When Google announced its new smart phone and nexus tablet series, the writing was on the wall for the entry of new version of Jelly Bean: Android 4.2. With the new tablet series from Microsoft,Google etc; Android has tried to maintain its monopoly in the tablet sphere as well with this new version. Android 4.2 retains the name of Jelly Bean, as this version is not drastically different from its predecessors.It is more of an extension of Android 4.1, wherein many features have been updated. Moreover, there are some cool add on features which would not only redefine the user experience but would also open new avenues for android developers. Most of these features like ‘panoramic’ camera and gesture typing were already being provided by third party, google has tried to bring the entire package together under the umbrella of Android.
Top 8 Features to look out for in Android 4.2
Multiple-User Tablets: As discussed earlier, android 4.2 clearly focuses on Tablets with surface from Microsoft and nexus4 from Google to hit the stands soon. Jelly Bean 4.2 makes it possible for multiple users to use the same tablet and customize it as per their requirements, such as Google Play account, home screens, preferences and access control. The ability to add multiple user accounts just on the lines of PC was due since long. This is more of an attempt to project tablets as a replacement of traditional PCs
Photo Sphere Camera: Following the footsteps of Apple iOS 6, Anadroid 4.2 has upgraded its “panorama” function.”Panorama” image was first introduced in Ice Cream Sandwich, photo sphere camera is just an extension of this.Photo sphere Camera creates huge mutli-shot scrollable image similar to Google Maps street view. In simple terms, it is the ability to take larger photos by moving the camera, these multiple snapshots are then digitally added together to create a 360o panoramic image which can be shared across social networking platforms.
Gesture Typing: A popular and powerful third party Android typing feature, now comes inbuilt with Android 4.2. It is more of a smart on-screen keyboard where you glide around your screen keyboard from letter to letter without lifting your finger. It is powered by refined and powerful dictionary, word recommendor and robust speech-text, thus redefining your typing experience.
Wireless Display: Just on the lines of Apple’s AirPlay, wireless display helps you watch movies, stream games wirelessly on your HDTV. So you get the best of both the worlds.
Daydream: Android’s daydream is basically a smart screen saver which lets you display slideshows, news feeds, google currents etc on your display screen when your Android device is idle or docked.This feature again is to bridge the gap between the tablets and PCs.
Execute Notifications: Jelly Bean 4.1 ibtroduced the feature of expanding and contracting notification. This feature has logically been extended so that now users can also perform actions as per those notification simply by tapping on them.
Google Now refined: Google Now aims to empower users by providing them right information at right time. It could be customized to provide you traffic information of the route you regularly ply and could provide you alternate routes to your destination. It can provide you flight details, weather conditions or scores of your favorite team. This powerful tool has further been refined in the latest Android version.
Android Beam: A lot of effort has been put into making Android smoother and faster. What distinctly differentiates Android 4.2 from Apple’s iOS6 is Android Beam, the Near Field Communications (NFC) function which empowers users to share photos, websites, music, directions or videos with a single touch,
an improvement of its initial introduction in 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
In nutshell, Android 4.2 is being seen as a stepping stone for more drastic changes that are to follow in coming Android versions. The first device to use this OS is expected to be Google’s own Nexus 4 which is scheduled to hit the stands this November.