Samsung Galaxy S3 Premium Suite Update Breakdown

Last month, a flurry of Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean updates arrived in the United States. Unlike Android 4.1.2 updates in other parts of the world though, they arrived without Samsung’s Premium Suite of features including Multi-Window View. And now, even as Samsung has promised Galaxy S4 features for the Galaxy S3 in the future, the Premium Suite remains a source of mystery in the United States.

Read: Another Galaxy S3 Android 4.1.2 Update Rolls Out Without Premium Suite.

Back in December, Samsung rolled out an incremental Android update for users of its aging smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S3. That update, Android 4.1.2, may have been incremental, but it brought a ton of new features to owners of the Galaxy S3 in the form of what Samsung calls, the Premium Suite.

Premium Suite is the name used describe a batch of new Samsung software features that arrived with Android 4.1.2 including the highly regarded Multi-Window View feature from the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. Multi-Window View is a feature that allows for Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 owners to run two separate applications on screen at the same time. It’s extremely useful to those that may be heavy multitaskers.

Of course, that’s not the only feature that came with the Premium Suite. In addition, Galaxy S3 users got even more functionality, including:

  • 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.
  • 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.

Suffice to say, Android 4.1.2 for the Galaxy S3 was not a typical, incremental Android update.

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Shortly after the Galaxy S3 received the update, it started rolling out elsewhere. In late December, it hit Europe. Just a few days later, it rolled out to the Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE, the model that U.S. carriers use as their variants.

In mid-January, the update rolled out to owners of an unbranded Galaxy S3 in Australia. Then, silence. That is, until last month when the Verizon Galaxy S3 Android 4.1.2 leaked, an update that foreshadowed the present day for Galaxy S3 owners in the United States.

Here now, we take a detailed look at the situation surrounding the Samsung Galaxy S3 Premium Suite update in the U.S. and break down what has happened to each device since Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean rolled out at the end of last year.

AT&T Galaxy S3

Unlike other carriers, AT&T has yet to roll out its Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update, instead focusing on getting Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out to an assortment of its other devices, the most recent being the LG Optimus G.

So far, AT&T has not mentioned anything about the Premium Suite, or lack thereof, which means that it’s currently an open book. This is a good thing as it means that there is still a slim chance that Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean could roll out between now and the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update that is likely in the cards for some point later this year.

We imagine that it’s also possible that Android 4.2 Jelly Bean itself will bring Premium Suite features to owners of the AT&T Galaxy S3. At this point though, that is merely speculation as AT&T has not revealed any details in regards to its plans for the Galaxy S3 Premium Suite or Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update.

Sprint Galaxy S3

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The Sprint Galaxy S3 got its Android 4.1.2 update but it did not feature Premium Suite.

Sprint Galaxy S3 were one of the unlucky recipients of an Android 4.1.2 update void of Premium Suite features.

Like the Verizon Galaxy S3 Android 4.1.2 update, the update was small, like a typical incremental Android update, and brought about some minor fixes for owners of Sprint’s Galaxy S3 variant. Needless to say, owners were not the least bit pleased with the lack of features.

The roll out has now left Galaxy S3 owners hoping for one thing: That Sprint will bring the Premium Suite features with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean when and if it arrives.

T-Mobile Galaxy S3

T-Mobile Galaxy S3 users are in the same boat as AT&T Galaxy S3 owners in that T-Mobile has yet to roll out an Android 4.1.2 update for the Galaxy S3. This of course means that it’s still possible that the Premium Suite will be on board the software when it arrives, if it arrives.

The carrier has not given any sign that it’s preparing an Android 4.1.2 update and so far, we haven’t seen any software leak out. Like the AT&T Galaxy S3, it means that the device may get the new features with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean or quite possibly, not at all.

The best responses we’ve seen in regards to the update is from a T-Mobile rep who says that:

The newest software versions are definitely nice to get. When ever there’s a software update released, we do evaluate the software and determine whether or not it will benefit the devices on our network. At this time, we don’t have any information about the next GSIII update, but do definitely keep an eye on our site for any changes to that status.

That’s as good as it’s going to get for T-Mobile Galaxy S3 owners, at least for now.

U.S. Cellular Galaxy S3

The Galaxy S3 variant on the nation’s fifth largest carrier, U.S. Cellular, was recently updated to Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean but like the Sprint and Verizon updates, it was without the Premium Suite.

The Galaxy S3 on Verizon got its Android 4.1.2 update. It just didn't have Premium Suite.

The Galaxy S3 on Verizon got its Android 4.1.2 update. It just didn’t have Premium Suite.

Instead, U.S. Cellular’s device included two known features, a bump up in version to Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean and a fix for an audio issue with streaming media.

Like the others, the carrier has not announced whether it will be bringing Premium Suite to the Galaxy S3 with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean or another update in the future.

Verizon Galaxy S3

The Verizon Galaxy S3 was the first to get the Android 4.1.2 update and thus, it was the device to usher in the disappointment that has been felt amongst Galaxy S3 owners in the United States.

The Verizon Galaxy S3 got treated to Android 4.1.2. Without Premium Suite.

The Verizon Galaxy S3 got treated to Android 4.1.2. Without Premium Suite.

Verizon’s Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update came with a load of enhancements and fixes but unfortunately, did not have Multi-Window View or any of the other fantastic features of Premium Suite.

