Google’s next android iteration may not be a huge leap that many were anticipating. Launching about six months ahead of ICS it grabs the opportunity not just as a minor numerical bump(4.1 from 4.0), but also a few new features to enjoy.
Slated to arrive in nexus devices by mid-July, its by and large an improved version of Ice Cream Sandwich. The major change in coding came in form of the PROJECT BUTTER. In words of Darren Murph
“Google has retooled Android to be even more responsive, so that it ramps up whatever power lies within the moment a finger touches the screen. The goal here is to achieve 60 frames per second across the board on modern hardware; that could mean bad news for older devices that may or may not get the update, but phones like the Galaxy Nexus seem to gain horsepower simply due to coding improvements.”
The phone feels zippy and butter smooth. Chrome loads in an instant, voice search results are out in an instant. One could go on and on. Android is finally at a place where it feels completely buttoned up from silkiness point of view. One remembers, that in the past even quad core devices were not free from occasional lag while swiping between homescreens, owing mainly due to irregularities and inefficiencies in coding.
So here is exactly what is new:
Predictive Keyboard: Jelly Bean’s keyboard looks very much like the stock keyboard on ICS. But start typing and you’ll know the difference. Google didn’t take too much time to point it out, but the new prediction algorithm tucked into Jelly Bean’s factory keyboard is hugely noteworthy. Much like the third-party alternatives, like SwiftKey and Swype Google’s version learns as you type and begins to make next-word recommendations based on familiar phrases you use.
Offline Maps: Google promised us earlier this month that its offline mapping solution would be coming soon, just in time for Apple to debut its own mapping solution for iOS 6. Right in line with Jelly Bean’s launch, offline Maps is now a reality for Android smartphones. It’s exactly what you probably assume it is: the same Maps you know and love, but with the ability to navigate sans a live data connection. The concept here is far from new; even in early 2010, a Nokia device was pulling top honors in our smartphone GPS shootout thanks to its ability to operate offline. Fast forward a few years, and the Lumia’s Nokia Drive app still remains a phenomenal option due to — you guessed it — offline support.
Homescreen Tweeks: The homescreen hasn’t changed much. Though now its easier to drag icons. The icons and widgets align themselves.
Google now: Quoting Darren Murph,
“ Google Now can be activated by holding down the “Home” key and swiping up (or just swiping north from the lock screen). But unlike Siri, which simply requires you to start speaking, this action in Jelly Bean brings up an entirely new portal. Now unfolds, revealing a scrollable list of “Cards” that are just beautiful. (Unlike those from the webOS days, these scroll down rather than across, and don’t swipe up or down as the images in the new Gallery do.) The fonts, textures and borders on these things are truly gorgeous. It’s a fun place to fix your eyes within Android, because truthfully, it’s lovely to look at. Beyond that, though, it’s also highly informative. The cards that emerge will become better with time — assuming you opt into Now from the get-go. You see, Now makes no bones about how it gains intelligence: it watches you. It remembers what you frequently search for. It looks at your current location. It recalls which flights you’ve been searching for. It’s kind of creepy, but honestly, that’s what makes it wise. It’s also worth noting just how natural the robotic voice is whenever you are lucky enough to ask Now something that it can reply to. It’s entirely believable, unlike the very humanoid-y Siri.”
Offline voice dictation: Voice input and dictation have always been hampered by internet connectivity. Finally, now you wont have to rely on a connection to use that feature. With Jelly Bean Google has woven voice recognition tools within the OS. Even in airplane mode, you can dictate emails and text messages with ease.
Jelly Bean may not be the quantum leap, but its the fine tuning of ICS that many had been waiting for. Its splendidly fast, the keyboard is stellar and Google now is brilliant. The primary problem, however, is availability. It’s only hitting the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S and Motorola Xoom in mid-July, with every other Android device in that all-too-familiar wait-and-see mode. But all that will have to wait.
Do tell what you think of the latest android release and don’t forget to leave you valuable comments below.
Blogtechnika would like to thank Mr. Ankur Jangra for his immense contribution towards this post.