61 Android 4.2 Jelly Bean Tips and Tricks

Android 4.2

Android 4.2 Jelly Bean is Google’s latest operating system and it does with some nice new features you will love to discover. But some can be harder to find than others and we will try to help you discover everything about Jelly Bean in this article.

Jelly Bean can do amazing new things, , especially thanks to the Google Now, which can help you find things and get answers much faster. It also doesn’t require an internet connection for voice recognition, which makes the understanding nearly instant.

Some other great features are the blink for face unlock, lockscreen widgets, photo sphere, and multi user for tablets. I will tell you more about each one of them later. This is going to be a pretty long article, as Android 4.2 Jelly Bean does have a lot of features.

I am going to all the tips and tricks I could find and I would love to get suggestions from you, if you find anything I didn’t cover.

Google Now

1. Opening it

Google Now can be opened from multiple places. The easiest way is to drag the lockscreen circle up and Google Now will launch directly. You can also drag up any of the three navigation buttons to launch Google Now. It works from both the homescreen and apps.

You can also place a Quick Search widget on your home screen and just click it to launch Google Now. Or you can only place a shortcut on your homescreen.

you can choose any way you like most, though I recommend you to use the lockscreen or navigation bar gesture, because its definitely the fastest way in Android 4.2.

2. Launch voice commands

Voice commands can be easily launched while the Google Now app is open. You just have to click the microphone icon or say “Google.” Please note that you cannot use the voice trigger if Google Now isn’t open, so do not try it directly on the homescreen or somewhere else.

3. Weather

To set up weather, head over to Google Now settings and tap “Weather.” You can configure when the card should appear, specify if it should appear only at a specific location, like home work, and choose weather units. A weather notification will show up and you will also see a weather card when opening Google Now.

This way you can get rid of any weather widgets you might be using and clear up your home screen.

4. Traffic

The traffic card can be configured very well, so it won’t buzz you everytime you commute. Just tell Google Now when you want to get the traffic notifications and it will work just fine, as long as you are in a supported location. You can setup the card to appear in the following situations: before commute from home, before commute to home, before other commutes, after searching Google, airport/hotel if traveling and other places if traveling.

You can also set the transportation mode to driving or public transit. Notification priorities can also be set as following: for unusually heavy traffic you can choose standard, low priority or off; for regular traffic you can choose low priority or off.

If you live in a supported area, this card can be extremely helpful and can save you some time, because it will always let you know if there’s heavy traffic so you can change your route or commute by public transit instead of driving.

5. Next appointment

The next appointment does exactly what its name suggests. It sends you a notification if an appointment is due soon. You can choose when the card appears ( for any meeting, only if far away and in evening for next day ), and you can also set its priority if travel time is needed ( standard, low priority or off ).

6. Travel

The travel card appears when you are visiting a new place and it can help you with currency conversions, translation and time back home. You can set the currency card to appear only if the place uses a different currency, the translation card will only appear for places with a different language and the “time back home” card can be set to appear only if you are in a different time zone.

7. Flights card

The flight card will appear after you do a flight search on Google and can let you know when you flight is due. It’s priority can only be set to “low priority” or “off.”

8. Public transit

The public transit card helps you find transportation methods easier. You can set it to appear when you are near train stations, bus stops or traveling. The schedule when near stops can be set to standard, low priority or off.

9. Places

The places card appears when you are nearby places or only if you are nearby places while traveling ,depending on the way you set it up. It can prove to be very useful, especially when traveling, because you will be able to find nice places much easier and also see other people’s reviews. And the good part is that it won’t require any action from your side.

10. Sports

The sports card will let you know what your favorite teams are doing. Just head over to “Sports” and add your favorite teams, then decide when do you want to get the notifications. You can get them before a match, during a match and at the end of a match. Game details priority can be turned on or off and will always have a low priority.

11. Public alerts

Public alerts will only appear for emergency messages, like storms, earthquakes and any similar events. You should always keep it activated, because it can prove to be the most useful card and might even save your life.

12. Movies

The movies card can appear on your movie days or when you are near a theater. You will get information about movies and basically everything that you need to know, as long as Google has that information.

13. More languages

Google Now comes with only one language by default, but more can be installed for free. Head over to Settings > Voice > Download offline speech recognition and pick your preferred language. You can choose from English ( US & UK ), Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Dutch, Russian, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Romanian and more.

