By Jonathan Charles | Oct 01, 2012 12:30 PM EDT
Waiting for manufacturers and carriers to approve software updates for mobile devices often causes users to head to unofficial update sources, notably XDA-Developers. The hacking community recently provided Jelly Bean for Sprint's Samsung Galaxy S3 ahead of Samsung's expected release.
The update is as simple to install as other updates: it can be flashed like a ROM. It includes bonus features including a custom Jelly Bean boot animation. Minor issues include reports that MMS does not work, though the release is stable according to its creator in the thread. More information on the update is available at the XDA thread.
Samsung said that it would officially release Jelly Bean for its Galaxy S3 and S2 devices this month. This is a quicker turnaround than in the past for Samsung. Sony recently issued updates for its Xperia devices, but UK carrier O2 blocked the updates, claiming that older hardware was a problem. The reaction from customers was not positive.
Samsung's Galaxy S3 launched on May 29 with 2011's Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, bringing a significant overhaul to Android and a focus on design. The front-end changes will not be seen as often as on Google's Galaxy Nexus smartphone, because Samsung uses TouchWiz, its iOS-like user interface.
Samsung is approaching 15 million units sold this quarter, outpacing the 20 million unit-selling Samsung Galaxy S2. Samsung is also rumored to be building a portfolio of devices to combat Apple's smartphones and tablets. The news emerged following Samsung's $1 billion court loss to Apple, perhaps coincidentally.
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean released in June 2012 at Google I/O. It introduces new features, including real-time updating service Google Now. The service provides updates on user locations and interests over time. Its always-on nature contrasts Siri, which performs actions only at the request of the user.
XDA-Developers provides modifications for a host of Android devices; an iPhone section is also available. Users are responsible for damages to devices as warranties will be voided.
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