Android 4.1 Jelly Beans makes its debut, offers a handful of new features
Android 4.1 Jelly Beans offers a handful of features compared to the ICS including offline mapping, predictive text inputs and the most notable Google Now app.
The rumors came true and Android 4.1 made its debut at the Google I/O conference at San Francisco. And as the rumors have predicted, the latest Android version has been named Jelly Bean. The name became evident when just a couple of days earlier Google added a Jelly Bean statue to its gardens at the Mountain View HQ. This garden houses statues of all previous versions of Android. The latest Android 4.1 will come preinstalled with Google’s latest Nexus 7 tablet which will be hitting the shelves in mid-July.
As per Engadget , Google has also announced that in mid-July the source code of its latest Android 4.1 will be released along with over-the-air updates for its flagship Android devices including the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S smartphones and the Motorola XOOM tablet.
Jelly Bean comes with a handful of features and some of them are truly remarkable. Let’s take a look.
The feature worthy of mentioning first is Project Butter. This Google initiative goes deep into the codes to make Android more responsive and better. As gathered from Engadget, the result is 60fps of operating speed which gives you smoother and quicker animations. The device ramps up the moment it detects a touch and the fluidity is noticeable compared to the ICS version. This improvement lends serious horsepower to the device running the OS.
The keyboard on the Jelly Bean has become predictive. As you type, the latest version learns and suggest phrases that are used most, long press a word and you are presented with a long list of words. Jelly Bean’s keyboard works just like the SwiftKey but with a greater variety of punctuations.
Offline maps have become a reality in Android 4.1. Now users will be able to navigate through a city without having a connection, provided that you have downloaded the portion earlier. Although the offline mapping is not on par to Nokia Drive, it will do for the time being.
The Homescreen now automatically accommodate apps and widgets, and can be removed just by swiping off the screen.
Now we come to the highlight feature, the Google Now. This app works similar to Apple’s Siri but offers a lot more. All your activities are watched and noted by Google Now, so that next time you are near a bus stop or railway station, it automatically presents you with schedules. When going to work or other routines, best routes are suggested. All your questions are answered in a believable human voice. In a way Google Now becomes you. All these appear as a scrollable list of cards that you can select and pull down and they keep on adding with longer use. All your activities are noted and their relevant information is put on the cards for usefulness.
Jelly Bean also allows writing emails and messages via voice in an offline mode so that it can be saved and sent later.
Jelly Bean also comes loaded with NFC and so sharing music and videos and other media through the updated Android Beam is now easier and simpler just by tapping.
The Camera app Jelly Bean is even better than that you find in ICS, which is great intself. You can now go back to the last clicked picture just by a left flick. You can pinch out to see all the images in a nice film strip while swiping through. To delete an image you just need to swipe it off the screen while the action can be undone by an undo button.
Although the Android 4Jelly Bean is not a great big leap from the ICS but it sure does offer a better and fluid experience and is definitely a step forward. But to experience it firsthand will have to wait for now.