While Android 4.4 “KitKat” is knocking at our doors, numerous smart phone manufacturers have announced plans to upgrade the operating systems on their older model handsets, namely to the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean release.
Here’s a look at some of the more notable handsets that are getting imminent updates before the end of the year.
- HTC One handsets on the AT&T network will get the Jelly Bean update beginning tomorrow, October 8, 2013. Sprint’s HTC One phones have already received the update. T-Mobile and Verizon haven’t announced upgrade plans, but both are expected to follow suit shortly.
- HTC Evo 4G LTE handsets on the Sprint network (where the Evo 4G is an exclusive in the U.S.) will receive the upgrade before the end of the year. The HTC Sense 5 operating system overlay will also be upgraded on the same schedule.
- The Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered Samsung Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4, and Galaxy Note II handsets have received official Android 4.3 update release timing, but only in France so far. These will roll out in that country in October (Galaxy S4) or the November/December timeframe (Galaxy S3/Note II). No dates for these updates have been announced for any U.S. carriers yet, but once a handset is upgraded in one country, others tend to follow rather quickly. (Prerelease builds of the OS running on various Galaxy models are already making the rounds.)
- There are also various other minor updates and refreshes in the Android universe, including a bump of the Nexus 7 from Android 4.3 to 4.3.1.
Android 4.3 is an incremental upgrade over the older operating systems that shipped with the above handsets, but it does offer some important new features that make it a compelling update for users on older OS versions.
One of the most important updates is the inclusion of Bluetooth Smart (also known as Bluetooth Low Energy or Bluetooth LE), which will be required for your phone to connect to the new breed of Android-based smart watches, like the Samsung Galaxy Gear. Jelly Bean also adds some usability features, including phone number autocomplete, easier text input, faster switching between users, and a simplified setup wizard when setting up a new device. Graphics have also been updated under the hood, giving Jelly Bean devices access to the latest OpenGL standard, which should enhance video playback quality and gaming performance.
This story, "Android 4.3 Jelly Bean coming to HTC One, EVO, and Samsung Galaxy" was originally published by BrandPost.