Hungry for Jelly Bean?

I first heard about jellybean a couple of weeks ago. I started wondering about all the wonderful features that would come with it. Would it be very different from 4.0? Would people like it better? What changes have been made? So, I decided to take it upon myself to do a little research.

Introducing Jellybean, 4.1! It has the lowest touch latency yet! This means that when you touch something on your phone or tablet, the system responds quicker than ever. It also anticipates where your finger will be once the screen refreshes. That is one very smart phone.

A nice new feature is systrace. This outputs a picture of system activities to the screen in a vertically stacked layout. If the user is using a webpage and two apps then the pages will be shown to the user in this format. It seems to me like it’s what displays when you press ALT + TAB on a Windows computer. I use that feature all the time! Imagine just how useful it can be on a phone.

There is also support for new languages such as Arabic and Hebrew which is included on the keyboard map as well. This is very helpful for expanding the marketplace for android all across the globe!

Notifications are now bigger and better. They can be expanded or collapsed when the user pinches or swipes on the notification. Notifications can now include photos and can have multiple actions (up to 3). When the user long presses a notification it tells you what activity created the notification and gives the user the ability to block further notifications from the application. The ability to not be able to block notifications has always bothered me and other users as well. I am very happy to see that Android 4.1 will implement this feature I have been longing for. The programmer can even create his/her own type of notification in any way he desires.

A new class called ActivityOptions helps programmers with the animation being displayed when Activities are launched. Custom animations may be specified. More creativity in programming is always welcome. Animations for zoom are also now available.

There are also different modes for the UI. This includes:

  • Lights out mode = status bar hidden, navigation bar dimmed
  • Full screen mode = status bar, action bar, navigation bar, hidden

Vsync is a tool that allows a more smooth and steady UI. It is automatically added to all of the applications so that they also have a smooth flow. Android Beam lets phone users share data simply by touching two phones together. It is an NFC-based technology, and once a transfer is triggered then NFC lets Bluetooth do the rest. Sharing data has never been easier!

A feature to keep on the lookout for is automatic application updates. This means there will be no more tedious clicking of the “update” button in order to update apps.

I can’t wait to be able to experiment with this new piece of technology and be able to experience all of the wonderful benefits jellybean has to offer for myself. It makes me wonder what apple’s iOS may fight back with. Only time will tell.


About Katrina Fishman

Meticulous, determined, and motivated with a passion for software development. Interested in Mobile Application Development and Software Development. Specialties include the programming languages C / C++ / Java. Mobile platform development is Android/Windows8. Proficient in Eclipse, Microsoft Visual Studio IDE's.