Verizon Wireless, America’s largest operator, has a reputation for two things. The first is that they have the best coverage in the United States and spend more than anyone else on infrastructure equipment. The second is that they couldn’t care less about software updates. Whenever we write about phones getting updated to a new version of Android, the order is always international unlocked units, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and then Verizon last. Taking a look at the Galaxy S III from the Samsung, the story is no different.
Starting today, if you check for software updates, you should see one available to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. Now only will the update make your device snappier thanks to things like TRIM support and other system level optimizations, but you’ll also get Galaxy Gear compatibility. Whatever you think of the Galaxy Gear, some people out there actually like it, but they were bummed to hear that it would only work on the Note 3. Now it should work on the Note 3, S4, S3, Note II, and any other Samsung phone or tablet running Android 4.3 or above.
Speaking about “above”, earlier today we heard that French operators SFR plans to push Android 4.4 KitKat to the Note 3 and S4 in late January. How long until 4.4 hits your GS3? I’d say late Q2 if you have an unlocked unit, and probably early Q3 if you’re on Verizon.
All kidding aside, I’d rather have coverage than the newest version of Android.