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Android, an open-source Operating System, is the biggest thing ever happened to Mobility Platform Market since its launch. Over the last few of days, rumor mills about Google’s unannounced Operating System, Android 4.2 Key Lime Pie are spinning furiously. According to the few reports, we have deduced that Android 4.2 will just be an iterative update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, just like Android Jelly Bean update over powerful Ice Cream Sandwich a.k.a Android 4.0, in terms of speed and smoothness.
Google recently released an incremental version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich – Android 4.1, also known as Jelly Bean. Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is launched with new features coupled with lots of exciting up-gradations, which makes us to compare the two. So what exactly is the difference between the two. To check, we’ve formulated this post to compare the features of both Android Operating Systems, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
Android 4.1 is faster, smoother and looks nicer than any earlier Android releases. However, you won’t find too many visual differences on the home-screen of Jelly Bean as Google has kept the basic look and feel of ICS. But there are lots of significant fine tunes and refinements. Before we start, there is an important thing we got to discuss here – Project Butter.
Why Project Butter
Prior to Jelly Bean, Android lacks smoothness and responsiveness when compared with iPhone and high-end Windows Phone to some extent. Project Butter is the Google’s effort to get rid of such performance issues and make Jelly Bean fast, fluid, and smooth. Jelly Bean’s “Project Butter” helps in improving graphics rendering at 60 frames per second, for which it extends vsync timing across all drawing and animation within the Android Framework. Google says, “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.” Jelly Bean also adds triple buffering in the graphics pipeline, with which it reduces touch latency. Interesting fact is that it predicts your next touch at the time of the screen refresh, which ensures more reactive and uniform touch response and while, you touch after periods of inactivity, it boosts CPU input to max at the next touch event to ensure minimal or no latency.
Google Now and Voice Search
Google Now is one of the highlights of Jelly Bean. Google Now can be quickly accessed by swiping up from the system bar. Google Now is more of a Search Application in Jelly Bean with a new look-and-feel, and faster and improved natural voice search engine. It produces more relevant and richer search results based on the Knowledge Graph. In Contrast, Voice Search also works locally without any data connection and while, no internet connection is there (as in flight mode), voice and word processing is done by processor itself. Additionally, Google Now allows to choose and customize beautiful cards which appears throughout the day and as a notification when they’re important. As of now, the App only supports one language, that’s US English, but it would support as many as 18 languages in future, according to Google’s announcement.
Google has done major improvements to Customizable home-screens in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. While with Android 4.0 ICS, you have to struggle with your widgets to fit in the screen, but with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, widgets are easier to move and re-size; when you place a widget on the screen, home-screen automatically adopts the placement and re-sizing of the widget according to your finger’s movements. And widgets can be removed very easily by switching to edit mode and swiping up and off the home-screen.
The expandable notification has got a major update – larger applications display, richer user notifications and new content support. As they are expandable, you can dive more into the notification just with a pinch or swipe. So, you can have a brief view about your notification, without having to dealt with the original App. You can organize the way your notifications appear using 3 templated notification styles – BigTextStyle, BigInboxStyle and BigPictureStyle, while developers have the option to build custom notification styles anytime.
Smarter Predictive Keyboard and Offline Text-To-Speech
Google has pitched new prediction Algorithms into Jelly Bean and the result is more predictive keyboard. Jelly Bean’s keyboard looks pretty similar to Ice Cream Sandwich’s, but the dictionaries are now more accurate and more relevant. The keyboard’s internal model learns over the time and suggests words before you type them using bigram prediction and correction. The platform has an improved offline text-to-speech feature, making voice typing on Android even more better, without any data connection. The stock Keyboard is available in more than 20 languages with a dedicated selection key that helps in switching the languages quickly.
Better Offline Maps
With Offline Maps, you can now save maps to the device storage and access them when you don’t have data connection. You need to select a square area in the map that you want to cache in the memory and you can access that in the area with poor signal strength. However, there is a limitation for caching the maps, according to Engadget, “In our testing, we found it possible to download around 80MB of maps before running into a “This section is too large to download” error, which makes itself known even when connected to WiFi.”
New Connectivity Options
Apart from standard Connectivity options we had in ICS, Jelly Bean comes with an updated version of Android Beam which now allows you to pair a phone with an NFC-enabled Bluetooth device, instead of tapping two phones together. In addition to sharing contacts, web pages, YouTube videos, directions, and apps, the new version supports images, videos, or other multimedia stuffs by leveraging Bluetooth for the data transfer.
Wrapping up, Jelly Bean is the smoother and faster version of ICS or any other Android yet and it surely comes as a big, big competitor to iPhone and Windows devices. Jelly Bean comes with plenty of new features that makes it a clear winner over Ice Cream Sandwich. The only dilemma is the availability of Jelly Bean update on majority of Android devices in the crowd. That’s that, what’s your view? Which feature you liked the most?