Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean slowness a negative

By Alan Ng - Oct 13, 2012

You might find a large portion of your handset’s life is spent waiting for the next major software update, which becomes old by the time you’ve received it. The Galaxy S3 is considered one of the best Android handsets on the market, but it continues to be dragged into the mud over Samsung’s continued delays on delivering an official Jelly Bean update.

Some ex-Apple iPhone users have noted how this is a negative that might drive them back to iPhone, which receives a new iOS every year in a timely manner, whereas Android Jelly Bean 4.1 has been ready for some time and should’ve been on Samsung’s flagship model from day one.

There is always going to be the debate on which OS is better between Android and iOS, but there is a point to be made where Apple actually delivers new software updates on time when ready, without any circumstances where an update can be delayed, like we see all the time on Android.

The Galaxy S3 is still a beautiful smartphone, but is it only as good as its operating system in a way? What is the use buying a top of the range Android handset, knowing down the line that Samsung are going to play tricks again with making US consumers wait month after month for an official software update?

Let’s not forget that more times than not, these are software updates that are already promised to consumers, before they purchase the device, as if to convince you into a purchase right away on the assumption that the next version of Android is coming soon.

Could we really say, in five years time that smartphone manufacturers and carriers will be employing the same tricks, with regards to Android software updates? The pleasing aspect of all of this is that there’s always an alternative thanks to custom software, but perhaps the update policy in the US needs to be changed, so consumers don’t end up getting shortchanged every time they empty their wallets on a new smartphone.

The Galaxy S3 seems to be moving down the pecking order now, with the Galaxy Note 2 and the LG Nexus on the way – the latter of which may even ship with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, making the situation even worse for Galaxy S3 owners.

What are your opinions on Samsung’s infamous delay tactics in the US? Some users already have Jelly Bean, but it’s clear that many consumers are still waiting. Do the rules need to change, or is it just a case of taking matters into your own hands and stop complaining?

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  • angryshortguy

    Anyone saying they don’t care about the update is just not being honest.
    I’ve got an S3 and want the update.
    I love the phone, ICS is great,
    But I want the update!
    It’s just human nature to want the next best thing that comes along.
    Nothing to do with the iPhone updates, nothing to do with how the current OS performs.
    I just want new and shiny…

  • When will the FTC and FCC investigate Apple? This is what happens when a company has too much cash, they can buy themselves out of an anti-trust suit. Make no mistake, the delays are not bloatware or anything other than licensing agreements for the privilege to sell the iPhone. Sprint sold its users out to Apple. Is it a odd that the update was said to come at near the time of the iPhone launch, iPhone launches marred by their maps debacle (one of many arrogant moves on Apple parts) so they use their influence to prevent a superior operating system coming to a superior device in order to fix their maps before Android 4.1 is made available. Trust me, the price Sprint paid was more than just $$ but they sold out their customers that want an alternative to the “Apple Way.” What sucks is nobody stands in defense of the Android customer. Justice department, bureaucrats judges, all love their iPhones I guess. Google Now scares the crap out of Apple, and in Apples eyes, if you aren’t with them, you are against them, and they will use their vast cash reserves to punish you. Don’t believe me, ask Michael Eisner the lengths Jobs would go to punish people that crossed him, and if you are an Android user, you crossed Jobs and his legacy (Apple) and his spirit thrives in Apple and he is doing to you what he did to Mike.

  • LiamDeConqueror

    Well, I look at it this way: a Galaxy SIII works. It is functional. ICS feels good.

    And then, there’s the iPhone. Apple releases the phone, and two weeks later, speculatively due to the absolute horror caused by iOS6, discontinues the iPhone 4 and 4S models. After some (easy) testing, iOS proves to be an absolute let down. It should have never been released in the condition that it is in.

    So, yes, I’d much rather wait a while to make sure my $650 device is going to function on new software instead of feeling like I need a new interface every year.

    I sense that Apple has managed to absolutely undermine their fan base, and if not, then iPhone fans deserve what they receive – an overpriced, half-functioning, restrictive device void of any real “update”.

  • ryan

    just root all i can say 😉

  • Michael

    I switched from the iPhone 4 to the Galaxy S3 about a month ago, and one of the main reasons for this was the excitement over Jellybean. I’m disappointed at how despite all the hype Samsung keeps drilling up over Jellybean, we here in the US still do not even have a release date to look forward to! If you keep leading us on, eventually we will lose our excitement, get frustrated, and consider a different manufacturer the next time we’re due for a phone upgrade.

  • liko2k

    it is not only in the US, in Ireland I’m still waiting for the update for my S3. But it is not as the update is a matter of life and death, My phone functions very well and I have absolute no problem with it under the ICS version.

