smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 may not have much longer to wait until they get the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean treatment.
Tech website SamMobile says it can confirm that Android 4.3 Jelly Bean will be rolling out on Galaxy S4 handsets in October and on Galaxy S3 handsets in late October, while Galaxy Note 2 handsets should expect an Android 4.3 update between late November and early December. According to SamMobile, Samsung is now testing Android 4.3 for the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 in preparation for this late-year rollout.
We have actually had confirmation of the Android 4.3 update for the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S3 directly from Samsung since early September. Additionally, Samsung announced during its Sept. 4 unveiling of the Galaxy Note 3 that older devices including the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 would receive software support for compatibility with the newly released Galaxy Gear smart watch. Many believe that the software support could come from Android 4.3, which includes the Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity needed to connect to external accessories such as Galaxy Gear to compatible handsets. However, news about the Android 4.3 updates for older devices has been scarce since the Galaxy Note 3 unveiling.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 in particular will reportedly get an extra special update, which is said to include many features introduced in the Galaxy Note 3 including Air Command S Pen functionalities as well as Android 4.3, a new version of the TouchWiz UI and updates to many Samsung apps. The word is that Samsung has planned its updates for the Galaxy Note 2 to roll out later than those for the Galaxy S4 and S3 in order to give the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 a few months to exclusively carry its new features.
The now released Samsung Galaxy Note 3 especially focuses on improved multitasking with its Air command feature, which directs users to the Action Memo, Screen Write, S-Finder, Scrapbook and Pen Window applications. With an enhanced S-Pen, users can easily navigate their Galaxy Note 3 handset with simple dot, circle and box motions.
Samsung Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 owners in particular have been anxious to see their handsets update to a new Android version. Both devices run various iterations of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Rumors have suggested that the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 would skip Android 4.2.2 in favor of Android 4.3, and several clues from mobile carriers have backed up these claims. Many argue that both Android 4.2.2 and Android 4.3 are such minor device updates that it makes sense to update older devices directly to Android 4.3 in order to roll out a more substantial update. HTC has notably begun to update its HTC One update directly to Android 4.3 from Android 4.1 for this very reason.
The Samsung Galaxy S4, running Android 4.2.2, was the first Samsung device to ship with that system. Reports indicate that the Samsung Galaxy S4, which has been on the market since late April, will be the first of the three devices to see Android 4.3. The Google Edition Samsung Galaxy S4 currently runs Android 4.3, which some think could speed up the system’s rollout onto standard Galaxy S4 handsets, since Samsung has been working with the OS for some time.
Though many signs point to an October Android 4.3 rollout for the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S3 and a November/December Android 4.3 rollout for the Galaxy Note 2, many note these may be specifically for international Galaxy handsets. U.S. models of these devices may not see an Android 4.3 update until much later due to the carrier specific testing and certifications required for system updates to roll out in the U.S.
Do you think the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update will actually roll out on the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S3 in October and the Galaxy Note 2 in November or December? 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.