Google announces Android 4.2, a new flavor of Jelly Bean

Google has announced the release of Android 4.2, an update to Jelly Bean, that promises to bring a new camera app, typing improvements, and other upgrades to the Jelly Bean experience. No doubt this was going to be part of Google’s announcement at their event today. While a hurricane may dampen the fun that was planned, it cannot stop the march of Android on to bigger and better things.

Headlining the changes are improvements to the camera app, adding the capability to create a “photo sphere.” This takes the concept of panoramic photos to the next level, letting photographers take pictures in any and every direction, then snapping them together into one immersive photo. The experience must be somewhat similar to a planetarium or possibly using Google Sky if the photo sphere is viewed on your device, though Google’s links to some examples were returning errors at the time of this writing.

Google appears to have jumped on the Swype bandwagon, as they introduce “Gesture Typing” which lets you glide your finger over the keyboard to type a word, only lifting when you get to the end of a word. Google indicates they have added predictive capabilities to help users complete their messages even faster. Google also mentions the dictionaries and text-to-speech capabilities have been improved, including the ability to voice type without a data connection.

Over the months we have seen clues here and there that support for multiple users was coming to Android and it is officially here in this latest update. Multi-user support means everyone can have their own homescreen, widgets, backgrounds, apps, and games. Google indicates that fast-switching between users exists – no logging on and logging off. However, this feature is only available on tablet devices.

Some of the other improvements include the ability to wirelessly stream your display to your HDTV using an HDMI wireless display adapter; a feature called “Daydream” which appears to be a screensaver type application that will display photos, news feeds or other items when a device is idle or docked; and expanded notifications that not only show more information, they let users initiate action directly from the notification area. Google has also added improvements to Google Now that enable you to see nearby photo spots, track packages, or quickly check upcoming movie info.

Under the hood, Google indicates they have made improvements to the UI and use of the CPU to make everything fast,fluid and smooth. They indicate Android’s code will now boost a CPU when you touch the screen then idle it back when not using a device in order to improve battery life.

FInally, Beam now supports the sharing of photos, videos, contacts, web pages, YouTube videos, directions and apps using NFC capabilities. Even a little thing, like automatically moving items on a homescreen to make room for new widgets or app icons, is included in the update. Accessibility options have also been improved for visually impaired users.

source: Android

About the Author: Jeff Causey

Raised in North Carolina, Jeff Causey is a licensed CPA in North Carolina. Jeff's past Android devices include an HTC EVO, a Samsung Note II, an LG G3, and a Motorola Moto X Pure Edition along with a Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1. He currently uses a Samsung Galaxy S8 and (very rarely) a Nexus 7 (2013). He is also using a Verizon-branded Motorola Moto Z Play Droid supplied by his job. Jeff used to have a pair of Google Glass and a Moto 360 Sport in his stable of gadgets. Unfortunately, his kids have all drunk the Apple Kool-Aid and have i-devices. Life at home often includes demonstrations of the superiority of his Android based devices. In his free time, Jeff is active an active runner usually training for his next marathon, owns a Mazda MX-5 Miata, and plays Dungeons & Dragons. Jeff has three grown kids and a golden retriever.

  • Brian

    When are we getting the update? Let the flame wars begin over how long it takes Google and the carriers to get us updates!

    • satnam pal singh

      atleast google is way ahead of iOS6

    • RTWright

      Lets just get this cleared up, it’s the Carriers that delay everything. 4.1.1 has been out for a long while now, your OEM’s and Carriers are what delay getting you the update to the OS. It’s not Google’s problem at all. They have the OS updated and ready, then it takes these morons that we purchase our devices from too dang long to get it done.

      If you wish to complain about this, I’d start with your Carrier. But be ready for them to say things like “We don’t make the OS, you need to contact the ” Then when you do, they tell you to “Contact “. Neither one of them want to get you the update, because they can’t be satisfied they have your business already.

      If you’re in a really big hurry however, XDA is a great source of information on Rooting, ROM’s and more. You can learn a lot from them and then you can update your device whenever they have a ROM out with the update you’re wanting. But if you’ve never done this before? Do yourself a favor and READ on how it works and what needs to be done BEFORE you go off and brick your device. It’s not hard, but does require you to get more acquainted with your device and how it works than just waiting for someone else to do it.

      I have a GS3 that I updated manually when someone posted the web link for me to obtain the OTA update. I’m on Sprint and even after they announced they were rolling it out it wasn’t happening very fast. Trust me I understand frustrations, but don’t blame Google when they’ve done their part already, they put it out!

  • SebaKL

    I just got jelly bean for my S3 and I love it, I sure look forward to this update.

  • Nick

    how about we just get 4.1 out to everyone first..

  • Oluwole Olorunleke

    Android is matching on. JB+

  • DoctorVad Gers

    ‘Even a little thing, like automatically moving items on a homescreen to
    make room for new widgets or app icons, is included in the update.’

    Running Holo launcher HD (which is free BTW) on 4.x.x onwards already allows this :)