While Android 4.4 “KitKat” is in the works, numerous smartphone manufacturers have announced plans to upgrade the operating systems on their older model handsets, namely to the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean release.
Here’s a look at some of some notable handsets that are getting updates before the end of the year.
- HTC One handsets on Sprint started last week, with HTC tweeting estimates for AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and T-Mobile.
- HTC Evo 4G LTE handsets on the Sprint network will receive the upgrade before the end of the year. The HTC Sense 5 operating system overlay will also be upgraded on the same schedule.
- There are also various other minor updates and refreshes in the Android universe, including a bump of the Nexus 7 from Android 4.3 to 4.3.1.
Android 4.3 is an incremental upgrade over the older operating systems that shipped with the above handsets, but it does offer some important new features that make it a compelling update for users on older OS versions.
One update is the inclusion of Bluetooth Smart (also known as Bluetooth Low Energy or Bluetooth LE), which will be required for your phone to connect to the new breed of Android-based smart watches. Jelly Bean also adds some usability features, including phone number autocomplete, easier text input, faster switching between users, and a simplified setup wizard when setting up a new device. Graphics have also been updated under the hood, giving Jelly Bean devices access to the latest OpenGL standard, which should enhance video playback quality and gaming performance.