So far Samsung has been right on the money when it comes to the much-anticipated Android 4.3 update for its major phones. Today customers with the AT&T model of the Galaxy S4 are getting the last version of Jelly Bean, according to this (very long) thread on XDA. It looks like the update file started going out to customers a few hours after midnight, so technically Samsung is a day late - then again, the schedule was leaked, so it's hard to hold that against them.
The Android 4.3 update for the Galaxy S4 has been making the rounds lately, already popping up for Verizon and Sprint. Now it's set to make another appearance, not on AT&T or T-Mobile, but on US Cellular. The carrier that wasn't large enough to appear on Samsung's leaked accelerated Android 4.3 update plan now has a changelog up detailing what users can expect from software version R970VXUAMJA.
There are many reasons to prefer shopping at one store over another, but anyone who prefers for their handsets to come in blue would be advised to turn their eyes towards Best Buy. The big box retailer is now offering the Galaxy S4 in glossy, plastic blue - or as they would call it, Blue Arctic. The handset will become available next Thursday, November 14th, but pre-orders are launching tomorrow for Elite and Elite Plus members, and November 10th for everyone else.
There was an unusually specific leak from Samsung last month, showing a relatively accelerated schedule for updates on the Galaxy S4, S III, and Note II on all four major American carriers. That isn't much comfort for those customers on US Cellular, since the #5 carrier wasn't quite important enough to be included in the leak. But now there's a new leak in town, helpfully provided by an anonymous tipster, showing that the US Cellular Galaxy S4 will be updated on Friday the 8th.
Verizon got it first (for once), but now it's time for Samsung Galaxy S4 owners on Sprint to get their Android 4.3 update on. The over-the-air download should be disseminating today, though we've yet to see confirmation from Sprint itself. Assuming that it is indeed going out, the update comes right on schedule, according to a leaked Samsung document.
In addition to the standard Android 4.3 features, the OTA download (L720VPUAMJA) delivers compatibility with the Galaxy Gear smartwatch and Samsung's Knox encryption system.
Update 10/28/13 10:30pm PT: The update is rolling out now (thanks, bdh and ohbuckeyeman!):
Samsung has added details about the upcoming I545VRUEMJ7 software update that will, among other things, make the device compatible with the Galaxy Gear. That means anyone who ran out and purchased the watch before discovering that it was only compatible with the Note 3 can now breathe a bit easier (I'm sure at least one person did that, right?).
Samsung makes a lot of phones, and that means it has a lot of open source packages to post. Today it's taking the time to drop the kernel source for two Galaxy S4 variants after the Android 4.3 update, as well as the code from the AT&T Galaxy Mega giganto-phone.
Out of the gate, the Samsung Galaxy Gear has made for the tough sell. It's hard enough to justify dropping $299 on a watch, but it's even more difficult to shell out that much on one that only pairs with a single device. Customers who don't want the Galaxy Note 3 or aren't ready to cut the cord on their current handsets have thus far been out of luck. Of course, Samsung has been upfront from the beginning that it planned to release support for slightly older Galaxy devices down the road.
The Galaxy S4 is a neat phone, but man is it ever big. If a 5-inch device simply won't fit in your life, consider the Galaxy S4 Mini. This svelte device is headed to the US next month and it will be sold by AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and U.S. Cellular. The carriers should announce availability shortly, but no pricing is available yet.
The GS4 Mini retains the visual style of the Galaxy S4, but the specs have been reduced a bit.
Samsung made a promise during its Unpacked Episode 2 event, the kind of promise that can send Android enthusiasts fuming in anger if broken. If you haven't guessed, I'm talking about an update to the latest version of Android, 4.3. Samsung said that the Galaxy S4 would make the leap in October, and sure enough, updates are starting to appear. Here's proof, courtesy of Sam Mobile.