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A Look at What’s New in Android 4.3

Nexus 4 Android 4.3

Not only did we get two new devices from Google today, the Nexus 7 and Chromecast, but we got a brand new version of the Android OS. Android 4.3, still named Jelly Bean, isn’t the most major update for the OS we have seen, but it does bring a few things that people should enjoy. Below, we will go over the additions to Android 4.3 as highlighted by the Android team on their official blog. 

Bluetooth Smart aka Low Energy 

Certain sensors and devices that rely on Bluetooth Low Energy will now finally have support on Android. For example, there are many fitness bands that you can strap to your body, which will then relay information straight to your device via Bluetooth Smart. These sensors can check heart beat, calories burned during a workout and things of that nature. What makes Smart different is that it consumes less power to transmit this information to your device, allowing for both your phone and sensor to last longer.

Dialpad Autocomplete

The stock dialer got a fancy update, now allowing for an auto-complete setting. When typing out a number or even a name in the dialer, the device will automatically check your entry against the address book to save you some time. It shows three numbers at once, so the chances of it hitting the right number and saving you some key presses is quite high. This feature can be toggled on and off in the Settings menu.

Smart Dialer

Accelerated 3D Graphics With OpenGL ES 3.0

The new Nexus 7 comes equipped with support for OpenGL ES 3.0, the newest industry standard for accelerated 3D graphics. What this will allow for are more immersive and highly-detailed games to be made available for the platform. “This brings photorealism to a whole new level in the games you’re playing: blades of grass on the soccer field come alive, asphalt on the street looks real as you screech by, stubble on a villains’ face almost pokes out of the screen.” Developers can already go out and start taking advantage of this for their games through Google’s developer site.

Restricted Profiles for Tablets

An addition that only tablet users will be able to use is Restricted Profiles. There is already multiple account support on Android tablets running Jelly Bean, but with these new restricted profiles, one account can be used to manage other accounts on the device. For example, if there is one tablet to a family of five, the children’s accounts can be set up not to display mature content and will allow for a safe browsing/gaming experience on the device. Each account can have its own settings, so while one account isn’t allowed to do Google searches, the others are.

Other Android 4.3 additions:

  • Virtual surround sound.
  • Easier text input – an improved algorithm for tap-typing recognition makes text input easier.
  • Lower latency input for gamepad buttons and joysticks.
  • Bluetooth AVRCP 1.3 support – display song names on a car stereo.
  • Additional language support.
  • Disabled apps tab – check which apps are disabled in Settings > Apps.
  • Faster user switching – switching users from the lock screen is now faster.
  • Location detection through Wi-Fi – use Wi-Fi to detect location without turning on Wi-Fi all the time.
  • Enhanced photo daydream – navigate through interesting albums.

And that’s it for the major changes. Check out the full blog post from the Android team and the Android site for the full changelog.

Via: Official Android Blog

  • Ruel Smith

    Isn’t the biggest factor for 4.3 TRIM support? No more performance losses over time…

  • John Burke

    How was the addition of Notification Listener Service not even mentioned?

  • DirkBelig

    I’ve got a Nexus 4 and Ford Sync and I’m still not seeing song titles on my displays. Both Play Music and Pocket Casts just show “Bluetooth Stream Detected” and no song info. I was really stoked to have this feature, but still no joy. :(

  • laiwang883

    tinyurl.com/l3cselt.

  • peter

    Anyone know if they fixed the lack of volume separation setting?

  • Lucas

    I flashed this update today and it’s amazing so far. The battery life has been wonderful and the Google voice app now works like it should for me. Everyone may think this is a small update, but I see and feel some huge improvements with speed and other things. So far so good. :-)

    • Skittlez

      Good to hear that battery life is better. Can’t wait to use it and see what i can get on a charge

  • Alex Boro

    Can’t forget the addition of an emoji keyboard. That’s a biggie for me since all of my friends use them.

