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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:Android = fail (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Andrio ( 2580551 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @05:28PM (#40544791)
    It took 4 versions of iOS before Apple let the user even switch the desktop wallpaper. Apple isn't about "thinking different." It's more about "We've done the thinking for you."
  • A nice step forward (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WiiVault ( 1039946 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @05:37PM (#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.
  • by Terrasque ( 796014 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @05:52PM (#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: [] [] []

    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*

  • perception & reality (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @06:55PM (#40545401) 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.

  • by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <joham999@ g m a> on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @07:00PM (#40545441)

    It gives trolls a convenient talking point too ;-)

    I'm genuinely curious here, do you think I'm trolling, or do you think there's no problem with only a fractional proportion of the Android user base using the latest version of the OS, only for that OS to be already depreciated?

    Clearly the "you can buy a Nexus S if you want to update" model isn't really working.

  • by Belial6 ( 794905 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @07:05PM (#40545493)
    That 'problem' is solved by time. It is an unstoppable force. It marches on. When Gingerbread came out, we heard the same complaints. 6 months later, we were still hearing that complaint. At the time, most users were not on Froyo yet. Today, 64% of users are on Gingerbread and 10% are on Ice Cream. JB gets released now, and in 6 months, we will see a small percentage on JB, more users on Ice Cream and fewer on Gingerbread. With Android, you will also see people skipping releases. Eclair never made it to very many phones. It was great for those of us that got it, but most people went straight to Gingerbread. Not getting Eclair did not hinder them in any way.

    With Apple, either you are an early adopter, or you are too old to care about. On Android, we have early adopters, as well as mainstream users, and late adopters. My year old phone is on Gingerbread, and iOS still hasn't caught up to it in functionality unless you buy a specific model of iPhone. So, while you can say that everyone on iPhone is running the newest OS version, while Android users are not, you can also say that every Android user can perform voice searches while iPhone users cannot.

    Simply put, worries about being on the newest OS version is meaningless FUD.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @07:39PM (#40545757)

    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.

  • by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <joham999@ g m a> on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @07:45PM (#40545803)

    But you have that choice from Apple too - you don't have to buy the latest phone. Apple sells the 3GS still (free on contract, otherwise $99) and the iPhone 4 and they *still* gets the latest OS, despite not paying the premium price. There will be certain parts of iOS6 that are not supported on the 3GS, but it's not bad for free.

    So, like unlike Apple, you get the choice of not paying the premium price for future upgrades if you don;t think you need them, since with Apple you get the non-premium phones with the future upgrades included.

  • by BradleyUffner ( 103496 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @07:48PM (#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.
    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.

  • by tftp ( 111690 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @08:33PM (#40546175) Homepage

    Google's own numbers show ~90% Android users still aren't on 4.0+, and it's been almost nine months since ICS was released.

    There are still millions of Windows XP boxes even though Windows 7 is out there for years. Does that indicate that the Windows upgrade process is broken?

    Android devices are sold as something a notch below Apple products (at least because it's not Apple.) Android phones cost less, and as result they are sold to customers who just want a phone. There are very few geeks in that crowd. Among geeks there are very few people who want to risk all the data that they have on the phone for sake of upgrade to a new version of the OS that they haven't seen and don't know what it does better or worse. Most people don't even know what they have and what else is out there. I have a Galaxy Tab device; I don't even know what version of Android it runs! I don't even know what versions are out there! Why? Because I don't care. It's not a quest of my life to nurture and maintain the most recent version of Android on a device that does what it needs to do already. I see no point in upgrading it. It's a tool and it works well.

  • by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <joham999@ g m a> on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @08:45PM (#40546281)

    Constructive criticism of the platform and its perceived issues are not attempts to "troll" or "spread meaningless FUD".

    Then criticize the platform if that's what you want to do. All you've done so far is criticize the behavior of the various OEM's. You've been told over and over that if you want an Android device that gets guaranteed updates you get a Nexus. Since this article is about Jelly Bean, do you have any specific criticisms of it? Otherwise you are just continuing an off-topic rant.

    It's all tied in - the OEMs are the source of the problem. I am sure Jelly Bean is great, just like ICS is great. I've used an ICS-running phone (Galaxy S2) and it was a fantastic device. The OEM problem affects the entire Android ecosystem though - even those savvy enough to buy phones that can be easily upgraded. Most people are not like that, and will not even think about that as a source of potential future problems. "Is this device upgradable?" is not something most users think about. You may say "well, they should!" and yes, they should, but most don't and you're asking for a similar result if you say "well, users should just stop getting viruses!".

    The Android ecosystem as a whole suffers when the majority (or a very large number - I'm not sure the proportion of devices that can't upgrade vs the ones that simply don't know they can) of devices are left on old versions of the OS. Normally this is not too big of a problem, but let's take the new API that Google just put into JB. How many developers are going to jump on that? It may not be hugely compelling, but let's say that it is. Let's say it's an amazing new API and feature set that makes Jelly Bean an absolute no brainer. Sure, all the Nexus S people can get it, and those who've rooted their phones, but what about those who simply don't update? Either because they can't or they don't know they can?

    If Joe Public is on Froyo and he sees his buddy with a cool new killer app and he wants to use it, can he, if it needs JB? That depends if his phone has an upgrade path. I think it is unacceptable that his phone should be abandoned, if it can run the latest OS. That is the problem I think should be addressed.

    It's not off topic, in a discussion about Jelly Bean, to talk about just who it is who will be able to use it, and whether developers will look favourably on the new features if past experience shows them that adopting them will result in an app that is only available to 5% of the user base, assuming a similar adoption rate for JB vs ICS. It's a shame.

To be a kind of moral Unix, he touched the hem of Nature's shift. -- Shelley