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Google announces Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:28PM EST

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Google showed off some killer new features for its Android operating system at Google I/O on Wednesday with its rollout of Android 4.1 (“Jellybean”). The first feature is “Project Butter,” a project aimed at improving Android’s overall performance. Among other things, the project improves the system frame rate to make it consistent at 60 frames per second and includes a power-saving measure that dials back a device’s CPU to a lower frequency and then ramps up when a user touches the screen.

Android 4.1 also integrates Google’s Speech Recognizer onto Android devices to deliver voice-based typing regardless of whether a user has a data connection or not. A new update to the Android camera app lets users more quickly swipe through pictures they’ve taken and delete them more easily by simply making a swipe gesture upward. Jelly Bean also provides actionable notifications that lets users call or email others directly from the notification screen rather than going into their voice or email apps separately.

Jelly Bean introduces a new application called Google Now that uses search history and location history to figure out what information users might need at what times, such as being able to tell users how long their typical commutes will be given current traffic conditions and being able to map out how long users will have to leave in advance for them to make appointments. Google Now can also send out notifications to users telling them that they’ll need to leave at a given time in order to make a meeting based on their location and traffic conditions. Lastly, Jelly Bean will feature mobile app encryption that will deliver all apps bought on Google Play with a device-specific key both before and after installation.

Google will be pushing out Jelly Bean to the Google Nexus S, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and the Motorola Xoom by mid-July. The software development kit will be available for developers starting immediately.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.