Google's New Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Brings Performance Improvements and More


Editor in Chief
Staff member
Jan 5, 2011

One of the other big news stories of the day that comes along with the Nexus 7 is the tablet's OS itself, Android 4.1/Jelly Bean. Just as we predicted, this turned out to be an incremental upgrade to 4.1, rather than a full blown new version upgrade to 5.0. From what Google shared, there are quite a few new improvements and enhancements, so it isn't just a patch either. We took some pretty good notes on the changes in the new OS and of course we love to share, so here you go:

Project Butter -
  • Designed to greatly improve frame-rate and make the UI smoother and faster
  • Uses triple buffering and an enhanced vsync to 60 FPS
  • Improves everything, from scrolling and browsing to animations and more
  • Also creates a more reactive and improved touch response
  • Includes a power-saving measure that dials back a device’s CPU to a lower frequency and then ramps up when a user touches the screen
New Developer Tool Called SysTrace -
  • It's a benchmark-like tool designed to help developers scientifically pinpoint performance problems in database or code
  • Designed to help developers optimize their UI
Widgets Improvements -
  • Widgets align and resize automatically and make room for each other when moving them around
Improved Predictive Keyboard -
  • New Vibrant and dynamic predictions algorithm improves predictive typing
Google’s Speech Recognizer -
  • Google's Speech Recognizer now shrunk and integrated into Android directly
  • It now fits on your Android so you can do offline voice activations and offline voice typing without having to rely on the online servers
Updated Languages and Braille in the Accessibility Sections -
  • 18 new languages have been added
  • Support for Braille optimized search engine
Camera App Improvements -
  • Users more quickly swipe through pictures
  • Delete pics quickly and easily with a swipe gesture
  • Improved Undo to bring back deleted pics
  • Film strip view for recently taken pics to easily check them out
Android Beam Enhancements -
  • NFC-equipped devices can now tap each other to transmit pics or even video
  • You can pair two NFC enabled devices with a tap as well
  • Pair your smartphone with any other NFC equipped device with a simple tap
Improved Notifications -
  • More info available and displayed in your notifications
  • The notifications are now actionable allowing you to call or email others directly from the notification screen
  • Notifications are expandable and collapsable and customizable
  • You can check in or share pics or share music right from your notifications
  • Developers can create their own styles with up to three actions in a single notification
  • You can long-press notifications for additional options - display information about the sender, or "optionally disable further notifications from the app."
"Google Now" Improved Search -
  • Uses an enhanced Knowledge Graph to database the answers to questions
  • Has a new improved and faster UI - shows data cards based upon your questions
  • Includes a more natural voice search and uses search history and location history to more accurately predict what you want
  • Can help keep track of travel times to make meetings and appointments easier to schedule and keep
  • Can keep you updated with flight, congestion and other travel info
  • Can send out notifications to users telling you when to leave in order to make a meeting based on their location and traffic conditions
  • Seems like a more "useful" and less gimmicky Siri-like assistant
In mid-July Google will be pushing out Jelly Bean/Android 4.1 OTA to nearly all Nexus devices, like the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and Google Nexus S, etc. Additionally, the developer .sdk for Jelly Bean is already available for download right now at the Google developers site.

Source: Google I/O