The next iteration of the Android OS brings in the fastest and smoothest version of Android yet. Android 4.1, Jelly Bean improves on the simplicity and beauty of Android 4.0, and introduces a new Google Now search experience on Android. Google has published the complete changelog of what’s new in Jelly Bean.
Google says Jelly Bean is build to feels fast, fluid, and smooth. Moving between home screens and switching between apps is effortless, like turning pages in a book. It features improved performance throughout the system, including faster orientation changes, faster responses when switching between recent apps, and smoother and more consistent rendering across the system through vsync and triple buffering. Jelly Bean has more reactive and uniform touch responses, and makes your device even more responsive by boosting your device’s CPU instantly when you touch the screen, and turns it down when you don’t need it to improve battery life.
- With Jelly Bean, blind users can use ‘Gesture Mode’ to reliably navigate the UI using touch and swipe gestures in combination with speech output.
- With the new accessibility focus feature, you can move a cursor between controls to maintain a target for the next action or a source for the next navigation event. You can double tap anywhere to launch the current item with accessibility focus.
- Text traversal in accessibility now gives you more control – choose to move between pages, paragraphs, lines, words or characters.
- TalkBack, a screenreader for Android, now supports gestures to trigger actions, to navigate applications, and traverse text.
- Get full support for braille accessibility services (download BrailleBack on Google Play).
Browser and WebView
- Browser now has better HTML5 video support, and has a new user experience. Just touch the video to play and pause, and smoothly transition into and out of fullscreen mode.
- Browser now supports the updated HTML5 Media Capture specification on input elements.
- WebView now supports vertical text, including Ruby Text and other vertical text glyphs.
- With Android Beam, you can now easily share your photos and videos.
- Instantly pair your phone or tablet to Bluetooth® devices like headsets or speakers that support the Simple Secure Pairing standard by just tapping them together.
- Support for USB audio docks, shipping later this year.
- Calendar is more buttery. Content fades in, animations are sprinkled throughout, and swiping/paging between days is smoother.
- Calendar will now display event colors if you’ve given your event a color on your PC.
- The ‘Today’ button on the action bar now shows the current day. When viewing an event’s details, you can now email all the guests with a single tap.
- Notifications for upcoming events now display more of the event description to let you quickly see relevant details without having to open the app.
- Notifications for upcoming events now let you email all the guests without opening the app, and you can choose a quick response such as “Be there in 10 minutes” or type your own.
- A new option in Calendar settings lets you create your own default quick responses for emailing guests.
- You can now snooze an upcoming event reminder right from the notification.
- Calendar has a new 7″ tablet layout that is optimized for the form factor.
- When viewing Calendar in portrait orientation on tablets, you can hide or expand controls to give you complete control over how you view your Calendar space.
- Calendar will now remember whether you’ve chosen to hide or expand controls so you have a consistent experience viewing Calendar whenever you open it.
Camera and Gallery
- You can now swipe from the camera viewfinder to quickly review photos you’ve taken without having to leave the camera app. You can swipe back to the camera viewfinder to start snapping photos again.
- When viewing photos in Gallery, you can pinch to zoom out to enter “filmstrip mode” and rapidly review photos. When viewing photos in filmstrip mode, you can swipe up or down to delete an individual photo. You can also undo the delete with a single tap.
- When taking a photo, a new animation sweeps your photo off the screen. There is now a new paging animation when swiping between photos
- Camera features a new animation for switching between the front-facing and back cameras.
- When focusing on an object in Camera, a new animation gives you visual feedback on your focus state.
- Gallery features a new animation when selecting a photo from within the album view and back.
- You can now dismiss a data usage warning without changing the data threshold set for warning notifications.
- Disable background data usage on certain Wi-Fi SSIDs by designating them as mobile hotspots.
- Android now automatically detects when one Jelly Bean device is tethered to another’s WiFi hotspot, and intelligently enables or disables background data usage on the SSID.
- Face Unlock is now faster and more accurate, and startup is smoother with a new animation.
- You can improve face matching accuracy by calibrating your face in different conditions and with different accessories (e.g. hat, glasses).
- Face Unlock can now optionally require a ‘blink’ to verify that a live person is unlocking the device rather than a photo.
- Jelly Bean adds support for bidirectional text and more input languages to make the platform accessible to more people around the world.
- There is improved support for Arabic and Hebrew, including a new Arabic font, in the platform.
- You can now enter text in one of 18 new input languages, including Persian, Hindi and Thai. Additional Indic languages Kannada, Telugu, and Malayalam are now supported by the platform.
- Emoji from Unicode 6.0 will now render when received or viewed.
- If the system language is set to Japanese, Japanese specific versions of glyphs will now be properly rendered.
- The platform’s dictionaries are now more accurate and more relevant.
- The language model in Jelly Bean adapts over time, and the keyboard features bigram prediction and correction.
- You can now switch languages quickly with the dedicated language selector key on keyboard.
- You can use custom keyboard input styles for more than 20 languages, with keymaps for QWERTY, QWERTZ, AZERTY, Dvorak, Colemak, and PC styles.
