If you were one of the fortunate US Cellular Galaxy S3 owners this past Friday, you found yourself downloading the latest major update to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), Android 4.1—affectionately known as “Jelly Bean.” Jelly Bean brings changes to an already awesome operating system in Android 4.0. I remember that on Thursday night in anticipation of the Jelly Bean update I would receive on Friday morning, I took pictures of the Ice Cream Sandwich distinctives to remember the old OS before I rejoiced at the thought of updating my device to Android 4.1.1.
Before I discuss some of the new features of Jelly Bean, let me say that, in honor of the new OS for US Cellular Galaxy S3 owners, you should download the Jelly Bean wallpapers on your device. The old wallpapers will remain stored on your device for access at any time; however, it is nice to put the new Jelly Bean themes on the S3 and see something other than that wonderful (but never-ending) blue sky wallpaper. The best part of it all is that you can still touch your screen and create ripples – just as you did in Android 4.0.4.
Now, once you do the above, you can then notice the changes to the operating system in Jelly Bean. Some of the changes of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean take place in the swipe-down window. When you pull down your notifications center, you will find that the time, day of the week, and date (month, day, and year) are in the top, left-hand corner. This is an improvement from Android 4.0.4; in the old operating system, when you swiped from the top down, you covered your date and time and could not know what date and time were on your device until you removed the notifications window. To the right of the time and date designations is a white factory wheel that serves as your “settings icon”. The settings icon was once in the notifications window beneath the brightness adjustment slider. Now, the settings icon is at the very top of the window so you can get to your settings at any time. In Android 4.0.4, you could click the bottom left invisible “page” icon, then select “settings”. This option is still available, but you no longer have to leave the notifications window to do it. I used the invisible page icon, but also the “software update” widget to help me get to the software update immediately in case of a new update coming to my smartphone.
Beneath the time, date, and settings designations in the notifications window lie two new settings configurations: “blocking mode” and “AllShare Cast.” The new blocking mode does what Apple’s new “Do Not Disturb” (DND) mode does in iOS6: it blocks you from receiving updates on notifications in your email, games, and other utility apps. For the student in class who does not want to have his or her smartphone confiscated (or the businessman who does not need his smartphone interrupting a presentation), the new blocking mode will prove a formidable ally.
There are what seem to be new widgets such as “favorite apps,” “favorite contacts,” and “favorite settings.” These are ideal widgets for those who do not care to go on a fishing expedition when searching for their most-used applications. A widgets icon will now make your Galaxy S3 even easier to use.
There is more coolness for your US Cellular Galaxy S3 than can be disclosed here. Now that you have Android 4.1, take the time to discover all the cool things about it. Before long, updates Android 4.1.2 and Android 4.2 will arrive!