A Review Of The Preview Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Build

Last week was an eventful one for all Android fans out there. Not only did Google unveil the much-rumored Nexus 7 tablet, it also released the “world’s first social media player” – the Nexus Q – and a new version of Android – Jelly Bean.

Read: A Visual Tour Of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Jelly Bean, unlike Ice Cream Sandwich, is not a big update. It improves the under-pinning’s of Ice Cream Sandwich to make the UI more “butter”-y smooth, along with introducing some minor UI changes and most importantly the next form of Search, Google Now.

I have been using the preview build of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on my Galaxy Nexus for a little more than 72 hours now (Okay, probably more than that!), and here is what I think about it.

Project Butter

Apart from Google Now, Project Butter is definitely the highlight of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. So does it work? It definitely does.

I have always used a custom ROM on my Galaxy Nexus along with a tweaked performance-optimized kernel for that smooth, lag-free experience. Jelly Bean however takes smoothness to a different level all-together. Over the last four-five days, I have not encountered a single slow-down or lag, even after I loaded my Galaxy Nexus with more than 150+ apps.

All the usual places in Ice Cream Sandwich where there was always a slight lag including the Recent app menu, opening the call log, and swiping through the Widgets tab in the launcher have completely vanished in Jelly Bean. The Recents app menu, especially, opens up way faster than before and feels much more responsive. Even the stock launcher is now as fast, if not faster, as popular third party launchers like Apex or Nova.

Considering this is just the preview build of Jelly Bean, things are definitely going to get better in the final build. The argument that Android is not as smooth as iOS and Windows Phone and can never be so, is dead now. Android is now as smooth as iOS and Windows Phone in every aspect.

Oh! And the new Swiftkey like keyboard? It’s good but still no match for Swiftkey’s brilliant prediction system.

Updated Camera app and Notification Bar

If the new Camera app in Ice Cream Sandwich was a huge step-up compared to the Gingerbread one, the updated app in Jelly Bean absolutely nails the experience.

In Ice Cream Sandwich, browsing the pics you have already clicked from your phone using the Camera app was clunky and slow. The updated app fixes that issue and makes browsing through the pictures a breeze.

The new notification bar is definitely going to be appreciated by a lot of Android users. Google has once again proved that Android will always stay ahead of iOS and WP when it comes to the notification system of its mobile OS.

Up until now, I have not come across any third party app that takes advantage of the new notification bar, which is pretty much obvious. The ability to read a full SMS or see the header(s) of multiple emails right from the notification bar is really useful. As third party apps start taking advantage of this new feature, things are only going to get better.

Google Now

I am not going to talk much about Google Now here because it really has not worked for me. Over the last few days, I have seen a lot of people telling how useful Google Now is, and how it automatically tells them the shortest route from their Home to Office or vice-versa.

I’m not sure what’s wrong but Google Now has not worked for me. It might be because it does not have much location data about me, since I have always had Google Latitude turned off and probably because I spend all my day in front of a computer, and the night sleeping. I am going to give Google Now at least a week from today so that it can collect relevant information about me, before calling it a success or failure.

Apart from the above said features, Jelly Bean packs in quite a lot of minor changes and UI updates that will be definitely appreciated by Android users. Google has made sure that with Jelly Bean, the growth of Android as a platform does not slow down. Now, if only the big-G could do something about the poor update schedule of non-Nexus Android devices.

Adobe To Unpublish Flash Player For Android From Play Store On August 15th

Last year, Adobe announced that it will be killing Flash for Android. The company updated Flash player to add support for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for the last time, but made it clear that going forward it will only be updating the plug-in to add some major security patches. Now that Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is out, and even though Flash works without any issues and modifications to the plug-in, Adobe has decided to unpublish the plug-in from the Google Play store.

The plug-in will be unpublished on August 15th, and after that Android devices that ship with Flash player pre-installed will be the only ones to get any future updates. Adobe also recommends all current and future Android 4.1 Jelly Bean users to uninstall the Flash plugin from their devices, since the company has not tested and certified Flash for the latest version of Android.

This move from Adobe definitely marks the end of Flash on mobile devices. If you are a web developer, make sure that all the video content on your site is now delivered using HTML5 and not Flash.

