Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Walkthrough

I’ve had the pleasure to play with Android’s newest iteration Jelly Bean (4.1) for a few days now (thanks to XDA developers, of course) and figured I’d do our normal walkthrough when a new version of Android is released to showcase some of the new features of the OS compared to the last iteration (Android 4.0). In addition to some of the main features announced there’s also a few others that are worth mentioning. So here is the quick walkthrough of the new features in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Oh, and don’t worry, shouldn’t be as long as our 4.0 walkthrough.

If you find any other new features after playing with Jelly Bean, please post in the comments below and let others know.

Highlights

Performance

  • Firstly, the performance of the UI has been increased. Essentially everything is smoother and faster. Period.

UI Changes

  • Transitions between apps and especially when multitasking are sleeker.

Lock Screen

  • Added a “Liveness” check to the Face Unlock feature.
  • Face Unlock also has an X to close it if you don’t feel like waiting for it and want to go straight to your PIN or Pattern Unlock instead.

Notifications

  • Beginnings of text messages for each message directly in the notification shade.
  • Individual email subjects now show in notification shade.
  • Screenshots show a preview, as do any MMS or other images that you are notified of.
  • Date AND time are now shown at the top of the notification shade instead of just the date.

Homescreen

  • Resizing widgets now moves app shortcuts out of the way automatically.

Calendar

  • Holidays have been added.

Text Input / Messaging

  • Predictive text now learns as you type and guesses what the next word should be based on words you’ve used in the past.
  • Messaging now supports emoticons from iPhones. (Still not sure how you are supposed to send them back though).
  • Voice typing now works without an internet connection (saves the dictionary to the phone).

Camera

  • Camera has a new sliding transition when taking a picture.
  • Flicking from the side while in the camera app will take you to the camera roll.

Music

  • Music now drops in volume instead of silencing when you get a notification while it’s playing.

Play Store

  • Added Play Magazines, you can now purchase magazines from the Play Store.
  • Added TV to the Movies Play Store, you can now purchase TV episodes/seasons.

Google Search / Knowledge Graph

  • Google Search now has a voice that speaks back and mimics most of Siri’s features.

Google Now Cards

  • Cards appear as notifications whenever Google thinks they are pertinent to your current time and location (i.e. Weather card will show the weather at the beginning of the day, train notification just before you get to your normal train station, sports scores for your favorite sports teams, upcoming meeting, etc.)

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