Jelly Bean Has Returned For Hallween Treats!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Android 4.2 was set to be announced yesterday and boy was it ever. Along with the Nexus 4, Nexus 10 and a new model of the Nexus 7, Android 4.2 is sure to impress. It's no Key Lime Pie, but it's nothing to disappoint. With Photo Sphere, Gesture Typing and Improvements, you'll be just as happy as I am to receive that OTA update notification.

Although Android 4.2 was set to be announced live Yesterday, Hurricane Sandy said something along the lines of "Ain't gonna be no Android announcement in NYC!". Google cancels the event, but not the release. Android 4.2 Jelly Bean comes with a slew of new features including a few of our favourites.

Photo Sphere:

Remember Panorama photos? I don't, I'm already looking forward to Photosphere, a semi-realistic way to view scenery! Switch to said mode and you're greeted with an interface relative to what you see below:

Press the shutter button and rotate around you, below you, and even above you to capture the photo. Taken in globe-form, this Photo Sphere gives you a 360 view similar to what you would experience in Google Maps' Street View feature.

How it works: The camera takes multiple photos as you move the camera around you and Android's got an algorithm that stitches them all together to give one nice clean globe-like photo.

Gesture Typing:

With gesture typing, you'll be typing faster than ever. It might take a little while to get used to at first, but after that, you'll wonder why you did it any different. Slip and slide your finger from letter to letter as Android predicts your most likely word selection. Lift to enter your word. No need to worry about spaces, Android adds them for you. 

Although I love this feature, I can't help but think of Nuance's Swype. Quite a handy feature this is. Could Google face a lawsuit? Perhaps; a few years back, ForWord Inc. signed for a patent on the exact feature that Swype and Gesture Typing are. However, as per research, this company does not currently exist.

On a side note, Google has improved speech-to-text typing so Voice typing is more accurate in Android 4.2.

Multiple Users:

Only available to tablets (like the Nexus 10), Android 4.2 offers up the ability to have multiple users. This is perfect for families that like to customize every little tidbit but only have one tablet. No need to log in and out, switching users is like multitask switching to another app!

Each user gets their own widgets, lock screen, home screen, apps and even settings! I truly think this is a treat that will benefit all types of families :)

Instant Play:

With Android 4.2, users will be able to mirror their display, wirelessly, via their HDMI-enabled HDTV. Attach a wireless HDMI connector into the appropriate HDMI outlet on your TV and enjoy games, videos and even movies on the big screen!

Although Apple has done this before, see AirPlay, Android does it without having to use other Android technology. 


Who knows, maybe Robots DO dream of electric sheep, or at least with Jelly Bean's update you can make them do that. DayDream is a screen-saver for Android and allows you to have your device display your favourite photos, the latest headlines from Google Currents and much more(maybe even your Twitter feed, don't hold me on that one though).

Actionable Notifications:

When Jelly Bean first surfaced, it came with expandable notifications, allowing you to see relevant details about the notification like the content of a new Email or information on your latest mention. With the update, Jelly Bean now comes with Actionable notifications. Whether it's an Email that you send a response to or an event you need to email the guests about, the action is easy to reach and fluid to execute. 

Google Now:

Updates for Google Now are not exclusive to Android 4.2, however the updates are prevalent to the old version. They include information about your latest flight, tracking info on your latest package, reminders for hotel check-outs, restaurant reservations, appointment locations and event times. 

I love all this, however, most of the information that's displayed via Google Now will be pulled from your Gmail emails. I'm not so sure I want my phone digging through my email, however, I trust Google to be safe about this information. 

I will surely be updating to Android 4.2 and I think all these updates are surely needed. I love what Google has done in the past few months with Jelly Bean. Hopefully, you'll be updating too! What are your opinions 
on the latest iterations? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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Disclaimer: Android 4.2 is not available to install at the moment. We'll keep you updated on what's going on as soon as we find out more!

Image Credit: Google

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