Good news for folks using the international version of the Samsung Galaxy S III. It seems that the leaked test build for the Android 4.3 update that appeared yesterday is more or less the final build that has now been released by Samsung. Unfortunately, it means that it also contains all the warts and missing pieces that the test build had as well.
We reported yesterday on a test firmware image for last year's flagship going around the Internet. Although there was also another build for the smartphone that was leaked last week, that build was meant for the AT&T model, while the latest was the first international version of the build, specifically for Vodafone customers in Germany. It seems that Samsung either meant that test build to actually be the final build or has decided to simply just push through with the release. Needless to say, the official update is now released and should be rolling out to all users of the international variant soon.
There doesn't seem to be any difference between the leaked test build and the final build. As noted, the update brings not only Android 4.3 but also the promised compatibility with the Galaxy Gear smartwatch. There have been a lot of changes both under the hood and in the user interface, such as the Settings app now sporting a tabbed interface similar to that of the Galaxy S 4. The core user interface has also been updated to match the appearance of the Galaxy S 4. Unfortunately, some of the changes are only skin deep, as the new firmware still uses the old Galaxy S III launcher and widgets. Although we expected that Samsung KNOX would be making an appearance in the final build of the Android 4.3 update, it is apparently still missing.
As always, major firmware updates such as this happen in staged rollouts, so it would take some time before it reaches everyone, more so if the device is carrier branded. The update comes in a hefty 900 MB plus package that can be installed via either the Samsung Kies software or over the air.