Android 4.1 comes to Galaxy S III; 15 more models to follow

Ahead of its self-announced target of October, Samsung is pushing the Android(s goog) 4.1 Jelly Bean software update to Galaxy S III handsets.

The first market to see the update is Poland, and it’s likely that Samsung is using the region as a test for its update process. The Android 4.1 software is available in Poland as a download using Samsung’s Kies program, but Samsung is also prepping the update for over the air delivery, according to AllAboutSamsung.

Once updated, Galaxy S III owners will see enhancements both from Google and Samsung, including the performance from Android 4.1, Google Now, a pop-up video player and a new home screen option called “easy mode” that helps organize favorite apps. According to a Samsung statement provided to The Verge, the Galaxy S III is just the first of many Samsung devices that will see Android 4.1.

Android Jelly Bean logoThe complete list includes: Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 and 10.1; Galaxy Note 10.1; Galaxy S II; Galaxy Note; Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus; Galaxy S Advance; Galaxy S II LTE; Galaxy Music; Galaxy Chat; Galaxy Ace 2; Galaxy Beam; Galaxy Ace Plus; Galaxy mini II and Galaxy S Duos. Actually, Samsung doesn’t yet have a “Galaxy Music” device, so it’s likely to announce one soon; I’d expect an updated Galaxy Player to be the new Music.

Samsung has a history of slow Android updates, although some of that may be related to carriers who test and tweak the software before pushing it themselves.

It appears to me that the company is trying to speed the process up across its Galaxy line in an effort to further distance itself from other Android hardware partners such as HTC, Motorola, LG and others. And Samsung is also wasting little time introducing new devices that will launch with the latest version of Android; the upcoming Galaxy Note II is a good example as it will ship with Jelly Bean.