In late July, Google rolled out its Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update, an update that since rolled out to Google’s Nexus devices including the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Galaxy Nexus. The update is on its way to a number of non-Nexus smartphone as well including the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, HTC One, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 and here, we breakdown everything we know about those updates and more.
In the buildup to the Nexus 7 launch event, rumors swirled about the prospects of a new Android update. Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie was once rumored to be next in line after Android 4.2 Jelly Bean though those rumors gave way to whispers about another Jelly Bean update, an update dubbed Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.
Throughout July, Android 4.3 Jelly Bean was one of the hottest topics amongst Android users on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and below. Google did not disappoint as the company announced the highly anticipated update at its Nexus 7 launch event in July.
Android 4.3 Jelly Bean is a small update, no where close to the magnitude of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and really, Android 4.2. It comes with some likable features including Bluetooth LE, OpenGL 3.0 support, dial pad auto complete, some tweaks to the stock camera application, and more features that can be seen in the video below. Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie it is not, but alas, it’s still an important update nonetheless.
With Android 4.2 Jelly Bean still not found on many big name devices, Android 4.3 has become a much discussed update as some companies are currently thought to be skipping Android 4.2 and heading straight for Android 4.3, at least for some devices. The timeline for other devices is still not clear and likely won’t be for some time.
Here, we try and make sense of it all and breakdown everything that we know about the Android 4.3 update for devices like the Galaxy S3, HTC One in the United States
In most regions around the world, the HTC One is running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. The update rolled out several weeks ago and it will be emerging in the United States alongside the Verizon HTC One later this week when it finally touches down on shelves. The AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile models still do not have the software and it’s looking like they will be skipping Android 4.2 for Android 4.3.
According to HTC President Jason Mackenzie, the company is working to upgrade all HTC One SKUs in the U.S. to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean by the end of September. Furthermore, Mackenzie claims that there will be no Android 4.2.2 update in between as the update is relatively small.
Lots of questions re 4.3 release for One. We r wrking hard (needs cert) to release 4.3 across all US, Canada skus by end Sept. DNA as well.
— Jason Mackenzie (@JasonMacHTC) August 19, 2013
This just about settles it for HTC One owners in the U.S. No Android 4.2.2, straight to Android 4.3. Whether HTC and the various carriers can stick to that timeline remains to be seen though we expect Verizon, at the very least, to possible lag.
HTC One X
There is good news and bad news for owners of the AT&T HTC One X. The good news is that the HTC One X Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update just started to roll out to owners in Europe bringing not only Android 4.2 but Sense 5 as well.
The bad news? AT&T’s HTC One is likely several weeks away, at best, from receiving the update. AT&T lagged behind with Android 4.1 for its HTC One X and there is no sign that it will improve its timing with Android 4.2. Something else to keep in mind is that the usual suspects, like Asia, have yet to see their update roll out.
It’s far off in the distance and there is no sign of AT&T and HTC One skipping Android 4.2 for Android 4.3. It’s possible, given HTC USA’s stance on Android 4.2.2, that it too will skip Android 4.2 for Android 4.3 but that’s unclear.
For its part, HTC has yet to confirm anything for its aging flagship. Something to keep in mind though is that HTC often kills support after 18 months and the HTC One X was released on AT&T on May 6th so it’s getting up there with age and perhaps Android 4.3 or maybe even Android 4.2 will be its last update.
HTC One S
The HTC One S Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and Sense 5 update is currently in limbo. HTC outright cancelled the update though an insider, shortly afterward, claimed that HTC might be looking into releasing Android 4.2 for the Snapdragon S4 powered HTC One S model. The T-Mobile HTC One S just so happens to have the S4 on board, making it a candidate for Android 4.2.
These struggles point to an Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update as being unlikely so HTC One S owners will need to temper expectations now and in the future as other devices start getting their software.
Good news for Droid DNA owners on Verizon. We’ve heard that the software was in testing and HTC’s Jason Mackenzie confirmed that it plans to get the update out by the end of September along with the HTC One’s update.
This means that it will be skipping Android 4.2 for Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, something that should delight Droid DNA owners despite the lengthy wait for a new update.
Droid Incredible 4G LTE
No word yet on the Droid Incredible 4G LTE Android 4.2 and Sense 5 update that was rumored for arrival though it’s not good that HTC did not mention it with its Android 4.3 timeline. Given that the Droid DNA and HTC One are skipping Android 4.2 in the U.S., it’s possible that Verizon will opt to skip Android 4.2 for the Droid Incredible 4G LTE but that remains unconfirmed.
