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.

Source: Sprint

Thanks, Andy!

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • triangle8

    It's awesome that Samsung and Sprint are still updating this device even if it is a little behind. After all, the Verizon Nexus only just got the update to jelly bean and that's a nexus.

    • Adam

      It just got 4.2... this is 4.1 yo

      • Steve Sy

        and 4.2 is worthless.
        Im saying this being on 4.2

        • mechapathy

          I dunno, man. Lock screen widgets, multi-user support, gesture typing, quick settings, photo sphere. Depends on your definition of worthless, I guess.

          • Andrew

            Well now google has made the swipe keyboard an app that anyone can download, so that point is invalid

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.spredemann Michael Spredemann

    I just loaded up Carbon-Joy, based on Android 4.2.2 for my Epic Touch 4g and love it. http://greenromproject.com/showthread.php?t=10309

    • barnassey thomas

      Nobody cares we are talking about the official update.

  • barnassey thomas

    This is for the author who wrote this the full files size of the GB27 update zip was almost 500 MB in size. Hell the odin file is 843 MB big so you are wrong on this.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      Hi. Author who wrote this here. 500MB OTAs happen. Most of the time they just say to get on WiFi.

      • barnassey thomas

        Hmmm good actually thats mostly verizon. Big updates usually dont happen on sprint like that. Been with them for years only phone i've seen with happen is with the sprint galaxy nexus.

      • k323

        Real reason why is Kies only is cuz it needs to repartition the internal storage.

        Btw incase anyone is wondering this update has the new touchwiz nature ux UI

        • mechapathy

          Well I'd say it's also kies only because of the nature UX update. If everyone gets an updated UI with GSIII features, who's gonna upgrade to the S IV?

          • Jeremy Gilliam

            No reason to upgrade now... Samsung probably didn't think about that before releasing this update.

  • http://twitter.com/IND3LIBLE_ Ind3lible

    It is 4.1.2

  • joeljfischer

    I'm pretty sure this is the same leaked ROM that I flashed to my S2 about 2 months ago. Can anyone confirm that?

    • Defiant

      Ummm...you can confirm it yourself but looking at your phone...

    • r barnes

      There have been a number of leaked roms for this phone. but No this rom was created
      on February 27, 2013. Hence GB 27 G=2013 B=February or 2nd month of year and 27th day. it was leaked the first week of March for final testing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/killer49 Hendrick Vidal

    Nice i wasgonna root the phone yesterday and decided not to, great news.

  • Derrick Wallner

    Thanks for the share, never would have noticed without it.

  • Jeremy Gilliam

    So glad Sprint decided to do this. Makes the wait for the S4 easier. Might just wait a while longer for prices to drop or the next better phone.

    • Jeremy Gilliam

      Completed the update about 4 days ago. Loving the JB experience on the GS2. This update fixed a lot of the reboot issues, battery usage issues, and interface crashes. Loving having Google Now on my phone! Makes the phone new all over again. No reason to upgrade the family phones since this did so much, so well. Highly recommend this update!

  • Cunningham

    Virgin Mobiles Epic 4g Touch didnt get the update which is bullshit since it's a Sprint phone with a VM stamp on it.

    • r barnes

      There is an official update on the Samsung site for Virgin model.. Version is GB28. Try downloading Kies software from Samsung. If this doesn't work keep checking the net
      Someone will post a file for downloading. The Jelly Beam Rom does exist

  • Cunningham

    Any help on how i can get Jellybean for a Virgin Mobile Epic 4g Touch would greatly be appreciated, thAnks

    • r barnes

      Samsung has released three versions of the Jelly Bean update. There is a version for Virgin Mobile: GB28. Don't own the virgin phone but pretty sure you can update using kies.

  • gregsilva4

    This is probably a dumb question but i have the phone for boost wich is on sprint's network would i be able to get the update?

    • Cunningham

      Most likely not since its not available for virgin mobiles version which also runs on the Sprint network, looks like rooting is the only way ill be getting jellybean.

      • r barnes

        It is available for Boost and Virgin. Just go here: http://www.samsung.com/us/support/ and find the model number of your phone. Only catch is exe file not compatible with windows 8.

    • r barnes

      Samsung has released Jelly Bean updates for Boost and Virgin Mobile version of the phone. Boost version is GC01 pretty sure you can do it through Kies

    • Cunningham

      Make sure you check via Kies because Virgin Mobiles Epic 4g Touch got the update yesterday the day after Sprint

  • Cunningham

    Just a Update to what I posted yesterday concerning the Jellybean update to Virgin Mobiles GalaxyS2 Epic 4g Touch. You can now download the update via Kies Air for the Virgin Mobile version I forget what the # is but its updating on my 4g Touch right now.

  • mechapathy

    "The Jelly Bean update also includes the addition of widgets to the lock screen. "
    So it's 4.2? Or is this something Samsung baked into 4.1?

    • Cunningham

      Its 4.1.2 i just got it last night for my Virgin Mobile Epic 4g Touch

  • qbking77

    Here's a video showing how to manually update:

  • Kevin Kohrman

    I just upgraded 2 phones in my family with this. Worked perfect

  • http://www.facebook.com/jujumediazone Kareem J. Lanier

    How do I do screen capture with this new official JB update?

  • johnforamerica

    Anyone know: for those of us who are stock, rooted - can we use the samsung installer?