Google just announced the next version of Android, which it calls Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. While, according to the number scheme, Android 4.1 is not a sweeping new update to Android, however Google has added a number of key new features to its mobile operating system. Also Read - Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Go powered by Intel Jasper Lake Celeron processor revealed
To start things off, Google talked about project butter through which, the company strived to make the Android experience buttery smooth. To enable this, Google has now optimized the system wide frame rate to 60 frames per second and has added VSync for triple buffering for more consistent frame rendering. Also Read - Free COVID-19 vaccine: Today’s Google Doodle urges all to get vaccinated, wear mask
Widgets now realign and they automatically resize. Google has even added a new gesture to flick apps off the homescreen. Also Read - HP Chromebook 11a review: Great for students, not so for professionals
The typing experience on Android 4.1 has been further improved and Google has added a predictive algorithm, which might be similar to the third party SwiftKey keyboard. Google has added offline Voice typing inside Android 4.1, so that the feature is available to users who don’t have access to a data connection or need to cut down on data usage. Google has added keyboard support for 18 other languages including Hindi and Arabic.
Input for blind users has been significantly boosted and Android now supports Braille. The camera app in the OS has been further refined fast review of photographs and users can delete photos by swiping it away to the top. Users can also now share videos and photos using the NFC enabled Android Beam feature introduced in Ice Cream Sandwich.
The notifications system was also not left alone, and now notifications expand automatically as soon as they move to the top added function in notification bar. Call controls have also been integrated in the notifications menu and now apps also have corresponding thumbnails. Furthermore, users will be able to do a lot more directly from the notifications menu, like check in at FourSquare.
While all these features already make Jelly Bean a very impressive update, but Google left the best for the last and revamped the whole Google search experience on Android. To further this, Google has introduced the recently released Knowledge Graph inside search, which will now provide card based results. The Voice search feature has also been bolstered as it now understands natural speech like Apple’s Siri and Samsung’s S-Voice.
Additionally, for getting regular tasks done, Google introduced Google Now, which uses search history, location and calendar to automatically give relevant information. So for instance, if your favorite team is playing Google Now will notify the user as it will know ones favorite team from his/her search history and people will be able to book tickets for flights and trains. People will also get mapping information based on one regular route. This feature is similar to Nokia Drive on Windows Phone 8 as it can redirect the user to a faster route if Google detects traffic.
The Jelly Bean update will be pushed out to the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, and Motorola Xoom tablet in mid July. Google is also releasing a Platform Development Kit (PDK) for OEMs and chipset makers so that they have access to some key elements of the update months before the announcement of the Android update to facilitate a faster update cycle for non Nexus devices. Google said that it had already shared the PDK Beta with some key OEM and chipset partners a few weeks ago and now its up for public release.