Samsung Galaxy S III (Verizon)
Samsung today announced the GamePad, a gaming accessory for its Android smartphones. The GamePad resembles a gaming control unit from today's living room gaming consoles. It supports a number of Samsung smartphones, cradling devices with screens ranging from 4 inches to 6.3 inches. It connects to smartphones via Bluetooth and an associated application. The GamePad provides physical controls for games, and connects to TVs through an HDMI cable or AllShare Screen Mirroring. The GamePad requires Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and Samsung recommends it be used with devices such as the Galaxy S III and S4, and the Note II and Note 3. The GamePad includes support for NFC for easy device pairing. The Mobile Console app for the GamePad is available for download through the Samsung App store. The Samsung GamePad is launching first in European markets with others to follow in the coming weeks. Samsung has not shared specific plans to offer the GamePad in the U.S. yet.
Samsung today announced that its older smartphones can now interact with the Galaxy Gear smartwatch. Specifically, the Android 4.3 system update, which is being pushed out to some devices in other countries, enables compatibility between the Gear and the Galaxy S4, S III, and Note II. A separate, non-system level update will be delivered to the Galaxy S4 mini, S4 Active, Mega 5.8, Mega 6.3, and S4 zoom that enables the Gear. This separate update will be pushed out beginning later this month. Timing for each device will vary by country and carrier.
Verizon Wireless today announced that it will begin pushing the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update to the Samsung Galaxy S III starting December 14. The update, which adds Google Now, new notifications, ISIS compatibility, and Project Butter, will be delivered over the air in waves. Verizon said that customers can also install the download manually through their device settings.
Samsung today provided information about a software update for the Galaxy S III. The Premium Suite is an add-on that includes a handful of new features such as a split-screen mode similar to the one on the Galaxy Note II. This will let the GSIII operate two different apps at the same time, each appearing in its own window on the display. Other features of the Premium Suite include better control over browser font size, contextual awareness (opens music app when headphones are plugged in, etc.), and easier photo sharing via NFC. The Premium Suite is being rolled out to devices in other markets around the world first. U.S. carriers have not indicated when they might make the update available to their own customers.
Apple has filed a request with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in an attempt to add six more Samsung devices to an existing lawsuit against the Korean company. The new devices are the Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, Rugby Pro, and Galaxy III Mini, as well as the Galaxy Tab 8.9 WiFi and Galaxy Tab 2 10.1. Apple alleges that these newer devices infringe on many of the same patents it accused Samsung of violating in a lawsuit it filed in February of this year. Apple said that if it isn't allowed to add these device to the existing case, it will be required to file an entirely new lawsuit. This is a separate case from the one that delivered a guilty verdict against Samsung in August of this year.
Samsung today announced that Android 4.1 Jelly Bean will be made available to all U.S. variants of the Galaxy S III in the coming months. The update will be provided both over-the-air and via Samsung's Kies desktop software. Timing for the update, however, will be up to Samsung's individual carrier partners. The GS3 is sold by AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon Wireless. So far, none has said exactly when Jelly Bean will become available. Samsung said that the Android 4.1 update will make improvements to the camera, add an Easy Mode for first-time smartphone owners, add the Swype keyboard, and make it easier to block calls/numbers. These new features are in addition to those that come with the Jelly Bean operating system, which include Google Now, improved notifications, adjustbale widgets, and others.
Apple has asked a federal court overseeing one of its lawsuits against Samsung to add several devices to the list of smartphones and tablets being targeted. Among the new devices are the Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note, and Galaxy Note 10.1. This particular lawsuit, which is different from the one in which Apple recently notched a victory, claims Samsung is infringing on its patent in a total of 22 devices. Separately, Apple has requested that U.S. District Court judge Lucy Koh, who oversaw its courtroom victory over Samsung, move a planned injunctive relief hearing up. Apple wants sales of eight devices banned in the U.S. following the guilty verdict. Judge Koh won't hear Apple's request until December 6. Apple believes this long wait is unfair.
Samsung today provided an explanation of sorts for recent system updates sent to U.S. versions of the Galaxy S III. Both the Sprint and AT&T variants of the GS3 have been updated in recent days with a patch that removes the Universal Search function — a feature for which Apple has an existing patent. "Samsung has updated the software for the Galaxy S III as a precautionary measure to ensure that U.S. consumers may enjoy using our innovative products without interruption," said Samsung in a statement provided to Phone Scoop. Further, Samsung said that this statement does not yet apply to the T-Mobile or Verizon Wireless versions of the GS3. Those two variants have not received updates removing the Universal Search function, and it's not clear if or when they will.
