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Samsung releases Android 4.3 for Galaxy S4 (GT-I9505)

By James Geddes , Oct 18, 2013 04:41 AM EDT
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Samsung Galaxy S4 owners are now receiving an OTA update to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. The update adds support for the Galaxy Gear and some new features and enhancements.

When Samsung announced its Galaxy Gear smartwatch, the only Samsung smartphone that was able to work with the device was the Galaxy Note 3. Samsung announced that it would be releasing Android 4.3 for the Galaxy S4 in October, followed by a release for the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 in November. Android 4.3 is required for a device to work with the Galaxy Gear, allowing it to sync, send and receive alerts, answer calls, take pictures, and more.

Samsung has made good on its promise and has started to release Android 4.3 for the Galaxy S4. This update is for unlocked Galaxy S4s, since carriers need to test and approve firmware updates. The wait shouldn't be too long as most users in the U.S. are using a Galaxy S4 from one of the four major carriers.

SamMobile has created an Android 4.3 update preview video comparing the differences between a Galaxy S4 running Android 4.2.2 and one running the latest OS and has published the change log of the OTA update.

CHANGES AND IMPROVEMENTS IN ANDROID 4.3 UPDATE

- OpenGL 3.0 Support
- GALAXY GEAR Support
- TRIM Support (Makes the device much faster)
- ANT+ Support
- Samsung KNOX Implementation (KNOX bootloader and dedicated application)
- Samsung Wallet comes pre-loaded
- Improved RAM management
- Improved Display color reproduction (Display looks much sharper than before)
- Improved TouchWiz Launcher (Much less launcher redraws and less lag)
- New Samsung Keyboard
- New Samsung Browser (Full screen by default, new tab interface and more)
- New Reading Mode (Optimizes display for reading, used by only a few specific applications)
- New Camera firmware
- Minor UI tweaks (Contacts app, Flashlight Widget, dialog boxes, etc.)

We'll have to wait to hear from Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile on when they expect to release Android 4.3 for the Galaxy S4. All of the carriers sell the Galaxy Gear, which might prompt them to get the update out sooner rather than later.

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