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Google Posts Jelly Bean Platform Highlights, Here is a List of Our Favorites

Android 4.1, Jelly Bean, is now official and will become available in July. The first devices to receive it will be the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, and XOOM, if you aren’t counting the Nexus 7 (our hands-on) which is already running it. After announcing it today at Google I/O, the Android team has posted the platform highlights, so that we can get a refresher of all of the new features.Β 

Faster, Smoother, and More Responsive

Jelly Bean will be the most impressive version of Android yet if we are talking about it on a performance level. They added triple buffering in the graphics pipeline, extended vsync timing, and tossed in some crazy intuitive touch responsiveness tech. They are calling this set of improvements Project Butter.

Expandable Notifications

One of the more visually impressive additions to Jelly Bean are the new expandable notifications. In Android 4.1, apps can be built to take advantage of a new notifications builder that lets them display more info than ever. Using a two fingered swipe, you can expand or collapse them or even perform actions directly without ever entering another app. Think of the new notifications as something no other platform has even come close to matching.

Voice Search and Google Now

The Google team introduced the world to their revamped voice search today, along with a new product called Google Now. You could call it their answer to Siri if you’d like, but really, this isn’t necessarily trying to go in that direction. Google just wants you to be able to search for things and receive answers back. That’s what the new voice search does, but to beef it up, they added voice playback and are trying to make it smarter than ever by having it recommend options depending on the time of day, location, or from previous searches.

With Google Now, they are taking Search and making it more visual. The results you receive back from doing searches arrive as cards that have been built based on your search history. There are cards for weather, calendars, navigation routes you take often, sports scores from your favorite teams, and more. It has a beautiful UI and is definitely something to keep your eye on.

Resizable Widgets

Resizable widgets have been in Android for a while now, but not like this. In Jelly Bean, you can drag a widget onto another home screen, and depending on where you want to place it, Android will adjust your screen to make room for it. Also, if you try to drop a widget onto a home screen, but the widget is bigger than the amount of space you have available, JB will resize the widget to fit without any extra work from you.

High-resolution Contact Photos

Yep, you are reading that correctly. In Jelly Bean, you can now use 720×720 resolution photos in your contacts. From the way it sounds, Gmail or other apps won’t overwrite them either. Hooray for pretty pictures again.

Android Beam

Google announced two new functionalities for their NFC-based Android Beam this morning. The first allows you to share photos and videos with another device, similarly to what you can do with the Galaxy S3. The other new feature makes connecting to NFC-ready Bluetooth devices easier than ever. Simply tap your NFC phone to them and you are connected.

Android Browser

The browser in Android 4.1 will provide a better HTML5 video experience, improved rendering speed, improved text input, better Javascript performance, and more.

Network Bandwidth Management

Ice Cream Sandwich brought us data management, however, Jelly Bean has improved upon that to be much moreΒ accurate. Apps can now query the the data meter to see if a user should attempt to download something of substance that may push them over a limit.

Audio Tweaks

There is an entire section dedicated to all of the audio tweaks that have been added to Jelly Bean. We are talking multichannel audio, better USB audio for docks, and audio chaining.


This is only the tip of the iceberg with Jelly Bean. We recommend that you check out the full Jelly Bean highlights list to see everything that has been included. We know that some were thinking the jump from 4.0 to 4.1 would be minimal, but as we said before, that is a foolish way to look at it. This update is major.

  • ChrisTraeger1

    For those less fortunate.


  • Jackson

    Pre order done

  • Eric

    Been using ParanoidAndroid 1.1 for a while now. Don’t like the new look of Jellybean tablet’s. Think I’ll stick with Paranoid for a while longer…

    • Eric

      Just read that the dev will start working on a JB/tablet ICS hybrid rom as soon as the source code is released (if that hasn’t already happened). There are features of JB that interest me, but I’m disappointed with the tablet UI mostly, I understand trying to have a more uniform look between the tablets and phone UI’s, but I’d have like to have seen them bring the phone UI to more of a tablet layout rather than bring the tablet UI to more of a ICS phone layout…

  • Raven

    Is Jellybean 4.1 going to have the concept of profiles
    so that you can sign on from different gmail addresses and get
    completely different home layouts so that 2 people could easily share a

  • Amenemhat1

    Great, I rom-ed CM9 RC1 last night to my G-Nex and now I find out that I will be moving back to stock for JB 4.1 goodness!

