If you were first in the queue for a cutting-edge Samsung Galaxy S3, only to be heartbroken when Google released a better version of Android just a few weeks later, your deflation could be short lived.
Jelly Bean -- that's Android 4.1, decimal fans -- is nearly ready to roll out to Samsung's sensational super phone, according to sources who spoke to firmware boffs SamMobile. These mysterious UpdateThroats don't have a firm date, but reckon it'll be in August or September.
It's heartening to hear rumours that the S3 will be updated to the latest version of Android -- it means Samsung is keen to avoid the phenomenal hoo-ha around the S2 upgrading to Ice Cream Sandwich. Also encouraging is the news that Jelly Bean is being tested on the S2.
The S2 only came out last year -- although that feels like the Middle Ages in phone terms -- so it should be well capable of running the latest software. And as the decimal point indicates, Jelly Bean isn't the huge step up ICS was. Nevertheless, SamMobile's sources (whoever they are) aren't certain the update will appear, or even have a rough date as to when.
Jelly Bean's chief attribute is the care and attention paid to how it 'feels' to move around the interface -- the infinitesimal differences between smooth and jarring transitions and animations. Called Project Butter, this collection of tweaks and tune-ups have made Android more pleasurable to use than ever. Our kid Andrew loved it in his review of the Nexus 7 tablet.
Even if Samsung does push out the update to the S3 and S2 in the next few weeks though, you won't see it on your phone for some time afterwards. If you bought your Galaxy from a network, they have to test the software on their infrastructure and add whatever bloatware they want, then send it back to Samsung and Google for checking before they push it out over the air. Vodafone outlined the laborious procedure recently.
Samsung got in all sorts of bother when it released the S2's ICS update to unlocked phones last. An exec said at the time, "We want everyone to have the same experience, whether or not it's open-market, network, to us they're exactly the same." So don't expect your SIM-free unlocked S3 to get the update any quicker.
Are you jumping for Jelly Bean? Or still bumping along with Gingerbread? Would you prefer slower upgrades, so you don't feel left behind all the time? Upgrade the comments section with your thoughts, or head over to our bleeding-edge Facebook page.