Android Jelly Bean
By S21, last updated 28 Oct 2013
Android Jelly Bean (4.1/4.2/4.3) is an update of Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) and includes a few new features. Version 4.1 introduced Google Now. Version 4.2 introduced Photo Sphere and a completely redesigned camera app, new Gesture Typing keyboard, and new cards for Google Now. Version 4.3 brings OpenGL ES 3.0, virtual surround sound and a range of other minor enhancements.
A new Android
Jelly Bean has introduced more intelligence into search, perhaps mimicking the kind of results that Wolfram Alpha can give. For example, type "How tall is the eiffel tower?" and you get a result like this one in the picture. You only get this for certain types of searches, but it's perhaps a taste of what's to come.
But perhaps the most interesting new feature is Google Now. Google Now is a system of "cards" that pop up with useful information, even without being asked. These cards may be reminders of events, or traffic news, or train times as you wait on the station platform. These cards learn about your behaviour in a rather spooky/creepy way and steadily improve in relevance over time. You can perhaps think of Google Now as a loyal puppy, eagerly fetching your newspaper or slipper for you. It may not always get it right, but its heart is in the right place.
Android Jelly Bean features include:
- Improved keyboard with a better predictive dictionary
- Improved speech recognition
- Android Beam for easy sharing with NFC-enabled devices
- Faster screen responses
- Improved battery life
- Expandable notifications of events like missed calls and emails
- Improved positioning of widgets on the home screen
- Better accessibility for blind users
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