New features in Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

Google was supposed to launch three new nexus products – Nexus 10 tablet, Nexus 4 smartphone and updated Nexus 7 tablet – but the event was canceled, thanks to hurricane Sandy. Though the physical event was canceled, Google went ahead and launched the Nexus products anyways. Apart from the device launches, Google also launched a new version of its Android operating system, the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Yeah, it was thought that Android 4.2 will be nicknamed as Key Lime Pie, but that isn’t the case apparently and the name is still Jelly Bean.

Android has definitely evolved a lot since it was first debuted in October 2008 on the T-Mobile G1. Since its launch, the operating system has gone ahead and become the world’s most popular platform.

Android does have some negatives, such as the sluggishness in the interface. The launch of major update, the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and the arrival of Palm and webOS chief designer Matias Duarte was of course a breakthrough moment, and the OS has seen more refinement in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, adding the smooth performance that the platform needed badly.

Android 4.2 just carries the legacy and focuses on the user. There are tons of improvements which makes Android more user friendly. Below are some of the features which have been added to Android 4.2:

Lock Screen Widget: Lockscreen has been one of the most unproductive areas of Android, but Google has taken care of it in Android 4.2 and now it’s possible to add widgets on the lockscreen. You can add any kind of widget to the lockscreen, making it instantly productive. In order to access the widgets, you have to simply swipe left or right without needing to unlock the device. Google’s Matias Duarte demonstrated how exactly a user can access the camera by just swiping towards the right. Same can be done with other widgets too, including gmail and others.

Gesture typing: By the looks of it, it just looks like Swype, but Google wants to convince us that it’s so much more than it. Very much like Swype, the user can ‘glide’ over the keys to spell a word without lifting his finger from the screen. To make things more convenient, spaces are added automatically and the keyboard will predict your next word. It is definitely a great addition to the existing keyboard and will improve the typing experience on the touchscreen device nevertheless.

Quick Settings: As mentioned before, Android 4.2 is built keeping user experience in mind. In order to make things smoother, Google has added an all new Quick Settings menu which is equipped with all sorts of toggles that will fulfill most of the needs. An average user may not have to open the settings menu at all as most of the settings are covered under Quick Settings.

Play Store with Music Explorer: The Google Play Store now has more to offer. It has been updated with artists discover option which reveals similar artists to what you are listening to.

What are your thoughts on Android 4.2?

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