Android 4.1 Jelly Bean in-depth

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean in-depth
While Android 4.1 is more of a minor update compared to what 4.0 was to 2.3, Jelly Bean brings some impressive new features to Android.

Jelly Bean will be the fastest, smoothest and most responsive OS yet, as it offers the lowest touch latency, says the company. Additionally, 4.1 "extends vsync timing across all drawing and animation done by the Android framework. Everything runs in lockstep against a 16 millisecond vsync heartbeat -- application rendering, touch events, screen composition, and display refresh - so frames don't get ahead or behind."

Major Updates

4.1 also adds a new Accessibility settings for handling gestures. Accessibility services can link their own tutorials into the Accessibility settings, to help users configure and use their services.

Furthermore, Jelly Bean adds bi-directional text in TextView and EditText elements. This means "apps can display text or handle text editing in left-to-right or right-to-left scripts." Hebrew and Arabic are newly supported thanks to this new addition. Users can install their own keyboard maps now, as well, making it possible to install international keyboards and special layout types. 27 keyboards are pre-loaded.

Expandable notifications let you dsplay more types of content in your notifications. Says Google: "Users can expand them with a simple gesture. Android 4.1 brings a major update to the Android notifications framework. Apps can now display larger, richer notifications to users that can be expanded and collapsed with a pinch. Notifications support new types of content, including photos, have configurable priority, and can even include multiple actions.

Apps can add up to three actions to a notification, which are displayed below the notification content. The actions let the users respond directly to the information in the notification in alternative ways. such as by email or by phone call, without visiting the app.

With expandable notifications, apps can give more information to the user, effortlessly and on demand. Users remain in control and can long-press any notification to get information about the sender and optionally disable further notifications from the app."

App widgets can now be resized, depending on the space left on the home screen. When the widget is resized, Android notifies the host app's widget provider, which can reload the content in the widget as needed. Widgets can be portrait or landscape, as well.

Smaller Updates

There is an easier way to get to "full screen" and "lights out" modes, which hide the status bar, action bar, navigation bars, especially when you watch a film or read a book.

In Jelly Bean, contact photos can be as large as 720x720, finally removing those blurry pics when a friend calls.

Android Beam has been upgraded, as well, making "it easier to share images, videos, or other payloads by leveraging Bluetooth for the data transfer. When the user triggers a transfer, Android Beam hands over from NFC to Bluetooth, making it really easy to manage the transfer of a file from one device to another."

The browser has seen adjustments, as well, including "Better HTML5 video user experience, including touch-to-play/pause and smooth transition from inline to full screen mode," "Improved rendering speed and reduced memory usage for better scrolling and zooming performance" and "Updated JavaScript Engine (V8) for better JavaScript performance."

All purchased apps will protect data and assets by encrypting with a device-specific key.

Cloud Messaging

Perhaps most notably for devs is the creation of Google Cloud Messaging (GCM), "a service that lets developers send short message data to their users on Android devices, without needing a proprietary sync solution."

As Google says: "GCM handles all the details of queuing messages and delivering them efficiently to the targeted Android devices. It supports message multicasting and can reach up to 1000 connected devices simultaneously with a single request. It also supports message payloads, which means that in addition to sending tickle messages to an app on the device, developers can send up to 4K of data.

Google Cloud Messaging is completely free for all developers and sign-up is easy. See the Google Cloud Messaging page for registration, downloads, and documentation."

Written by: Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jun 2012 0:26
Android Smartphones Jelly Bean 4.1
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  • plazma247

    Umm Jelly Bean.. best upgrade to a phone thats gona support it soon :) SGSIII here i come.

    28.6.2012 09:54 #1

  • LordRuss

    I definitely see a bunch of different stuff for the phones here but not really a bunch for the tablet crowd. Not at first glance (breezing over the article kinda thing). Probably more like a "here's another update to screw with having rooted phone/tablet" thing. With a few perks added.

    28.6.2012 10:55 #2

  • SmaryJerry (unverified)

    I have 4.0 and like the article says it doesn't look like much of a change. Maybe it runs a tiny bit faster and looks a tiny bit prettier.

    28.6.2012 12:44 #3

  • Interestx

    Coming to Galaxy S2?

    I can see no reason to pay a little more than double the S2 refurb price for a new S3, so I didn't.

    28.6.2012 14:13 #4

  • xtago

    GSM will be great for AD ware to be sent around the place and AD to be sent to phones all the time.

    28.6.2012 15:11 #5

  • ragde

    My Galaxy Nexus is running it. I can say it tuns a little bit better and the new options/futures are buying me in. Galaxy S2 should get it. I know a lot of people don't like to root their phones, but believe me it is the way to go. You get everything right away. CM9 was beauty and can't wait for CM10.

    29.6.2012 09:58 #6

  • hearme0

    Sounds like it should be named "Jewy Bean"

    Anyway...........highly doubt Galaxy S2 is getting this and the S3 MIGHT but don't bank on it.

    30.6.2012 02:27 #7

  • plazma247

    @ hearme0

    Actually its been confirmed its coming to the S3 ;)

    Samsung Galaxy S3 to Receive Android 4.1, JellyBean in Q4 2012

    30.6.2012 14:07 #8

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