HTC EVO 4G LTE
Same goes for the HTC EVO 4G LTE on Sprint. We’ve heard that the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and Sense 5 update will be heading to the Now Network’s former flagship but there is no telling if it will be among the device that hurdle Android 4.2 Jelly Bean for Android 4.3. Again, it’s possible, but owners simply need to remain patient.
The LG G2 will be hitting the United States with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, not Android 4.3. The LG Optimus G, the most visible device in the United States not called Nexus 4 is still on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. In other words, don’t expect Android 4.3 Jelly Bean to arrive any time soon for LG’s devices in the United States. That is of course unless LG decides to skip Android 4.2 for Android 4.3.
Even if that’s true, LG has a track record of pushing out updates long after its competitors including HTC and Samsung so don’t expect to see anything new in the near future.
Motorola is difficult to figure out. When it put up a support page for Android updates last year, we thought that it would be forthright with information regarding Jelly Bean updates. Unfortunately, nothing has changed.
The website lays dormant with nothing about Android 4.2 for any of its devices in the United States. Perhaps it too is skipping to Android 4.3? If it is, the Google-owned company isn’t saying.
The Moto X, Droid Ultra, Droid MAXX and Droid Mini will all arrive with Android 4.2, not Android 4.3, and at this point, it’s unclear if Motorola will skip Android 4.3 for Android 5.0 or update them with Android 4.3.
Motorola hasn’t cancelled any updates but it also hasn’t shed any light on its plans either and at this point, it’s extremely tough to see its plans in our crystal ball.
Verizon Galaxy Nexus
The Verizon Galaxy Nexus is getting Android 4.3. We just don’t know when. Verizon’s website, which usually warns users of an impending update, does not have the words ‘Coming Soon’ attached to the Galaxy Nexus meaning a software update may not be close.
We fully expect this to be one of the first non-Nexus smartphones to get Android 4.3 Jelly Bean it’s just not entirely clear when Verizon and Samsung will get around to rolling it out.
Samsung Galaxy S4
The Samsung Galaxy S4 figures to be one of the first to Android 4.3, if it gets it at all. Samsung hasn’t confirmed the update, but its new flagship is always among the first to major Android updates. It also helps that it arrived with Android 4.2 stock, unlike the HTC One and other devices.
Expect a roll out sometime within the next few weeks as Samsung works to upgrade its flagship lineup to the most current version of Android and prepare it for Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie.
The close proximity of Android 5.0, expected in October, makes you wonder though.
Samsung Galaxy S3
The Samsung Galaxy S3 will almost certainly be skipping Android 4.2 for Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. We’ve seen numerous Samsung devices, non-flagship devices, get Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Usually, Samsung upgrades its flagships first and its secondary devices next. We’ve also seen rumors suggest Android 4.2 will be skipped for Android 4.3.
Further proof came in the form of German carrier Telekom confirming its device would be skipping Android 4.2 for Android 4.3. So it’s all but confirmed. When the software will touch down is unknown though it should be sometime in 2013.
Samsung Galaxy Note 2
Samsung still refuses to acknowledge the facts. Australian carrier Telstra confirmed that Samsung will be skipping Android 4.2 Jelly Bean for Android 4.3 for the Galaxy Note 2 and yet, Samsung, unlike HTC, refuses to confirm this to be the case.
It’s clear that this is happening. Rumors suggest it, Telstra suggests it, Samsung’s Android 4.2 roll outs to lesser devices suggest it. It’s just a matter of timing now and at the moment, none is known.
Samsung will likely hit the Galaxy S4 first and then move to the Galaxy Note 2 so it could be that the device doesn’t see the software for several months down the road.
Users can expect a massive update when Android 4.3 arrives as the Galaxy Note 2 is still waiting for features from the Galaxy S4.
Samsung Galaxy S2
Samsung Galaxy S2 owners in the United States remain on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. And they remain there, uncertain of their future thanks to rumors that have been swirling about the Galaxy S2′s Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update. Rumors have suggested that the Galaxy S2 Android 4.2 update may have been cancelled though that remains unconfirmed.
Recently, the Galaxy S2 Plus received Android 4.2.2, a good sign for Galaxy S2 owners, but still not one that confirms Samsung’s intentions. At this point, given the controversy, Android 4.3 seems to be out of the question. And if it does roll out here in the United States, it won’t do so for quite awhile as carrier focus their resources on newer, bigger name devices.
Sony has confirmed several Android 4.3 Jelly Bean updates for arrival including for roll outs for the Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR, Xperia SP and Xperia Z Ultra. All of these will at some point get Android 4.3, it’s just a matter of when.
This doesn’t bode well for owners of devices like the Sony Xperia S who remain on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean dealing with an assortment of bugs. Xperia S owners would be lucky to get Android 4.2, as would owners of Sony’s other aging devices.