Finally, This must have been the collective sigh when Android rolled out the sleekest version of its OS so far. Unveiled at the annual I/O Developers’ Conference, Jelly Bean 4.1 hasn’t failed to disappoint Android users who have been raving about how fast and smooth this newest version is.
You can find a list of all the Jelly Bean 4.1 features on this list, but here are some notables:
Project Butter – Thanks to a development codenamed Project Butter, Jelly Bean 4.1 now boasts of a faster and smoother interface. You will notice a more responsive dial pad and smoother scrolling in call logs. Moving between screens and apps has also become fluid and effortless.
New Animations – Now you can rearrange apps and widgets by dragging them around with a finger; other icons move conveniently out of the way. You’ll also notice resizable widgets and slicker animations. If you want to remove widgets, simply “pick” them and fling them to the edges of the home screen.
Google Voice Search – Just like Siri… only with better answers.
Google Now – Another huge improvement to Siri, Google Now uses Google’s “knowledge graph” to let you search for instant answers to queries. Google Now is more than a search function though. This opt-in service also tracks your behavior, so it can send updates it thinks is useful to you. Information like how your favorite Olympics team is performing, how long it’s going to take you to go to work, updates on your flight schedule, local conversion currency etc. appear as cards in the Google Now app and can also be seen in the notifications menu. Google Now functions like a personal assistant on steroids; for instance, it alerts you of when to leave (taking into consideration traffic and public transportation schedules), so you won’t be late for a meeting.
Improved Notifications – Jelly Bean 4.1 is the perfect enhancement to notification services like RingCentral, which sends fax and voicemail notifications to your phone. Never miss urgent messages again; Jelly Bean lets you preview emails, return calls, and send text within the notifications tray. If you want to turn off notifications from an app, simply touch hold the notification to identify the app and disable notifications or uninstall the app.
Android Beam – Easily transfer both videos and photos with Android Beam. You can also pair your phone and tablet to Bluetooth® devices that support the Simple Secure Pairing standard by simply tapping them together.
Maps – Cache a portion of a map for offline viewing. You also get indoor walking directions, Zagat ratings and reviews, and information on local deals via Google Offers.
Unfortunately, despite all these developments, not a lot of devices will get to experience Jelly Bean 4.1. As expected, Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, and Nexus 7 got the first taste of the newest Jelly Bean. A few days ago, US users also received an upgrade to their Motorola Xoom with Wi-Fi tablets—you might remember that Google purchased Motorola Mobility last May.
HTC also confirmed that it was planning to roll out Jelly Bean 4.1 to its HTC One phones, while Asus also made an official announcement that its Asus Transformer Prime tablets are going to get refurbished with the new Jelly Bean. The rumor mill is also grinding out the news that Samsung is already testing upgrades for the Samsung Galaxy S2 and S3 smartphones.
For now, it seems like Jelly Bean 4.1 is only available for high-end devices. If you want to get it on your device, you might want to consider getting a new phone or tablet.
Image Credit : TechCrunch