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Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Review 255

Posted by Soulskill
from the tastes-good-except-for-the-white-ones dept.
New submitter codysleiman points out a review of Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) at The Verge. They say the look and feel of Google's mobile operating system has improved in a few different ways. Aesthetically, it isn't trying quite so hard as it did in Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich, making the UI less of a distraction. While performance benchmarks aren't much different, Jelly Bean forces 60fps throughout and lets the GPU, CPU and display run independently, so it at least feels smoother and more responsive. Another big area of improvement is notifications: "You can tap a share button on photos, calendar appointments give you a snooze or email attendees option, missed calls provide direct call-back buttons. ... Google has introduced APIs for actions on notifications and I hope that app developers take advantage of them, because it would be nice to have more actions on a variety of different apps." The new on-screen keyboard also got some much-needed updates, and Google Now looks promising.
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Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Review

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  • by msauve (701917) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @04:11PM (#40544659)
    apparently the time is still off by the GPS-UTC difference, you still can't do voice commands via Bluetooth (such as when in a car dock), and the email client sends even plain text as base64 encoded.
    • Re:But... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Tough Love (215404) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @04:26PM (#40544773)

      Speaking of Bluetooth, I got a new car, a Mazda 3, and my t-mobile G2 just worked. Setup is via voice control through the 3's stereo. A call comes in, I can pick up the call the steering wheel buttons, it routes throught the stereo, and I can also voice call out. How cool is that? No more hiding my phone below the dash.

      The point is, my particular Android phone was probably never tested by Mazda. It just worked because it's all standards-based.

  • A nice step forward (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WiiVault (1039946) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @04:37PM (#40544859)
    It seems Jelly is exactly what it should be; a refinement on ICS. I must say as a mixed mobile OS user (Touchpad ICS+ Nexus, iPhone 4, Sammy Wp7) that it is really nice to hear Google is going after lag issues. If I didn't use iOS or WP7 I likely wouldn't notice, but despite some real solid improvement since Honeycomb Android has to me never felt quite as swift. To me it was really the only thing left that Google was notably behind on and especially frustrating on high end hardware, and makes me even more secure in my Nexus 7 pre-order. I'm really glad to see that unlike fans on all sides of the issue Google is able to identify concerns and kick them fast. Bodes very well for their new tablet focus.
  • I want to try out this operating system.

    • by msauve (701917) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @04:53PM (#40544963)

      Can I run Android on my PC

      Sure [android.com].

    • by WiiVault (1039946) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @04:55PM (#40544983)

      On PC (x86) you can run the free Android SDK which includes an emulator, or use Bluestacks which is an easy to run environment and supports most non graphically intensive apps. A word of warning with both is don't expect native high-end speed. Bluestacks is my recommendation, but even on a nice high end PC things like Netflix are just high speed slideshows.
      On PPC you can find a few VM's of older versions but they will be running via emulation an x86 option. I know for a fact that I once was able to get a few running on a G5 Quad, but they were very slow and relied on the outdated VirtualPC for Mac edition.
      • by gl4ss (559668)

        there's the option to run android-x86 in a vm too, in my experience faster for lots of things than the emulators that come with the sdk or even bluestacks(which while nice suffers from intentional crippling by product design).

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      http://www.android-x86.org/ .

    • by Lt.Hawkins (17467)

      Yes. If you get the Android SDK, it comes with a VM - you can run pretty much any version. (its kind of slow, as its running a java VM on a virtual ARM processor on your x86. (Though apparently the latest version is an x86 version - haven't confirmed that yet)

      Warning you now though - you're running a touch OS with a mouse. Think about the reaction to Metro that people are giving.

      My point is, if you don't like running it in the VM, be aware that its a much better experience on actual hardware.

      • Warning you now though - you're running a touch OS with a mouse.

        Nothing whatsoever prevents touch and mouse from working well together, just as mouse and keyboard do. Never mind that Google is a little slow at getting the details right principly because Googlers are not as smart as they think they are. It works passably well now and it will work much better in the future after we work Google over with a cluebat.

  • by Terrasque (796014) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @04:52PM (#40544959) Homepage Journal

    That is one of the things I think looks really interesting.

    It also seem to have improved vastly over not only the old version, but also over Apple's Siri.

    Some videos of the new function:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLyuWEWqYqQ [youtube.com]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kw-RzN4xYyE [youtube.com]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHkhp6BwnGo [youtube.com]

    I mean, it's still gimmicky, but it looks like an improvement. But for me it's not gonna be practical until it support my language, Norwegian. How useful is it when it can't understand the norwegian names on my contacts? Or street names? Or store names?

    Still, it looks like a really fun toy... *wants*

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I just tested it today on a Galaxy Nexus running Jellybean and it's awesome, I assure you.
      In fact, as a non-native speaker, it understood my English much better than when I tried Siri.

      There's a reason Apple is getting scared shitless about Android and I'll tell you that it isn't about the form factor of the devices.

  • but... (Score:2, Funny)

    by jsh1972 (1095519)
    but can it run itunes?
  • perception & reality (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @05:55PM (#40545401) Homepage Journal

    Jelly Bean forces 60fps throughout and lets the GPU, CPU and display run independently, so it at least feels smoother and more responsive.

    What is the difference between feeling "smoother and more responsive" and being "smoother and more responsive"?

    I'm not trying to be snarky, I'm asking seriously.

    • I think "feeling" is the right adjective here. The point is, hardware that on paper is faster than the competition can "feel" slower than other devices if it doesn't update the UI fast enough when the user does something.
    • by oakgrove (845019)
      I couldn't tell you but I do know this: I have a Galaxy Nexus with the pre-release version of Jelly Bean and my friend has one with ICS on it and mine with JB never stutters on scrolling after the initial view loads whereas my friend's does quite a bit. That's the most appreciated difference for me as stuttery scrolling drives me up the wall. Google nailed it with Jelly Bean. They really did.
    • by BradleyUffner (103496) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @06:48PM (#40545827) Homepage

      Jelly Bean forces 60fps throughout and lets the GPU, CPU and display run independently, so it at least feels smoother and more responsive.

      What is the difference between feeling "smoother and more responsive" and being "smoother and more responsive"?

      I'm not trying to be snarky, I'm asking seriously.

      Here is a good example.
      A swipe animation that takes 1 second to complete, rendered with 4 frames of animation.
      vs
      A swipe animation that takes 1.15 seconds to complete, rendered with 30 frames of animation.

      The first example will ACTUALLY be more responsive, while the seconds one will FEEL more response to most people.

  • Oh, thanks, that explains the 28 updates to all my Google Play apps that appeared out of nowhere and killed my tablet productivity this week. I can't wait to see what my data plan charges will be as a result of this update.

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