Samsung Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean update now on unlocked phones

The Android 4.1 Jelly Bean software update is now available for unlocked Samsung Galaxy S3 phones.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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Watch this: CNET News SIM-free Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean update

We made it, team Jelly Bean. If you've been waiting with baited breath for the Android Jelly Bean software update to hit your Samsung Galaxy S3 then you're in luck -- it's now available for unlocked phones.

The update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the latest version of Google's software for phones and tablets, should now be hovering in the ether ready to be wirelessly plucked down to your unlocked, SIM-free S3.

The download weighs in at 284.36MB, so it's probably best downloaded when you have a Wi-Fi connection rather than over your 3G connection. If you can't see the over-the-air update and you don't mind faffing about with a cable, plug into your computer and fire up Samsung's Kies software to take care of the update for you.

For some reason, unlocked SIM-free Samsung mobiles only get Android updates after all the handsets locked to phone networks get the update. It seems counter-intuitive that unlocked 'clean' phones, free of any of the network extras that can interfere with new software, should have to wait until after networks, but that's how it is. 

Three was first to make the Jelly Bean update available to S3 owners last week, followed by O2 -- after a slight delay -- and Vodafone, both on Monday.

At least S3 owners haven't had to wait as long as S2 owners eagerly anticipating the previous update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The S3's predecessor faced a shambles of an update, with Samsung failing to get the new software out in time and, worse, failing to tell anyone when they could expect it. Well done Team Sammy for learning from that little snafu this time around.

To see if the update is available to you, open your phone's settings, go to About Device and hit Update. There should already be a notification informing you the update is ready to download. What are you doing reading this? Go and update your phone, you 'nana!

Are you excited about Jelly Bean? Are you happy with the amount of time it's taken to beam Jelly Bean into your S3? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.