Samsung Galaxy S III users in the U.S. will be getting a taste of Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) sometime soon, as the company promised that the upgrade will hit the smartphone in the coming months, bringing new features to the TouchWiz interface, beyond just the enhancements in the operating system.
In its announcement, Samsung stated that owners of its latest flagship phone will be able to get Android 4.1 either over-the-air or via its Kies software, which downloads the update to a computer, depending on the carrier.
While the Korean manufacturer remained vague on when the update would hit, saying individual announcements from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and U.S. Cellular will reveal specific launch dates, it did give Galaxy S III owners an idea of what changes they will see.
Users will see new features to Samsung’s own interface, TouchWiz, as well as improvements to the onboard camera and camcorder.
A new Easy Mode will make the transition from feature phone to smartphone easy for first-time users with a simplified experience, providing large home-screen widgets for their favorite apps, contacts and settings. The upgrade will also offer S3 owners different keyboard options, including the Swype keyboard.
Similar to “Do Not Disturb” in iOS 6, the update will allow users to disable incoming calls and alerts for a specific period of time, blocking notifications, alarms and other indicators.
Galaxy S III owners will also be able to resize or pause the picture-in-picture video window in Pop Up Play thanks to an update.
Meanwhile, Samsung has also integrated its AllShare technology into the ESPN ScoreCenter app, bringing wireless on-demand ESPN global sports coverage and highlights from the ScoreCenter app to a user’s Samsung Smart TV. This update, which allows for sharing over the same Wi-Fi network, is now available through S Suggest for all U.S. III devices.
For those who get a lot of use out of the phone’s dual cameras, new filter effects will be available for still and video shots, while users will also be able to combine separate video clips directly on the handset. Additionally, users will also be able to take advantage of a low-light mode for indoor photos.
With Android 4.1 already available on the third-generation Galaxy S in Europe, U.S. users have a lot to look forward to with Samsung’s new features, as well as the juicy offerings of Jelly Bean, such as the Android voice assistant known as Google Now and automatic widget adjustments.