Digging into the new features and capabilities present in Jelly Bean, one item we have discovered is the addition of USB Audio. Support for USB Audio means audio from a Jelly Bean based device can be accessed via the USB port. This presents an alternative to streaming audio through the external speaker jack or a Bluetooth connection.
Using USB Audio, hardware makers will be able to build audio dock devices to interface with Android powered phones and tablets. A good example of this was an Android.Connect dock on display from Gear4 during Google I/O. Check out the video after the break showing how this will work.
As the Gear4 video demonstrates, the ability to carry audio over USB opens some possibilities for the design of hardware that minimizes complexity. Plugging in multiple cables (e.g. audio cable for sound and USB cable for charging) or pairing up Bluetooth will no longer be necessary. According to Gear4, an app is in development that will enable backwards compatibility with Gingerbread and ICS devices so they too can carry audio via the USB cable. Unfortunately, the app was not available at Google I/O.
Can you think of other devices for which the presence of USB Audio opens the development door? Is there a particular accessory you hope will now be available thanks to this new capability?
source: Android Developer site