    • chris420o

      theyve had this since jb…but is it now stock…most roms i have to flash it seperately

  • Anon Yser

    Does anyone know when the 4.3 update for the original N7 will be released?

  • Sean Bello

    I thought the openGL was just a N7 feature, not of 4.3? this makes it sound like any device on 4.3 will get the new openGL support, or is that the case?

    • chris420o

      android feature…so any device

  • CharlesJorgenson

    FINALLY BLUETOOTH IS FIXED!!! seriously so happy for this, its been annoying me forever. Song titles are now displayed in my car!!

    • Nate595

      Yeah that seems to be the biggest upgrade in 4.3

  • jzwerlz43

    has anybody heard if the galaxy s3 will be getting 4.2 or jumping strait to 4.3 instead?

    • Nate595

      It would be great if the S3 would get updated straight to 4.3 since its not a major update but even if its only updated to 4.2 you’re not missing out on too much it looks like.

      • jzwerlz43

        it would seem that way I’ll be satisfied with either at this point as long as it fixes my connection issues. I’ve been dropping 4G lately a lot since the latest update. also have been having issues with texts occasionally not sending and just sitting trying to send without failing to send, so il never know that they didnt send until i check them lol. idk if thats related to my connection issue or if its a separate software bug.

  • Chris VanAnden

    ha, the only feature that I actually am happy about is the AVRCP.

    I use my G-Nex to connect to my stereo to stream music and it always bothered me that it tells me title – unknown – artist – unknown.

    Other than that, I don’t see any real benefits, for me at least.

  • Mike

    I want some 4.3 goodness. Update looks great.

  • RaptorOO7

    So finally a better T9 type experience and BT 4.0 support. Great, can we get it for the HTC One GE now please.

  • Flyinion

    “Bluetooth AVRCP 1.3″

    About time, this has been missing since 4.2.x. Will be nice to have it back. Still baffled as to why it was removed in the first place. I thought new versions were supposed to be upgrades lol.

    • ohshaith55

      pretty much all i cared about either but actually it was never in android and has been requested for years. only phones with custom skins have had it (as sad as that is).

      • Flyinion

        Hmmm well I’m not sure on all the details of how it got in there, but I know at least the 4.1.x versions of AOKP had it and then in 4.2 it went away. The explanation I got was that Google changed the BT stuff in 4.2 and reverted to an older version. I don’t remember far enough back now to remember if 4.0.x ICS builds of AOKP had it or not.

        • ohshaith55

          Oh yeah. I can illuminate that a bit. Prior to 4.2 android used a different Bluetooth stack(I think its called) but on 4.2 they switched to one made by blueZ. The company who made the previous one had released avrcp 1.3 but Google hadn’t implemented it. So devs were able to integrate it into Roms by using what the creator released. But with blueZ they were out of luck.

          • Flyinion

            Aha the final piece of the puzzle. Now it really makes sense lol. Thanks for the info!!

  • Aaron

    Shiny ROM Jelly Bean 4.3 is now available for VZW Gnex (toro)!

    • PhoenixPath

      I really wish I knew how to port this to manta…

  • Butters619

    I’m guessing a lot of the Android team is tackling the next big build (5.0 KLP) while this got a few new updates to keep in going.

  • Adam Kortan

    Any word on the new Dialer becoming a standalone app? With those new predictions I would definitely give it a shot, my touchwiz dialer is starting to annoy me a little bit. Being able to see the top 3 suggestions at once is awesome and as a bonus it looks much cooler too.

    • kareem goddard

      its already an app just look up ICS Dialer

      • Adam Kortan

        That might be a good third party replacement, but I’m talking an official Google app like they did with the Google Keyboard.

  • Hatyrei

    I have a question does the new Bluetooth supports information sync like to the car? that will show album covers and such>?

  • TruthHurtsTheWeak

    DAM! Sounds like a pretty substantial update. If you are too ignorant to realize the significance of this update, just STFU. No one cares what your dumba$$ thinks or can manage to write because you’re an idiot, DUH! F the grammer and spelling police too. Cant forget those losers.

