Posted by Chris Martin 25 July 2013
Google Android 4.3 Jelly Bean release date and new features
Things have been a bit quiet on the Android front so far this year. Google I/O has been and gone with no new version of the mobile operating system but yesterday Google introduced Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. Updated on 25/07/13.
Google announced Android 4.3 Jelly Bean at an event in San Francisco with a new Nexus 7 tablet to show it off.
Without further ado, let's take a look at what 4.3 Jelly Bean adds to your Android device and when you'll get it.
See also: iOS 7 vs Android Jelly Bean.
Android 4.3 Jelly Bean: Release date
With Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie still to be unveiled, likely to be in the autumn, you'll have to make do with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.
If you own a Nexus 4, Nexus 7 (2012), Nexus 10 or a Samsung Galaxy Nexus then you're in luck. Android 4.3 Jelly Bean is rolling out to these devices already. Google also said the Google/Nexus editions of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One will be getting it in the 'coming weeks'.
Sony has said: "Yesterday you probably saw Google announce the next version of Jelly Bean (Android 4.3) – we're already getting stuck in and can confirm we'll make 4.3 available for: Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR, Xperia Tablet Z, Xperia SP and Xperia Z Ultra"
It will also update some other handsets, but which ones and timings are still to be confirmed.
Beyond this, we have no information. You'll just have to be patient and wait for your manufacturer to roll-out the update.
Regardless of when you get Android 4.3 Jelly Bean you probably want to know what new features it brings. Unfortunately it's a small and not very exciting update with the headline additions being restricted accounts and Bluetooth Smart.
Nevertheless here is the complete list of new features of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.
Android 4.3 Jelly Bean: New features
Restricted profiles for tablets
An evolution of the support for multiple users, Google has added restricted accounts which are similar to Kids Corner on Windows Phone. The feature lets you manage the apps and content which is accessible on a certain user account.
Google said: "For example, restricted profiles enable parental controls, so certain family members are prevented from accessing mature content. Alternately, retail stores can use tablets as kiosks that show product information, or shops can use tablets as point of sale systems, all while limiting access to apps."
Bluetooth Smart support (Bluetooth Low-Energy)
As expected, version 4.3 brings low-energy Blutooth which has been dubbed Bluetooth Smart. It minimises the amount of power used when connecting Bluetooth accessories and also measures the data being transmitted.
OpenGL ES 3.0 support
4.3 Jelly Bean adds support for OpenGL ES 3.0, the latest standard for accelerated 3D graphics. "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." said Google.
Dial pad autocomplete
Now we're into the smaller tweaks including an autocomplete feature on the dial pad. If you start typing numbers, the device will suggest contacts or numbers to call.
In Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, Google has improved its language support – namely Hebrew, Arabic and Hindi. Google said: "We've made major progress on enabling right-to-left layouts across the platform user interface: dialer, home and lock screens, settings, and more." There's also added support for Afrikaans, Amharic, Swahili, and Zulu.
Other new features and changes
Here's a quick list of all the other tweaks included in Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.
Keyboard & input
• Easier text input - an improved algorithm for tap-typing recognition makes text input easier.
• Lower latency input for gamepad buttons and joysticks.
• Location detection through Wi-Fi - use Wi-Fi to detect location without turning on Wi-Fi all the time.
• Bluetooth AVRCP 1.3 support - display song names on a car stereo.
• Disabled apps tab - check which apps are disabled in Settings > Apps.
• Restricted profiles - put your tablet into a mode with limited access to apps and content.
• Setup wizard simplification - getting started on Android is easier thanks to the ability to correct previous input, and because of streamlined user agreements.
• Faster user switching - switching users from the lock screen is now faster.
• Enhanced photo daydream - navigate through interesting albums.