Google I/O: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Google has shown us next major release of Android, Jelly Bean (4.1). Google has done the same as Apple and not made a major changes, only refinements to an almost complete operating system. Google is focused on three keywords, three very important keywords for Android, with Jelly Bean, ‘Fast, Fluid & Smooth’.

The most important new feature has to be Project Butter, that hits each and every one of those keywords by running the OS at a super silky 60 fps (frames per second). This is done by triple buffering every movement and animation by kicking up the processor and graphics speed whenever the device is in use and then bringing it back down when idle to save battery. To see what I’m talking about here is a comparison of two Galaxy Nexus devices, one running Ice Cream Sandwich and another with Jelly Bean.

The next thing Google has added is extremely cool and that is Google Now, that is an amazing new app that makes you aware of everything going on around through your phone brings all your things together from the internet and Google’s massive data stores. It will help you see all of your things in one place. For example it can learn your daily commute and notify you about traffic on your route or the time to your destination. It can also keep you up to date on the scores of your favorite teams if they’re playing and many more things. Here’s what I’m talking about.

Google has also added a nice little extra that allows you to use voice to text functionality when you’re not connected to the internet, this eliminates that waiting time that’s present when it is going to the server and back. Google has also redesigned the search by adding a very human like voice and by adding a look and functionality that competes with Siri. They stage demo showed it being asked ”Show me pictures of pygmy marmosets,” that brought back very successful results for such a complex question.

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They have also made a small change to the homescreen that automatically moves your icons around to fit a new widget or resizes to it to fit. This is a nice and welcome change. They have also revamped notifications by adding more actions or options that can be performed straight in the notifications tray without opening the app. Google says that theses notifications are “actionable”. They have also made some changes to the already great camera and the gallery app. The update now includes delta updates for apps (only the changes will be downloaded instead of reinstalling the entire app).

The update will be delivered OTA (over the air) in mid-July to the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S and Motorola Xoom. Other manufacturers will soon be announcing their release schedules, Samsung and HTC have already said that they will soon unveil their schedules. On a lighter note, here is a video of Google setting up a Jelly Bean Android robot that is traditional with every new OS launch.