The version of Jelly Bean you've been waiting for arrives

Android logoGoogle's next mobile operating system, Android 4.2, has been officially launched. The update, which was previously rumored to carry the moniker Key Lime Pie but instead carries the "Jelly Bean" branding, brings a ton of new things to Android, including gesture typing, updates to the Google Play store, and multiple user accounts for tablet users.

Starting with Google Play, the store now offers billing preferences and easier-to-access in-app purchases, and users can now check on the apps they have downloaded via a widget, rather than having to dig for recent purchases in the Google Play store interface.

Android 4.2

Google has also altered some features in the notification panel. It now features a Quick Settings bar that allows users to conveniently toggle options like Wi-Fi and Airplane mode without having to navigate to the Settings panel. Users can access the Quick Settings bar by swiping down twice and can tweak it to their specific needs by giving priority to the options that they use the most. Google Now, a digital personal assistant app which shares some features with Apple's Siri, also interacts with the Quick Settings panel. Users can ask it to do things like adjust the brightness or toggle on Bluetooth, and it will perform that function for them.

Android 4.2 camera

Gmail for Android has also been updated with the much-needed, pinch-to-zoom feature that users have coveted on other mobile operating systems for eons. Users can now pinch to zoom in on text within an email, as well as swipe to archive or delete a message. The swipe feature is configurable by the user.

In addition to the plethora of new UI changes, Google has introduced a feature that should help tech-centric households that share a single Android tablet. Android 4.2 allows each user to set up an individual account, install their own apps, and tweak the Settings to their preference. The accounts are easily identifiable by a name and thumbnail photo. The Play Store will also keep track of which apps have been installed for which users and parents will still be able to lock down restrictions for certain user accounts.

Android 4.2 keyboard

Rounding out the list of noteworthy features is native support for gesture typing and Miracast wireless displays. Apps providing gesture typing functionality for Android already exist, but the support at the operating system level mean that 4.2 users get the functionality merely by upgrading. The potential for deep integration is there, as well, with gesture typing also including predictive results for what words you might want to enter next (so swiping "Thank" will offer "thank you" as a potential response). The Miracast support means that you can stream your Android 4.2's display and audio to any device which supports the Miracast protocol. TVs with Miracast support built-in should start showing up next year.

A new "Photo Sphere" camera feature will also allow multiple photos to be stitched together to create one large photo—unlike Apple's Panorama mode, Photo Sphere appears to use multiple individual pictures rather than taking a single picture in one wide sweep, though the final result should be somewhat similar.

Android 4.2 will debut on the Nexus 10 tablet, the Nexus 4 phone. We're expecting its availability soon on other supported Nexus handsets, like the just-bumped Nexus 7. Stay tuned to Ars for the official review of Android 4.2 in the coming weeks as it hits our handsets.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Android, Google, OSes, tablets

Comments
Add comment

Your name:
Sign in with:
or
Your comment:


Enter code:

E-mail (not required)
E-mail will not be disclosed to the third party


Last news

 
Galaxy Note10 really is built around a 6.7-inch display
 
You may still be able to download your content
 
Facebook, Messenger and Instagram are all going away
 
Minimize apps to a floating, always-on-top bubble
 
Japan Display has been providing LCDs for the iPhone XR, the only LCD model in Apple’s 2018 line-up
 
The 2001 operating system has reached its lowest share level
 
The entire TSMC 5nm design infrastructure is available now from TSMC
 
The smartphone uses a Snapdragon 660 processor running Android 9 Pie
The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review
The evolution of the successful smartphone, now with a waterproof body and USB Type-C
February 7, 2017 / 2
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S - a tablet with the Windows-keyboard
The first Windows-tablet with the 12-inch display Super AMOLED
June 7, 2016 /
Keyboards for iOS
Ten iOS keyboards review
July 18, 2015 /
Samsung E1200 Mobile Phone Review
A cheap phone with a good screen
March 8, 2015 / 4
Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card review
Good sound for those who are not satisfied with the onboard solution
September 25, 2014 / 2
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Smartwatch at High Price
The first smartwatch from Samsung - almost a smartphone with a small body
December 19, 2013 /
 
 

News Archive

 
 
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
    123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031




Poll

Do you use microSD card with your phone?
or leave your own version in comments (15)