Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Android 4.2 Jelly Bean is finally here!

After the highly-anticipated release of Android 4.1: Jelly Bean, many have speculated that the next generation of Android family is going to be called as Key Lime Pie. However, it looks like Google has decided to stick with the Jelly Bean name for the time being. So basically the new Android 4.2 is still Jelly Bean.

Anyway, here's what you can expect from Android 4.2: Jelly Bean.


All this while, a lot of smartphone users has either familiar with the typing apps such as Swype or Swiftkey. In this new Android 4.2, Google has implemented its own gesture-based typing system, which looks set to make typing on larger devices such as the Nexus 10 a little more comfortable.

Gesture-based typing system works in a way where words will be predicted as you type, so you able to select a word easily before being anywhere near touching all the letters to complete it. Google claims this feature will learn your typing habits.


Miracast is a fairly new wireless streaming platform, which will be integrated into Android 4.2. With Miracast, you are able to beam your smartphone or tablet's screen onto a smart TV over Wi-Fi. The function works identically to AirPlay on iOS devices and Apple TV, although the benefit is that it's a universal system, and so can be baked in to all kind of products by any company.


Integrated in the Camera app, this brand new mode will allow you to capture 360-degree panoramic photographs. You'll be able to view the images in a flattened form like any other panorama, but the magic happens when you open up the image as it should be viewed, where you are able to pan around your image just as you can on Google's Street View. Picture Spheres can be viewed on any Android 4.2 device, as well as Google's own social network, Google+. The website has a built-in Picture Sphere viewer, which means you'll be able to upload your photos for others to view.


Google understands that a tablet can be shared like a typical PC, and here, they finally added multiple user profiles to Android 4.2. This feature will enable you to have logins for your parents or your loved ones. Every profile can have settings, apps, email and more are kept separate from the others. Which means whatever mobile games you saved aren't touched by others and nobody can read your emails.


Google has added a "screensaver" mode to Android 4.2, which is called Daydream. It shows you useful or exciting things on the screen your smartphone or tablet is left idle or docked. Photo albums and Google Currents news are supported, along with other (yet-to-be-named) things as well. 

Android 4.2 will first made available on the Nexus 4 smartphone and Nexus 10 tablet on November 13th, with other devices following.

Here's the full list of changes and additions you can expect in Android 4.2 right below:
  • Photo Sphere panorama photos.
  • Gesture typing on the keyboard.
  • Lockscreen improvements, including widget support and the ability to swipe directly to camera.
  • Expandable notifications with that let you take actions directly.
  • Message zooming in Gmail with the ability to reflow text automatically.
  • Daydream screensavers.
  • Accessibility improvements: triple-tap to magnify the entire screen, pan and zoom with two fingers. Speech output and Gesture Mode navigation for blind users.
  • Miracast support for wireless display sharing.
  • Google Now can use Gmail as a data source for new cards, including improved flight tracker, hotel and restaurant reservations, movie and music recommendations. Photo Spot card recommends interesting places to take photos based on your location.

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