Google Announces Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

As expected, Google has announced Android 4.1 Jelly Bean as the successor to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Today at Google I/O 2012, the company showed off Android 4.1 Jelly Bean which will be an incremental upgrade over Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Google’s now previous generation mobile software.

One of the big focuses of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is to make the user interface both fast and smooth. There is supposedly going to be a much higher frame rate with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and triple buffering will make the whole experience a much smoother one. Google is calling these improvements Project Butter because of how smooth the experience is.

Android 4.1 includes auto-resizing of widgets, a predictive keyboard that will allow for easier typing, and it will also feature offline Voice Typing which is a pretty big feature for those that use their Voice to type on their phone or tablet.

Google Announces Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Users will be able to type using their voice, even if the phone doesn’t have a Wi-Fi connection or if it’s in Airplane Mode.

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean will also bring enhancements to the camera. While Android Ice Cream Sandwich made it fast to take a photo, Android 4.1 will allow users to view a photo extremely fast.

A film strip view will give users the ability to easily view photos and share or delete them.

Google has also overhauled Notifications in Android 4.1. In Jelly Bean, users will have access to actionable Notifications that can expand and collapse. They’re also customizable.

The company has also added a more powerful search tool that will use Knowledge Graph for search results. It will pull up results in a slick new user interface. The search also includes an enhanced Voice Search which is more powerful and faster as well.

This is clearly Google’s answer to Siri which Apple beefed up in iOS 6.

One of the biggest features included in Android 4.1 is Google Now which is Android’s new search experience.

Google will now learn from user habits for things like Traffic and Public Transit and will actually reroute users if traffic is found on a typically taken route. It will also show users on a flight time if it has previously been searched for.

It will also keep Android users up to date on their favorite sports teams.

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean will be a free update and the SDK is available to developers today. It will roll out to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Motorola Xoom starting sometime in July.