  • I love it how when Apple thinks they are just about catching up with Android, Google goes and leapfrogs them!

  • bogy25

    I think this is great (Jelly Bean) but I have not gotten ICS yet! Geez!

  • Alexander Garcia

    PSA… If you’ve purchased a Verizon Galaxy Nexus, you will not see JB on your device until December 2012. GSM G-Nex all day every day baby!

    • PC_Tool

      PSA: Bull.

      I’m running 4.1 on my VZW G’Nex right now.

    • HTC1

      yes but how you like that network your on? If your not on verizon you don’t have a phone!!!!! so yes you have JB but you can’t make any calls from it…..haha
      Sorry but it’s Verizon or nothing. Had/tried them all and nothing even comes close.

    • Michael G

      I have a VZW G-Nex and have been rocking 4.1 for the past two days. So I have the most updated Android OS AND the better network. Fail for the GSM G-Nex. lol (Verizon is still evil though. lol)

  • Nexus Baby!

    not a fan of the Grey looking search bar, I am a fan of the search bar in ICS, looking forward to the rest of JB though.

  • Towelie420

    Okay, so even though the Thunderbolt is completely unlocked, bootloader s-off, it still does not have ice cream sandwich even by way of custom rom. The reason why is because of the LTE radios, also known as “RIL” code which has to play nice with whatever version of android it is tied to. Since an ICS build for the Thunderbolt hasn’t even been leaked yet, they have no ICS RIL to bake into a custom ICS rom.
    Will this be the same thing with the galaxy nexus? Because if verizon takes their good old time to release/leak a build of JellyBean for the GalNex, there will be no JB RIL available. Will they just make an ICS radio work with Jellybean? What problems will this present?
    Please correct me if I am incorrect here….

  • jquest68

    please don’t tell me that “jellybean” is going to have those nasty looking icons from “ICS”. those icons really sucks. Like I mentioned before with ICS, the icons are horrible and it doesn’t blend well with the ICS UI. Metro icons matches perfect with the UI. why don’t they try something like that? Again, its super HD amoled the icons does not even look sharp. I going back to the Blackberry, lol. just kidding. But seriously why don’t they come up with a different set of icons?

  • CurtisNic

    sooo…when am i getting froyo?

  • Keii Graham

    ICS hasn’t even been out a year yet and we’re already upgrading to the new version of Android.
    Not to sound ungrateful, but that doesn’t really help the whole fragmentation thing much.

    They should make a Jellybean Light for older phones so we can have everyone on the same (or similar) OS.

    • ABerry5

      this isn’t windows phone

    • ty

      maybe you should just upgrade

  • ArrTooDeeToo

    For those (like me) who were worried about the tablet UI in Jellybean, I just found out that it still exists for larger screens.


    That means the Nexus 7 can be hacked to have the Android tablet experience we all know and love just by changing the dpi.

    And, so, I recant my earlier statement that the device is rubbish. Google made a good play here. It’s a great replacement for those who are in the market for an e-reader to replace their Kindle Fire, but also can be a nice little tablet with a simple hack.

    Carry on.

  • Jeremy Martin

    Verizon…heres looking at you. I bet you will be the last to update the Xoom LTE and Galaxy Nexus. Oh wait who cares…I run Cyanogenmod anyways. πŸ™‚

  • omgitzjose

    says galaxy nexus among the 1st to recieve 4.1 in july so i guess that means anyone with the LTE version should get it sometime around 2015.

    • Keii Graham

      We already got our one OTA. Verizon is done supporting the Galaxy Nexus now.

      • omgitzjose

        wait are you being sarcastic or does verizon only really support one update for a phone?

        • La2da

          It’s not a known fact or anything, but that seems to happen that way with just about every phone.

    • PC_Tool

      Running JB on my VZW gnex right now. Screw waiting for them.

