July 26, 2014

Android Jellybean 4.1 Announced, coming in July: Here's what comes with it

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Finally, Google has announced Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (That’s two words, not one!) at Google I/O, with a release in July. So now, you’re thinking, what comes with it? Lets take a look:

Expanded Notifications

Notifications in the pull-down menu will now give out more information, and will be fully expandable, meaning you can do actions straight from the notifications menu. Miss a call? Call them back OR message them from the pull-down. See the body of an email. Reply to all attendees of a calendar invite. Like and reply to social media. Sounds great!

Google Now

Google Now is really cool.Google now is an intuitive feature that strives to make your whole life easier. Have a calendar notification with a location attached? Google Now will figure out your usual travel method to the location, map it out using that travel method, calculate the time needed to get there, and set a reminder for you to leave at that time. Public transit? No problem, it’ll even calculate stops. It will also show you places of interest on your route, and keep you updated on sports scores, flights, currency rates, etc., all while keeping you organized.

Project Butter

We’ve all experienced some lag with our Android devices. Now, Google is looking to fix that with “Project Butter”. Visualizations of corn-on-the-cob aside, this is exciting. While ICS always aspired to get the lag out of Android, it never quite seemed to “get there”. While ICS always relied mostly on UI improvements, Jelly Bean actually works under the hood to bring more optimization. For example: when you touch the screen, the CPU will automatically ramp up so it responds better. And how about 60FPS? Sounds good on this end.

Offline Voice Actions

Who hasn’t tried to use Google Voice Actions in a place where data is, well, not so great? It’s a frustrating experience to say the least. With Google Voice Actions coming offline from the cloud, you can use it without ever having a data connection.

Knowledge Graph

Knowledge Graph aims to change the way you search (again). If your search is easily recognized by Google, your device will display a results card, with all the pertinent information. Weather searches will display all types of weather info relative to you, rather than just search results. Contacts will come up with a contact card. You can also swipe the card away to view standardized results.

Camera Gestures

More gestures are also coming, with pinch to zoom, left swipe for camera roll, pinch in to expand gallery, and more.

Auto-Resizing Home Screen Widgets

Who hasn’t wanted this?? Gone are the days of “no more room on the screen” notifications (unless your screen is actually full), and icons will auto-rearrange around it.

So, what do you, the reader, think? Let us know in the comments!