  • liko2k

    “Some ex-Apple iPhone users have noted how this is a negative that might drive them back to iPhone, which receives a new iOS every year in a timely manner”

    So what has driven them away from the iPhone in the first place if they can be driven back only by timely updates? :D:D:D

  • Ricky

    Anyone that is a “Real” phone enthusiast would have had jelly bean on the GS3 a loooong time ago. A simple root and custom rom, done deal! The phone works just fine on ICS and while Jelly Bean is a huge increase in speed and performance, it will not be noticed by the untrained eye. The one thing that you guys are missing, though is Google Now, which is pretty awesome!

  • pcgate

    root, then install jelly bean. who’s waiting?

  • Ferociousnpretty

    …If you purchase anything from Samsung with the thought of updates in the future – I can tell you, you’re going to be waiting a very, very, veeeery long time and you’re going to be disappointed.

    Samsung is notorious for having issues integrating new Android OS updates into their phones. This is mainly because of the way the OS interacts with both the Samsung hardware and add on stuff (i.g. touch wiz).
    I found this out early on when I purchased the very first Samsung Galaxy (yes folks – the 3G one) – – Froyo took over a year and a half to roll out to that phone. I even wrote a few “strongly worded” emails pointing out that millions of people had this phone – great, they released the 4G – but what about the rest of us? They didn’t care…and I get it – it’s technology. But it’s not like I paid 29.99 or got a free Nokia or Motorola RAZR flip phone, like the olden days…ya know…?
    Anyway, sorry for the rant. I purchased this Galaxy with my eyes open after the last experience. I can’t even describe how much better it was than my last phone.
    So enjoy it for what it is – it’s fast, it works beautifully. If the OS is really an issue for you, quit your whining and root the darn thing…just sayin.

  • Andriod for life

    The person wrote this article should stick with iphone for life and join the isheep. Love my gs3. don’t give a f..k about the jelly bean update, i’m happy with ICS…jelly bean is only a bonus for me.

  • yarab

    For orange and T mobile user’s in the UK the jelly bean update comes out tomorrow!

  • Swansong.

    I have the S3 and it’s not the update schedule that sucks, it’s the battery life and errors that suck. I’m switching back to the iPhone. Android seems like it was developed by a second grader, what a POS.

  • BigPaPaX

    S3 a flagship phone? I don’t think so. A flagship phone ALWAYS has the latest and greatest.

  • Billy Bob

    How silly can you be? If these new Galaxy users just got there phones they can’t get another one for 2 years. I assume you are writing this for your across the pond readers because over here in the US they wouldn’t be so anal and would just wait for the update. They aren’t going anywhere. My wife is getting her phone delivered Monday and she was choosing between the iPhone, the Sammy Galaxy III and the HTC Evo 4g LTE. She choose the HTC. Samsung did not hang the moon nor did Apple!

    • Billy Bob

      She wasn’t impressed with the iPhone and the Galaxy she said looked plastic.

  • Ppl who are complaining & bad mouthing Samsung need to look & realize that Samsung is the first of all the Android companies to even start rolling out the JB update. If your in North America like me(Im in Canada) then you need to be mad at your provider. There has already been leaks of JB for US model so Samsung probably has it done & are waiting for stupid providers to put their bloatware & yes its a piss off but this has nothing to do with Samsung. -KID ANDROID (Team.Android.Canada)

  • tony

    Yes the wait for a update is annoying, but going back to apple…….please. since my move from iPhone to the S3 I’ve never looked back. It makes my iPhone 4 seem like a kids phone I can’t believe I ever paid so much for the iPhone. their is so much that you can do on the S3, I’ve had it since May and still finding new things on it now. And I have a spare battery!!! Its great

  • This actually could send me back to the Iphone if Samsumg wants to play games like this they had better be prepaired to loose custumers and at a fast rate in the UK…..

    • Tim

      Go back to the iPhone then …
      Why do people buy a mobile phone in expectation what it MIGHT have in the future?? You buy it today for what it has now!
      Like the guy said above Apple – yes updates in a ‘timely manner’ – yet they too have a developer version out in the field for a few months after announcement – but they take features away for the older models. So I ask you .. is this a full upgrade, or essentially a patch?
      Samsung will deliver the update when THEY are ready, and when THEY are satisfied it is ready. Not when some blog site gets an ‘inside source’ that sayd it will be on date XYZ…

  • Bill T

    I’m in the UK and so a bit ahead in the queue and I’m pissed with the wait, This seriously detracts from Samsung

