Samsung has officially begun its rollout of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean to international Samsung Galaxy S4 handsets (Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 version), starting in Germany.
The update is expected to appear in other countries soon, so you can expect the rest of Europe and the UK to follow in the not-too-distant future. The update will arrive both via Samsung’s Kies software and over-the-air for unlocked handsets.
Of course, network locked devices will likely have to wait for carrier approval, but due to the high profile of Android Jelly Bean 4.3 and Samsung’s Galaxy S4 handset it’s likely to be pushed through relatively quickly with priority.
The majority of substantial changes in the update are actually tweaks to Samsung’s TouchWiz UI, while Android 4.3 mainly fiddles with back-end capabilities such as Bluetooth low energy and Open GL 3.0 support for flashier gaming graphics.
One of the most significant improvements, however, is full support for pairing with the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch, so now it’s no longer just Galaxy Note 3 users who get all the smartwatch fun.
The word comes courtesy of SamMobile, which listed a full set of features and changes.
“OpenGL 3.0 Support
– GALAXY GEAR Support
– TRIM Support (Makes the device much faster)
– ANT+ Support
– Samsung KNOX Implementation (KNOX bootloader and dedicated application)
– Samsung Wallet comes pre-loaded
– Improved RAM management
– Improved Display colour reproduction (Display looks much sharper than before)
– Improved TouchWiz Launcher (Much less launcher redraws and less lag)
– New Samsung Keyboard
– New Samsung Browser (Full screen by default, new tab interface and more)
– New Reading Mode (Optimises display for reading, used by only a few specific applications)
– New Camera firmware
– Minor UI tweaks (Contacts app, Flashlight Widget, dialog boxes etc)”
Reports indicate the update is being prepped for the Galaxy Note 2 for December, allegedly it’s taking a bit longer because Samsung added a ton of new S-Pen features with the Galaxy Note 3 and it wants to get them all working nicely on the Galaxy Note 2 before it pushes it out the door. Fair enough Samsung, fair enough.