Google Unveils Jelly Bean, Tablet, Media Center Q, Siri-Like Now, Plus for Tablets, Glass, More
Today was the big reveal for Google developers, who are in attendance at the 2012 I/O Conference. Today's session pulled no punches, with Senior Vice President Vic Gundotra welcoming the developers to the day’s events, and thanked them for “betting with Google”.
Another milestone reached for Android
Director of Android Development Hugo Barra took the stage, sharing that Android has been activated 400,000,000 times since the inception of its operating system. 1,000,000 new Android devices are activated each and every day, or 12 new devices per second. This is “a truly global phenomenon”, said Barr, showing a world map of Android growth rates.
Android 4.1, known as Jelly Bean, was then introduced. “Jelly Bean builds upon what we created with Ice Cream Sandwich” said Barra, referring to Google’s previous mobile device operating system. Project Butter was introduced, which has provided a much faster and intuitive processor and interface. A video of a 300fps high-speed camera was shown, comparing the same phone running Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean - the new OS is a lot smoother and very fast!
An upgraded Android device home screen customization feature was shown, with touch-based real-time widget resizing and placement. Want to remove an app? Simply drag and throw it off the screen. As an iPhone 4S user, I can say that this is much faster than making customizations on an iOS based system.
A “predictive keyboard” was introduced, showing not only an intuitive autocompletion function, but also a next word prediction option. Also shown was as a new voice recognition feature, Siri-style, but on steroids. The Google Speech Recognizer, currently run from Google’s data servers, has been compressed and placed on each and every phone - in effect Siri but without the need for a data connection - a big step up for Google’s Android operating system. I have been held up often, waiting for Siri to respond on my iPhone 4S from Apple's servers.
Photos taken on a Jelly Bean powered device are sent to a bottom thumbnail menu system, so you can immediately review after you've taken them, without leaving the camera app. To rid yourself of a bad photo, simply swipe it off the screen. Again, an improvement over what the iPhone offers, and very slick and responsive.
Android's Beam feature has allowed users to share documents or contact information with others, through Near-Field Communication, or NFC-based technology. With Jelly Bean, you can now share a pic or video with another NFC-enabled phone.Continued on the next page