  • David Degnan

    “Location detection through Wi-Fi – use Wi-Fi to detect location without turning on Wi-Fi all the time.”
    A lot of people have been upset over retailers using phones’ wifi MAC addresses to track their movements around the store to track foot traffic and customer habits. The easiest soluion is to turn off your wifi. With this, I don’t know if you can anymore.

    • 4n1m4L

      Surely there will be a way to turn it all the way off

      • Higher_Ground

        probably as easy as turning off location settings, though I guess it would be a pain if you relied on them fairly often.

  • Adamania

    Ever since switching to an N4 from an S3, I can’t tell you how badly I miss the auto-complete dialer. Finally!

  • chaoslimits

    I hope the so called battery improvements are real.

  • Pete Arado

    Any word on that transparent navigation bar we saw on the Moto X? Not sure if that’s a Moto thing or a Google thing

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Tim-o-tato

      Moto thing.

      • Pete Arado

        Bummer. Maybe Nova could add it into a future release.

        • Sean Bello

          you can do it with AOKP

          • Pete Arado

            Never tried that before, but might have to. Just got word from Nova stating they can’t implement since it’s system software. Sucks.

  • joejoe5709

    Hmmm. Nothing to see here, but that’s alright. I’m almost always thankful for updates however minor they may be.

  • BrianCherry

    When the OTA comes, will it delete my root and lock my bootloader like the adb/sideloader ROM? Nexus 4 and 10.

    • Justin W

      Highly likely

    • Mike

      It will unroot, but it will not relock bootloader.

      • BrianCherry

        Ok, then I might as well just wait for a third party ROM. Thanks

        • Mike

          takes 30 seconds to reflash the root zip file…

          • BrianCherry

            root zip file?

          • Mike

            Yep, the one you flashed the first time you rooted.

            https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.koushikdutta.superuser#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDIxMiwiY29tLmtvdXNoaWtkdXR0YS5zdXBlcnVzZXIiXQ..

            Koush hasn’t updated it yet for 4.3 though.

          • BrianCherry

            Yea but that flash isn’t what root your device or does it. I thought it was iOS where it was a process and such. I never know which is unlocking the bootloader and which is actually rooting the device since I always have to do them at the same time anyways.

          • Sean Bello

            followed instructions online and relocked my bootloader then unlocked it. bye-bye every backup I had.

          • BrianCherry

            Yea the AOSP ROM wipes your device completely clean, unroots and locks the bootloader. That why I didn’t even attempt to flash it.

          • Sean Bello

            beyond ripshit right now. I almost wanna just put it up and stop using it til I get the new one rather than spend hours getting it back to where I had it.

          • BrianCherry

            I know how you feel. I’ve done it to my Nexus 4, 10 and my computer multiply times. Instead of these little updates, Google need to implement universal backup. It backs up everything in one central place instead of Photos and Videos to Google+ and other stuff elsewhere and just something not every being backed up.

          • Sean Bello

            I’d settle for an extra pop up box saying “this will wipe your SD storage partition as well” with a yes or no. I actually DID try copying my TWRP backup to my computer, but the data ext files wouldn’t come over for some reason. I should’ve left well enough alone.

  • Greyhame

    Stupid question: does the bluetooth device you’re connecting to have to support LE for the phone/tablet to be able use the LE feature? For example, in a car which does not support BT LE, will the phone not connect using the LE setting? Thanks in advance.

    • coggy9

      LE is not meant for audio. It’s made for smartwatches, heart rate monitors, and other small electronics that need the battery to last. If you can get audio going through the current LE standards with no loss compared to normal BT, I’ll make a hat out of gold and eat it.

      • jaredgreenwald

        Sounds delicious.

      • Greyhame

        So both devices need the proper hardware to use it then?

        • coggy9

          Yes.

