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Samsung Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean update begins, in UK... soon?

The Samsung Galaxy S3 has started receiving the Android 4.1 update in Eastern Europe, with the rest of the continent soon to follow.

After months of waiting, the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update for the Samsung Galaxy S3 begins rolling out today. But wait, don't rush through your menus just yet -- so far it's only started appearing in Eastern Europe.

Samsung said the software, which only hit Poland today, will gradually be introduced into other markets with. "The availability and schedule of the software upgrade varying by market and wireless carriers' requirements," a spokesperson told TechCrunch.

With the Korean giant releasing its Jelly Bean-powered Galaxy Note 2 at the start of October here in the UK, you would hope Samsung would get the update onto its other flagship before then.

But as we've seen before, even when Samsung is happy with its version of Jelly Bean, if you've bought your phone from a network it will test the software with its infrastructure and add its own tweaks and apps. That adds even longer to your wait for the update.

The Android 4.1 update brings a load of improvements and new features to the S3, such as better performance through 'Project Butter', an improvement on the organisation of the menus, added homescreen modes, updated notifications bar and the ability to access Google Now.

If you can't wait for Samsung to roll out the update, you can put Jelly Bean on your phone yourself, by rooting it -- but it will void your warranty. If you're happy with that, read our helpful, easy to follow guide.

In addition, Samsung will be adding a barrage of its own software on top, including the ability to resize the cool Pop Up Play video window, and a 'blocking mode' for when you want a minute's peace and quiet. It's these extras that have taken the time.

Samsung has also announced the other devices to get Jelly Bean in the future, including the Galaxy Tab 2, the Note 10.1, the Galaxy S2, the original Galaxy Note and a load more devices besides. To see if yours makes the cut, Slashgear has the full list -- but don't stay up all night waiting, as the rollout is sure to take ages yet again.

This week on the podcast we enjoyed a heated debate over whether phones even need software updates -- are they really useful, or do they just annoy everyone unnecessarily? Either way, it doesn't seem right for a phone to be released with an older version of Android and the promise of an update on the way, when really it'll take months to arrive.

Samsung's previous flagship model, the Galaxy S2, went through a right old shambles before it got the Ice Cream Sandwich update, which only arrived in March this year. Of course Samsung isn't the only culprit -- Motorola (which is owned by Google) has just launched the Razr i without Jelly Bean, and Asus Transformer owners have been left waiting in the past too. Meanwhile Apple has been roundly mocked for its new Maps app, a crucial feature of its iOS 6 update.

Have you been waiting anxiously for the fabled Jelly-Beanification of you S3? Or have been turned off the idea of software updates altogether? Let us know in the comments below or update us on Facebook.