The latest version of Android, called Jelly Bean is the best version to date, and even users who own a Galaxy Note or a Droid RAZR MAXX with a skin on top will love the new features found in Android 4.1
Google announced Jelly Bean in July, and it is available on the Nexus 7 and a handful of phones. The Nexus phones are first in line, though Verizon Galaxy Nexus users are still waiting for the Jelly Bean update.
In the video below I show off my favorite Jelly Bean features on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus. Users who can’t wait for Verizon can install Jelly Bean on the Verizon Nexus today.
7 Reasons You’ll Love Jelly Bean
Google Now is a great new feature that brings many of the actions iPhone users rely on Siri to Android phones. Google Now is smarter than Siri in a few ways, including it’s ability to bring in your Google Search history to help inform you of events, activities and more.
Google Now also allows users to search for information with their voice. Google Now was just updated to add sports scores, emergency alerts and more, showing that Google will add features to Google Now as the service makes its way to more devices.
Google Now users cards to constantly show users information without being intrusive, and it allows users to customize alerts and other settings.
The new notification system is by far one of my favorite Jelly Bean features. In Android 4.1 Google adds more information and actions to notifications.
With expanded notifications, I can see the first several lines of an email, or I can text or call back a missed call right from the notification.
Apps that take advantage of expanded notification can show more information. So far this is mostly limited to Google apps like Gmail and the phone app, but I’m hopeful we’ll see third-party apps add support soon.
Knowledge Graph offers smarter searching and faster access to information for people, places and things. The early implementation leaves some places out and some search results don’t always return Knowledge Graph results.
The Knowledge Graph shows up in the latest Nexus 7 advertisement when it answers how far the moon is from earth, helping the small astronaut plan her trip.
Offline Voice Dictation
Dictation is quickly becoming a great way to quickly enter text into our phones, and with Jelly Bean, the phone doesn’t need an Internet connection to make this happen.
This is handy even when you have an internet connection, as it means you won’t need to wait while on a slow connection. The Google voice dictation also shows words as they are spoken, instead of after I finish talking.
This isn’t perfect, but it’s a nice way to quickly enter text into any text field on Android 4.1.
The new camera app in Jelly Bean offers gestures to quickly navigate and manage photos. Swipe from right to left in the camera app to see photos, and swipe back to start taking pictures.
A pinch offers access to a camera roll to quickly flip through photos. A swipe down will remove the photo from the camera roll. Thankfully users have the option of undoing the action so it’s hard to accidentally delete a photo.
If you’ve ever been frustrated by the inability to place a widget because an app shortcut is in the way, Jelly Bean offers an easy fix. In Android 4.1, widgets will push the icons out of the way, making it easier to place a widget on the screen without starting over.
While it’s hard to see in the video above, Jelly Bean brings performance enhancements as well. Project Butter is what Google calls the faster performance found in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Check out the side by side comparison in the video below to see exactly how much faster Jelly Bean is than Ice Cream Sandwich.
What’s your favorite Jelly Bean feature?