Android Jelly Bean 4.3 was released last week, and over the weekend several developers in the HTC EVO communities have commented that they’re working on porting over the latest changes. So chances are, by the time this goes live, there will be a ROM or two running the new Jelly Bean back end. It’s not named Key Lime Pie just yet, but there are still bunches of new optimizations under the hood.
For those without root, your manufacturer and carrier will have to be working on the update, which means you may see this in a couple of weeks (or never), depending on how old your device is and how stingy with updates your carrier is.
While there are a lot of new features to the new version of Android, for most end users the experience will be about the same.
Changes in Android 4.3
- Virtual surround sound.
- The dial pad now has auto complete (much like the HTC Sense dialer).
- The keyboard algorithm for tap-typing has changed for better recognition.
- Passive WiFi location polling.
- Bluetooth Smart / Low Energy support on devices that support it.
- Bluetooth AVRCP built into the stack to see song information on connected devices.
- A disabled apps tab.
- Restricted profiles for limited access to apps and content (tablet mode only).
- Better setup
- Fast user switching from lock screen (only in tablet mode).
- Enhanced Photo Daydream (screen saver).
- OpenGL ES 3.0
- Wireless display for some Nexus devices (transmit to a TV)
- Enhanced notifications
- vsync timing, triple buffering, reduced touch latency, CPU input boost, and hardware-accelerated 2D rendering to speed things up.
- Enhanced systrace gives developers more of a chance to figure out why their apps are misbehaving.
- Apps can now fully access notifications, allowing the notifications to be an extension of the app.
- Changes to the way widgets work.
- Accessibility options to zoom or pan the phone’s screen for the visually impaired.
- Tons more…
It appears that Google is still limiting the multi-user mode to tablets, although some Googlers have unofficially stated that they are thinking of ways to implement this on phones. Currently it is a terrible limitation, especially if you’ve ever had a very sweet phone and showed up at Christmas with the nieces and nephews wanting to play all their games on it.
Geofencing is listed in many pieces, but that’s coming bundled with the Play services API so I’m assuming that’s independent of the OS.
Whatever the case, with the addition of new sandboxing/virus scanning security measures and better use of the hardware to operate, Android 4.3 quite possibly reaches the Daft Punk achievement of Harder Better Faster. Or not.
I have not played with the update yet myself, but probably will as soon as it’s available for any of the devices in the HTC EVO line.