  • mrcommonsense

    Here in the Uk it’s pretty much the same as if your phone is network locked then you have to wait for your network provider to release the update. They always say they need to test it first but the truth is they want to put their “BLOATWARE” on before releasing it to you. My first smartphone was a nokia 5800 (5 years ago) and i had firmware update problems with vodafone so i learn my lesson then & every upgrade since then i have stayed with the Vodafone network & kept my number but simply get the phone from Carphone warehouse who only supply unlocked phones. I have done this twice and as i was eligible for upgrade both times it only took a 5 minute phonecall to them & i recieved the phone the next day. I have a fair bit of technical know how so i installed the euro official jellybean rom which poland got first and have been running the jelly bean for 3 weeks now without a hitch .. and yes it is very smooth & fluid and at least 30% faster. All that aside my main points are that the phone belongs to me .. not my network operator whoever they may be and should be supplied unlocked & bloatware free so i am free to make my choices & not have them thrust upon me (like Apple & IOS). The update is pretty easy & straightforward to install a works fine on the S3 so i’m not sure what samsung are waiting for and as for the network operators .. you will have a long wait … if you are due an upgrade or taking out a new contract its just as easy to get the same handset minus the network operator lock and will ensure you get faster & easier updates without the need to Root or Jailbreak

  • Storm Walsh

    What is the point of this article? Samsung promised the new firmware in October. Last time I checked, we weren’t even half way through the month. Maybe it should get rushed out like your beloved iOS that you mentioned? I hear their most recent update had a great new maps application that’s been getting a lot of publicity. Boy, are we upset we didn’t get something like that!

    • STFU

      It isn’t being “rushed out” though is it! It’s been available in Poland since the end of September, so it’s clearly ready to deploy, having to wait indefinitely for something that is clearly finished is annoying, they should be supporting their products and customers properly if they want to stick it to Apple.

  • rj5555

    Android and iOS updates are completely different and can’t be compared.
    Apple releases simultaneously updates on a handful of devices, but leave out features for older devices, so the end result is that only their newest device has all the new features.
    On android not all devices get updates but if they do they typically get all the new features, moreover many core apps (maps, gmail ect.) Are updated independent to the OS update via the play store. Speaking of which in the play store users can find apps that allows them to update other parts of theIR UI independently (keyboards, launchers)

    PS I’ve been running JB on my sgs3 for over a month now, and while Google now is nice, it’s not an update a sgs3 can’t live without

  • xgman

    It’s very annoying. I suppose Samsung is too busy suing and defending itself against suits to pay attention to their market share.

    • PhobosUK

      Please remember that Samsung/Google have already released to UK this is with Network operators for their version builds as so from 2 weeks again. IE Poland already has theirs updated. Please read and stop blaming things on issues you have no idea on….. Contact your Network provider and complain

      • Raisin

        Is correct.

  • Dawe-Z

    It’s nothing to do with samsung! Is this guy for real let me explain… Samsung has had this software readily available for some huge amount of months, they finished their final Jelly Bean version shortly after the galaxy S3 was released… Here’s the kicker… They shipped it out to T-Mobile, Vodaphone, Orange, O2 etc… who then dump their OWN crap into the mix which is where this damn update is taking the time!! Unless you know your stuff don’t bother writing a dumbass article… I’ve had this confirmed by T-Mobile themselves who have stated they are in the final stages of testing ready for final release in the UK, This has NOTHING to do with samsung… Oh and don’t forget that Apple only have to worry about one device, Google’s Android OS has to be spread amonst different manufacturers and tested so there is another reason why Android OS’s take time and are not regular!!

    • Ruz

      So tell me which network is delaying the update for my Galaxy S3 which was bought unbranded and sim-unlocked? Yes, I’m aware of the release to Poland three weeks ago, and Korea more recently, but the only company delaying the update to my S3 is Samsung, for reasons they aren’t disclosing.

  • ascariz

    Always want the latest official android? Get nexus.

  • Conner

    Sounds like you’re an angry kid, really; whining about the lack of instant updates. Yeah, sure apple releases new updates every year, but that doesn’t mean they’re always stable. I’ve heard iOS6 has caused a lot of battery life problems, among other things. Let Samsung do their thing. The update is there, it just needs some more testing and bloatware adding from the US carriers and we’ll be enjoying jellybean in no time.

  • John

    It’s funny how Android would bash on Apple by making a commercial of apple fans waiting in line. Well waiting for a new iphone is like waiting on an android update. I’m guessing the update won’t come out until the Galaxy Note 2 does. Just how IceCream Sandwich didn’t come out until the S3 came out. I’m switching back to iPhone.

    • Ram

      What are you talking? ICS was out for galaxy s2 several months before s3 got released..

    • blue dragon

      john, go back to the iphone and enjoy ios6. The android community does not need whingers/losers like you. We love android and android devices for the ability to fiddle and customize them.
      So you sgs3 no longer work properly without JB, get a life.

