After the October 29 event in New York was postponed due to hurricane Sandy, Google announced what was already expected to be announced today, October 30. The Nexus 4 phone made in partnership with LG is official and so is the Nexus 10 tablet made with Samsung. Together with these, Google also announced the new Android 4.2 called by them “a new flavor of Jelly Bean”.
It seems Google changed a few things from the previous version. They brag about a whole new camera experience and a new typing method. But let’s take a look at all the new features that Android 4.2 brings to the table:
Photo Sphere Camera Mode
This new Camera feature allows to to take a panoramic photo, while allowing you to take snapshots horizontally and vertically. You can move the camera up, down, left,right, doesn’t matter, in the end you get a completely amazing photo sphere that puts you right in the middle of the action. The technology is very similar to Google’s Street View, so it figures they thought of sharing it with us.
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No more Swype. Now it’s Gesture Typing.
This new typing feature is similar to swype. You can type by gliding your finger over the letters and releasing when you finish a word. The prediction features is now more efficient than ever and dictionaries are really improved. Also the text-to-speech feature is now upgraded and voice typing works amazing. It even works in offline mode, so no data connectivity needed anymore.
Multiple users allowed on tablets
This tablet only feature is meant to give families the right to their own privacy. With multi-user feature you can now have more people using the same tablet, and each person will have their own homescreen, widgets, apps, customizations, games and so on. Switching between users is really simple because of the multitasking ability built in Android. There’s no log in log out needed.
Wireless display feature
This means that you can see the content that’s on your phone on a big screen TV, with the condition that the TV is HDMI-enabled and connected to a wireless display adapter.
A new feature that displays information, gallery images, albums and other useful stuff when the device is idle or docked.
Expandable, actionable notifications
You are now even more notified and in touch with what’s going on with your device with the new notification menu. Drag it from the top of the screen and see how many things you can do directly from there.
New Google Search and Google Now
Google Now is a very intuitive-like feature supposed to make your day to day activities a lot easier. With Google Now you get the weather automatically, the next train info, the nearby places recommended and so on, without even searching for them. Google Search seems to be improved its Knowledge Graph, and voice search apparently works better.
The new Android 4.2 is bringing faster, smoother and easier UI then ever. Moving between screen is comparable to turning the page of a book. The responsiveness is now faster than ever and also includes a special feature that accelerates the CPU when you touch the screen and decelerates it when it is in standby, all to improve battery life.
It also features the Android Beam based on NFC technology for faster sharing of photos, contacts, pages, directions and so on. Also adding widgets seems to be more accessible now with the icons self-arranging themselves on the screen to make room for the widget, and also re-sizing it if it’s not fitting.
Overall, Android is making me curious with this OS and I’m looking forward to see it in my hands. Until now, it seems it will come together with the Nexus 4 device. Hopefully other devices will get updates soon, but knowing that Android 4.1 is only being released to Galaxy S3, we shouldn’t be very anxious to get the 4.2 very soon.
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