Google’s Android OS is now in version 4.1 and it is called Jelly Bean. The launch of the OS was made at Google I/O 2012, where the Nexus 7 tablet was also unveiled, among other new Google products and services. So how different is Jelly Bean from Ice Cream Sandwich, the predecessor of the Jelly Bean. Here are the basic features of Jelly Bean.
New Home Screen
Jelly Bean has a better-looking home screen. Google modified the home screen in Jelly Bean, making it easier to organize. When you resize widgets and rearrange icons, the rest of the stuff on the screen adjusts accordingly. Widgets can easily be removed by tossing it away.
This is possibly the biggest new feature on Android. Google Now keeps the user updated and provides information the user needs based on the location. It sort of reads the user’s needs and anticipates the situation. It uses cards and images to present the data needed by the user. An example is when you need details on a flight. Google Now will make a new card with the data you need and it constantly updates these data.
Android Jelly Bean is said to be way faster than Ice Cream Sandwich. The interface is buttery smooth, hence, the name Project Butter. The new OS has a higher refresh rate and it has a much improved touch responsiveness. I like this update since one of my gries abut Android is how it lags iOS in terms of responsiveness. Now was Google apparently aware that it had to improve Android’s responsiveness.
The Notifications feature has been much improved on Jelly Bean. It’s no longer the simple drop down notifications bar that we see in past Android versions. In Jelly Bean, Google used live updates and images to improve the look on notifications. These notifications can be expanded or collapsed using a simple gesture. Google was ahead of iOS in terms of notifications and now, it has made a good feature something much better.
Offline Voice Dictation
Are you one who has no patience for typing on a mobile device? Android has had voice dictation but this needed online connection before you can make it work. With Jelly Bean, you no longer need to be online to use voice dictation. This means you can use the feature anytime.
Just like Apple’s Siri, the new search engine on Jelly Bean will answer your queries. At first, the search app will give you its answer to your question by presenting you a card, then you can swipe the screen to the right for a full Google search results.
Faster App Updates
With Jelly Bean, the app no longer needs to be downloaded entirely when it is updated. What happens now is that only the parts of the app that has changed will be downloaded. Translation: faster download and fewer bandwidth.
Updated Camera App
The camera app on Jelly Bean has new features. If you want to review a photo while the camera app is open, you don’t need to go to your photos folder. Just swipe to the right to see your previous photo. Deleting a photo is also as easy as swiping the screen upwards.
Previous versions of Android always felt slower and clunkier compared to iOS. The device lag is noticeable especially when scrolling through websites or swiping across home screens. Hopefully Jelly Bean will eliminate the jerkiness. Besides the speed improvements, I’m looking forward for the new animations too.