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Samsung updates Galaxy S4 with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean

Samsung has begun rolling out Android 4.3 Jelly Bean updates to its Galaxy S4 smartphones.

The South Korean has kept the promise it made at the Samsung Unpacked event in October to begin rolling out the update to the GT-I9505 LTE version of its flagship smartphone.

Android updates for Samsung devices typically take longer than on other manufacturers devices with the company’s TouchWiz UI placed over Android’s normal UI.

SamMobile reports the new version of the OS makes the Galaxy S4 a lot faster. When the Antutu Benchmark test was run Google Android 4.3 came out with a score of around 29-30K whereas Android 4.2.2 achieved just 25-26K in the same test.

Some of changes implemented with the update include support for Galaxy Gear, OpenGL 3.0, TRIM and ANT+, as well as Samsung Wallet coming preloaded. There is a new Samsung keyboard, browser, and reading mode, with an update to the camera’s firmware.

Devices bought from Samsung will be the first to get the update with the trickle down to operator locked phones happening once operators have approved the Samsung edited version of the OS.

One of the headline improvements is the fact the Galaxy S4 now joins the Galaxy Note 3 in being able to be used in conjunction with the Galaxy Gear smartwatch that Samsung launched in September.

Galaxy Gear is designed to act as a second screen for Samsung smartphones and packs an 800MHz processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage and a 1.63in Super AMOLED 320 x 320 display.

Integrated in the strap there is a 1.9-megapixel camera and there are close to 100 apps already optimised to work with the watch with charging done using a built in microUSB port.

Work will start shortly on optimising the next version of Android, 4.4 Kit Kat, which is will be released at some point in the coming weeks alongside a new Google Nexus smartphone.