Jelly Bean hits Sprint Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S 4G, not yet for Verizon

It took a couple months, but Sprint is finally rolling out Android 4.1 Jelly Bean to its Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S 4G phones.The roll out began on Tuesday morning, making these the first two Sprint phones to receive the latest version of Android. It's not clear how long it will take to reach all users.

Sprint hasn't announced any way to sideload or manually trigger the update. Users can try one method suggested by GottaBeMobile, though it isn't guaranteed to work: Under Settings, go to Apps, then All. Select Google Services Framework and force stop the app, then select Clear Data. Go back to Settings, go to About, then check for a System Update.

Google announced Android 4.1 in late June at Google I/O, and released it for the unlocked GSM versions of the Galaxy S and Galaxy Nexus in mid-July. Some wireless carriers, including Sprint and Verizon, have taken longer to deliver the update, as they test the software for potential problems. Verizon still hasn't said when its Galaxy Nexus will get updated to Jelly Bean. A leaked build for the Verizon update is floating around the Internet, but it's only usable on rooted phones.

Jelly Bean isn't a major update for Android, but it does add a layer of polish to the operating system. Animations and transitions are much more fluid, and new widgets automatically shift to find a place on the screen. Notifications can be expanded to show more information, and some of them allow actions directly from the notification bar.

Jelly Bean also comes with Google Now, a virtual assistant that tries to provide information automatically, including traffic reports and sports scores. Basic search is also spruced up with the ability to speak a query with natural language and receive spoken answers in return.

As of now, only 1.2 percent of Android devices that have accessed Google Play within two weeks are using Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The majority of devices—57.2 percent—are still using Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

For comprehensive coverage of the Android ecosystem, visit Greenbot.com.

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