At the IFA 2012 event, Samsung announced that its flagship smartphone would receive the Jelly Bean update by this quarter, and right on cue, owners of the Samsung Galaxy S III are now receiving the Android 4.1 update.

This update is available for download over-the-air (OTA) or through Samsung’s Kies software. If you own a Samsung Galaxy S III, then we recommend you head over to the phone’s settings, and check if it is available. The size of the update is 291MB, and it would be advisable to download it over a Wi-Fi connection in order to save your cellular data.

Activating at a breath taking rate

Samsung Galaxy S III users getting Jelly Bean in India

Android 4.1 builds on top of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). This operating system is designed to make everything smoother, faster, and more fluid. Notifications are now more dynamic, allowing you to access and interact with the alert from the drop down menu itself without ever having to open the app. Another interesting feature is that voice typing is now faster, working even when one does not have a data connection. Google had also stated that they have re-designed search from the ground up in Jelly Bean with a new user interface and faster, more natural Voice Search. They went on to state that one can type their query or simply ask Google a question. Google can speak back, delivering a precise answer, powered by the Knowledge Graph, if it knows one, in addition to a list of search results.

Here are some of the key features that Android 4.1 Jelly Bean brings to the table:

  • With Jelly Bean, blind users can use 'Gesture Mode' to reliably navigate the UI using touch and swipe gestures in combination with speech output.
  • TalkBack, a screen reader for Android, now supports gestures to trigger actions, navigate applications, and traverse text.
  • Browser has improved performance, CPU and memory efficiency. With better performance for animations and HTML5 canvases and an updated JavaScript Engine (V8), pages load faster and feel smoother.
  • Browser now has better HTML5 video support, and has a new user experience. Just touch the video to play and pause, and smoothly transition into and out of fullscreen mode.
  • Calendar is more buttery. Content fades in, animations are sprinkled throughout, and swiping/paging between days is smoother.
  • You can now swipe from the camera viewfinder to quickly review photos you've taken without having to leave the camera app. You can swipe back to the camera viewfinder to start snapping photos again.
  • When taking a photo, a new animation sweeps your photo off the screen. There is now a new paging animation when swiping between photos.
  • You can now enter text in one of 18 new input languages, including Persian, Hindi and Thai. Additional Indic languages Kannada, Telugu, and Malayalam are now supported by the platform.
  • You can use custom keyboard input styles for more than 20 languages, with keymaps for Qwerty, Qwertz, Azerty, Dvorak, Colemak, and PC styles.
  • Notifications from the same application are grouped together, and the first item is automatically expanded. You can also pinch notifications to expand or collapse them.

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