Monday, February 18, 2013

Upgrading Your Android to Jelly Bean

Those whose phone of choice is an Android probably know that each version of the operating system has been names after a food item. In order, we had Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice cream Sandwich, and now Jelly Bean. Notice how the progression moves in alphabetical order.


I bought a Samsung Galaxy S III during the summer. It was running "Ice Cream Sandwich," and I was hearing about the roll-out of Jelly Bean. What I knew was it would be available in different parts of the world at different times and from different carriers at different times.

My assumption was that when the upgrade became available from my carrier, AT&T, I would turn on my phone one morning and either be prompted to all the upgrade to happen over the air or the upgrade would happen with no prompting. My assumption turned out to be wrong, which is the reason for this post. Others may be waiting for the upgrade to happen on its own, and that's not the way this one works.

I am writing this post after having just finished my upgrade. The first thing I had to do was download Samsung Kies. The software reminds me of the BlackBerry Desktop from my days as a BlackBerry user. I can be used to sync data. It seems the capability is there to sync the phone with Outlook. (That is another topic for another day.)

One of the capabilities of this software is to detect when upgrades to the "firmware" (the operating system on the phone) are available and installing them. Among the various guidelines for upgrading the firmware included backing up the data on the phone. This process was accomplished easily using Kies. You have the ability to pick and choose what is upgraded. By far the greatest amount of time was consumed by backing up my pictures. If your pictures are already present somewhere else, you may want to skip backing them up with Kies.

Another caution was that the phone needed to be fully charged. Mine battery was at about 85%, and that caused no problems. I imagine the caution to have the phone fully charged is so there is no possible way for the battery to run out during the upgrade process.

The upgrade was uneventful. You will definitely want to have something else to do during the process. I would suggest allowing a two-hour window of time. The process will take between 30 minutes to an hour. It always helps to allow more time in case things don't go smoothly the first time.

Patience is a virtue during the upgrade. After Kies had completed its process, the screen on my Galaxy gave me a message that the upgrade was being installed. When the process finishes, the device will reboot. You will hear the familiar start-up sounds. I would suggest trying some maneuvering on the device before unplugging it from the USB just to make sure you are not disconnecting prematurely.

Here is a video which talks about what is new in Jelly Bean:





I was surprised that I had not gotten some sort of notification of Jelly Bean's availability through Samsung or AT&T. In fact, I learned that the upgrade would not happen over the air, but via the Kies software, through a blog post. If I was mistaken about how the update would be acquired, I thought others might be as well.

Who do you know that has an Android device, particularly one from Samsung, who might need to know this information? Let them know about this post.
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