  • JimmyHACK

    Dont forget:
    The /system partition is now mounted nosuid for zygote-spawned processes, preventing Android applications from executing setuid programs. This reduces root attack surface and likelihood of potential security vulnerabilities.

  • Rocketjrb

    Did it fix bluetooth streaming connection? Not just AVRCP.

    • Justin W

      I haven’t had issues with bluetooth streaming on my N4 (unrooted/rommed) – it’s always streamed just fine to my in-dash. What issues are you having?

      • Rocketjrb

        Losing connection during streaming to my in-dash nav. Includes my Razr Maxx HD (Pacman rom) and S4 (Stock and Eclipse rom). Looking through random forums, ive read its a 4.2.2. problem

      • Tyler Bowden

        I’ve had problems with my VZW GNEX disconnecting from my car stereo or saying it’s connected but not hearing music.

  • Cary Zuber

    Anyone get the OTA yet, either for Nexus 4 or Nexus 10?

    • Rob Kein

      Also Nexus 7?

    • 4n1m4L

      Probably not, but the factory images are available, just don’t wipe data.

  • chocolate noodle

    screw all that, BRING THE ROMS!!!

    • udev

      Yes… The mod is strong with this one…

    • EatUrCrap

      “Bluetooth AVRCP 1.3 support – display song names on a car stereo”

      That’s actually my #1 feature that I want! I use the blutooth music in my car, and it just says “BluTooth Media Stream” instead of the song name!

      • Drooooid

        I already see the song name, artist, and album when I stream my GS4

        • Kayak83

          I think bluetooth won’t send music tag info to the stereo if the music is on the external card. When I had Spotify stored on my internal memory it worked but now that it’s on my external it won’t. all speculation, though.

          • Drooooid

            I stream my music with Google Music…The text shows up with that service. I think Pandora too. Can’t speak for local MP3s

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          Remember that OEM skins/driver blobs/kernels for non-Nexus devices often add features such as additional BT profile support. This is an official addition to AOSP, so they won’t be required to add it themselves anymore.

      • RW10427

        Ya I have Ford sync and it would be very nice to have a displayed track/artist instead of media stream.

      • RW10427

        Ya I have Ford sync and it would be very nice to have a displayed track/artist instead of media stream.

  • jaredgreenwald

    I always thought that BT4 was a hardware thing. Are they saying that BT4 will now be enabled on all Android devices running 4.3?

    • Pedro

      It’s both. Hardware has been installed on devices for awhile, but only Sammy put out software to use it.
      Now it’s in the android stack. And that’s good.

      • jaredgreenwald

        And how would you know if your device supports it?

        • Pedro

          Got to check the specs of the device. See if it’s BT 4.0 capable. That’s the hardware.
          You may need to do a little more investigation, though, and get down to the hardware chip. Maybe iFixit teardowns may help??

  • n11

    Sounds like fairly minor :/
    What about battery efficiency, speed, and other options?
    The only thing I can see myself making use of at this point is the graphics boost, for the few games I play, I guess.

    Kind of a let-down really.

    • Brandon Jiang

      what did you expect? the big changes are coming in 5.0 klp

      • n11

        But still! :/

    • 4n1m4L

      Efficiency and speed are mostly device dependant but any time they can they do make android better each release. No specifics this time but you can bet they put more effort into butter.

  • Pedro

    The T-9 dialer (or Google’s version of it) is something you never realize you need until you have it. Enjoy, stock dudes!

    Except for the VZW GNex stock dudes.

    • Tac

      My poor toro :( oh well, not too long until AOKP cooks something up

      • Higher_Ground

        Isn’t this basically already included in AOKP? It doesn’t give you three options but it searches through your dialer to autocomplete the number. The stock dudes don’t know what they’re missing (unless they had a motoblur phone, even the DX did this back in 2010).