Via – Adobe Blog

A Visual Tour Of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

It’s been just a few hours since Google unveiled Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and rolled out the preview build OTA update to the takju variant of the Galaxy Nexus. These few hours were more than enough for developers to modify the OTA update to work on the other different variants of the Galaxy Nexus. If you have not already, you can manually install the preview build of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on your Galaxy Nexus right away!

I installed the preview build of Jelly Bean on my Galaxy Nexus and have been playing around with it for nearly an hour now. The Project Butter effect is totally visible here, with animations and the whole UI being super-fast and smooth like a butter. Android as a OS, and soon Android apps, will have the same level of smoothness that we have come to expect on iOS and Windows Phone devices.

The new camera app is seriously very good. Definitely makes browsing through pictures a breeze. The Developer sub-menu under Settings has also got a pretty major re-organisation with quite a few new options added under it.

Below is  a gallery that will take you through a visual treat of all the changes made by Google in Jelly Bean -:

Unlocked Samsung Galaxy Nexus Price Drops To $349.99

Earlier today, Google unveiled the Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) OS along with the Nexus 7 and Nexus Q at the Google I/O 2012 event in San Francisco. Apart from unveiling these amazing products and services, Google has also reduced the price of its popular smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. It is the third Nexus branded phone from Google and the second Nexus phone manufactured by Samsung. The Galaxy Nexus was the first smartphone to ship with the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Operating System. Now, it will be the first smartphone to get the latest Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update in mid-July.

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus features a 4.65 inch Super AMOLED display, sporting a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, 1.2 GHz dual-core application processor, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Operating System (upgradable to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean), 5 megapixel camera with zero-shutter lag, auto-focus and LED flash, full HD (1080p) video recording and playback and more.

Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, Wi-Fi 801.11 b/g/n, 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera for video calls, Google Play Store, HTML5 Web browser, 4G LTE connectivity, Mobile Hotspot capability, Bluetooth 3.0, 1 GB RAM, 32 GB on-board memory, Face Unlock, NFC (Near Field Communication) and a 1850 mAh battery.

Last year, Samsung Galaxy Nexus was launched with a price-tag of $649. However, the price was later reduced to $400. Now, Google went ahead and further reduced the price of this device to just $349.99 without any service agreements. Since, this device will get the Jelly Bean update in mid-July, this is a great deal for the those who are planning to get a new smartphone in the coming days. To get this device, head over to this page.

Google Nexus 7 Tablet Announced; Coming Next Month For $199

As expected, Google finally unveiled its first tablet device, the Nexus 7 at the Google’s I/O event in San Francisco. As the name suggest, this tablet comes with a 7 inch display. The Nexus 7 is manufactured by Asus and it runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the latest version of Android Operating System. It is the first device that ships with Chrome as the standard browser. This budget tablet comes with an incredible specs. Check out the complete features after the break.

Nexus 7 features a 7 inch HD display, sporting a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, Corning Gorilla Glass 2, Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) OS, 1.2 megapixel camera for video calls, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, MicroUSB and much more. This device is powered by a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, 12-core GPU and 1GB RAM. Apart from these amazing specs, it comes with a 4325 mAh battery, which offers up to 300 hours of stand-by time and allows you to watch videos for up to 9 hours.

The Nexus 7 will be available in 8 GB and 16 GB variants. Some important features missing from this device are a rear-facing camera, microSD card slot and 3G/4G connectivity. However, it features NFC (Near Field Connectivity) along with the Android Beam. This device measures 198.5 mm x 120 mm x 10.45 mm and weighs just 340g.

Now, its your turn to guess the price of this incredible device. $499? You are absolutely wrong. The Nexus 7 comes with a price-tag of just $199. You heard it right! The Nexus 7 is not just powerful, but it is also budget-friendly. You can get the 8GB variant for $199 and the 16 GB variant for $249. The UK pricing is £159 and £199 respectively. The Nexus 7 is currently up for pre-order. This device will ship during mid-July. Google also offer $25 credit, which lets you purchase your favorite apps and games from the Google Play Store. Check out the pre-order links below.