Now head ofer to Settings > Language and choose the language you want.

14. Reminders

It can set you an alarm with a specific name. Unfortunately it’s not able to set it on a specific date, so you can only specify the time. Example: “Remind me to call my father at 9 pm.”

15. Alarms

You can setup an alarm without any name. This doesn’t work with dates either. Example: “Set alarm for 9 pm.”

15. Call

You can easily call someone without looking through your contacts. Just say “call father” and it will immediately call it for you. You have a few seconds to cancel the call, though, in case Google Now gets the wrong name or you are undecided. You can also call a phone number, instead of a contact.

16. Text

You can ask Google Now to send a text to somebody from your contacts or a phone number. Example “Text father see you tomorrow.”

17. Email

This works exactly just like the text, though you can even use natural language. Examples: “Email father see you tomorrow,” or “Email father and tell him I’ll see him tomorrow.”

18. Note to self

Unfortunately this doesn’t work as you would expect. It doesn’t save the note anywhere, but emails it to your address instead. Example: “Note to self go to work earlier tomorrow.”

17. Listen to music

You can easily play any song on your device with a voice command. Example: “Listen to Set fire to the rain.”

18. Weather

You can easily see weather information about any location you want, as long as its supported by Google. If you just say weather, it will show weather for your current location.

Examples: “Weather,” “Weather in Barcelona,” “How’s the weather like in Barcelona.”

19. Is it going to rain

Just like the weather question, ti works either for your location or any remote location, depending on how you phrase the question. Ask it simple, “Is it going to rain,” to get an answer for your current location, or try something like “Is it going to rain in Barcelona” to get an answer for that city.

20. Places

Need to find some places around and don’t have the card activated ? No problem, you can just ask Google Now and you will receive an answer instantly. Just specify what kind of places you would like to find and the location, if you want to find them elsewhere than your current location. Examples: “gas stations,” “gas stations nearby,” “gas stations in Barcelona.”

21. Directions

Google Now can help you with directions and navigation too. And you can even specify how you are going to travel. It supports commuting and travel by foot, car or public transport. Examples: “Take me to Sagrada Familia by foot,” “Take me to Barcelona by car.”

22. Location questions

You can ask Google Now where a specific place is and it will give it its location, address and show you a map. It can offer answers for a lot of places, including land marks, restaurants, gas stations, cities and countries. Example: “Where is Barcelona.”

23. Sports – Match dates

you can ask Google Now if a team is going to play today and also when is it going to play. There are two different questions you can ask. Here you have the examples: “Does Barcelona play today,” and “Barcelona match.”

24. Sports – Match results

You can get results for your favorite team’s last matches very easily. Just say the name of the team along with “results.”

25. When is sunrise

Want to find out what time sunrise is at a specific location ? Nothing easier to find. Just ask Google Now. Example: “When is sunrise.” to find out for your current location, and “When is sunrise in Barcelona,” to find out for another location.

16. When is sundown

This works exactly like sunrise. Ask it when sundown is for your current location or another one.

26. Time zone

If you want to know what time zone a location is in, then ask Google Now and it will most likely help you. Just say “time zone” and the location you are interested in and Google Now will provide you the information.

27. Holidays

You can find out when a specific holiday is either the current year or any other year you specify. For example, to find out when mother’s day is this year, say “When is mother’s day,” and if you want to find out for 2015, then ask “when is mother’s day in 2015.”

28. Currency conversion

Converting currencies is very easy and you can convert either 1 unit or a specified number of units. Example: “Convert 1 dollar in Euro,” or “Convert 100 dollars in Euro.”

29. Calculations

Google Now can do a lot of calculations for you and we’ve tried some, though I believe there are much more. Examples: “1 plus 1,” “square root of 100,” “10 divided by 5.”

30. Answer to life, universe and everything

This one is really funny, as it’s not very helpful. Except if you forget the answer to the question. So ask Google Now what is the “answer to life, universe and everything” and it will answer with “42.”

31. Flights

You can search for flights and Google Now will let you know departure dates and times immediately. Here’s how to do it: “Air France 100″ to search for the Air France flight number 100.

