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Galaxy S4 to get Android 4.3 update and Galaxy Gear compatibility in October

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Samsung has finally let us know when Galaxy S4 owners can expect to be upgraded to the latest version of Android; Jelly Bean 4.3.

Part of the reason for the upgrade is to make the flagship phone compatible with Samsung’s first smart watch, the Galaxy Gear, which launched in the UK yesterday for £299. However, the 4.3 update is of course coveted and will be sought after by many, even without Samsung’s high-tech watch in mind.

Android 4.3 will bring about a number of changes and improvements to the already excellent SGS4, but the one that unlocks the door for Galaxy Gear compatibility is Bluetooth 4.0 LE connectivity. Whilst the S4 has a Bluetooth 4.0 LE chip, Android 4.3 and its support for the technology is required if you want to use the phone in conjunction with the Galaxy Gear smart watch.

Samsung confirmed at the recent Galaxy Note 3 launch event in Korea that the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 will all become compatible with the Galaxy Gear before the end of the year, thus confirming that Android 4.3 will arrive on all three phones within the next few months.

“All functions of the Gear will be connected to the Galaxy S4 smartphone by next month and the connection will be expanded to Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3 by the end of December,” explained Lee Don-joo, Samsung’s President of Strategic Marketing for Mobile.

The Galaxy S4 will receive Android 4.3 during October whilst the slightly older Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 will receive the update later in the year, though we’re not sure which month the updates will arrive. The new Galaxy Note 3, launched yesterday, is the first and currently the only device to work with the Galaxy Gear watch.

Asides from Galaxy Gear watch goodness, Android 4.3 adds improved OpenGL ES 3.0 graphics, better tap typing recognition, multiple and restricted user profiles and plenty more tweaks. At present it is only available on Nexus devices from Google, so it’s looking likely that the SGS4 will be the first outside of the Nexus club to get the update.