      • Dave

        Yes we are all p****d off at the wait for JB but it is the carriers not Samsung at fault, but if you want to go back (as in backwards) to Iphone that’s fine, hope you don’t get lost following your Iphone’s sat nav from the shop, that is if the battery lasts long enough to get you home.

  • Realistic

    ”making the situation even worse for Galaxy S3 owners.” ??

    Poor article quality ..
    I think that people who are waiting for the update they are DumB thinking that the JB update will bring them a Galaxy 4 ..
    Never Mind for the software Update , GS3 is still awsone phone with ICS and forget about comparing Apple with Android , the game already Over !!

    • dev

      software update is something for what all the smart phone holder wait. you must accept the real fact Mr. realistic.

      • @Dev

        I agree with you the fact that Software updates bring some bug fixes or ” minor ” features ” but for the case of ICS 4.0.4 and JB 4.1.x there is no Major changes even for the hardware side .. ICS is pretty cool and revolutionary enough for the last generation of Android platfrome .. anyway my point that the war between Iphones and (Samsung, HTC, LG , Asus and the rest of the word .. ) is more than software updates , not as mentionned on this article ‘making the situation even worse for Galaxy S3 owners.”
        it keep me so confused and thinking that the Writer maybe will have an Iphone for free from Apple .. 😀

        • Brandon

          The Galaxy S3 hasn’t even been out for a year and we’re already getting a big update. And so you know, the JB update isn’t being held hostage by Samsung. It does need a bit of work still, but It’s well worth the wait. Bugs happen, be glad they’re not releasing it incomplete. If you want JB on your S3, go try an OTA leak. You’ll see why you’re waiting, and understand.

    • germaican

      I bought my SG3 with the update in mind. I switched from the iphone 5 and I did have an issue with how samsung updates it’s phones. When you buy a premier product from a company, you expect that it will have the latest software regardless of any major updates etc. It’s in the company’s best interest as it makes the phone work better and consumers can rest easy knowing their phone has the best software. From a marketing standpoint, Samsung drops the ball every time it does this and can scare away future customers.

      • Sanjay

        LOL so what happened to all of Apple’s updates over the past year. Bugs, bugs and more bugs! Good luck navigating your way around life with the iPhone 5! I heard the maps are a pile of crap! At least when the updates are out they are buttery smooth!

  • Adam

    Ever since I have started using ICS and currently Jelly Bean, thanks to Cyanogenmod, my Galaxy S has been more usable than ever. It is far more stable than the Gingerbread version officially supported by Samsung. I think the lesson hers is to stick with the standard Google supplied software. Minimally, Samsung needs to give customers the choice. If their customization is worth it, people will choose it. Just give us the choice.

    • BigPaPaX

      Confused by this post. First and second sentence says he uses cyanogenmod and brags about usability and stability. The very next sentence is a “lesson” I to stay with the standard Google supplied software. Yip. I am confused.

      • What he means is that manufacturers need to slap Android on devices just
        as Google releases it, free of customization. Besides the performance
        hacks, Cyanogen mods are mostly “vanilla” Android hence they are
        available to “unsupported” devices months in advanced compared to
        manufacturer builds. Most manufacturer’s delays are because they need to
        bake in their own customized UIs and other crap. Another cause is the
        blasted cell phone companies. The unlocked, “World” version of the S3
        has already been updated by Samsung in many parts of the world, but in
        the US even if they have it ready then the individual cell companies
        need to build their bloatware and restrictions into the software and
        start a whole new round of “testing and bug catching” I love Android
        and open source, but this is one instance where I wish Google would be
        more like Apple and have a little more control over its software. ICS
        for the S2 on T-mobile was released 5 months after Samsung made it
        available due to their customization. What really bugged me about it is
        that the S3 was already out. Suddenly our awesome update didn’t seem
        that special anymore…..

  • fantom

    Jb is readily available…just download..backup everything of course…and run the file…no custom anything… has it. All stock for the s3 for tmobile.

  • Lachlan

    My bad 🙂 Took it a while to load!

  • Lachlan

    lol so my comment got deleted?

  • Lachlan

    The whole problem that I have with this article is that Google does put the update out in the open and from day one all Nexus devices receive the update. The reason why flagship phones like the S3, one-x etc. All don’t receive the update in a timely manor is because they put custom skins on top of Android which slows the updating process to a ridiculous amount of time.

  • Bangz Crosby

    Just flash a custom rom ..then jobs a good one but on the update side of thingz yes it needs sorting out ..thats just my O.P . LIQIUD SMOOTH VERY GOOD CUSTOM ROM 2 TRY IT ….

    • Erik

      @Bangz Crosby. Was that English?