Today was a great day for Android fans on both the software side and hardware side alike. The next major upgrade (as opposed to a small incremental update which was speculated earlier) Android 4.1 Jellybean took centrestage in the first part of the keynote, showing off what Google call Project Butter. While butter may not taste amazing on its own (like an Ice Cream Sandwich or an Eclair), it certainly does make lots of things taste amazing. This is the same with what it does in Android 4.1
Project Butter is a major new improvement, making the entire UI fast, fluid and smooth with consistent high frame rates across the board throughout the interface animations and transitions. When compared to ICS running on identical hardware, shot at 300fps, the device running Jellybean blew away the ICS device in terms of sheer fluidity.
What else did Google show on the software side? Find out after the jump!
(Image Sources: The Verge)
Project Butter was not the only thing Jellybean brought to the table.The Android notification system that we have all come to know and love has been given a revamp. The notifications are now more interactive with expanded previews of unread messages, expanded Gmail notifications as well as more options and actions without having to open the app in question. To quote Google: “They are actionable, they expand and collapse and they’re customizable”. This is a great improvement and one I’m looking forward to testing myself.
I’m not a big fan of voice activated typing and even after what Google showed just now, I still am not, however I would be a fool not to tip my hat to the advances in technology Google has achieved. Jellybean brings Offline voice typing which no longer requires an internet connection to work and support for many new languages including Persian. Voice search has also been improved with a beautiful UI for results.
Perhaps one of the coolest things that was released on the software front was something called Google Now. Imagine the next dimension of search. Instead of just searching based on a query, Google now takes into consideration your time, location, search history as well as calendar to give you more useful and relevant information. Think of it as Google using all the data it has on you to make search smarter. An example that was shown was if you are en-route to a meeting and you hit a traffic jam, Google now will tell you which best way to take so you can make your meeting. Let’s say you take public transport. Google now helps tell you what time the next bus will be, taking into consideration how far you have to walk to best make the next bus. Google now is a great tool for maximizing time and if there is local support for this, may be immensely more useful and will probably be a huge impact on your productivity.
Android 4.1 Jellybean will come over the air from mid july to the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S and Motorola Xoom. The first new device to run Jellybean will be the upcoming ASUS Nexus 7.