Google has finally introduced their latest version of the Android operating system, Jelly Bean, at their I/O event at San Francisco. Though it has managed to gain a lot of popularity immediately after its release, the new OS is also been labeled as a copy of Apple’s iOS, something Google is trying hard to overlook by shifting the focus onto newly introduced features.
Jelly Bean (Android 4.1) offers users a responsive UI, an interactive notification system, improved voice transcription, a developed search bar and new features such as Google Now that anticipates the needs of the user at any given point. The developed search system will utilize Google’s Knowledge Base, offering the user a collection of data which is useful, more than simply listing links. Search results will be presented in the form of cards, with an image and text, adapting a magazine-like presentation. For instance, if a user searches for a Starbucks coffee shop, information will be offered on a card, complete with maps that can be used to access the nearest three shops.
Notifications offered are also active, for instance, if a user receives a Google+ update, one can either tap the +1 button or go ahead and share that update. It also enables people to bookmark their favourite songs or accept calendar invitations. One can forward pre-written responses to other people who are attending the event. The Pulse news app allows people to view notifications, displaying a larger view with headlines and photos, all at a single swipe. Jelly Bean also has the built in voice typing feature, which will allow users to type using their device despite low connectivity or being offline.
Jelly Bean will be available on Nexus S, Galaxy Nexus, Motorola Zoom devices as well as the Nexus 7 tablet which has been manufactured by Acer, in mid July. However, a preview version of the OS is currently available for developers. Since running newer versions of Android on older handsets has posed trouble earlier, Google has now made a Platform Development Kit available to hardware makers, enabling them to work with Android even as it is developed further by Google. Earlier, only a single hardware maker worked with Google on developing a new version of Android, resulting in other hardware makers not being able to receive updates for months. This issue will now be resolved, hopefully.