  • omgitzjose

    i dont understand why they havnt made chrome the default browser yet? i guess maybe in key lime pie

    • Tyler

      Maybe its adobe flash related, they don’t have flash support in chrome and the main browser does, so they might be keeping the stock browser around to keep people happy. No one like features being removed from their device.

  • MikeSaver

    So by July for the Galaxy Nexus you actually mean September. and for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus you mean 2016.

  • TheOiulkj

    Kellex, Charlie iz in ur emailz! b curfull.

  • This makes me so excited to have JB on my phone…but then I realize I don’t even have ICS yet. Damn you to hell VZW!!!

  • ICS search bar looks better!

  • Bionic

    Totally loving the easily resizeable widgets. I wish my Bionic was capable of this.

  • Lemon Meringue will replace Key Lime Pie

  • I wish you could respond to text messages on the lockscreen.
    No smspopup junk.

  • Mark

    Which will be here first my Nexus 7 Tab or a jelly bean rom for my Gsm Nexus!?

  • I hope someone at I/O is covertly getting a system dump or nandroid backup while they get a chance to play with Jelly Bean on a G-Nex. They would be a hero to the community.

    • Aardvark99

      Didn’t they all get a new gnex with a preview release of JB? No need to be sneaky.

  • 4n1m4L

    Cause apple always makes it a point to compare oranges to oranges.

  • nightscout13

    I like the gallery improvements, Google Now, and Offline voice typing, FTW Google!

  • Colin Zack

    As hardware increases though that gap diminishes so there will be a point where they run equal in terms of smoothness, but Android will still have those extra features you pointed out (background tasks, widgets, etc)

    • New_Guy

      With the new Asus Infinity, we’re closer (scarily closer) than most iDevice fans should be comfortable with. The Infinity handles the iPad on almost every level except the GPU…When it gets Jelly Bean (and it will) They can keep the GPU, I’m with the Infinity all day.

      • Sven Enterlein


  • Ralph

    Audio Chaining = Gapless Playback, right?

    • this is such great news. ”
      MediaPlayer supports chaining audio streams together to play audio files without pauses. This is useful for apps that require seamless transitions between audio files such as music players to play albums with continuous tracks or games.”

    • TheWenger

      omgggggg no way.

      That’s the number one thing I’ve been wanting in Android for a long time now. I listen to soundtracks and lots of classical music where there aren’t breaks in the music.

      It needs to be mid-July right now.

  • ahem…jb looks really great but where the f is ics for my Droid Razr?!?!

    • bobukcat

      It’s all over the place, you just have to go find it and install it. I’m loving my Bionic like a new device ever since I installed the leaked build!

    • FknTwizted

      If you worried about getting ics so bad why did you buy a razr and not a nexus?

      • Probably because he wanted a decently built phone with proper baseband and global capabilities?

  • zepfloyd

    Whatever. When’s Key Lime Pie coming out?


  • eddieonofre

    Why the tablet looks so phone-ish? 7 inches is to small to be treated as a tables by the os?

  • Cowboydroid

    The best Android device will beat the best Apple device. It’s been that way for at least a year now.

    • milanyc

      Beat in what?

      • Cowboydroid

        You name it.

        • milanyc

          I’d love to hear your expertise…

          • Cowboydroid

            I’d love to hear your rebuttal.

          • milanyc

            …I thought so…

          • apple isheeps are still hoping “steve your god gets ressurected” not gonna happened apple has ok products but they belong in the history channel.. πŸ˜‰

          • dude really go back to your rotten apple

        • youre god is DEAD now!

      • apple fan girls like to spend time in android forums showing how they worship a dying god. oh wait the beast is dead!

  • Christopher Grame

    I couldn’t be more pissed about my rezound purchase…From now on it’s nexus or nothing…google rarely ever lets me down. I’m making my fanboism official!

    • Troubled_Asian

      It’s all good. Many of us have learned this lesson the hard way.

      • wickets

        When I read about goog support for nexus I bought another one (original at vz) via att and cancelled my s3 order,,,,,why s3 isnt coming out with jb is just another ^#&#* as is the home button

      • ty

        Agreed 100%. I bought a Bionic and promptly returned it for a GNex and have not regretted it one bit. I’m already running JellyBean (granted it’s unofficial, but it just seems GNex receives the most love).