    • tvBilly

      I’m running 4.3 right now on my VZW GNex…

      • baxiwolecexo

        мy coυѕιɴ ιѕ мαĸιɴɢ $51/нoυr oɴlιɴe. υɴeмployed ғor α coυple oғ yeαrѕ αɴd prevιoυѕ yeαr ѕнe ɢoт α $1З619cнecĸ wιтн oɴlιɴe joв ғor α coυple oғ dαyѕ. ѕee мore αт…­ ­ViewMore——————————————&#46qr&#46net/kkEj

        Any word on the new Dialer
        becoming a standalone app? With those new predictions I would
        definitely give it a shot, my touchwiz dialer is starting to annoy me a
        little bit. Being able to see the top 3 suggestions at once is awesome
        and as a bonus it looks much cooler too.

      • michael arazan

        Hopefully the Moto x was in mind, which is what I plan on replacing my GNex with

      • EatUrCrap

        Is it rooted?

    • Chris

      I had it on my HTC phones, and when I got my GS4 it didn’t have that. I had to download an app just because I missed it so much!

  • Sam

    So, Key Lime Pie next May I’m assuming?

    • Kenny Larson

      Probably this November when the Nexus 5 drops.

      • Michael Smith

        Is there an article or something that refers to the Nexus 5 and it’s November release date?

        • Blue Sun

          All rumors & expectations based on historical events.

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      November is always the major update time frame along with new nexus

      • Sam

        Not neccessarily, at Google I/O 2012 that’s where they introduced Jelly Bean, so November isn’t exclusively reserved for big OS updates.

        Additionally, I don’t recall anything significant being released, software-wise, when the Nexus 4 came out.

        • kdo23

          Dude nexus 7 last summer came with 4.1 then the move to 4.2 with the nexus 4. I guess if you’re talking major they both were bigger than this. 4.2 brought the toggles and broke bt. Prior to that the galaxy nexus with 4.0.

          • Sam

            You’re right, I’m not disagreeing with you. My point is that OS releases aren’t coming out in November only.

  • Rob Kein

    Galaxy Nexus receives this update in 9 months.

    • Fozzybare

      the galaxy nexus already has it.

      • Rob Kein

        VZW Galaxy Nexus?

        • Fozzybare

          gotta be specific

        • http://www.droid-life.com/ Tim-o-tato

          VZW G-Nex update to 4.3? Sometime later. GSM G-Nex update came today.

          • Rob Kein

            Thanks.

          • SparkysShocker

            Now if you are looking for a ROM 4.3 and VZW Binaries are on AOSP now. So custom ROMs will be hitting soon.

          • Greyhame

            Possible without 4.3 images for the GNex?

          • Cary Zuber

            This could be bogus. Has anyone tried flashing the images from google for the gsm galaxy nexus, then flashing the lte and other radio.

          • Raj Bhatt

            Binaries are up for VZW GNex, so using those and AOSP they can build ROMs.

          • tvBilly

            Sometime later is already. The Shiny ROM is available and working (along with root).

        • KleenDroid

          The Verizon Gnex may not get the ota as quickly as others but it doesn’t matter anyways. You simply install it on your own. The devs have it ready to go lickity split. Which is one of the big benefits of having a Nexus in the first place.

          Never understood people squawking about updates for a Nexus when it takes all of five minutes to install it yourself.

      • Ian

        We know he means the VZW GNex.

    • Blue Sun

      That Nexus isn’t a REAL Nexus, silly…

      • Greyhame

        Hey, easy now… *pats GNex on the back*

      • KleenDroid

        Buy yourself just about any other phone and then perform an actual bootloader unlock…. Hmm not so easy.

        Then pick up the Verizon Gnex and bingo…. Simple, easy unlock and root.

        It also has the most up to date software available faster than any other non Nexus phone. Yes you may have to spend 5 minutes installing it yourself, but its nice being able to.

        It is usually those that own other phones or don’t root and ROM that say its not a Nexus.

    • Guy Pierce

      ROM