Having announced the launch of its latest OS, the Android Jelly Bean at is I/O Developer’s Conference a couple of weeks ago in San Francisco, Google has now officially launched the OS for all Android devices, with the Jelly Bean update being made available first to the Samsung Galaxy nexus smartphone.
The Jelly Bean was unveiled amid much fan fare at the developer’s conference and news of the update being made available to the public was made via a Google+ post announcing that “The rollout of Android 4.1, Jelly Bean, begins today, starting with Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ devices.”
The update is being made available first for all Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ (Evolved High-Speed Packet Access) devices in the UK, Europe and the US, with the update to be made available to other Android devices in the coming weeks, with a notification sent to them as the Google+ post detailed, "Up next for Jelly Bean: all Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, Motorola Xoom and, of course, Nexus 7, which will ship with Jelly Bean later this month.”
The launch of the new OS happens amidst the ongoing patent dispute between Apple and Samsung over the fact that the Android operating systems upon the various Samsung smartphones and tablets bear quite a similarity to the Apple voice activated personal assistant, Siri. This contention that Apple maintains has lead to court rulings banning the sale of certain Samsung devices but it seems that these developments have not affected Jelly Bean as it now also possess a voice activated personal assistant.
Jelly Bean now offers a new Voice Search feature that allows users to trawl the internet using voice command using databases such as Wikipedia, the CIA World Factbook and Freebase. In addition to this, the Android 4.1 also offers a new service called Google Now which according to the internet search giant, “Tells you today's weather before you start your day, how much traffic to expect before you leave for work, or your favourite team's score as they're playing,"
Of course both these features will most certainly rile Apple, as it is the nature of how they operate that Apple contends, it has developed and owns the patents too.
According to Google, Jelly Bean is “the fastest and smoothest version of Android yet,” and it comes with a slew of new features. Widgets are now allowed to be more accessible on screen. The camera and photo software has been updated which in addition to Android Beam allows for easier transfer of files and photos between devices. The keyboard now comes with an improved text-to-speech option and even offers brail input and output devices to be used.