Google has announced the release date of “Jelly Bean 4.1” to be in mid-July (as an over-the-air update) at the I/O developer conference held in California last week. This newest installment of Android OS would be launched just after 8 months of the release of the previous version aka Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.
According to the developers of Jelly Bean:
“Android 4.1 is the fastest and smoothest version of Android yet. We’ve made improvements throughout the platform and added great new features for users and developers.”
Here are some of the important features of Jelly Bean:
Faster, Smoother & More Responsive
With the addition of Project Butter to the operating system, Android 4.1 has become much faster, smoother and responsive than its predecessor.
To ensure the lowest delayed response of Android, vsync timing is extended across the drawings and animations of the android framework. Everything is made to run with 16-millisecond heartbeat of vsync and 60 frames per second due to which application closing, touch events and display refreshing doesn’t get behind or ahead.
Triple buffering is also being added to Android 4.1 in the graphics pipeline for smoother scrolling from page to page and animations.
Another feature making Jelly Bean faster is the CPU input boost which makes CPU to refresh every time when the screen is being touched with finger. It also lets the screen be inactive when not in use for a long time, saving battery life.
The notification has always been a fascinating feature of Android systems. An important update to the notification panel is being applied in Android 4.1.
Notifications in Android 4.1 are now expandable and can be made larger and richer by pinching or swiping. Panel now also supports photos and other multiple action content. Three template styles that are provided as built-in features are:
- Big Text Style:
Notification shows the multi-line Text View content.
- Big Inbox Style:
Notification shows list type content such as messages, headlines, etc.
- Big Picture Style:
Notification shows the content in visual showcases such as a bitmap.
In addition to these built-in styles, you can also customize your own notification style using Any Remote view.
Widgets in Android 4.1 are both optimizable and re-sizable. When any widget is dropped to the home screen, it gets re-sized automatically seeing the space available on the home screen. A notification notifies the user about the change in size and then the user can also optimize the content of the widget as the size of widget changes.
Landscape and portrait layouts can also be applied to widgets separately and the system orientates them properly when the screen direction is changed.
Some of the other features that make Jelly bean more attractive are:
- Google Voice Search
- Google Now
- Enhanced accessibility
- Bi-directional text and other languages support
- User install-able keyboard maps
- Simplified task navigation
- Easy animations for activity launch
- Hig resolution contact photos
- New media capabilities
- The improved browser and webview
Check out the preview of Jelly Bean Android 4.1: