Samsung Galaxy Note gets Jelly Bean, new features in tow

Samsung's Galaxy Note is being bumped up to Android Jelly Bean, teaching the massive old dog some fun new tricks.

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Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.
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Andrew Lanxon
2 min read

Samsung's shaggy old St Bernard phone, the Galaxy Note, is being taught some new tricks with an update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The upgrade is reportedly rolling out now either as an over-the-air update or using Samsung's Kies desktop software.

The update brings a brandy-barrelful of new software features, including the split-screen app view first seen on the Note 2, SamMobile reports. The frame rate of page transitions has been increased too, making swiping around much smoother.

Jelly Bean also brings Google Now, the information service that learns from your travel habits and search terms to bring you live information without needing to search for it. The app has been updated recently and now offers more info about flight bookings, local photography hotspots and various other bits and bobs.

Other tweaks to the Note include Pop-up Play, which lets you view videos as a floating tile above the interface, so you can check your emails without missing a moment of your film. Various changes to the notifications panel and widgets will be arriving too, hopefully giving the fairly elderly mutt a new lease of life.

Samsung has a pretty rubbish record when it comes to updating its devices -- the Galaxy S2 was left on old software for far too long, causing something of an uproar among users -- so it's heartwarming to see newer software being rolled out on its doddery old hardware. Nevertheless, 4.1 isn't even the newest version of Android, and I wouldn't expect the Note to see any more upgrades.

The update should arrive any day now, but they tend to come out in batches with no discernible pattern. If you haven't had a notification already, pop into Settings > About this phone and hit the 'Check for updates' button. Failing that, plug the phone into your computer and try to get the update using Kies.

Have you already got the update? Has it given the Note enough new treats to keep you satisfied, or will you still be hungrily eyeing up Samsung's new releases at MWC? Lollop around in the comments below, or slobber all over our Facebook page.