Google Unveils Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Google unveiled the new version of their mobile operating system – Android 4.1 “Jelly Bean” at the Google I/O developer conference earlier today.

Jelly Bean includes a number of new features and improvements such as smoother, faster and more fluid user interface, Siri-like voice search, improved notifications, offline voice typing, redesigned search, smart app updates and more.

Improved UI:

Google claims it has made the UI smoother, faster and more fluid in Android 4.1. Google showed two Google Nexus devices side by side – one running Ice Cream Sandwich and the other running Jelly Bean to demonstrate the improvements, which we have embedded below.

Enhanced Notifications:

Users will now be able to take action directly from the notifications tray. Notifications can expand and collapse. For example: Gmail Notifications include a richer preview of unread messages, Google+ notifications can show photos within the notification tray etc. You will also be able to callback from the notification tray if you missed a call.

Home Screen Management:

You can move the widgets around even with busy home screens. When you slide the widget, everything else like icons move to make room and when widgets are too big they automatically resize.

Offline Voice Typing:

Users won’t need a data connection to perform voice dictation. The feature will initially available for U.S. English.

Siri-like Voice Search:

Google has improved voice search in Jelly Bean with a natural voice responding to queries similar to Siri and is and is powered by the Knowledge Graph.

Other features and changes:

  • Redesigned Search with Google Now
  • Revamped Camera and Gallery Apps
  • Improved virtual keyboard
  • Smart App updates – essentially incremental updates for apps.
  • App encryption – paid apps will be delivered with device-specific key

Google will be releasing Android 4.1 “Jelly Bean” via over-the-air updates in mid-July. It will support Galaxy Nexus, Motorola Xoom, Nexus S. Nexus 7 – Google’s Android based tablet will be the first device to come pre-installed with Jelly Bean.

What do you folks think of the new features in Android 4.1?