Android Jelly Bean
Technology & Science

Android Jelly Bean

Android Jelly BeanAndroid “Jelly Bean” refers to three major point releases of the Android mobile operating system developed by Google.

The first of these three, 4.1, was unveiled at Google’s I/O developer conference in June 2012, focusing on performance improvements designed to give the operating system a smoother and more responsive feel, improvements to the notification system allowing for “expandable” notifications with action buttons, and other internal changes. Two more releases were made under the Jelly Bean name in October 2012 and July 2013 respectively, including 4.2—which included further optimizations, multi-user support for tablets, lock screen widgets, quick settings, and screen savers, and 4.3—which contained further improvements and updates to the underlying Android platform.

Android 4.1 “Jelly Bean” was first unveiled at the Google I/O developer conference on June 27, 2012, with a focus on “delightful” improvements to the platform’s user interface, along with improvements to Google’s search experience on the platform (such as Knowledge Graph integration, and the new digital assistant Google Now), the unveiling of the Asus-produced Nexus 7 tablet, and the unveiling of the Nexus Q media player.

 For Jelly Bean, work was made on optimizing the operating system’s visual performance and responsiveness through a series of changes referred to as “Project Butter”: graphical output is now triple buffered, vsync is used across all drawing operations, and the CPU is brought to full power when touch input is detected—preventing the lag associated with inputs made while the processor is in a low-power state. These changes allow the operating system to run at a full 60 frames per second on capable hardware.

 Following 4.1, two more Android releases were made under the Jelly Bean codename; both of these releases focused primarily on performance improvements and changes to the Android platform itself, and contained relatively few user-facing changes. Alongside Android 4.1, Google also began to decouple APIs for its services on Android into a new system-level component known as Google Play Services, serviced through Google Play Store. This allows the addition of certain forms of functionality without having to distribute an upgrade to the operating system itself, addressing the infamous “fragmentation” problems experienced by the Android ecosystem.

 Android Jelly Bean adds smarter text prediction that can learn from your typing habits and starts to predict the next word before you’ve even typed it. This function is either pretty amazing or really creepy evidence of Google mind reading skills.

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