When Google first announced its latest Android OS update to version 4.2, and I first learned of what changes would be made, I knew that some of what would be offered might not appeal to everyone. My personal hope, before the update, was that it would not reduce the performance level I currently enjoy using version 4.1. The best case scenario would be that performance would improve. Having used Windows for a few decades, I have become leery of updates or upgrades from Microsoft that seem to cause more problems or issues.
On the day that Google notified me on my Nexus 7 that the update was available for download, I must admit I immediately chose to install the new version. Why would I do this when my experience with Microsoft has been less than stellar? Android is a different beast, and though I am sure that every update will not be bug-free, Google, for the most part, has a fairly decent track record.
The installation went smoothly and all of my stuff was totally intact once the install process had finished; I then checked out some of the new features. I will explain my personal opinions of what’s new and you can make your own determination of whether you might find these features useful or not.
Users will be able to set up their own user profiles. While this may sound like a great feature, I personally find smartphones and tablets personal devices and do not believe sharing of these types of devices beneficial. But for those who do, this added feature could be right up your alley.
Sharing what is on your phone and tablet via a wireless connection to your HDTV is also another added feature. By making a connection to your HDTV, you can share your treasures on the big screen. If your HDTV does not support wireless, you can purchase a wireless connector which attaches to a free HDMI port on your HDTV. With a Roku, Smart TV, or a Blu-ray player with Smart TV technology, you can basically do the same thing.
Daydream is a feature you can use to display a variety of images or photos when your phone or tablet is either charging or docked. Go into Settings, Display, Daydream, and switch to On if you wish to use Daydream. A tip: Go into About and Android 4.2 and click repeatedly. You will see a Version 4.2 screen; tap a couple of more times and a Jelly Bean screen will display, which will be added to Daydream. To me, this is a toy and holds little value for my needs. For some, they will be delighted to use Daydream.
Two shades are better than one, and I really like the new shade feature. When you swipe down from the top-left corner, you still get the standard notification shade. But if you swipe down from the top-right corner, you get a new shade to control display brightness, settings, Wi-Fi, auto rotate, lock, battery reserve, airplane mode, and Bluetooth.
You can also use Android Beam on Jelly Bean to transfer whatever is on your screen over to another device. Using NFC, you just need to touch the devices together and the transfer takes place. If you have seen the Samsung III commercials that attempt to mock the Apple iPhone, NFC does work as advertised.
Widgets now are even more amazing and work like magic. This is one fantastic feature I really like and will be using. You can customize your home screen with widgets and if there is not enough room, the widgets will auto-size automatically.
Another feature that Google has introduced for Jelly Bean 4.2 is gesture typing. Just swipe the letter[s] of the word you wish to type and the system can predict the next word you wish to use and make suggestions for you. I use a SwiftKey 3 Tablet, which I personally prefer, however, I would also recommend you try the new keyboard. I believe you will find it easy to use and the predictions are fairly accurate.
Google Now and Google Search have been revamped and slightly improved. As for performance, it appears to be about the same as before the update, which in my opinion was pretty darn good already. Battery life is about the same. I usually can squeeze eight to nine hours of use out of my Nexus 7, which works for me.
Is the update from Jelly Bean 4.1 to 4.2 worth it? Most definitely. Google has improved upon an already fluid and great performing operating system.
Comments are welcome.
Source and Image: Android