When Google unveiled the Nexus 4 handset and the Nexus 10 tablet, it also introduced Android 4.2 which is the recent update to the OS. The new version is still called Jelly Bean, which only makes sense since the updates, although essential, are quite minor compared to the updates from Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
So what new features have been introduced by Google in Android 4.2? Let’s look at the major ones.
Apple introduced the panoramic mode in iOS 6 which allows taking panoramic photos by moving the camera from sideways but Google’s Photo Sphere is better. It allows taking photos from every direction and combines these shots to create a photo sphere. You can therefore move the camera up, down and sideways to capture practically everything around you. Android 4.2 allows users to share the photo spheres on Google+ or add them to Google Maps.
Keyboard with Gesture Typing
Android’s new stock keyboard has Gesture Typing which is really just like the Swype app. With Gesture Typing, you can just glide your finger over the letters you want to type, and lift after each word. So instead of tapping on individual letters, you can simply swipe through the keyboard. The spaces are automatically added when you lift your finger. The keyboard also predicts the next word so there are suggested words and the user merely selects the appropriate word. The dictionary has also been improved, so has text-to-speech capabilities which can now be used even without data connection.
Wireless TV Streaming
Android 4.2 has built-in wireless TV streaming. Using your Android device, you can now mirror your device’s display on an HDMI-enabled TV. You can therefore share movies, YouTube videos, and practically anything that’s on your device’s screen on an HDTV. What you do is simply connect a wireless display adapter to any HDMI-enabled TV to mirror what’s on your Android device’s screen.
Daydream is simply an improved screen saver. On your Android device, the screen can display information when it is idle or docked. You can choose to display your photo albums or get the latest news from Google Currents.
Multiple Users on Tablets
Tablets running Android 4.2 can now support multiple users. Each user can customize the tablet with a separate homescreen, background, widgets, apps and games. Not only the settings can be saved, even game scores and other data are saved as well. It’s easy to switch between users since there’s no need to log in and out.