32. Stocks

Searching for stocks is very easy. You just have to ask Google Now for the ticker symbol or the company name along with “stock.” Examples: “GOOG,” or “Google stocks.”

33. Movie show time

You can easily ask Google Now about a movie show time. Just speak out the movie name along with “show time.”

34. Movie director

Want to find out who directed a specific movie ? Then try this: “movie name director” and you will get a quick answer.

35. Movie cast

To see a movie cast, then you will have to speak the movie name along with “cast.”

34. Definitions

Google Now can define a lot of words for you. Example: “Define computer.”

35. Pictures

You can find pictures of everything you want. Google Now will return a better version of Google Images. Just say “Show me pictures of phones.”

36. Barrel roll

Here’s another easter egg, also available on the PC version. Try to say “do a barrel roll.”

37. When was somebody born

Find out when was a public person botn. Just say “When was Bill Gates born.”

38. When did somebody die

It works exactly like the one above, except it tells you when somebody died.

39. What is something

Want to find out about something ? Ask Google Now what it is.

40. Who is the CEO of a company

You should try saying “Who is the CEO of Google” and you will get a fast answer.

41. Browse website

Say “open Google.com” or “launch Google.com.”

42. Where is the closest location

43. What language is spoken in a country

44. What time is it in a location

45. What date is it in a location

46. What is the state bird of a specific state

47. Country flags

48. When is daylight savings

49. Do I need an umbrella

50. Do I need a jacket

51. Unit conversion

52. How tall is

Notifications

53. Pinch to expand / contract

Notifications appear either contracted or expanded, depending on how many do you have. To expand a notification, just pinch out. On the other hand, pinch in to contract it. Make sure to put both your fingers on that notification.

54. Interactions

You can now interact better with your notifications. For example, the phone app now allows you to call back or message the person who called you, in case you missed the call. Screenshots can be shared directly from the notifications window. It depends on the app that sent you the notification. Look below each notification and you might find helpful buttons.

55. Long press for app info

If you long press a notification, an “App info” button will appear and you will be able to find out more about the application that sent it. You can clear it’s cache, data, stop it, uninstall it or disable sending notifications.

Other

56. Sound search

Sound search is a new Android widget that works similarly to Shazam. It tells you which song you are listening to. Just tap the widget and allow it to listen to the song for a short while.

57. Camera swipe

You can directly swipe from the camera to the gallery. While in the camera app, swipe to the right and the gallery will open. If you want to go back to the camera, then swipe left.

58. Drag & drop to create folder

It’s now easier than even to create a folder. Just drag & drop an app over another and a folder will be automatically created containing those two apps. You can then of course add more apps to the folder by drag & drop.

59. Capture screenshots easier

To take a screenshot you have to press the power button and volume down buttons at the same time and keep them presses for a short while. When the screenshot is taken you will hear a sound similar to the one made by the camera. The screenshot will then appear in the notifications with an option to share it.

60. Blink for face unlock

To make it harder for people to unlock the phone with just a photo of the owner, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean now requires you to blink. To activate the feature, head over to Settings > Security > Screen Security and tick Liveness check.

61. Lockscreen widgets

One of Android Jelly Bean’s latest features, lockscreen widgets can be pretty useful, as you don’t have to unlock your device anymore in order to use widgets. While on the lockscreen, swipe right and you will see a plus sign. Tap it and a list of available widget will appear. Choose the ones you want and they will be added to your lock screen.

  • Josh

    I don’t typically comment on these articles as I generally like them and take them at face value, however, to be frank, that was the most long-winded and yet uninformative article I’ve ever read through. The first 55 tips are simply commands for Google Now which has been available since Android 4.1. Of the 55 nearly half are repeated or the same form of another one already listed. Of the remaining 6 “tips”, 5 came out with 4.1, and I have been using on my device. And the last remaining tip is simply a feature, not any kind of trick to better use the software. This is clearly a filler article and exemplifies the literary collapse to which online news is leading. How can you call yourself a writer after that useless drawl?

    • manish

      Well said mahn!! Useless article

  • e. shaw

    i get error message that “this device cannot perform the service requested” or something like that when i try to text. send note to myself.

  • Kevin Woodcock

    I thought it was fun and just what I was looking for to help me around my nexus 10, thanks for taking the time to share.