Google has announced the roll out of the next iteration of its Android
operating system, dubbed as version 4.3, with the launch of its new
Nexus 7 tablet. The new version will be called 'Jelly Bean' and would
actually be the third version to carry the same tag after Android 4.1
and Android 4.2. The latest update comes about nine months after Google
introduced Android 4.2.
(Also see: Android 4.3 rolling out to Google's Nexus devices: How to get it now)
However, as suggested by previous leaks, the
new Android version doesn't bring a big makeover and comes with a few
major features. The new OS is being rolled out first to Google's
Nexus range of devices including the original Nexus 7, Nexus 4, Nexus 10
tablet and will ship with the new Nexus 7. We take a look at its new
1. Restricted profiles
Google added multi-user
profiles in the last iteration of Android and it seems the search engine
giant wants to enhance that experience through restricted profiles.
With the new feature, users can restrict app usage and content
consumption on an Android device. So you'll be able to set profiles for
each user of the device in case of multiple users. For instance, parents
can control what apps or games their kids have access to on their
tablets. However, it's worth pointing out that the new restricted
feature is only available on Android tablets.
2. Bluetooth Smart Ready
seems to be making way for wearable technology by introducing the
Bluetooth Smart Ready feature in Android 4.3. Devices running Android
4.3 will now support low-energy Bluetooth Smart accessories like heart
rate monitors, pedometers, thermometers and many others. Users can now
sync the low energy devices without these affecting the battery usage of
the device, as per Google. This feature was missing on Google's mobile
operating system, till now. This would also make way for Android
friendly wearable tech.
3. Dial-pad Autocomplete
now adds the autocomplete feature in the dial-pad suggesting contact
names or phone numbers when users start keying-in something. This is not
a new feature as OEMs like Samsung and HTC had already introduced this
feature on to their UI skins running on top of Android, but devices
running stock Android were missing it. Users can initiate the feature by
going to the app settings and enabling 'Dial Pad autocomplete'
Notification bar has been a popular feature on Android and with Android
4.3, you can control and interact with the status bar notifications.
This would allow users to control how notifications are pushed to the
primary and connected devices(smart watches, fitness bands). Users will
also be able to see all the notifications at one place.
5. OpenGL ES 3.0
you are a gaming junkie, the new update will definitely excite you.
This feature would let Android devices render high quality graphics in
games and other apps. Google claims that Android 4.3 supports the new
version of the industry standard for high performance graphics. Google
also gave a demo of a game showing detailed textures, lens flare, and
reflections. This was missing in Android 4.2.
6. Simplified Setup Wizard
Jelly Bean now supports corrections to user inputs while signing-in to
the device, the first time. This is due to more streamlined user
agreements. Now a user can change the information that was keyed-in
during the first boot of the device. Google has also introduced faster
user switching from the lock screen in case of multiple users.
7. Bluetooth AVRCP
devices running Android 4.3 Jelly Bean can sync with Bluetooth enabled
car stereos and offer additional functionality. The Bluetooth AVRCP 1.3
version allows stereos to display metadata such as song names when music
is being streamed from an Android 4.3 device.
8. Location accuracy features via Wi-Fi scan only mode
Google has now increased the location accuracy of Android devices by allowing location scanning via Wi-Fi.
It now allows apps to get location data through Wi-Fi even when Wi-Fi is set to off and not being used for data access.
9. Keyboard & input
4.3 comes with an upgraded algorithm for tap-typing recognition that
makes text input easier while chatting via messages or even while
composing emails. It also brings a new emoji keyboard, which we've
previously seen in iOS. The update also adds lower latency input for
gamepad buttons and joysticks.
10.Hindi support lands on Android 4.3
has introduced native local language support to its operating system
for Afrikaans, Amharic, Hindi, Swahili and Zulu. Hindi has finally
reached the stock Android operating platform.
With the update,
Google has also added support for Hebrew and Arabic (right-to-left) in
the home screen, Settings, Phone, People, and Keep apps.
Bonus - New Camera UI
4.3 also offers a new updated Camera app that features a new arch based
menu which makes it easier to control and switch camera settings.