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Android 4.1 Jelly Bean – what new features will we see?

Google has chosen some strange names for its mobile operating systems so far and the newest, Android 4.1, is no exception. Following on from ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ comes ‘Jelly Bean‘, which builds on ICS rather than being a revolutionary upgrade.

Yet with over four hundred million mobile devices using the Android OS around the world and a further million being activated every day, any new version release is big news. So what new features can we expect in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean?

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean – Project Butter

At the heart of the new version is ‘Project Butter’, aimed at improving the overall responsiveness for the user so that all the usual actions, such as scrolling and swiping, will be smoother and touchscreen input even quicker.

The Home Screen has become more of an immersive experience with resizable ‘intelligent’ widgets no longer fighting for space with icons, and it is easier to move or remove different items.

The new keyboard has also benefited greatly, with revamped auto-correct predictive typing and expanded language support including Hindi and Thai.

The keyboard can now use Braille adapters too. Perhaps most interestingly though, is that Jelly Bean comes equipped with fully functioning offline voice typing dictation, meaning that you no longer have to incur connection costs or be actively linked to a network to use this fantastic feature.

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean – Camera

For many of us, our handset has replaced the traditional digital camera, and each new wave of devices and operating systems seem to recognise this.

The new Jelly Bean camera app will take full advantage of the quality of camera and lens in your device, and also has an innovative way to swipe between camera and image library to make things more intuitive whilst taking photos.

Google Now

Google Now is another new feature, and is activated by swiping up on the homescreen to bring up a list of ‘cards’ which use data in your smartphone to work out information which might be helpful.

For instance, as it communicates with the other apps and information in your device, it may tell you that your usual commute is liable to delays and suggest a quicker route. It can also update live as you go, giving you real time information.

As Apple and Android compete in the smartphone and tablet market, each new OS release ups the bar and, while we wait for the fully fledged Android 5 to arrive, Jelly Bean is certainly enough to keep everything sweet.

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