Android 4.3 Jelly Bean has been launched yesterday and now Sony has announced that Xperia devices should be ready for an upgrade to JB 4.3 the end of this year. The news emerged on Sony Mobile Blog and it regards only the Xperia series, while the other models need to wait until Sony takes a decision.
As you know the current Sony devices are still running on the Android 4.1.2 firmware, but that will not hold for long, as Sony plans on releasing the Android 4.2 update next month and, after that they will start the work on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean OTA Updates. There is no official release date for the latest JB build.
Sony devices that will get Android 4.3 Jelly Bean this year are the Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR, Xperia Tablet Z, Zperia Z Ultra and the Xperia SP. Some of these devices might get the Android 4.3 update directly without getting the Android 4.2 JB treatment first. It will be an over-the-air (OTA) update. At the moment only the Nexus 4, 7, 10 and Galaxy Nexus have been confirmed to receive the OTA Update immediately, while the Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Editions will be upgraded soon.
This makes Sony is the first OEM that doesn’t make any Nexus / Google Edition phones to announce their plan on upgrading the Xperia smartphones and tablets with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. These OTA updates will be part of a phased process and the timing & availability are to be determined by market and carrier. More info about this release should emerge next month after the Xperia Tablet Z and Xperia ZR will get their Android 4.2 OTA Update.
Android 4.3 Jelly Bean main features are as following: restricted profiles for multi-user function in tablets, Bluetooth Smart Ready, Daydream, Expandable Notifications, better Google Now, better Search, better Google Maps, Google Play Games app, improved camera, improved keyboard, OpenGL ES 3.0 that will improve graphics, DRM APIs, Background Wi-Fi location, Bluetooth AVRCP, Dial Pad autocomplete, Access to Notifications and multiple others. More at Android.com here. I know that some of these new features were already present in Android 4.2 Jelly Bean but, since some devices will get directly from Jelly Bean 4.1 to 4.3, then I had to list those too.
More info will be available soon. If you own an Xperia device, then you should keep an eye on its notification panel and System Updates menu to check for Android 4.2 or Android 4.3 OTA Updates.