Google announced the next iteration of Android today at their annual conference, Google I/O, and we have all the inside scoop for you here on AndroidSPIN. If you are, however, too lazy to watch the whole keynote from Google, then we have you covered here with the Top 5 new features in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
1) Project Butter
Android 4.0 was a major upgrade from 2.3 Gingerbread, bringing a whole new interface and speed improvements. Jelly Bean improves on that, with something Google is calling “Project Butter.” This helps make the whole OS feel 100x faster and smoother, running at an insane 60 FPS.
Home screen customization has also been improved. Widgets will now wrap around the space available to them, so you won’t need to go through the hassle process of moving around icons and widgets.
The irony here, is that Google knows that their previous platforms have been slow and constantly lagging behind the competitors, such as Windows Phone 8 and iOS. But Project Butter is still a move in the right direction, helping Android become an even better platform.
In Android 4.0 ICS, we received the ability to view our notifications from our lockscreen, and access an app right through them. Android 4.1 JB takes this even farther, and allows you to do an action without even accessing the app, all from your notifications window pane.
For example, if someone calls you and you miss it, a notification obviously appears. When you swipe down, you can immediately choose to call the person back, or you can message them if you’d like, all directly from your notification window pane. If you’re currently calling someone and decide to hang up, you can just drag the notification window pane down and end the call from right there. Simple and Easy.
Google has also improved the way Social Networks and 3rd-Party apps are integrated with notifications. If you receive a Google+ photo, you’ll see a preview right from the lockscreen, without even having to access the Google+ app. You can comment and +1 on the photo right from your notification window pane, and quickly get back to what you were doing before.
3rd party developers also have great new features that they can integrate into their apps. Pulse, a popular social news reader, has the ability to show you the days’s top news-just by swiping the notification.
3) Google Now
We’ve heard rumors that Google was working on its own Siri, codenamed Project Majel, or whatever you want to call it. Google announced their own version of Apple’s Siri today, and it brings just what you would expect.
You’ll see a video down below introducing Google Now, which shows its new features such as Traffic. If Google Now detects that your usual route is currently bogged down by traffic, it will redirect you onto a different path which will help you arrive at your destination faster. If you have a meeting on your Calendar, Google Now will direct you to get you to your destination as soon as possible. If you have a flight at a local airport, Google Now will give you information on where your flight gate is, and your flight details.
Personally, I believe that Google Now will become much more successful than Siri, as it really provides businessmen with a useful tool to help them get things accomplished quickly and easily.
4) Offline Voice Dictation
Google has not only made more improvements to the keyboard in Android 4.1 JB, but they’ve also brought offline voice dictation. This means that you won’t need a network connection in order to use voice dictation anymore, unlike Siri voice dictation, which needs a constant connection. Unfortunately, this feature is currently only available in US English, but Google promises that more language support will be coming soon.
The keyboard has also made other vast improvements in predictive text input, meaning that the keyboard thinks about what you are going to type before you even type it.
Android 4.0 ICS brought an awesome feature-instant shutter for the camera. Google has once again improved the Camera in Android 4.1 JB, but has only added slight modifications and improvements to it. For example, you can now swipe to quickly review your recently captured photos, and delete any photos you don’t like. You can do this by swiping up to to delete photos, or swiping side-to-side to review your photos.
But tell us: Which of these Top 5 was your most favorite announcement?