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15 Dec 12 A screenshot tour of Verizon’s Android 4.1 update for Galaxy SIII users


Verizon Wireless finally pushed out the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update for Samsung Galaxy SIII users this week. It brings with it a variety of long-awaited Android features, including Google Now, voice search within Maps, and other nifty little touches like camera filters and contextual menus. Samsung has also bundled its premium suite of features with the update to include things like enhancements to the S-Voice personal assistant, as well as a major overhaul to the keyboard input. Verizon Wireless users will also be able to add international roaming to their plans so they can use the phone overseas. Finally, upgraded users in Salt Lake City and Austin will be able to access ISIS wallet (unfortunately, we were not able to try it out in this screenshot tour).

We’ve been waiting for this update for some time now, and although Android 4.2 Jelly Bean was recently released to various Nexus handsets and devices, any software update is better than no update at all. Let’s take a look at several of the Galaxy SIII’s new features.

Google Now and S-Voice

Galaxy SIII users now have access to Google Now, which can be engaged by holding down on the Home button for a few seconds and pressing the Google button, or by holding down the Menu button. Google Now displays pertinent information like driving times, flight information, upcoming meetings, and tracking information for shipments, and it’s all updated in real time.



Samsung also pushed forth updates to its S-Voice application, a digital personal assistant which functions a lot like Apple’s Siri and Google Now.  Its voice sounds sultrier than before, it can recognize more phrases and actions, and you can engage it from the lock screen with a voice command (more on that in a bit).



Camera Improvements

With the Android 4.1 update, Samsung also packaged up a few “premium” features, like camera enhancements. The Camera app has new filters that can be overlaid in real-time and viewed through the Preview window, and it also comes with a low-light shot function. The app also sports a “best face” setting that attempts to capture the best moment in a scene where there’s a lot of movement.





Keyboard

In addition to the standard Android 4.1 features, Samsung has also included a huge update to the Swype application, which comes natively with the Galaxy SIII. The keyboard looks much nicer than it previously did and typing is an easier endeavor. Beforehand, it used to feel like no matter the accuracy with which fingers touched the letters, it would require lots of editing before a message could go out. Now, the keyboard feels just as fluid as on stock Android. (I’m thankful that I can finally ditch the Jelly Bean keyboard plug-in I’ve been using all this time.)


Missing features

After comparing the screenshots in the video that Samsung released last week and the update that hit our own Galaxy SIII unit, we were surprised to find that the Multi-window functionality and Page Buddy did not exist in the Display options. There is no setting for customizing Notification panel, either.



As it turns out, these features are actually a part of Android 4.1.2, and the update that went out today is Android 4.1.1, so we won’t be seeing these features until that particular update hits. You can check out Samsung’s YouTube page for the videos where all the new Premium suite features are explained.

Listing image by Image courtesy of TechnoBuffalo

Article source: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/12/a-screenshot-tour-of-verizons-android-4-1-update-for-galaxy-siii-users/

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