Google unveils Android 4.1, called Jelly Bean
By Nicole Kobie
Posted on 27 Jun 2012 at 17:37
Google has unveiled Android 4.1, its next mobile OS - better known as Jelly Bean.
The OS will be available on selected handsets and open-sourced in mid-July, with the SDK released today.
The OS includes what Google calls "Project Butter" - a new system which boosts performance, offering "buttery smooth" rendering and faster buffering. It improves responsiveness by guessing where a user will touch the screen, and immediately ramps the CPU when the screen is touched.
Find out moreCheck out Google's other announcements: the Nexus 7 tablet and Nexus Q media player
A version of Google's voice dictation system now works offline, so users can "talk to type" without access to the cloud-based system.
The NFC system, Android Beam, now allows photos or videos to be transferred, or devices to be paired to Bluetooth gadgets, simply by tapping phones.
Other "delightful" improvements include tweaks to the dictionary so it better learns words over time and predicts words before you type. A refreshed home screen makes it easier to personalise: drag a widget onto the screen, and other shortcut icons arrange around it, or the widget shrinks to fit.
Notifications are also updated, allowing users to deal with messages directly from the menu, without going directly into the relevant app itself.
Google said Android had gained 100m activations at this time last year, and now hit the 400m milestone, with one million device activations daily.
Google also revealed changes to its app store, Google Play, improving how app updates work and adding a new cloud messaging system.
It also features app encryption, which protects paid-for apps with a device-specific key before they are sent to the device.
The company said Play now held 600,000 apps and games, was seeing 1.5bn installs per month - with a total 20bn overall.
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