Which phones will get an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update?
- — 23 July, 2012 22:00
Now that the source code for Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is available, the update announcements from phone makers are starting to roll in.
Of course, whether and when these updates are rolled out locally in New Zealand is also down to the carriers.
HTC is the first phone maker to confirm Jelly Bean for some of its phones. The HTC One X will get the update to Android 4.1, but the company didn't announce timing.
Other phone makers have been less forthcoming.
Samsung told Pocket-Lint last month that it will “review the possibility of implementation to existing Samsung products” with the update, but offered no specifics. Sammobile has reported that the Galaxy S III could get Jelly Bean in August or September, and that the Galaxy S II passed Samsung's initial tests for the update. None of those details have been confirmed by the company.
As Pocket-Lint reports, Motorola, Asus, LG and Sony have yet to comment on upgrade plans.
As for Google's lead devices, the Jelly Bean update is coming to the Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi tablet, and is already available for the Galaxy Nexus. Of course, Google's Nexus 7 tablet comes with Android 4.1 out of the box, but we can't yet buy it in New Zealand.
Improving the speed of updates
Google wants to make Android updates easier for phone makers with a “platform development kit,” which will provide preview versions of upcoming OS versions months before they are released to open source. A handful of manufacturers received a beta PDK for Jelly Bean, but it's not clear which ones.
Many companies, however, are still trying to deliver the previous version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, to phones and tablets. According to Google, roughly 11 percent of devices that have accessed Google Play in the last two weeks are running Android 4.0 or higher.
Here in our Auckland Test Centre, we've seen only a handful pf phones running Ice Cream Sandwich, including the HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy S III and Huawei Ascend Y201.
New Zealand Carriers
Telecom spokesperson Richard Irvine says that Telecom will "look at upgrading handsets that are capable of taking the update, after the updates become available and we’ve successfully put them through our testing programme."
Telecom has four handsets currently on sale with Ice Cream Sandwich: the HTC One X, HTC One V, Samsung GALAXY SIII and Samsung ACE 2. Other phones, including the HTC Sensation, are still in the testing programme, but will get Ice Cream Sandwich in the near future. The Samsung Galaxy SII was upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich in late April.
If you get tired of waiting, chances are the hacker community will have an update for your phone before the phone makers and carriers do. The team behind CyanogenMod has already released a preview version of CyanogenMod 10, with Jelly Bean, for Samsung's Galaxy S III. Samsung has not made it official when the Galaxy S III will get Jelly Bean, however there is news the update will be delivered no later than September. But even if you're comfortable rooting and flashing new ROMs, it's still a little early to dive in unless you don't mind broken features and general instability.
Android 4.1 isn't a major update, but it greatly increases the smoothness of the operating system and includes access to Google Now, a sort of Siri competitor that tries to deliver important information automatically. For more on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, check out Armando Rodriguez's test drive of the OS.
Additional New Zealand-specific reporting by Zara Baxter.