Android 4.1 Jelly Bean: A feature roundup

As we get ready for the second day of Google I/O developers conference, it is time to look back at all the awesome products that the search giant announced at the day 1 keynote.

The most important announcement of the day was Jelly Bean, the Ice Cream Sandwich successor and a minor upgrade over it. Dubbed as Android 4.1, it brings the much need user interface improvements, smart updates and likeable additions to notifications, camera app, home-screen and Android Beam.

We have compiled a list of all the major features that have been updated or are making their debut in Jelly Bean. Do not forget to list down your favorites in the comments section.

Google Now: One of interesting features to debut yesterday was Google Now; you can now type your query or simply ask Google a question. Google will speak back to you, delivering a precise answer, powered by the Knowledge Graph, if it knows one, in addition to a list of search results.

It tells you today’s weather before you start your day, how much traffic to expect before you leave for work or your favourite team’s score as they’re playing. Google Now will also get smarter as you use it more.

Camera app improvements: The stock Android camera app now allows users to quickly access their images directly from the camera, and when viewing images it’s now possible to simply swipe unwanted images away. You will also be able to undo the deletion and bring an image back.

Keyboard enhancements and offline voice typing:  Google has also revealed a few enhancements for keyboard in Jelly Bean. Company has made dictionary and keyboard refinements in the Android version, including predictive keyboard that the company says will know which words you’d like to enter next before you type them.

In addition, voice dictation has also gone offline with Android 4.1. No need to a data connection anymore as Google has been able to fit the whole voice recognition engine in the Android by shrinking it significantly.

Addition of Hindi as an input language: Jelly Bean now offers better support for Hindi as the input language. So, check out on your next device running Android 4.1 and it will have a Hindi keyboard. Google says that 18 more languages are on their way.

Better sharing via Android Beam: In Android 4.1, Android Beam makes it easier to share images, videos, or other payloads by leveraging Bluetooth for the data transfer.

When the user triggers a transfer, Android Beam hands over from NFC to Bluetooth, making it really easy to manage the transfer of a file from one device to another.

Project Butter: Android 4.1 is optimized to deliver Android’s best performance and lowest touch latency, in an effortless, intuitive UI. To ensure a consistent framerate, Android 4.1 extends vsync timing across all drawing and animation done by the Android framework. Everything runs in lockstep against a 16 millisecond vsync heartbeat — application rendering, touch events, screen composition, and display refresh — so frames don’t get ahead or behind. Android 4.1 also adds triple buffering in the graphics pipeline, for more consistent rendering that makes everything feel smoother, from scrolling to paging and animations.

Android 4.1 reduces touch latency not only by synchronizing touch to vsync timing, but also by actually anticipating where your finger will be at the time of the screen refresh. This results in a more reactive and uniform touch response.

Expandable notifications: Android 4.1 brings a major update to the Android notifications framework. Apps can now display larger, richer notifications to users that can be expanded and collapsed with a pinch. Users can now take actions directly from the notification shade, and notifications support new types of content, including photos.

Smart App updates: For Android 2.3, Gingerbread devices and up, when there is a new version of an app in Google Play, only the parts of the app that changed are downloaded to users’ devices. On average, a smart app update is a third the size of a full apk update.


  1. I think most 4.0 will get to 4.1, unless there are hardware or architecture related restrictions. Google did not specify this, though, which is why it is still a mystery. In fact, people are already criticising Google saying that even ICS is not on 10% of Androids yet and they released a new version.


  2. 18 more languages are great. But where can I read exactly what this 18 more languages are? Every news sites reports Hindi, Thai, Hebrew and Arabic, but does not mention what the languages are. Any links ?


  3. Strange thing is that, if the developer community like xda, Cyanogen etc can build a custom ROM based on the latest Android version for oodles of devices, why can’t a full fledged manufacturer do it…..
    I am sure it will take around 6 months for SGS III to get the JB update….and so are the other flagship devices from HTC, LG, Sony etc…


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