    • InvaderDJ

      The Verizon Nexus isn’t all sunshine and lollipops though, It took a few weeks (can’t remember exactly how long) to get 4.0.4. You need a GSM Nexus that is either directly from Google or that is directly supported by Google.

      • ABerry5

        Don’t be silly verizon was just doing us non rooted folk a HUGE favor to force us to root now we now we have seen the light and will never go back will get it before the gsm version does

        • The delay isn’t why I rooted but it is why I went from stock to KANG. I rooted it the day I bought it.

  • @ScottyfromGA

    the “glutty” side of me is saying we’ll have Jelly Bean on the Gnex by September….

  • I need some sort of NFC SD card that will work with my MAXX! I know they exist but i can’t find anywhere to buy them.

    • I really wish google had a solution for this. A google branded SD card with NFC in it. Wallet APK on the card when you buy it. That right there would make NFC wildly more popular.

  • Why is no one mentioning that AWESOME TTS engine we heard during the voice search demo? Is that not included in JB?

    • No it is I guess maybe it just because the only feature for that was offline which sort of then gets lumped in with the new Google Search experience

    • now that you mention that, my Navigation app had a voice similar to that today while driving. I was wondering fi they updated maps to include that voice? It was soooo clear, and non-roboty (?)

      • ABerry5

        yes they did update google maps to the new TTS… it is very obvious when you hear her speak.. it no longer sounds like a robot it’s awesome!

        • My Navigation app’s voice changed as well recently. I noticed it on my way to Virginia, when at every direction change/instruction it was telling me to make a right out of my driveway, then a left.

          The voice was beautiful, but I swear she’s a moron.. haha.

  • Jackson


    I wonder if Verizon version will get it

  • Wonder if they will ever include Facebook syncing?!

    • Sven Enterlein

      Tough call. Remember, they want to push their own social network…

    • Nick

      It’s because of a disagreement with Facebook. The lack of Twitter contact sync is due to Twitter completely, older versions of the app had it and then they removed it. So the contact syncing really doesn’t have anything to do with Google or their desire to promote Google+

  • MikeCiggy

    I am very happy with all the additions and improvements. Not one thing I didn’t like. Only upsetting point i’d like to make is that my phone will be running Jelly Bean before the ICS share even got a chance to hit 10% of activated android phones. Pretty crazy.

  • rodney11ride

    Every one keeps mocking the update time frame and when verizon will push it out… Since when do we wait for verizon anymore? i thought half the purpose of getting a gnex was so you dont have to wait. googles future is going away from service providers (selling devices straightup) because they know what pain in the a$$ it is to get updates out. Now, take off your skirt, put on some pants, and unlock/root your gnex already. those who have dont need updates they pull them from developers everyday. holy cow man

    edit: im guessing the thumbs down people are looking for an OTA update πŸ™‚

    edit: For all of you waiting for the OTA – devs over at XDA forumn are already porting 4.1 sdk. Thats the point im trying to make.

    • wickets

      if you are not a techie, as I am not, you can buy the gsm version of nexus and be just as current,,,,,,or almost just as current as team xda!!!

  • CM10… LOL Months of waiting

    • rodney11ride

      Theyll have a nightly out very soon. lol if your waiting for RC1

  • follower

    when you say android browser, do you mean google chrome?

  • Allen Byrd

    What’s a stock browser? Lol, Chrome (no longer beta) will destroy all.
    All in all, this is freaking awesome. WIN, Google. WIN.

  • I’m liking the full screen mode. Having the nav bar almost constantly up on my Gnex when I’m playing games or watching Hulu/Netflix is a slight pain in the neck.

  • Jaydotelloh

    I’m more excited about Hi-Res Contact pictures (FINALLY) than I should be… I must have missed that in the keynote. The new Notification Tray, voice commands, and butter make this an awesome intermediate OS upgrade… I can’t wait!

