Google announces Android 4.1, Jelly Bean

Jelly Bean improves on the simplicity and beauty of Android 4.0, and introduces a new Google search experience on Android.

Nidhi Singal
Nidhi Singal
At the Google I/O 2012 conference in California on Wednesday, Google announced the next version of its Android operating system, Android v4.1 Jelly Bean. The number 4.1 and not 5.0 might indicate Jelly Bean as not a revolutionary update but it still offers a number of key features. As per the, 'Android 4.1, Jelly Bean, is the fastest and smoothest version of Android yet. Jelly Bean improves on the simplicity and beauty of Android 4.0, and introduces a new Google search experience on Android.'

Buttery Experience
To start with, Google has focused on the Android experience using better graphics and silky transition that feels smooth like butter. This would include fast transition between homescreen and apps. Jelly Bean will also make Android device responsive by boosting the device's CPU instantly when the screen is touched, and will turn it down when not in use. This will help in improving the battery life as well.

Jelly Bean will make personalising the home screen much easier as adding a widget to the homescreen will make space for itself by automatically moving the rest. In case the widget will be too big, it will resize it on its own.

Keyboard & Voice Typing
The typing experience on the Android 4.1 has been improved. Google has added a predictive algorithm and added keyboard support for 18 other languages including Hindi and Arabic. Interestingly, Jelly Bean also supports Braille. With Android 4.1, voice typing now works in offline mode. This means one can type with voice, without worrying about the data consumption.

The camera has been further improved as snapping images and browsing through the gallery will be fast. Swiping hand over the camera will turn into filmstrip view for the images captured at the moment and a simple swipe will delete the unwanted one.

The lovely notification bar will do more than just informing about the pending events. One will now be able to respond to the notifications without launching the app, directly from the notification bar itself.

Android Beam
Sharing videos and images will just be a tap away with the Android Beam. Tapping two NFC enabled phones back to back will enable sharing contacts, web pages, YouTube videos, directions and apps.  

Google Now
A new look has been awarded to Google Search with the Jelly Bean. Google has also introduced Knowledge Graph inside the search for the card based results. It will be much faster with support for a natural voice search. In addition, Google has also introduced Google Now that will use search history, location and calendar to come up with more accurate information. Somewhat like iPhone's Siri and Samsung's S Voice.

The first few devices to receive the Jelly Bean update in mid-July will be Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S and Motorola Xoom tablet. For the rest of the devices, users will have to wait for the manufacturer to roll out the update.