In December, Samsung pushed out the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update to owners of the international version of the Samsung Galaxy S3. Now, nearly three months later, the update’s Premium Suite of features has yet to make its way to owners of the Samsung Galaxy S3 in the United States.
All the way back on December 5th, Samsung started to push the Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.1.2 update to owners of the international variant of the device, known as the GT-I9300. Many incremental updates to Android are smaller, addressing bug fixes and the like but Samsung made the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update something special.
With Android 4.1.2, Samsung brought a Premium Suite of software to the Galaxy S3 including the heralded Samsung Galaxy Note 2 feature, Multi-Window View, which allows Galaxy S3 owners to split the display into two halves running two separate applications.
That’s not all either. Here is a full list of the features that come with the Premium Suite update for the Galaxy S3:
- Page Buddy – When a user plugs in headphones the Galaxy S III will bring up a page with the music player.
- Contextual Menu – When looking at apps, sort by most frequently used apps.
- Contextual Tag - Tag the weather, date and place a photo is taken right after snapping it.
- Multi Window - Use two apps at once, just like on the Galaxy Note 2, to enjoy multiple apps at once.
- Auto Share Shot Pairing with NFC – Quickly share photos with Auto Shot Share to other Galaxy S III and S-Beam devices.
- Reader Mode - Control the text size of the web browser and tap on a page to share.
- Facebook Lock Ticker – View a Facebook News Feed on the Galaxy S III lock screen.
Those features can be seen in the video below.
- Paper Artist - Turn your photos into a pop-artist sketch.
- Low Light Camera Shot - Take better photos in low light without the flash.
- Best Face - Take multiple photos of a group and pick the best face for each person in the group. See how Best Face works.
- Easy Mode - Sets five most often used widgets on the home screen to make using a smartphone simpler for new users.
- Sound Balance - Adjust the sound between left or right in headphones.
- Setup Wizard - View an accessibility menu after turning the phone on.
- Easy Snap - The Galaxy S III tells you how many faces it finds in a photo.
These features are a part of the new “Easy Mode” for the Galaxy S3 which are in place to help beginners get a handle over their phone. They can be seen in the video below.
However, while owners of many Galaxy S3 variants around the world have been using the Premium Suite and its features for many weeks now, owners of the Galaxy S3 in the U.S. haven’t seen any sign of an impending release. In fact, a recent leak made things even more confusing than they already were.
Longer Wait Possible
Earlier this month, the Verizon Galaxy S3 Android 4.2 update leaked out for those brave enough to install it. That update includes many new features, some of which are the improvements of Android 4.2 including:
- Improved Ripple effect on Lockscreen
- Lockscreen Widgets
- New Additions in Notification Center
- Improved Notifications
- Voice Command
While this isn’t confirmation, it could be that Verizon, and perhaps the other carriers as well, are looking to update their devices straight to Android 4.2 Jelly Bean rather than updating them to Android 4.1.2 with the Premium Suite of features.
We saw Android 4.1.2 leak for the Verizon Galaxy S3 at the beginning of the month but that update did not have the Premium Suite on board. We also saw Sprint roll out Android 4.1.2 recently without the Premium Suite.
So it could be that the Premium Suite rolls out with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean or perhaps, not at all. We can’t be sure right now. We have heard that Android 4.2 will be rolling out to the Galaxy S3 after the Galaxy S4 arrives and rumors suggest that the Galaxy S4 won’t touch down in the U.S. until May.
That means that Galaxy S3 owners in the U.S. could be in for a long wait.
Whatever the case may be, U.S. Galaxy S3 owners who have been craving the Premium Suite since December want to see the update arrive sooner rather than later. And thus far, all five of the Galaxy S3′s major carriers have been mum on the topic. And Android 4.1.2 seemingly may not come with the Premium Suite of features.
As we’ve said before, we heard that January 25th was a key date in the update’s time line, and it’s possibly the date that Samsung delivered features to U.S. carriers. If true, it would mean that they’ve been working on the update for a month or so.
This uncertainty is certainly frustrating to owners of the Galaxy S3 on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon and we’re hopeful that one, or all of them, makes a move soon.