Samsung weighs up Android Jelly Bean 4.2 update for Galaxy S3

Samsung has confirmed it is considering how, when and where to deliver the newest Android OS, version 4.2 aka Jelly Bean, to its range of Galaxy-branded devices.
Written by Ben Woods, Contributor

Samsung Galaxy S III owners eager for an upgrade to Android Jelly Bean 4.2 could be in luck, after the hardware maker confirmed it is looking at updating the Galaxy range to the OS.

Samsung Galaxy S3
Samsung is mulling bringing Jelly Bean 4.2 to the Galaxy range. Image: Jessica Dolcourt/CNET News

The Korean handset maker has not, until now, said whether it will be rolling out Android Jelly Bean 4.2 to its Galaxy smartphone and tablet devices. It only just started delivering the last Jelly Bean 4.1 update to Galaxy SIII handsets at the end of October.

However, on Tuesday, it indicated that an update is on its radar.

"We will announce rollout plans for Android 4.2 to our Galaxy portfolio of devices in due course," a Samsung spokewoman told ZDNet.

While the device maker stopped short of saying which devices could get Jelly Bean, or when any OS update might arrive, the update would be most likely headed to Samsung's recently released handsets. Prime candidates are the Galaxy SIII and Galaxy SIII mini, or the Galaxy Note 2.

Earlier Galaxy devices are unlikely to be part of any rollout, as software updates are often excluded from older models in a range. Hardware makers argue that putting a new OS on an outdated device would not provide a good user experience. 

Once released, SIM-free devices often receive over-the-air updates before contract-locked models do, as the software on the former does not require operator-specific tweaking and subsequent testing. That said, a previous update to Ice Cream Sandwich for Galaxy SII handsets rolled out to network customers in the UK before it got to SIM-free handset owners.

Android 4.2 Jelly Bean brings a new keyboard input (similar to the third-party Swype app), new capabilities for the voice control Google Now feature and a new camera feature that allows 360-degree photo capture called Photo Sphere.

The first handset to run Android 4.2 out of the box is the Nexus 4, which went on sale in the UK on Monday.

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