Samsung today announced the pending availability of a special, developer edition of the Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III. The developer edition, which must be purchased directly from Samsung's developer organization for the full retail price of $599, will have an unlocked bootloader. The bootloader of the retail Verizon GS3 is locked. Samsung explains that this device is not meant for average consumers, but more for those looking to test and use third-party ROM software on their device. Though the bootloader of the retail GS3 can be forcibly unlocked, doing so voids the warranty, puts the security of the device in jeopardy, and could lead to a bricked phone. Samsung didn't say when the developer edition GS3 would become available. The AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile variants of the GS3 are sold to consumers with an unlocked bootloader to begin with.
Verizon Wireless today updated the expected availability of the Samsung Galaxy S III. It was originally to be in stores beginning July 10, but has been set back two days to July 12. The delay does not affect pre-orders for the GSIII.
Verizon Wireless today announced that its variant of the Samsung Galaxy S III will be available for sale starting July 10. As with other carriers, Verizon is charging $199.99 for the 16GB version and $249.99 for the 32GB version. The 32GB will be online starting July 10, but won't reach stores for several more weeks. Verizon is offering both the white and blue colors. A new two-year service contract is required for those price points. The Galaxy S III is already available from AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile USA.
Samsung has partnered with Media Mushroom to offer a content-porting app called Easy Phone Sync. The tool allows PC or Mac users of iOS devices such as the iPhone or iPad to easily transfer iTunes content to a Samsung Galaxy smartphone. In order for transfers to work, users must install the app on their computer as well as the Galaxy smartphone. The transfers require a USB cable. In addition to music and movies, Easy Phone Sync will transfer contact data, messages, and photos. Both the mobile and desktop clients are available for free.
Samsung today announced that it will sell the SAFE Galaxy S III, a business-ready version of the Galaxy S III Android smartphone, via AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon Wireless. SAFE stands for "Samsung Approved for Enterprise." The SAFE Galaxy S III includes business-friendly features such as IT policy support, AES-256 bit encryption, expanded business features of Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, and support for virtual private networks and mobile device management tools. In addition to the SAFE-branded Galaxy S III, Samsung is also offering potential business customers a trade-up program called SAFE2SWITCH, which provides "competitive pricing" for devices that are traded in and/or recycled when purchasing a SAFE Galaxy S III. The SAFE-branded Galaxy S III will be available from the above U.S. carriers by July. Samsung didn't say if pricing for the SAFE Galaxy S III would differ from the retail version being sold to consumers. Samsung already offers a SAFE variant of the Galaxy Note.
Samsung today announced the availability of TecTiles, small, programmable near-field communication stickers that can be used to activate certain actions on NFC-equipped smartphones. Using a separate Android application, the tags can be programmed to change device settings, such as join a Wi-Fi network or set the phone to silent; to initiate communications, such as a text message or a phone call; as well as to interact with social networking sites, such as to set Facebook status updates or send a message to Twitter. Users hold the phone against the tag, and it registers with a quick vibration, letting the user know that the phone read the tag. The TecTile tags can be programmed multiple times. The TecTiles work with a number of Samsung phones, including the Galaxy S III on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon; the Galaxy S II on T-Mobile; Galaxy Nexus on Verizon, Sprint and global; the Nexus S 4G on Sprint; and the Galaxy S Blaze 4G on T-Mobile. The TecTiles are sold in packs of five for $14.99, and can be purchased at AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless retail stores. The TecTile Android application is available for download from the Google Play Store.
Apple has filed a petition with the U.S. International Trade Commission to prevent Samsung's Galaxy S III from entering the country. Apple believes the device violates its intellectual property. Samsung vowed to fight Apple's newest salvo in the smartphone patent wars and said in a statement that it will "demonstrate to the court that the Galaxy S III is innovative and distinctive." Apple wants to block the device before it goes on sale, but Samsung believes the device will launch on schedule. It can already be pre-ordered from several U.S. carriers and is expected to reach store shelves in the coming weeks.
Verizon Wireless confirmed to Phone Scoop in an email that its variant of the Samsung Galaxy S III will eventually be able to roam onto the 2G/3G networks of overseas network operators. The capability won't be available at launch, but will be enabled down the line through a software update. Verizon didn't say when that update might become available.
Verizon Wireless today announced that customers wishing to preorder the Samsung Galaxy S III will be able to do so starting at 7AM on June 6. Verizon will offer both the marble white and pebble blue versions, with either 16GB or 32GB of storage for $199 and $249, respectively. The device will be available in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores and online in the coming weeks.
Samsung today announced that the Galaxy S III will become available from five major U.S. carriers starting later this month. It will be sold by AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon Wireless. All five versions will feature the same design and use the same name. Additionally, the versions to be sold it the U.S. skip the quad-core Exynos chip and will instead use Qualcomm's dual-core 1.5 GHz S4 Snapdragon processor. Samsung said that pricing will start at $199, though each carrier will set its own pricing. Exact availability will be announced in the coming weeks by the individual carriers.
Samsung today announced the Galaxy S III, its global flagship phone for 2012. We spent a bit of time with it. Read on for our first impressions of the hardware and the impressive software, plus photos and video of this sexy phone.