Pre-order Google Nexus 7 tablet (8 GB)

Pre-order Google Nexus 7 tablet (16 GB)

Google Nexus 7 Leaked Specs And Pic Emerge

The Google Nexus 7 tablet is not a mystery anymore! We already know that Google is planning to launch the Asus manufactured 7 inch Nexus tablet at the upcoming Google’s I/O event in San Francisco. The guys at Gizmodo Australia have recently got their hands on the training material of the Nexus tablet. According to the leaked document, the tablet will be called as the “Nexus 7″ and it will be the first device to run Jelly Bean, the new version of Android OS. Check out the leaked design and specs after the break.

Google Nexus 7 Specifications:

  • 7 inch IPS display
  • 1280 x 800 pixels resolution
  • 1.3 GHz quad-core Tegra 3 processor
  • NVIDIA GPU
  • Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) OS
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB / 16GB Internal Storage
  • 1.2MP front facing camera
  • Wi-Fi a/b/g/n
  • NFC (Near Field Communication)
  • 9 hours battery life

The Nexus tablet will also feature NFC along with the Android Beam and Google Wallet service. The leaked document suggest that the device will go on sale in Australia starting next month. The Nexus tablet will be available in 8 GB and 16 GB variants. Sadly, there won’t be a MircoSD card slot in this device. The battery is reported to last for up to 9 hrs.

The Google Nexus 7 will come with a price tag of $199.99 for the 8 GB variant and $249.99 for the 16 GB variant. This tablet will compete with the highly-popular Kindle Fire in the US market. Are you excited for the Google’s upcoming tablet? Let us know your views in the comments section below.

Confirmed: The Next Android 4.1 Will be Jelly Bean, Likely to be Announced at Google I/O 2012

Looks like someone accidentally pushed the wrong button at the Google headquarters by listing Samsung Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ as “soon the first phone with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean” on the Play Store. This puts an end to all those rumors circling around Jelly Bean and confirms that 4.1 Jelly Bean will indeed be the next Android version.

GNex Jelly Bean

An XDA Forum member, while surfing the Play Store finding an unlocked Galaxy Nexus, found out that the description was changed as the first phone which would be getting the Jelly Bean update. What’s more interesting is that the Galaxy Nexus thumbnail image during checkout had also been changed to a newer image of Nexus sporting a different wallpaper and a modified search widget.

jellybean1

Jelly Bean 4.1 is the next major update to Android 4.0 and is surely going to bring several new features and improvements. However, as the screenshot suggests, the Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ would be the first and by my experience, the only phone to sport it officially for a couple of months as other OEMs will surely take some time to deliver it on their phones after customizing it with their own skins.

Google was quick to revert that image and description mentioning Jelly Bean to their original form in just a couple of hours, but those few hours were enough to tease us all Android lovers. Was it an accident? Or an intentional (subtle) move by Google to hint us what we can expect to see at the Google I/O on 27th of this month? We will have to hold our nerves for four more days to find out anything more and of course, we at Techie-Buzz will always be there to keep you updated!

[Image credit: AndroidPolice, Source: XDA]

Asus/Google Tegra 3 Powered Nexus Tablet Details Emerge; Will Run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean?

With Google I/O less than a month to go, some information about the upcoming $199 tablet from Google and the next version of Android has started making their way on the Internet. It is almost confirmed that Google will be releasing a new Nexus tablet at I/O this year, which will be competing with the iPad not on specs, but with its killer price tag of $199.

The folks over at Android Police have done some digging, and it looks like Google has teamed up with Asus to manufacture the $199 Nexus tablet. From the Power Board benchmark website, it looks like the “Nexus 7″ tablet will sport a 7-inch screen with a resolution of 768*1280, and is codenamed grouper. The device will be powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 3 SoC, which will help Google and Asus in delivering pretty good performance at a very low price point.

This new Nexus tablet from Google will be running a new version of Android, possibly Jelly Bean. The benchmarks indicate the OS build version of the device to be JRN51B, with the SDK and build version at 4.1. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich brought about a major visual change, so Jelly Bean will be all about new features and usability enhancements.

However, with Ice Cream Sandwich having less than 5% of the total Android market share, I am not sure how manufacturers and other Android device owners will react to a new Android OS version so soon.