One of the features that has been missing from Android for quite a long time is gapless music playback. True, you can get gapless playback with an app like PowerAmp or WinAmp, but that is only because these apps include their own audio processing software for playing music. That doesn’t help other applications, which still rely on Android’s built in framework for playing tunes, which up until now has lacked the very important feature of gapless playback.
In fact, although I really like Google Play Music’s functionality and Apollo’s interface, I was going to switch to either WinAmp or PowerAmp. Fortunately, while playing around with the Android 4.1 developer preview on my Galaxy Nexus, I discovered that finally gapless playback works for the stock Android music applications, as well as third party apps which use the same framerwork. That’s not to say there is something wrong with using PowerAmp or WinAmp, but it is nice that I don’t have to turn to a specific music player anymore for a fairly basic music playback feature.
This may seem like a very minor feature to some, and it is true that it isn’t really the kind of change that usually makes headlines. However, I am quite excited about it for two reasons. First, I can finally listen to albums in Google Play Music without the gaps. More importantly, though, I think this shows how more attention to detail has gone into Android 4.1. It isn’t perfect by any means, but in my short time using the new OS I have come across many tiny tweaks, which alone seem insignificant, but together really work towards a more unified and functional Android experience. It may not seem like much, but I think that Android 4.1 has really begun fixing those annoying little bugs that have been present since Froyo, and finally adding that “polish” that so many people talk about the OS needing.