Feeds

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean review

Google's mobile upgrade chewed over

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Notified buddy

So much for how Jelly Bean looks to the eye and reacts to the touch. Yet where it has improved the most obviously is in the notification area. Notifications are now larger, show more information and can be expanded or collapsed. For instance, if you get a new Gmail the notification shows you a preview of what the mail says.

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Notifications give extended preview and new unlock screen
Click for a larger image

Similarly, you can see the details of your social network notifications – including photographs – and like or retweet from the notification menu. In fact, the notifications system now functions like a stripped-down OS in its own right.

An entirely new presence on the lock screen is the Google logo. You either drag it or swipe up from the bottom of the screen at any time and Google Now launches. This is Android’s much-vaunted local and personal information feed. Based on your searches, calendar info and suchlike, Google utilises what it knows about you – which for good or ill seems pretty much everything – and then predicts what information you might like to see.

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Swipe up for Google Local and results
Click for a larger image

So, the next train from the platform you are standing on; the traffic en-route to a location in your calendar; a good place to eat nearby or the journey time to the airport for a flight you Googled, all this will pop up as and when Android thinks it germain. What's more, it even works here in Blighty and quickly started to show me cards relevant to my daily activities.

The new implementation of Voice Search, however, is something I will be using more often as it turns out to be very good. The system’s ability to understand natural language and reply in the same is certainly on a par with Siri on the iPhone. As well as speaking back search results, Android now presents an easy-to-read index card showing you the information you requested. Swipe this away and you find the more traditional web results below.

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Voice Search speaks and shows answers

The keyboard looks much the same as before but now has improved predictive abilities though they are nothing you couldn't get before from a third party keyboard app. Far more useful is the new off-line voice typing facility, which lets you dictate into your Android device even if you don’t have a data connection. That’s seriously useful on the 3G-less Nexus 7.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Next page: Magazine issues

More from The Register

next story
Chipmaker FTDI bricking counterfeit kit
USB-serial imitators whacked by driver update
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.