Verizon preps Android 4.1, Isis support for Galaxy S III

Got a Samsung Galaxy S III on Verizon’s(s vz)(s vod) network? Starting on Friday, the carrier will begin rolling out the long awaited Jelly Bean software update to your handset. A number of new and improved features are part of the update including one specific to mobile payments. After this update, Verizon’s Galaxy S III will be the next phone ready for the Isis mobile payment network, although it will require a new SIM card and special software to use.

Although this won’t be the most current version of Android(s goog) — Verizon customers are getting Android 4.1, not 4.2 — the Jelly Bean software brings many useful features including Google Now, improvements to Samsung’s S-Voice software, expandable notifications, a Swype keyboard option, and resizeable widgets. Also part of the update are the following:

  • Device is enabled for Global Roaming in over 205 countries worldwide
  • Improved connectivity and reliability when syncing Google and POP-3 e-mail accounts.
  • Enhancements made to improve accuracy of predictive text.
  • Automatic Set Up option has been enabled when setting up a Road Runner email account.
  • Improved accuracy and reliability of Weather application.
  • Visual Voicemail has been updated to ensure proper delivery of notifications.
  • Fixed resets that were sometimes seen when trying to connect to a VPN client.
  • Support for opening attachments in .ics format.
  • Now supports Software Upgrade Assistant; installs and runs automatically when plugged in to your computer’s USB port.
  • Missed Call Log has been updated to ensure accuracy.
  • Enhancements have been made to ensure the reliability of Back Up Assistant Plus.
  • Improvements made to automatically reconnect to known previously used Wi-Fi hot spots.
  • Verizon Accessories Application has been added as a preload.

It’s a shame that Verizon isn’t pushing out Android 4.2, but the scope of changes from 4.0 to 4.1 are much bigger. While some Galaxy S III owners will still be pining for the latest version of Android, this version will surely make a good phone even better.