Waiting for a new version of Android to hit all of the devices set out upon release can become rather tedious, and although things are now a lot quicker than in the days of Ice Cream Sandwich, the only way to really guarantee staying up-to-date is to pick up a smartphone or tablet running on stock Android. During Unpacked Episode 2, Samsung made it known that Android 4.3 Jelly Bean would finally be coming to the LTE version of its flagship Galaxy S4, which carries the model number GT-I9505. After a relatively short wait, the update is finally here, in-keeping with the projected October release date. Details can be found after the break.
The news is sure to delight owners of the powerful handset, particularly those long-time Android users who will have experienced their fair share of delay beset by fragmentation. The ever-diligent blogosphere has pushed out several screenshots of the device running Android 4.3, and thus, we’d expect the OTA to begin rolling through to Galaxy S4 users as of this point.
With Android 4.4 KitKat on the horizon, it was important that Samsung met its deadline to avoid releasing a firmware version already superseded, and thankfully, this now appears to be the case.
In terms of changes, we already know that Android 4.3 delivers a fair, if somewhat underwhelming set of new features and implementations. The new stock keyboard, for example, is certainly an improvements, but with most power users opting for the likes of SwiftKey and Swype, among others, it’s not the kind of change that hardcore users are going to be overly enthusiastic about.
Aside from the keyboard, the browser is optimized to run in full-screen mode off the bat, taking advantage of the real estate offered by the Galaxy S4, and there are a couple of neat, low-key tweaks to the user interface.
Although it would be great, in an ideal world, if owners could go ahead and update without fuss, a la iOS, those rocking a Galaxy S4 will now have to play the waiting game on their carriers to push the update out. Still, everything appears sorted from Samsung’s end, so in the next couple of days and weeks, LTE Galaxy S4 users will gradually be treated to Android 4.3.