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Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Review 255

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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  • Re:But... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tough Love ( 215404 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @05:26PM (#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.

  • by msauve ( 701917 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @05:53PM (#40544963)

    Can I run Android on my PC

    Sure [android.com].

  • by WiiVault ( 1039946 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @05:55PM (#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 Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @05:55PM (#40544989)

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

  • by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <joham999@gmail.cTIGERom minus cat> on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @06:02PM (#40545041)

    So I go and check my "About Tablet" and I see... 4.04! What blather are you spouting?

    The "blather" that very few Android users as a whole are using the latest version of the OS, with all the new features that are being promoted (like this new API for example) because handset manufacturers don't want to update old phones that are perfectly capable of running ICS, and now JB, but want you to buy a new phone instead.

    The last graph I saw showed that only 6 or 7% of Android handset users were on ICS, and now JB rolls around. Google needs to address that problem somehow, but I'm not really sure what it can do given the nature of the way Android works - that freedom has unfortunate side effects in some cases.

    Compare that to iOS' distribution, where a *much* larger percentage are running the most recent version, making it a lot easier for developers. the trade off, of course, is that Apple tightly controls the ecosystem.

  • by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <joham999@gmail.cTIGERom minus cat> on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @06:38PM (#40545293)

    I just bought a Nexus. Neither my Nexus S nor my Galaxy Nexus have had any problems getting updates. I expect the same treatment when my Nexus 7 gets here.

    Good for you - you're obviously in that 5 or 6% who have phones that receive updates (or are able to be trivially updated). The vast majority of Android users are not like you, as shown by the stats. Either they simply do not update for whatever reason, or they are unable to. It's a problem that doesn't go away (and in fact, only gets worse) if those at the top of the Android food chain with the really good devices say "I'm ok, so there's no problem". This issue still affects you, since it causes problems in the Android ecosystem as a whole.

  • by oakgrove ( 845019 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @07:01PM (#40545459)

    Now the focus is on the apps - to not look like amateurish pieces of crap. Other than maybe a handful of Android apps (e.g., Dolphin Browser), most Android apps look horrible, and outside of that handful, the ones that look good are that way because they came from iOS.

    I've got lots of great looking apps on my Galaxy Nexus including AIDE, Aldiko, Amazon Kindle, Analytics, APV PDF Reader, Bank of America, Chrome, ConnectBot, Currents, Drive, Droid DJ, Dropbox, Earth, Elixir, Engadget, Evernote, FBReader, Final Fantasy, Firefox Beta, FPSe, Ghost Commander, gReader, Mass Effect, MoboPlayer, Opera Mini, PicSay, Play Books/Movies/Store, Pulse, ShadowGun, SpeedVIew, TED, Vi Improved Touch, VLC, Voice, and Youtube amongst several more and they all look just great. For reference, I also have an iPad with many apps and as a rule, the iPad apps don't look better. What are you running that looks so bad?

  • by ozmanjusri ( 601766 ) <aussie_bob@[ ]mail.com ['hot' in gap]> on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @07:11PM (#40545561) Journal

    It's just more FUD from the Slashdot anti-Android astroturf brigade.

    Reality is a little different:

    The bigger view comparing ICS with other Android versions shows how ICS is the only one of them that has grown its penetration percentage in the last period, and that Gingerbread may have started its S-curve decline, echoing the one that Froyo in green below has already been through:

    The takeaway here? Well, despite declines, those other OSs are still being sold and used. ICS in total, he believes, now represents about 42 million devices in use, compared to 260 million running 2.3, and 70m still on 2.2, aka Froyo.


  • by vlueboy ( 1799360 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @09:55PM (#40546827)

    And if you never install windows, I'm guessing you'll never get Windows 8.

    Going to cry about being stuck on XP? DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

    I know, I know your sarcasm. But allow us to illustrate a few gentle listeners:
    XP, VISTA and WINDOWS 7... with a life 3 to 5 years between sequels *rarely* encourage developers to build Applications to nag you to upgrade. Bargain bin items till about 3 years ago commonly boasted Windows 2000 backward compat*

    Yet Android versions last a year and are ripe with annoyances:

    1. EULA warnings that X feature is unavailable in your 1.5, 1.6, 2.0, 2.2, 2.3 (your phone will always be missing that ONE app in this ever-sliding scale )
    2. Website warnings that you need 2.3 which is just 18 months old and not widely deployed on low-end phones. Worse...
    3. Invisible Apps in Google market, though your friends have no trouble showing you their phone can find the app --leaves you scratching your head because sometimes it's the OS, and others it's the CPU speed or manufacturer's choice of whether you deserve the app on it (Flash player)

    Funny, it hasn't been a full 4 years since September 2008 (compare to my numbers above for full OSs).
    Since that's the year of the first Android release, we can see a forced trend like NO DESKTOP^H^H^W WINTEL PC has ever required. I recall, MacOS back in 1998 did have tons of programs that condemned you for needing OS 7.1, or 7.5 or 8.1 or 8.5, or 9.0 or 9.1 to run due to library compat --though Windows still gave you the chance of downloading, say VBRUN300.dll or whatever VC or DotNET runtime you needed. I see what phonemakers learned from that boldness to just stay quiet and block you before you download.

    99.9% of people don't upgrade. Get new computer, let the OEM introduce you forcibly to Windows ME, XP, Vista, Seven, Eight... profit. Those OS upgrade boxed sets are for proactive geeks with nothing to lose but some cash.

    * meaning the laziest, cheapest developers who might actually pick new SDKs to look shiny don't care if you have a dinosaur PC... it's the largest companies with much to lose who actually ostracize their userbase via platform shifts

  • by MikeBabcock ( 65886 ) <mtb-slashdot@mikebabcock.ca> on Thursday July 05, 2012 @10:27AM (#40551317) Homepage Journal

    And you only get to choose from Apple made hardware. If you only choose from Google-made hardware, you get the latest updates too.

    The difference is, with Android, you don't have to choose Google made hardware. You may not get software updates, but you do get alternate hardware options, like full 3D support, damage-proof, water resistance and other options.

    Where's the drop-resistant water-resistant daylight bright iPhone exactly? There isn't one. By licensing Android to other handset makers Google ends up with older versions in use on hardware that won't run the newer OS but there's more user choice too.

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court