Image Credit: Louis Gray / Google+Image Credit: Louis Gray / Google+

Samsung makes U.S. wait for Android 4.1 Jelly Bean rollout

Google’s next-generation Android Jelly Bean 4.1 OS is now rolling out to the Galaxy S III, as well as 14 other of the company’s smartphones and tablets. According to Samsung, the Galaxy S III is in line for Jelly Bean by October, with the first users already receiving the update. But if you’re in the U.S., the wait could be a little bit longer due to carrier variations and delays. While Samsung didn’t share specific release dates for the upgrades, here’s what we know about Samsung’s Jelly Bean update abroad and in the U.S..

Jelly Bean will bring a bevy of new features to Android users. Google worked a lot to make the interface faster and more responsive and expanded the notifications so you can now take action directly from the notification slider. The home screen is also improved with automatically resizing widgets to make room as you add more. Another headline feature is Google Now, a smart location-based service that displays information cards depending on where you are and the time of the day. This includes flight data as you approach the airport, public transit and traffic conditions and alternate routes before you leave to work, as well as calendar entries and weather information throughout the day. These cards can also be accessed at any time when you swipe up the screen.

(See related: Android Jelly Bean OS test drive)

Samsung is adding a few of its own customizations to Android 4.1 too, including built-in blocking mode for incoming calls, similar to the new Do Not Disturb mode in iOS 6, but with added controls for alarms and LED indicators, for a period of time you designate. The Popup Play feature that allows you to watch a video on the phone’s screen while running other apps has also been upgraded to allow positioning anywhere on the screen, as well as resizing the player video. There’s also a pause function added to the camera app, so you can stop and resume recording a continuous video clip, just like on a video camera.

Timeline and device specifics

The first users to get the official Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update are in Poland, where it began rolling out on Monday, reports Samsung blog SamMobile. Users in Serbia, Croatia and Macedonia are also seeing the update pushed through, reported German blog All About Samsung. The update is available via the Kies desktop software or through an over-the-air (OTA) upgrade.

While U.S. users must sit and wait patiently for their share of Jelly Bean update for the Galaxy S III, Samsung announced an extended list of phones and tablets that are next in line for Android 4.1. No specific availability dates have been announced for these additional devices either.

Over the next few weeks, Samsung said the Galaxy S II, Galaxy Note, Galaxy S Advance, Galaxy S II LTE, Galaxy Chat, Galaxy Ace 2, Galaxy Beam, Galaxy Ace Plus, Galaxy Mini 2, and Galaxy S Duos will be upgraded to Android 41. For tablets, the update will arrive for the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 and Galaxy Note 10.1. Notably missing from this list is the Galaxy Tab 10.1, the tablet Google handed out to developers in 2011 to help them make apps for Android tablets.

Samsung said it sold more than 20 million Galaxy S III phones so far, and expects to sell 30 million by the end of the year. Android Jelly Bean was introduced in June and is currently available on only 1.2 percent of Android devices, according toGoogle’s stats, and it has yet to arrive on probably the most popular Android smartphone this year, the Galaxy S III. In comparison, in less than five days, Apple said that its latest OS released last Thursday was installed on more than 100 million iOS devices already, while the new iPhone 5 sold more than 5 million this weekend.

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

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