Samsung updates Galaxy S III to Android Jelly Bean, 15 more devices on tap


Samsung Electronics is updating its flagship Galaxy S III smartphone to run Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) new Android 4.1 operating system, a.k.a. Jelly Bean, adding it will upgrade an additional 15 devices in the near future.

Samsung said the Android Jelly Bean update will initially roll out to consumers in Poland before expanding to other international destinations, adding "The availability and schedule of the software upgrade will vary by market and wireless carriers' requirements." Alongside core Android 4.1 features like Project Butter (a reworked UI engine), a revamped homescreen and Google Now, which includes personalized information such as local weather and traffic updates, Samsung is also integrating customized enhancements including a new Easy Mode offering widget-based access to users' favorite apps as well as a blocking mode that silences incoming calls, alerts and notifications.

Samsung plans to extend Android Jelly Bean to 11 additional smartphones: The Galaxy S II, Galaxy S II LTE, Galaxy Note, Galaxy S Advance, Galaxy Chat, Galaxy Ace 2, Galaxy Ace Plus, Galaxy Beam, Galaxy Mini 2, Galaxy Music and Galaxy S Duos. The manufacturer also will upgrade four tablets: The Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 and Galaxy Note 10.1.

Last week, Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) updated its Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone to run Android Jelly Bean. Rival Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) also pushed the update to its Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S 4G devices earlier this month.

Google's Android Developers dashboard reveals that only 1.2 percent of devices currently run Jelly Bean. Its predecessor Android 4.0, dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich, now powers 20.9 percent of devices, while 57.5 percent of devices still run Android 2.3, a.k.a. Gingerbread.

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