- You can choose the input styles that you want to use for each keyboard, and use a hotkey to switch between them while typing
Messaging and Talk
- New notifications display the full text of incoming SMS messages. When receiving an MMS, you can view the full photo in a notification.
- When entering recipients for an SMS or MMS, a new UI collects recipients as chips, making it easier to compose messages.
- Talk features a new notification style.
- You can now take action on notifications directly from the redesigned notifications shade.
- Notifications from the same application are grouped together, and the first item is automatically expanded. You can also pinch notifications to expand or collapse them.
- You now get an image preview in notifications after taking a screenshot. You can quickly share the screenshot directly from the notification.
- You can lock automatic display rotation from the notifications shade on 7″ tablets.
- For Wi-Fi only devices, quickly see the SSID of the access point you’re connected to from the notifications shade.
- You can now touch-hold a notification to identify the application that created it and turn off notifications from that application if needed, as well as uninstall the application.
- Wi-Fi protected setup is now supported with WPS push button and PIN support.
- A new setting lets you stay on mobile data and avoid nearby Wi-Fi networks with poor connections.
- The People app is more buttery with smoother animations and improved search performance.
- The People app now retrieves high res photos automatically for Google contacts with public Google+ profiles and displays higher res photos (720×720) on certain devices.
- High res photos set on Google accounts will be backed up and synced across devices.
- The People app has a new 7″ tablet layout that is optimized for the form factor.
- You can now quickly add your favorite contacts to a home screen, directly from the contact’s details page.
- The People app helps you organize your contacts and reduces duplicates with an Improved auto-joining algorithm.
- You can now clear the frequently contacted list from the favorites tab in the People app.
- When you miss a call, a new notification lets you return the call or reply by SMS with a single touch.
- Incoming visual voicemails are displayed in a new notification that lets you play the message with a single touch.
- When a call is ongoing, a new notification lets you hang up the call with one touch.
- As part of Project Butter, the dial pad is more responsive. Call log scrolling is buttery smooth, and swiping between tabs in Phone is quick and fluid.
- You can now clear your frequently contacted list in the favorite tab of Phone.
- You can now add phone numbers from the call log to existing, read-only contacts.
- Accounts are now displayed in the primary Settings view so you can easily see all the accounts you’re signed into on your device.
- You can now easily access all Google Privacy Settings in one place by selecting your Google account from Settings.
- Device encryption is now more reliable, and periodically reminds you to decrypt your device. Now, SMS messages and calls are declined when waiting for decryption.
- You can long press the ‘Power Off’ option in the power menu to boot your device to safe mode.
- A new ‘Reset app preferences’ button lets you quickly reset default applications for specific activities, background data restrictions, notifications suppressions, and more.
- A redesigned dialog with larger icons lets you intuitively choose your preferred application for specific activities.
- Google Apps Device Policy on your device may now override the ‘keep screen awake’ option from developer settings.
- Jelly Bean introduces a new conversational text-to-speech voice in US English, available as both a network engine and an embedded engine via the TTS API.
- A new embedded speech recognizer lets you use Voice Typing even when you don’t have an Internet connection.
- Jelly Bean makes it easier to personalize your home screen. As you place widgets on the screen, everything else automatically moves to make room.
- When they’re too big, widgets resize on their own. If you choose to resize a widget, apps and widgets will now also move out of the way.
- You can now quickly remove apps or widgets from any home screen by picking them up and flinging them to the edge of the screen.
- Launching apps and returning back home are now faster and smoother.
Google Search experience on Android
- With Jelly Bean, a redesigned experience uses the power of the Knowledge Graph to show you search results in a richer way. It’s easier to quickly get precise answers to search queries and explore and browse search results.
- Get to Google Search faster: Google Search can be opened directly from the lock screen by swiping up. For devices with software navigation keys, you can now swipe up from the system bar to quickly access Google Search with Google Now. For devices with a hardware search key, you can tap it to launch Google Search.
- If you’re using a wired headset, long press the headset’s button to activate Voice Search. You can quickly perform a search query by voice and have the result read back to you.
- You can say “Google” to activate Voice Search from within Google Search.
- For many search queries performed through Voice Search, you can now hear a spoken answer.
- Voice Search recognition is now significantly faster so you can search quickly on the fly.
- Voice Search can now recognize queries even when you have a poor network connection.
Google Now brings you just the right information at just the right time. Cards appear throughout the day at the moment you need them, and appear as a notification when they’re important.
- Weather card: When you start your day, Google Now shows weather for your current location and work.
- Traffic card: Get traffic conditions and alternate routes before you leave home or work.
- Transit card: When you’re near a bus stop or a subway station, this card shows you what buses or trains are next.
- Places card: When you’re on the go, Google Now will suggest nearby bars, restaurants, and places of interest.
- Flight card: See flight delays and traffic conditions to the airport for flights you’ve recently searched for.
- Sports card: You can see live scores and upcoming games and also buy game tickets on the fly.
- Currency card: When you’re traveling, quickly check the local conversion rate.
- Translation card: When you’re in a foreign country, you can quickly translate words into the local language.
You can read the complete Android 4.1, Jelly Bean changelog out here.