We’re taking a break from the Android 4.4 news frenzy and temporarily setting our eyes on a much awaited update to Samsung‘s previous flagship, the Galaxy S III. The smartphone, along with a bunch of other recent and somewhat recent Samsung smartphones, are scheduled to receive an upgrade to Android 4.3. And now there’s a leaked build of that firmware going around the Internet.
Late last month, Samsung announced a total of 8 devices that would also be compatible with its Galaxy Gear smartwatch, aside from the Galaxy Note 3 which was announced together with it last September. Among the devices were last year’s models such such as the Galaxy Note II and the Galaxy S III. However, in order to become compatible with Samsung’s wearable smart device, the smartphones would first need to be upgraded to a new firmware based on Android 4.3. No definite schedule, however, has yet been provided when these updates would be rolling out to owners.
Last week, final builds of the said firmware were leaked, including one for the Galaxy S III. Those images, however, were built and tested for AT&T variants only. This new leak targets another region-specific model, this time for Vodafone’s customers in Germany. The new firmware will update the Galaxy S III to Android 4.3 directly, entirely skipping Android 4.2 as previously tipped. While the update brings in a lot of substantial changes in some areas of the user experience, some parts, such the launcher and home screen widgets, remain at their original Android 4.1 incarnations. Also missing in this build is Samsung’s new security framework, Samsung KNOX, which is supposed to also be available to the device, though that might still be added later on.
As always, great care must be taken in installing firmware that does not come officially from the manufacturer or carrier. This is especially true in this case, considering the firmware is a test build and not yet the final thing. Though some testers have reported no stability problems, there might still be some bugs and issues present that would have already been addressed in the final build.