We sure weren't expecting this, but today Sprint announced on its support site that the Epic 4G Touch (the Now Network's branded version of the Galaxy S II) is getting an update to Jelly Bean. Undoubtedly version 4.1, but this would still be a welcome upgrade as it brings with it the ability to access Google Now, among a host of other features.
The update will require Samsung's Kies software to install. Apparently the file size is too big to rollout over the air. Though, if we had to guess, the fact that the device is nearly two years old by this point and is relatively low-priority for Sprint played a factor in the decision to let consumers foot the bill for the bandwidth.
Check out the source link for more information from Sprint, or go here to get started on the download.
Update: Sprint just added a document with more information about the update to its community pages. It looks like in addition to Jelly Bean, Samsung will be pushing back some of its trademark features like Smart Stay and Direct Call, the feature that allows you to go from texting someone to calling them by raising your phone to your ear.
Jelly Bean offers users stunning graphic capabilities with expanded feature functionality. This software update will make several premium and intuitive Galaxy S III features available to Galaxy S II users.
- Smart Stay: Tracks eye movement to ensure the device screen is always on while it’s viewed so the backlight doesn’t dim or become idle
- Direct Call: Converts text message interface to the voice call interface by simply raising the phone to the ear
- Pop Up Play: Allows users to watch video content while operating any application at the same time
In addition, different operation modes allow users to modify phone functions to meet their always changing needs:
- Easy Mode: A simpler home screen setup designed for first-time smartphone users, Easy Mode automatically populates your favorite settings, apps and contacts, in addition to a handful of larger Samsung widgets
- Blocking Mode:
- Power Saving Mode:
The Jelly Bean update also includes the addition of widgets to the lock screen. These widgets provide easy access to email, text messages, a clock, a calendar and the camera. The user can customize the five widgets in the lock screen to the services they use the most often. Jelly Bean also enables widgets to resize on their own, adjusting to the space available on the screen when new widgets are added.
Notifications are now more dynamic, as well: if you’re late for a meeting or missed a call, you can email or call directly from notifications. The keyboard is smarter, more accurate and can predict your next word. Voice typing is faster, working even when you don’t have a data connection.
Jelly Bean also provides a new Google Search experience on Galaxy S II, which includes a new user interface and a faster, more natural Voice Search called Google Now. Google Now allows you to type your query or simply ask Google a question. Google Now can speak back to you, delivering a precise answer such as how much traffic to expect before you leave for work or when the next train will arrive as you’re standing on the platform.