Google previewed Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) at its 2012 keynote in San Francisco, California on Wednesday. Here's some of the key improvements and upgrades announced at the event.
According to Google, Android 4.1 will feature faster performance times, improved scrolling, and smoother page transitions by harnessing the power of the bigger and badder quad-core processors being used in newer devices. Android 4.1 will also arrange onscreen icons and resize any widgets you decide to place on your home screen.
Filmstrip improves on Ice Cream Sandwich's camera tweaks by allowing you to easily crop photos for sharing, and the ability to delete images by simply swiping them away. Google also claims it will allow for faster photo navigation.
Android 4.1 also brings improvements to the keyboard by making it smarter and more predictive. Google says they improved the internal dictionary to provide better word completion.
Google Now uses search history and other data it learns over time to make suggestions based on your daily routine. For example, it can suggest a better route for you to take to work, or places to eat and what items you will like on the menu.
Voice typing and Voice Search are Google's answer to Apple's Siri voice assistant. The voice dictation system can track full sentences and punctuation in seconds. While Apple’s voice recognition system requires that you be connected to Wi-Fi or 3G to work, Google's voice dictation can be used without a data connection. Voice typing only supports U.S. English right now, but there are plans to add more languages in future updates.
Voice search delivers answers to your questions by pulling up Wikipedia entries and Google Image Search results.
Android 4.1, Jelly Bean will be making its way to devices like the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S and Motorola Xoom as an OTA update in mid-July. The newly announced Google Nexus 7 will be the first tablet to ship with the new OS.