Lately, Samsung has been building an amazing track record with updates. Their flagship from two years ago, the Galaxy S II, launched with Gingerbread. They updated it to Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.3, leaving the Gingerbread-esque UI unchanged. Then with 4.0.4 came a whole different experience, updated to be closer to ICS standards (or as close as TouchWiz could get anyway). But the really amazing thing is that Samsung updated the aging device to Jelly Bean 4.1.2, with yet another UI revision. It incorporated the Galaxy S III software, including the new launcher, smart features, and everything.
Similarly, Samsung stated that the Galaxy S III won’t be left behind. With the release of the Galaxy S 4 running Android 4.2.2, Samsung promised that the S III and Note II will both get the software from the S 4, along with all the features possible. It’s an amazing proposition, but will Samsung deliver?
A 4.2.2 build for the Galaxy S III has leaked and it is absolutely official. Flashing it will not trip the binary counter, just like with a stock firmware. This means that Samsung is getting pretty close to completing this build. Here are some of the included features:
- New S4 Lockscreen: Multiple Widgets, two Unlock effects (Ripple and Light), improved ripple effect, ability to change clock size and set a personal message
- New Screen modes (From S4): Adapt Display and Professional Photo
- Driving mode
- Actionable notifications
- New Additions in Notification Center
- Completely revamped Settings UI (Tabbed interface – Exactly like the S4)
- Addition of Voice controls (Let’s you control various parts of the phone using voice commands – Galaxy S4 feature)
- Gallery modes have white background (When changing gallery modes to 3D the background changes to white)
- Full screen Samsung apps
- New S-Voice (from S4)
- New smart switch widget
Even though this is an official build, it is still pre-release and may be unstable. This was not meant to be used as a daily driver, so flash it at your own risk and be aware of the consequences. Hit the source link for the download and instructions.
It’s great to see Samsung sticking to a consistent update schedule. Not leaving behind older phones is a great way to build loyalty. Not too long ago, I still rocked a Galaxy S II as my main phone, and having Jelly Bean on it with the Galaxy S III features encouraged me to stick with Samsung. What do you think of Samsung upgrading older phones with both new versions of Android and new user interfaces?