Android Jelly Bean, the 4.1 version of the mobile operating system developed by Google, stepped on the stage of Google I/O event yesterday, next to Hugo Barra, Director of Product Management Android. Even though it was initially though Android 4.1 Jelly Bean will not bring any major new features, the new firmware version actually introduces some nice and handy functions.
Google Now is one of the new features introduced along with the new Android 4.1 Jelly Bean version, created to provide the right information at the right moment. With Google Now you will be able to receive the weather forecast as soon as you start your day, details about traffic on your way to work and the score of your favorite team’s match. Now you won’t have to waste your time searching the web – all the information is displayed simply, on some intuitive cards on one of your homescreens. You can watch a video that details Google Now here.
The old and rusty Google Voice Search is history now, as the new voice control system introduced in Android 4.1 is more powerful and easier to use. We are basically talking about a system similar to Apple’s Siri, allowing you to search the web or find answers to all sorts of questions by only using your voice. The answers are provided by Google’s Knowledge Graph.
Smooth as the butter, more precisely Project Butter. That’s how you can describe the Android Jelly Bean user interface. Underpinned by the popular Ice Cream Sandwich UI, Google brings their mobile operating system to a new level of speed, fluidity and response time. You can watch a video centered on Jelly Bean’s speed here.
The notification system was also dramatically improved in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. It now comes with more actions, like sending an e-mail or starting a call directly from the Notifications interface.
The keyboard of the new Android verison is more precise and uses a word prediction system that can significantly reduce the SMS or email writing time, while the speech-to-text recognition system is now capable of running in offline mode.
It looks like the NFC technology slowly finding its way into our daily habits and Android Beam is a new step in this direction. Available since the Android 4.0 update, this technology was updated in Jelly Bean, now allowing file and media content sharing between two terminals with NFC chip and Android Beam, by simply touching the two devices. You want to pair you Bluetooth headset with your Android phone? All you have to do is touch it to the device and all your problems are solved.
The camera and gallery apps interfaces were also redesigned, the last picture coming right on your display with just a simple swype. The gallery can be scaled to the size of a camera film roll to make your navigation through photos easier.
The Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update is expected to arrive over-the-air on Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S smartphones and Motorola Xoom tablets mid June.