28
Mar
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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.

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The update will require Samsung's Kies software to install.

27
Mar
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Last Updated: April 26th, 2013

Back in early February when Sony started pushing Jelly Bean to the Xperia T and V, it promised the same update for the TX by "the end of March." Here we are, with four days left in the month, and Sony has made good on that promise. You hear that, all other manufacturers?

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At this time it's not completely clear what enhancements this brings outside of stock Jelly Bean's improvements, but it's likely similar to that of the Xperia T, V, and TL.

27
Mar
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Last Updated: April 26th, 2013

If QWERTYs are your thing, the Samsung's Galaxy Stratosphere II on Big Red is one of the only choices left on the market. And while it may be nothing to write home about in general, it is getting a nice bump up to Jelly Bean right now. Announced officially on the Verizon Blog just a bit ago, the update has started making its way out in phases and brings all sorts of fun goodies like voice search, enhanced notifications, Google Now, and lots more.

26
Mar
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Last Updated: April 26th, 2013

Released last fall, Samsung's Galaxy Express is a plucky mid-range handset with – for those who don't know – a 4.5" Super AMOLED display (constrained by an underwhelming 480x800 resolution), a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, and a gig of RAM.

If you happen to be carrying around a Galaxy Express, listen up – AT&T, in a post to its Consumer Blog, announced today that an Android 4.1 update has begun rolling out to users, bringing with it everything you'd expect, from Google Now and rich notifications to Samsung-specific enhancements like Easy Mode, Blocking Mode (to keep unwanted calls and texts at bay), and a lock screen news ticker.

22
Mar
Screen Shot 2013-03-22 at 12.15.12

The PadFone 2 may have received its Jelly Bean update at the end of last year, but original PadFone owners haven't been so lucky. Fortunately, ASUS has decided to level the playing field again, releasing an update for the original device with Android 4.1.1.

In addition to the OS upgrade, the latest update also provides some improvements to other areas of the phone. Here's the full changelog:

PadFone Firmware: V10.2.1.9 (Android 4.1) improvement:
1.

21
Mar
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Last Updated: March 25th, 2013

We have some good news to share with our neighbors to the north: the Optimus G is getting an update to Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. Right now, this only includes customers on Bell, Rogers, and TELUS. LG says that SaskTel users will receive the OTA in "late March", which suggests it should begin shipping only a few days behind the other carriers. This version bump will bring support for Google Now, offline speech recognition, expandable notifications, and several other goodies.

19
Mar
2013-03-19_10h48_41

Verizon is just not letting up on the updates. Which is kind of a crazy thing to say about the carrier. Today's is an oddity, though, as the Droid Charge will be getting a mild upgrade. Yes, really. It's not a huge change, though. Unfortunately, it's not Jelly Bean (or even Ice Cream Sandwich), but it does bring a couple of the features from those platforms, including face unlock and a photo editor.

19
Mar
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Maybe it's just me, but it seems like Samsung is getting even faster with open source file releases. Today, the Korean manufacturer dropped open source kernel files for the Galaxy Note 8.0, Samsung's first foray into the tablet-that's-also-a-phone market. Both international and North American variants are represented, so those interested can take their pick.

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18
Mar
2013-03-18_14h31_09

Verizon has very surprisingly been killing it lately with Jelly Bean updates for various devices. Today, the Droid 4 is joining the pack with an imminent upgrade to Android 4.1. The rollout hasn't begun just yet, but support docs have shown up on the carriers website indicating that the update will be 'Coming Soon.'

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Of course, the major benefits of Android 4.1 are obvious: access to Google Now (which can be updated directly from the Play Store after that), improved voice controls, expandable notifications, and voice transcription even when you don't have a data connection.

18
Mar
2013-03-18_11h45_05

Today, Sony announced two new handsets to add to its existing smartphone lineups, led by the new SP. This handset has a 1.7GHz Snapdragon S4 Plus, 4.6" 'HD Reality Display' and Android 4.1. It's not the most awe-inspiring spec list we've seen, but certainly good enough to stand next to other highish-end handsets.

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Here are the full specs for the Xperia SP:

  • 1.7 GHz Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ S4 Plus dual core processor
  • Adreno 320 GPU
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 4.6” 1280x720 display
  • Android™ 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
  • LTE
  • NFC
  • 8MP camera with HDR

In addition to the SP, Sony also announced the Xperia L, which is closer to a mid-range handset.

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