Android 4.3 and Samsung Galaxy Gear support coming to S4, S3, Note 2 and more
Samsung updating Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3, and Galaxy Note 3 to Android 4.3 in October, more devices following in November
Samsung's Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update has already started rolling out to the Samsung Galaxy S4 in some regions, namely Germany, but the company has now made its plans official.
Not only is the Galaxy S4 getting the update, which brings support for pairing the handset with the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch, but the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 are also due for a bump up in the same timeframe.
What timeframe is that exactly?
Well as we said, the Galaxy S4 is already underway, but Samsung also explained that other devices, including the Galaxy S4 Mini, Galaxy S4 Active, Galaxy S4 Zoom and Galaxy Mega 6.3, will be getting a "separate software update beginning globally at the end of October," which will add Galaxy Gear support.
This must also be Android 4.3, seeing as how the watch requires the Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy compatability the software provides.
The fact that Samsung specifies these other handsets will update from the end of October suggests the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2, which appear to have priority, would be updated inside October - so sometime in the next eight days!
"Extending the Galaxy Gear compatibility to more Galaxy devices reflects our deep commitment to continuing to deliver our consumers enriched mobile experiences,” said Samsung CEO JK Shin.
“Through a significant effort to enhance and enrich Samsung Galaxy experience, Samsung continues to empower our users to have smart freedom in their mobile lives with Galaxy Gear."
Android 4.3 and Samsung Galaxy Gear compatibility coming to Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3
Android 4.3 is being prepped for the Samsung Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 and all three devices will be updated by the end of 2013. Part of the reason for the update, as well as ensuring the handsets have the latest software, is to introduce compatibility with the Galaxy Gear smartwatch.
Samsung representatives officially confirmed the plans to Korean news sources, the Galaxy S4 will reportedly be updated first with Samsung marketing president Lee Don-joo revealing Android 4.3 and Galaxy Gear compatibility would arrive “by next month”, so expect a patch in early October.
At the same time, Samsung’s reps said the Android 4.3 update and Galaxy Gear compatibility is currently in testing for the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 and these updates would arrive by the end of the December. A report from SamMobile suggested the Galaxy Mega range, including the UK-facing Galaxy Mega 6.3, is also in testing for the update.
The devices require Android 4.3 to enable Galaxy Gear smartwatch compatibility because the smartwatch uses Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy (LE) technology, something which is introduced at the software level in Android 4.3, the latest available build of Google’s smartphone platform. Of course, Android 4.4 KitKat has now been announced but it may take some time before Samsung issues another update.
As an interesting addition, Korea Times reports that a Samsung representative hinted the company is now looking at developing a follow-up Galaxy Gear model. The unnamed rep reportedly said, “We've acknowledged that our Gear lacks something special. With more investment for user interface and user experience, Samsung devices will be better in terms of customer satisfaction.”