On Sunday, Samsung Canada revealed via its Facebook page that a significant upgrade would come this week:
“Big Game Special Announcement: GALAXY Note II owners with national carriers will begin receiving the Multi Window and Chinese-language support update (Android 4.1.2) on Wednesday. Thanks for your patience Samsung Nation.”
Samsung launched its Galaxy Note 2 nearly six months ago, but some are still waiting to get the update that will bring Jelly Bean’s new set of Premium Suite features to their handsets. As the company previously announced, Note 2 owners in Canada will be getting the highly anticipated update beginning today.
Now, Samsung appears to be keeping good on that promise, according to Android Community. The website claims to have received reports from Note 2 users in Canada, saying that the Android 4.1.2 update has hit their devices. This upgrade is currently available for those who subscribe to Rogers, Bell, Telus and SaskTel, news blog Sam Mobile reports, but more carriers may be added to the list soon.
While Android 4.1.2 may seem like a subtle upgrade for those unfamiliar with Jelly Bean, the update brings a slew of new multitasking features specific to Samsung handsets. In addition to the multi-window functionality that was advertised before the Note 2 even launched, Samsung revealed a lengthy list of add-ons in December. For example, the new Page Buddy function allows any Samsung Galaxy handset with the Premium Suite upgrade to act more intuitively based on a user’s action. This means small tasks like plugging in a pair of headphones will trigger corresponding actions like launching the device’s music player.
The multi-window feature does exactly what its name implies — letting users open apps simultaneously and run them side by side in separate windows. Android 4.1.2 also brings some noteworthy camera improvements, such as Contextual Tag which lets uses tag elements within the photo such as weather in addition to people in the image.
As Note 2 users in Canada are updating to Android 4.1.2, Jelly Bean is rapidly gaining market share across the entire span of Android-powered handsets. The latest statistics to come from Android’s developer dashboard show that roughly one in eight devices are now running on Jelly Bean.
The search engine giant monitored devices entering the Google Play store during a two week period that ended on Feb. 4, revealing that Jelly Bean now accounts for 13.6 percent of the Android market share. The numbers show that 12.2 percent of devices are running on Android 4.1 while 1.4 percent are using Android 4.2. This is an increase from last month, when Jelly Bean claimed 10.2 percent of Android handsets, showing almost the same growth from the previous gap between December and January. During that time, Jelly Bean usage surged from 6.2 percent to 10.2 percent.
The most widely used version of Android, however, is still two generations behind Jelly Bean. Android 2.3 Gingerbread accounts for a massive chunk of more than 45 percent of Android mobile usage. Although it’s a good sign that Jelly Bean usage is growing, it remains clear that overall adoption of new Android software is still moving at a generally slow pace. This makes for a fragmented mobile ecosystem that could force developers to constantly refresh their apps. Not to mention, consumers are being left out of the new features that arrive with every new version of Android. In some cases, this could include crucial security updates intended to protect devices from malware, which is a prominent problem within the Android community. Kevin Mahaffey, CTO of Lookout Mobile Security, told CNN that devices running older versions of Android are more susceptible to mobile security risks.
In recent months, various handset manufacturers and carriers have launched a slew of Jelly Bean updates, and hopefully we’ll continue to see this persist throughout 2013. These devices running outdated software may only have a few months to catch up, considering Google is rumored to bring out its next “Key Lime Pie” flavored version of Android in June at its I/O conference.