Google’s annual I/O conference delivered on pretty much everything it promised last night, with no awesome surprises but no major disappointments either. As expected, the Nexus 7 tablet saw its first light of day, as did the inevitable Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update.
One of the most exciting features of this update is Google Now, a slightly Siri-esque feature (though not a complete rip-off) that gives you advice based on the things you said to it in the past and your current location. So looking at the ‘Traffic’ feature on your way to work will show you current traffic conditions on your daily commute route. If they’re bad, it’ll automatically find the next best route for you. Or if you want to find a particular kind of restaurant in the area that you’re in, just ask and it’ll tell you.
Other improvements that Jelly Bean brings to the table are offline voice typing, meaning that you no longer need an internet connection for speech-to-text actions, and improved Android Beam functionality, which will allow any two people with NFC-endowed Android phones to share photos and other files by tapping their phones together.
The final addition that really stood out to us at SoMobile was Project Butter which, quite simply, makes Android run smoother and faster than ever, maintaining a consistent frame rate of 60fps (though presumably only high-end phones will really reap the benefits of this).
Jelly Bean is expected to be released in mid-July, initially coming to the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S and Motorola Xoom tablet. We’ll keep you posted as other big names, such as Samsung and HTC, inevitably announce their interest in the impressive-looking Android update.
[via: NDTV Gadgets]