When you buy a new Android smartphone, you need to consider if and when it’ll get updated. If you buy a Nexus, then duh, you’ll be first in line with the latest versions of Android. If you buy an unlocked handset, then whenever the company that built your phone releases an update, you’ll get the update. Samsung, HTC, and Sony are typically seen as the best in that regard. But if you buy a smartphone from a mobile operator, you’re pretty much screwed.
Case in point, AT&T has only now started pushing out Android 4.3 to the Galaxy Note II. That’s several weeks after the update rolled out to the unlocked variant. And Verizon is even worse. The HTC One, which has already been updated to Android 4.4 KitKat in many parts of the world, is only now getting Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.
But back to the Note II, what exactly does Android 4.3 add to the system? There’s TRIM support, so your internal storage stays nice and zippy over time. There’s support for the Galaxy Gear, should you ever find yourself with $300 to blow on a smart watch. There’s also an improved keyboard, better graphics drivers, all the fancy new Samsung icons that were introduced with the Galaxy S4, and several other goodies you can read about on Samsung’s very own support page.