Like the others, Verizon has yet to announce if and when the update will be rolling out. Verizon is typically slow to software upgrades which means that owners might be waiting for quite awhile for Premium Suite if it ever does arrive.

Other Carriers

One other Android 4.1.2 update has arrived and that update was for the C Spire Wireless Galaxy S3 which received its update at the beginning of March. Oddly enough, C Spire’s update did bring its variant up to speed with a few features that Samsung says  are part of the Premium Suite, including Easy Mode, but the full Premium Suite of features remains missing.

What’s Next?

The Galaxy S3 is thought to be getting Galaxy S4 features. But will U.S. carriers oblige?

The Galaxy S3 is thought to be getting Galaxy S4 features. But will U.S. carriers oblige?

Unfortunately, there hasn’t been any good news for those in the U.S. with a Galaxy S3. The carriers that have rolled out Android 4.1.2 updates have done so without Premium Suite and the carriers that haven’t rolled out the update haven’t said if they will be offering Premium Suite or if they will even be offering an update to Android 4.1.2.

Even worse, it’s unclear when Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, the most logical choice for an update that could bring these features in the future, will be rolling out in the U.S. Rumors suggest May or June for the international model which means if the Premium Suite does come with Android 4.2, Galaxy S3 owners in the U.S. could be in for a wait.

Read: Samsung Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S3 Android 4.2.2 Update Release Rumored.

What’s more is that the Galaxy S3 Android 4.2 update leaked for the international version of the device which already has access to the new features, meaning, it’s unclear if the update will bring anything new to the Galaxy S3 in the U.S.

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What this means for the future is not clear. Samsung has promised some of the Galaxy S4 features for the Galaxy S3 with the new camera software being a front-runner for arrival. But given that U.S. carriers want to sell a lot of Samsung Galaxy S4’s, and given the lack of Premium Suite support, it’s unclear if Galaxy S3 owners in the United States will ever see any of these new features.

Comments

  1. Destinee says

    Ok so my boyfriend and our son have the galaxy express and I have a galaxy s3 and they got the 4.1.2 upgrade and I didnt get the upgrade… we all are sharing a plan threw At&t… so I really hope we galaxy s3 users get this upgrade or the 4.2 jellybean… imma be real upset if we dont… and why is the U.S. always the last to recieve any kind of samsumg upgrade???

    • Eric Dodson says

      It’s not Samsung it’s the service providers, they choose which updates go to which phones.

      Samsung and Google would love every phone to be on 4.2.2 Jelly Bean right now and get 5.0 KeyLime Pie when it comes out. The Carriers block these updates so they can add their bloatware to them and test them internally to see if their additions will break phones. Also they wait untill the last possible moment because if you have a great phone like the Galaxy S III with Android 5.0 and it’s running amazing and you get the upgrades when they are released what makes you want to upgrade your phone when your 2 year contract is up? That is why they do this to their users. They want you locked into that 2 year contract or face a $350 ETF, and that is where they recover the cost of the phones.

      I have a Galaxy Note II and plan to keep it far after my contract is up, same with my wife who has the S III she loves that phone and it will take something really better for us to upgrade.

    • cammy186 says

      I am with you I havent got the update either this sucks my sister has sprint and has already got hers not happy

  2. Ron Pizzo says

    In Canada the S3, which I have, please is still on 4.1.1. Can’t wait to get an iPhone!

    • justin says

      Iphones are all 5 year old phones why would you want a phone that has remained static for 5 years and will remain static while the designers of said phone pass it off for innovation? A galaxy s2 I would put on par with the iphone 5

    • Bob Murray says

      I think Samsung made the updates available to all carriers in the USA at the same time. The carriers then decide what and when to offer the updates to their users. If the marketing gurus at AT&T decide they want to have a robust feature difference between s3 & s4, they might put the brakes on a “premium suite” s3 roll out.

  3. William says

    I’ve just about had it with Samsung and their lack of fixes, which to me is more important than adding new features as a premium suite would bring. there is so much more to say about Samsung,Verizon and all the greed mongers that my fingers would fall off — maybe back to plain old call or be called which at one time was just fine!!!

  4. justin says

    The s3 on Rogers in Canada is at JB 4.1.1 it already has page buddy and the facebook ticker and the contextual stuff. Hopefully when we get 4.1.2 we get multi view

  5. ChaosTime86 says

    Sprint now has a new leak with multi window! So we are definitely getting premium suite. The rest of the carriers should follow.

  6. PabloSenior says

    It seems to me Samsung is wants to reduce demand for the SGS3 LTE. I own a Sprint SGS3.

  7. mikey says

    I just got the Sprint S3 OTA update with all these features this morning. Phone still shows 4.1.2

  8. E says

    Sprint left a lot of stuff out of 4.1.2! I also got the ota version. Just recently got 4G in my area. THIS SUCKS!!! It’s very limited. Plaining to change my boot rom.

  9. Preston says

    just got the 4.1.2 update for t-mobile, so you can go ahead and change the t-mobile unknow. as far as what it offers, haven’t got a dam clue, i’m no phone guru lol

  10. Brandon says

    Atleast T-Mobile upgraded with full Premium Suite! A lot of cool new features! Can’t wait to steal some of the S4’s features and camera modes! Thats if I don’t upgrade by then! Glad I got T-Mobile and not Verizon or At&t! You can add Sprints bum service to that list as well!

  11. eastsacgirl says

    Just got Sprint update with premium suite. So far, so good. Love the split screen feature and camera updates.

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