7 Reasons You’ll Love the Android 4.3 Update

The Android 4.3 update is an incremental upgrade for Android that will hold users over until the Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie update expected later this year, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any exciting new features in the Android 4.3 update.

Android 4.3 is already on the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7, including the older Nexus 7, and should soon be arriving on the Galaxy Nexus. It will take longer for an HTC One Android 4.3 update with Sense 5.0 and the Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 4.3 update, but the Google Play Edition devices should see updates very soon.

The Android 4.3 update is full of great features you might have missed.

The Android 4.3 update is full of great features you might have missed.

Samsung is reportedly skipping the Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3 Android 4.2 update to deliver an Android 4.3 update that includes the new features. If that’s the case, users will get a lot of great new Android features at once.

We’ve shared which phones we think will get the Android 4.3 update next, which should help answer the continual question of,  “When will my phone get the Android 4.3 update?”

New Android 4.3 Features Video

Check out the four-minute Android 4.3 video below to see the new Android 4.3 features that should arrive as an update to Nexus and regular Android devices in the coming weeks and months.

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Restricted Profiles

The Android 4.3 update adds Restricted Profiles to tablets, adding to the multiple profiles feature Google introduced with Android 4.2. The new feature lets users create a kids profile or a limited use profile that only has access to certain apps and features.

Restrict user profiles in Android 4.3.

Restrict user profiles in Android 4.3.

This allows parents to restrict the use of a device’s camera, apps in general and in app purchases. Unfortunately to completely take advantage of this developers will need to support the added profiles which are only available on tablets.

Bluetooth LE

Android 4.3 supports Bluetooth LE and Bluetooth Smart out of the box which paves the way for better Android fitness accessories and wearables.

Bluetooth LE support in Android 4.3 should pave the way for more wearables and fitness accessories.

Bluetooth LE support in Android 4.3 should pave the way for more wearables and fitness accessories.

There is still no Nike FuelBand Android app, but this new feature which will add functionality to some devices and make it easier to support on new devices could help app-enabled accessories grow as fast on Android as they have on the iPhone.

1080P HD Video & Virtual Surround

The Android 4.3 update adds virtual surround sound to supported devices and makes it possible to stream movies in 1080P thanks to new DRM.

Look for better movies and sound on Android 4.3

Look for better movies and sound on Android 4.3

Surround sound comes from Fraunhofer Cingo mobile audio technology and sounds good on the Nexus 7 (2013). This reportedly works on other Nexus devices, but Google doesn’t name them.

Thanks to a new DRM, Netflix can stream in 1080P, delivering better looking video to the user. With the DRM in place hopefully we will see other services on board soon.

Dial Pad Auto Complete

Android devices will now support autocomplete from the dial pad. This means you can type a name or number and after a few digits it should show the number on screen.

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This will show three contacts on screen at once and users can tap on them to dial without finishing the number. It’s a handy feature that many Android devices with skins overtop already offer.

Better Location Through WiFi

With Android 4.3, phones and tablets can use WiFi scanning to better determine your location even if WiFi is off. WiFi is often more accurate than GPS in densely populated areas, which makes this a handy feature.

Simply go to WiFi-> Settings -> Advanced -> Scanning always available -> checked.

WiFi can help with location information even when it is off on Android 4.3.

WiFi can help with location information even when it is off on Android 4.3.

Doing this will turn the feature on and improve your device’s ability to figure out where you are for directions and check-ins even when you have WiFi turned off to save battery life.

Better Gaming and Graphics

Android 4.3 bundles in the new Google Games app which offers leaderboards and matchmaking, and it includes Open GL ES 3.0 support which should result in better looking games.

Expect better looking games with Android 4.3 on the market.

Expect better looking games with Android 4.3 on the market.

Open GL ES 3.0 is the latest version of the industry standard for high-performance graphics, which may also help games come to Android faster.

New Camera App and Volume Key Support

The Android 4.3 update delivers a new camera app with faster access to the settings thanks to the ability to tap and hold anywhere on screen. This is a nice addition, but one not every users will see as Samsung, HTC and many others will likely continue to use their own camera apps.

Android 4.3 adds a new camera app and the ability to take photos with a volume key.

Android 4.3 adds a new camera app and the ability to take photos with a volume key.

Users can also use the volume keys to take photos. This is new as a stock Android 4.3 feature, but some users may already have it on skinned devices.

Comments

  1. JeffGr says

    Another improvement in this release that is a fairly big deal to those that need it is Bluetooth AVRCP 1.3 support. This adds the ability to transmit metadata as part of the Bluetooth audio protocol, which provides the ability for car stereos (or other Bluetooth devices) to display track titles, artists, etc. I also noticed that my Kenwood car stereo’s Pandora integration (allowing full control of Pandora from the car stereo) is now enabled since the 4.3 upgrade as well.

  2. Cid says

    I got the OTA update a couple of days ago on my Galaxy Nexus. My first impressions are that you should not get it. I have noticed a siginificant battery drain when going from 4.2.X to 4.3. I use my phone minimally, and make sure to close off apps when I’m done with it. I could get almost 2 days of usage without plugging in the phone. With 4.3, I have to plug my phone in after a half day of use! looking at the battery usage doesn’t reveal what the culprit is. So if you have the Galaxy Nexus, I’d be wary of updating to this Version of Android.

  3. amir newson says

    When can I expect to see the 4.3 update on my galaxy note 2. I feel like us with the note 2 have been left out and forgotten about please respond to this request of questions.

  4. steve says

    Is there any update on the “low volume” issue for 4.3 Samsung Galaxy Nexus (I9250)? I mean even when the volume is turned all the way up, you cannot hear text message alerts if the phone is in your pocket or another room…..it is a common issue and I have not seen any fix for it yet. Google store volume enhancers don’t appear to work with 4.3. Any feedback is appreciated!

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