Google unveiled the next iteration of their Android ecosystem, Android 4.1 a.k.a. Jelly Bean, at their Google I/O 2012. Google I/O is an annual developer-focused conference held by Google in San Francisco, California.
“Android 4.1, Jelly Bean, is the fastest and smoothest version of Android yet. Jelly Bean improves on the simplicity and beauty of Android 4.0, and introduces a new Google search experience on Android.” – Google
Google announced many new features for Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. We have listed some of the key important features in detail for you. Android 4.1 is definitely a minor upgrade as most of the UI elements remain the same from Ice Cream Sandwich. Gooogle has added the following features to Android 4.1 in order to make the experience even better.
1. Project Butter UI
Google has been working on a Project Butter with a focus of providing buttery graphics and silky transitions in Android. Android has been criticized for the eventual lag or stutter in the user interface. With Android 4.1, Google is trying to make moving between the homescreens and switching between apps effortless like turning pages in a book.
“Jelly Bean makes your Android device even more responsive by boosting your device’s CPU instantly when you touch the screen, and turns it down when you don’t need it to improve battery life.”
2. Expandable, actionable notifications
Android 4.1 brings a major update to the Android notifications framework. Apps can now display larger, richer notifications to users that can be expanded and collapsed with a pinch. Notifications supportnew types of content, including photos, have configurable priority, and can even include multiple actions.
Android has always provided superior notifications compared to any other mobile OS. In Android 4.1, you can take action directly from notification shade (i.e. email, call). The notifications are also expandable, allowing you to get a deeper look into the notifications, like multiple emails or photos on Google+.
3. New Google Search
The best of Google just got better on Android. The search experience in Jelly Bean has a new look-and-feel, and has faster and more natural Voice Search. A redesigned experience uses the power of the Knowledge Graph to show you search results in a richer way. It’s easier to quickly get answers and explore and browse search results.
4. Offline Voice Typing and Offline Maps
With Android 4.1, Google is providing offline voice typing and maps. In previous version of Android, a data connection was required to perform these tasks but now you can access the voice typing and download map area for offline use.
5. Better Camera App
In Android 4.1, Google is providing seamless take and share photos experience with the camera application. Jelly Bean allows you view the photos taken with camera by just swiping over from camera to filmstrip view to instantly view the photos you just took, and quickly swipe away the ones you don’t like.
6. Google Now
Google Now tells you today’s weather before you start your day, how much traffic to expect before you leave for work, when the next train will arrive as you’re standing on the platform, or your favorite team’s score while they’re playing. All of this happens automatically. Cards appear throughout the day at the moment you need them.
7. Smart Updates
Google is providing smart updates for applications to save the amount of data required to update an application. This is good news for Users, Carriers, and Developers. Instead of downloading the entire application again, users will be able to update the apps with a smaller download size. For end users, this means faster update times and smaller size updates of the applications.
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Features List:
- Vsync timing across all drawing and animation done by the Android framework, including application rendering, touch events, screen composition and display refresh
- Triple buffering in the graphics pipeline
- Enhanced accessibility
- Bi-directional text and other language support
- User-installable keyboard maps
- Expandable notifications
- Ability to turn off notifications on an app specific basis
- Automatically re-sizable app widgets
- Bluetooth data transfer for Android Beam
- Offline voice dictation
- Improved voice search
- Improved camera app
- High resolution contact photos
- Google Now
- Multichannel audio
- USB Audio (for external sound DACs)
- Audio chaining (also known as gapless playback)
Google will be distributing Android 4.1 Jelly Bean as an Over the Air (OTA) update from Mid-July to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Motorola Xoom, and Samsung Nexus S. Google also announced the Nexus 7 tablet, which will also ship in july with Android 4.1.