UPDATE : Here’s a video to show what the entire post is about.
Wow, Google I/O was thrilling and I nearly skipped classes due to the time difference. Nonetheless, I manage to pop up on time because of the excitement that Google I/O brings!
Of course, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is the main point of interest here right? Luckily, Google gave out Galaxy Nexuses to its attendees with Jelly Bean up and running! I can’t stop thanking the developers for ripping off the entire ROM and make it installable on other Galaxy Nexuses!
But enough with the guitarist speech. Let’s get down to business. Before I proceed, let me clarify that the entire phone runs smoothly on this ROM; much, much more smoother than it did on ICS. Some of these screenshots are with touches shown!
So most of you thought that this will be Android 5.0 but I’m sorry to say it is going to be just Android 4.1, but I assure you, it does not disappoint. Let us break the entire Jelly Bean hands into sections, so we can get a clear look at what is going on.
The thing I like the most about Galaxy Nexus on ICS is the zero-shutter lag camera with the instant launch from the lockscreen, but reviewing the taken photo was always a hassle as it only displays one image and lags badly to do so. The Android team took note of this, fixed the preview UI and also its speed.
For some reason I can’t take a screenshot under the camera photo taking screen, but that not a big deal. The new UI introduced is intuitive and fast. When a photo is taken, an animation shows that everything moves to the right as if the film has been rolled. A simple swipe to the left reveals the image taken, and another swipe reveals the second last image taken.
Pinch to zoom also reveals all pictures arranged in descending order for super quick scrolling!
- Notification bar
Of course, what’s Android without its famous pull-down notification bar? That bar came with minor touches after all these versions, but in Jelly Bean, it has been entirely redone to show you more information within that bar without any obstruction or complication.
By default, your top-most notification will be expanded (if allowed) but you collapse or open notifications by doing a two-finger gesture to push or pull.
Also side note on some eye-candy here, a nice gradient effect has been added and the blue line indicates that your finger is still there!
Lastly, something that I think is very nice to have is App Info option is shown when you tap and hold.
- Lock screen
The lock screen on ICS is already good enough, but the guys at Android made it even better! Nothing much to show except some changes in the graphics and there is one new option!
That Google logo is a Google Now shortcut, which is also the new Google Search.
- Google Now (Google Search)
Here we have the new Google Search called Google Now, the contender of Siri which actually does much more than what Siri has to offer! Google Voice and Search app are both now the same app by the way, Voice directly asks you for speech and Search directs you to the Cards menu
Google Now is also accessible by holding your finger on the home button, which shows a ring ala the lock screen.
The UI itself could be a little better in my opinion, but of course I only have one card to test here. The speech-to-text capability is really accurate even with my Malaysian accent. I’ve tested dialing some random contacts (with weird names), then setting timers and alarms and searching for random information too.
- Widgets menu
For those who are running stock ICS, you might be familiar with the way it adds widgets through the app drawer (I suppose it’s widget drawer). In Jelly Bean, that drawer got a minor facelift.
Interesting addition is the feature to push other shortcuts away to make way for the widget. Hey, it saves the frustration to actually rearrange the shortcuts to put a widget on the place you want it to be right?
Clock widget pushing away Google and Voice Search.
- UI Tweaks
Nothing much here but it’s worth mentioning. Most of the UIs that has multiple menus are now getting crunched in to work/function exactly how Google+ mobile app interface is.
The Syncing menu has also been killed and is added in such a way that your device feels totally personal.
That is the end for our Jelly Bean hands-on for the Galaxy Nexus!
So, were you impressed, saddened or mesmerized by Jelly Bean? What else would you actually wish to see or be implemented on future versions of Android?
By the way, the mascot for Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is just so cute!