Sony has started rolling out Android 4.3 Jelly Bean to Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR and Xperia Tablet Z devices. Along with the base Android 4.3 updates, the company's own modifications have also got a spruce-up.

Sony has added to its software arsenal with a new Smart Social Camera app, which lets users download and access all of Sony's camera-specific apps from the viewfinder screen itself. The update also brings improvements in UI and functionality to core Sony apps such as Messaging, MyXperia, Smart Connect, Small Apps, TrackID, Sony Select and Sony's suite of media apps. 

Jelly Bean update

Jelly Bean update for all of Sony's Z phones

Sony’s media apps–Walkman, Album and Movies–now come with Sony Entertainment Network cloud service integration. The well-received power management app has got a new interface and more options to supposedly prolong battery life further. We'll have to test these improvements ourselves to see if they have any effect on the battery life.

While it's good news that the 4.3 update has been delivered, there's still the question of when these high-end phones, which were all launched in India only this year, will get Android 4.4 KitKat. They are more than well equipped to handle the new OS. Right now, the Z Ultra is the only phone to run that version of the OS as it's available through the Play Store.

We can rule out the possibility of a version jump, but we are still wondering why Sony simply didn't drop the Android 4.3 work, when KitKat was around the corner. As a major Android partner, the company must surely be in the know about when new versions will be out. This is especially glaring considering Google and Sony must have been in talks before the Play edition Z Ultra was released.

If it was time that Sony needed, then we don't think anyone would have complained about a month's wait, or even a bit longer, to get the latest version. KitKat may just look like a point update ahead of Jelly Bean, but we know it is a lot more than that and we won't fault buyers of Sony's expensive high-end smartphones for feeling shortchanged.

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