After months of wait, AT&T costumers using the Samsung Galaxy S3 will finally receive an update to Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean. The update includes wide-spread enhancements to the smartphone including the new Google Now and more responsive controls thanks to Project Butter.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 for AT&T can be updated to Android 4.1.1 using Kies, a Samsung-developed software that manages media on the device. According to members of the XDA-Developers forum, the update is a whopping 738MB large, meaning that anyone ready to update their smartphone should leave plenty of space on the internal storage.
The Samsung Galaxy S3, despite being one of the most popular Android smartphones on the market, has not received an operating system update while many other phones have. The waiting time can't entirely be blamed on Samsung. Deployments of operating system updates rely partially on phone carriers. Prior to the AT&T update, Android Jelly Bean was rolled out to Samsung Galaxy S3's on Sprint and T-Mobile. That leaves Verizon as the only major carrier to have not announced a release date for Android 4.0 Jelly Bean on the Samsung Galaxy S3.
The Jelly Bean update for Verizon's Galaxy S3 leaked earlier this year, and many thought it would only be a matter of weeks before the company actually rolled out the update. Unfortunately for Samsung Galaxy S3 owners on Verizon, the update still has been released over-the-air. Meanwhile, Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T have all received the major update.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 is shipped with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which is a powerful version of the operating system, but doesn't include all the latest features. Android 4.1 Jelly Bean adds dozens of new features including face-recognition unlocking, updated Google apps and more.
One of the most highly touted additions is the new Google Now service. Google Now aggregates many of the most frequently searched terms from Google into one easy-to-read location. For instance, Google Now will automatically show users traffic information, sports scores, flight statuses, subway information and many other pieces of pertinent information. Users can choose how they'd like their Google Now experience to be tailored.
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean also includes the implementation of Project Butter, an effort from Google to make the Android experience more smooth and fast when transitioning between applications. After the update, smartphones are more responsive and much zippier than ever before.