    • I don’t recall the contact pictures being in the keynote. I did realize, when they did the butter demo side-by-side with ICS, the difference in clarity of the contact photo

    • InvaderDJ

      ICS already supported high res contact pictures the problem was that Gmail resized them and made them look like crap. Hopefully they fix that on the backend so the contact pictures actually stay looking good.

  • Jigga_Z

    For people concerned about not getting updates, I’m with you. Although, Google did include Jellybean in their new PDK which they’re giving to OEMs 2-3 months in advance. It might not help with the gap from GB to ICS, but here on out, things should be better! πŸ™‚

    • jaydotelloh

      I’m not really concerned. There will custom ROMs long before any OTA, so most people are covered.

  • Chris Malkiewicz

    Still don’t see a solution to the group messaging problem… Well without having to install a a separate app. Maybe they just forgot to add it to the list? Wishful thinking??

    • Nick

      Google talk? Google+? Do they really need a third one?

      • Chris Malkiewicz

        Well built in to the stock msg app would be nice no? No one has G+ (yet) or talk… just thought it would be a nice feature all can take advantage of.

        • tyguy829

          Every single android user automatically has talk when they sign into their google account for the first time.

          • Dave

            I think the point is not everyone has the smarts to drop their i*hone and pickup and Android device. I see what you guys are saying and I agree but we’re out of luck with apple users. I can see the usefulness in that!

          • Nicky

            YES!!!! It’s so completely annoying that I can’t join in on a stupid group message from an iPhone user… I will never use a 3rd party app cause they are all so cartoonish LOL. Please lets get a fix… as mentioned above google+ and talk just won’t work completely cover it. Not until more people are using it at least!

        • Nick

          Everyone has talk by default. And no..Google doesn’t need a third app that does the same thing as two of their already existing apps, one of which everyone with an android phone has anyways.

          • Nicky

            I think you missed the point πŸ˜›

          • Chris Malkiewicz

            Oh trust me I get what your saying its just the iphone users. unfortunately I know too many of them… Guess it is time to rethink friends HA

        • dtm4

          This is so frustrating to me. Even my old blackberry could handle the group sms with no problem. No matter what sms is the most versatile way to get a hold of people, everyone has it and a lot of people don’t have g+ or talk, why is it so hard for them to implement something that should have been there years ago

  • J Dub

    You left out the app updating part where app updates will only push the code in the APK that has changed. BIG improvement there I think. Developers don’t have to do anything either. Google Play takes care of that part. Makes a lot of sense that if only 10 lines of code change you don’t download all of it. Just those 10 lines.

    Crowd reaction wasn’t much about the PDK, but I can see this being huge for OEM’s and quick updates. Two or three months before they release to the SDK the PDK will get the newest code to let OEM’s and hardware get a jump on the new Android releases. Think about that. A lot of people could have had ICS months ago if this were already in place.

    • BrianLipp

      Is that JB only? Im pretty sure thats a behind the scenes update to Google Play and not specific to your android version

      • Royal2000H

        Correct. It’s GB and up for the Play store.

      • J Dub

        Could be across the board. Still pretty sweet and worth mentioning I think.

  • “browser in Android 4.1″… is it not Chrome? (And if not, wft?)

    • shamu11

      yeah i was confused too

    • Royal2000H

      The keynote said Chrome is the browser in the Nexus 7 specifically. Didn’t say it about Jelly Bean broadly.

      • zepfloyd

        JBQ confirmed today that Chrome is NOT part of AOSP. So no, it’s not replacing the browser. …for the foreseeable future anyway.

  • Driver

    Still no ICS and now they bring out Jellybean….

    • MKader17

      Blame OEMs and Carriers, not Google.

    • J Dub

      Dude. Learn to root and ROM. Unless you have one of those silly Moto phones. My Galaxy S 1 has had working ICS for months via AOKP.

      • Some of us love the latest and greatest, but don’t have time to tweak our phones.

  • conrad

    Verizon GNex will get the update probably in mid-december.

    • Troubled_Asian

      The sad thing is, you are probably not far off from what will really happen… I’m betting it gets it at the end of Oct to mid-Nov.

