International S3 gets full-screen multi-tasking and a slew of other features in latest firmware; Poland first in line for update
It's early December, and as rumored, the Android 4.1.2 update has started rolling out on international Galaxy S3 phones (HSPA+ version, GT-i9300), starting with devices in Poland. But there's more to this update than the minor change in OS version would indicate. As was also rumored, the new update adds the "multi-view" multitasking feature previously seen on the Galaxy Note 2 and Note 10.1. Multi-view allows you to hold down the back key to bring up a multi-tasking menu, then partition your screen in two in order to run two apps on-screen at the same time.
Also new is "page buddy," which adds additional context-sensitive home screen pages that activate when you've got headphones connected, or if you're roaming overseas. There's also a redesigned gallery app -- again, from the Note 2 -- and a customizable notification panel. The Paper Artist app from the Galaxy Note 2 is included too, in addition to Group Cast for media sharing.
Smart rotation from the Galaxy Note 2 has also made it across, and the Samsung keyboard has been upgraded too. We can't yet confirm whether it's the same SwiftKey-based keyboard that's found on the Note 2, but given that just about every other Note 2 feature is present and accounted for, it's pretty likely that's exactly what it is.
So there's a lot of new stuff for Galaxy S3 owners to get stuck into. Kudos to Samsung for porting these new features back to the S3. SamMobile has a direct download for the Polish version of this update already; other territories should start to get this update over-the-air and through Kies in the coming days and weeks.
If you're curious about multi-view, we've embedded our quick video walkthrough on the Note 2 after the break.