Sprint updates Samsung Galaxy S II to Android Jelly Bean
Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) is rolling out Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android 4.1 Jelly Bean mobile operating system update to Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S II smartphone. Subscribers may download the over-the-wire update via PC using Samsung's Simple Upgrade Tool; Windows and Mac users may also select the manufacturer's Kies content sync and software application.
Samsung Galaxy S II
Alongside core Android 4.1 features like the Project Butter UI engine, a revamped homescreen and Google Now, which includes personalized information such as local weather and traffic, the Sprint upgrade features Easy Mode, which promises first-time smartphone owners a more simplified user experience including large homescreen widgets spotlighting contacts, clock and alarm and favorite apps. The Jelly Bean update also delivers Blocking Mode, which lets consumers disable incoming calls, notifications, alarms and LED indicators for a designated period of time, as well as a new social media ticker that scrolls along the bottom of the lock screen and a data usage calculator that allows subscribers to set monthly consumption limits.
Sprint and Samsung also are expanding a series of features previously limited to Samsung Galaxy III devices to the Galaxy II. Smart Stay tracks eye movement to guarantee the device screen is always on while it's viewed, preventing the backlight from dimming or becoming idle; Direct Call converts the phone's text message interface to the voice call interface when raised to the ear, and Pop Up Play allows users to view video content while simultaneously accessing another application.
According to Google's Android Developers dashboard, Android Jelly Bean 4.1 currently powers 14.9 percent of all devices worldwide. Samsung has pledged to update more than a dozen devices in its portfolio to run Jelly Bean.
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