Over the years, Android has become one of the most widely acclaimed mobile operating systems. But most Android users have issues with its deficiencies. It has developed an impression of being slow, leggy, non-intuitive, and not as good as the competitors (that’s one of the major reasons I’ve always avoided getting an Android phone – not to mention I’m an iOS fan). But that’s not going to be the case anymore. Back in June at the Google I/O 2012, Google introduced Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean). While Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) significantly improved the User Interface, Jelly Bean is more inclined towards improving the user experience. Let’s take a look at the major improvements and new features in Jelly Bean.
Project Butter: Fluidity and Speed
The reason people have been raving about Jelly bean is that It has succeeded in breathing new life into Android technology. Project Butter, as Google calls it, is a revamped engine that drives Jelly Bean, and makes it work ‘Buttery Smooth’. If you’re an Android user, you might have noticed how it can lag, even if a little, especially if you compare it with i0S. Google has (rather magically) eliminated the sluggishness that used to be a part of Android, thanks to Project Butter.
Google Now is an intelligent system integrated into Jelly Bean; and its core purpose is to give you the information that you want. For instance, you can open Google Now, and it will tell you the weather of the location where you currently are. Moreover, if you’re going somewhere, it will give you the directions, and the estimated time left to reach your destination. In short, it intelligently learns about the activities that you perform using your phone, and provides the most relevant information.
The drop-down notification bar now shows you more than just notifications. You can use two fingers to expand the contents of a notification which means there’s no need to go to the corresponding app to view it. For instance, you can read a mail from within the notification drawer, and swipe it away. No need to go to your inbox.
Better Voice Controls
Voice search and dictation is quite improved in Jelly Bean. 4 Tap the microphone on the home screen to bring up Google voice search; it also speaks back to you in certain cases (Sin, are you there?). It understands quite well, and can also answer natural questions like “do I need an umbrella today?” Obviously, it will tell you what the weather is going to be like. Voice dictation also works quite well. As a matter of fact, now it works offline too. So if you don’t have an internet connection and don’t feel like typing a text message, just speak it out. Your smart phone will do the rest! So these were some of the noteworthy changes in the latest iteration of Android, and it’s worth a try if you have a compatible device. It’s undoubtedly the best version of Android so far. And it’s due to Jelly Bean that I’m going to get an Android phone pretty soon.