Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Android 4.2: A new flavor of Jelly Bean.

Google announced it's new Nexus tablet & smartphone line, along with new version of Android 4.2. While Android 4.2 isn't a major upgrade, it does bring significant improvements to Jelly Bean & takes the speed and simplicity of Jelly Bean to a different level.

New Features
  1. Multi-user Support: On Android 4.2-powered tablets, but not on smartphones, you'll be able to have multiple users. Each user will get his or her own setup. That means, for example, you can have your own home-screen, background, widgets, apps and games, while your spouse or office partner can have their own unique tablet experience. You can set this up so a new user must login to the tablet or they'll be able to simply hit a button and away they'll go with their own tablet take.
  2. Miracast: From Tablet and Smartphone to TV: Apple recently introduced AirPlay Mirroring in iOS 5 and Mac OS X, Mountain Lion. With it, you can throw your screen to any Apple TV-equipped television. Android 4.2 will let you do the same thing with any TV, DVD-player, or other media device that supports Miracast. Miracast is the trade name for Wi-Fi Direct or WiDi. This is an 802.11n compatible network protocol for display-sharing. With a compatible device or a Miracast adapter, you'll be able to stream Internet TV shows and movies from your smartphone or tablet to your TV.
  3. Gesture Typing: Do you use Swype, the popular third-party on-screen keyboard replacement? If you do, then you'll find the same basic functionality to make on-screen keyboards more useful in Gesture Typing. Just glide your finger over the letters you want to type, and lift after each word. You don’t have to worry about spaces because they’re added automatically for you. The keyboard can anticipate and predict the next word, so you can finish entire sentences just by selecting suggested words. Power through your messages like never before. Android's dictionaries are now more accurate and relevant. With improved text-to-speech capabilities, voice typing on Android is even better. It works even when you don't have a data connection, so you can type with your voice everywhere you go.
  4. Smart Screen-Savers: Android 4.2's Daydream is actually a smart screen-saver. It lets you display photo slideshows, news headlines, and the like.
  5. Photo Sphere: This feature allow you to capture images up, down, all around you to from Google Street View style panoramic images. When you're snapping a photo sphere, you can move in every direction, you can look up, you can look down, every detail from the original scene is just there. Photo Spheres are stored as JPEG files, and all of the information required to view them is embedded as open XML metadata in the image itself.