      • michael arazan

        I am wondering if the gnex will get 4.1 before the new nexus line comes out

    • TY

      I know I’m blowing up this comments section with this…but ROOTZWIKI HAS AN UNOFFICIAL JELLYBEAN BUILD UP (CDMA) AND IT’S AMAZING.

  • phaeacian

    Meanwhile, here in reality, I’m still waiting for my RAZR ICS update. Sad panda.

    • chris125

      been running it on my maxx for almost a week now =)

      • John

        Are you a soak test user?

        • DanKemple

          Running it on my Bionic for a week now too

          • kwubba

            Me too…and loving it…I’ve put my Gnex down and have been solely using my Bionic.

          • ty

            Well you’re wrong. RootzWiki has a JellyBean build up already for CMDA Gnex users and it’s amazing.

      • Alexander Garcia

        I’m not a soak tester and I’ve been running it since Saturday morning. Woke up and checked my updates on a whim and BAM! ICS heaven baby!!!

    • nwd1911

      I’m starting at my Rezound doing the same thing. Sucks to now be 2 releases behind.

      • meijin3

        That does suck. Sorry dude.

    • New_Guy

      Why…didn’t it go live a few days ago?

    • Alexander Garcia

      Are you rooted? I’ve been running ICS since Saturday morning and I’m not even a soak tester.

    • picaso86

      Why dont you force update like most of us did??? trust me it is not that hard….

  • kidheated

    I just looked through the full list from the source link and I didn’t see anything about notifications as far as the notification light goes. All the new (notification) features look sick, but you would think that they would take the popularity of LightFLow and have it built in. Hopefully El Googs did and I just missed it.

  • Luke

    Think the Verizon Galaxy Nexus will get that OTA in July?

    • Casey Puyleart

      about as likely as the vzw xoom getting it…

    • I’m thinking January

      2014 j/k

    • Bigsike

      Yes July! of 2013

    • New_Guy

      Don’t worry, AOKP should handle that for you =)…

    • New_Guy

      Done =)…

  • If “butter” works as advertised, it sounds like the last nail in the coffin for iOS’s claims of superiority.

    • shooter50

      it doesn’t work as advertised. anyone who says it does is not being honest with themselves or us. I’m no apple fan, but the N7 is nowhere near as smooth as an ipad. simple tasks like scrolling pulse newsreader drag and stutter. That doesn’t mean I don’t like JB, but project butter is not as advertised. I get far smoother experience on my Galaxy S3 running ICS

      • I have JB on my Droid Bionic and I must say it works as advertised. And this is a port that is still in BETA stages! . . . it is leaps and bound smoother than ICS ever was. Don’t get me wrong ICS itself was a big improvement from GB and was no slouch.

        The man reason iPad might still feel smoother in some cases is it has a more powerful GPU. As auto enthusiasts would say, their is no replacement for displacement.

        What is important is that Android no longer has that unresponsive laggy UI. You’d be very hard pressed to find any stutter.

  • Rockrdr

    SO where are the 4.1 Roms πŸ™‚


      Waiting on 4.1 source.

      • New_Guy

        Probably not for long either =).

        • zepfloyd

          JBQ said in Android building today “in a few weeks”

          • New_Guy


  • does Google Play services at the end of the list mean we’ll finally see google+ integration into third party clients??!?!

  • Asuriyan

    Wifi Xoom purchase, still paying off almost a year and a half later.

    • bvgillis


    • Colin Zack

      I’m in the same boat with my GTab 10.1. Don’t regret it, but I’m hoping the ICS upgrade improves it. Not loving the custom rom I have on it now.

      • Butters619

        Lol the point was that the Wifi Xoom gets updates right away (or very quickly)

        • Colin Zack

          Haha welp, definitely misread that. I thought he meant he was still paying off his wifi xoom purchase and therefore didn’t want to get this new tablet until he’d finished.

  • bvgillis

    Sounds great, totally useless to all of us with older devices. I’ll be excited about the next ^ next version (licorice?) before I get this one.

    • mike leistiko

      rethink the alphabet.

      • bvgillis

        Meant to say “Next Next version” πŸ˜‰

  • no

    when will verizon nexus get it? January 2013

    • tomn1ce

      That’s too soon…..