Android 4.1: Who Knew A Jelly Bean Could Be So Smart
Google announced Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) a couple hours ago and boy is it a smart treat. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting anything phenomenal out of Jelly Bean, but the level of intelligence in Android 4.1 has me flabbergasted. I’ll give you a quick rundown of the new and improved features included in Android 4.1.
Project Butter improves on Android by making the UI as smooth as butter. Android 4.1 is the fastest and smoothest version of Android yet and features Android’s lowest touch latency yet. Android 4.1 accomplishes all this by:
- vsync Timing
- Triple Buffering
- Synchronizing touch to vsync timing
- CPU input boost
In Android 4.1, notifications have received a nice overhaul, making them larger, more informative, and interactive. In Android 4.1, there are various new types of notification content which can be expanded or collapsed with a pinch. You can also configure priority, and even perform multiple new actions.
Resizable App Widgets
In Android 4.1, widgets will automatically resize to fit when adding them to a homescreen with limited space. Widgets can now be resized to adapt to your homescreen versus the old way of needing to either remove other apps/widgets or simply needing to find a new spot for your widget.
Google Search became incredibly more intuitive as well as taking on a simple, yet informative card-like interface in Android 4.1. Google also announced Google Now, which works by using your search history, calendar, and location to help make search more relevant.
Google Now works using current time and location to let you know if you’re on schedule, if flights are delayed, and how your favorite sports teams are doing — all based off of information you’ve already provided.
Voice search has also become more interactive (see Siri).
Additional Beam Features
In Android 4.1, Android Beam makes it easier to share images, videos, or other payloads by leveraging Bluetooth for the data transfer. When the user triggers a transfer, Android Beam hands over from NFC to Bluetooth, making it really easy to manage the transfer of a file from one device to another.
In Android 4.1 the camera software has been spruced up to include swiping for a quick preview of photo taken, but picture review gets even better. Users can continue swiping to see all photos taken and also pinch to shrink the gallery into a film strip UI.
- Higher-resolution contact photos
- Gesture Controls (Enhanced Accessibility)
- Offline voice typing
- Bi-Directional Text and Other Language Support
- And much, much more!
Jelly Bean will start rolling out to the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, and Motorola XOOM mid-July, but the SDK is available today.
For more information on Android 4.1 from a developer’s perspective, hit up the link below.
- SourceAndroid Developer Blog