Photo Sphere the highlight as Google announces Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

Photo Sphere the highlight as Google announces Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

Forget Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Android has now officially moved on... to Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.

Announced alongside a trio of new Nexus devices, the latest incarnation of Google's mobile OS has now been fully unveiled, and the key new features revealed.

In the run-up to today's announcement there was some speculation that the new build of Android would in fact be Key Lime Pie, the next full-blown iteration in Google's alphabetical box of tasty tricks.

On Thursday, meanwhile, the Carphone Warehouse leak of the Nexus 4 made passing mention of Android 4.1.2 (despite elsewhere referring to Android 4.2).

In the end, though, the reality of Android 4.2 is less than you'd expect from the former, and more than you'd expect from the latter, which is just how it should be really.

Clearly the big new feature in the latest Jelly Bean is Photo Sphere, a panoramic photo tool that lets you take 360-degree photos in a similar fashion to Google StreetView – in other words, you can put together multi-dimensional panoramas.

Also new with Android 4.2 is support for multiple user accounts on tablets – a feature surprising in its omission so far. You can switch accounts from the lockscreen, while each user can have their own homescreen, background, widgets, apps and games.

Next up is Gesture Typing, which is pretty much like Swype functionality coming to the default Android keyboard, letting you glide your fingers over the keyboard and turn typing a word into drawing an elaborate gesture.

The contextual search/info system Google Now has also been updated, with some additional cards incoming covering the likes of flight information, table reservations, room bookings and shipping details.

And as of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, Google's OS is now an official backer of Miracast, the Wi-Fi Direct-based wireless display standard already supported by the Google Nexus 4 and the Samsung Galaxy S III and which is set to become a big deal among component makers and HD TV manufacturers over the next year or two.

Speaking of the Nexus 4, that and the new Nexus 10 tablet represents your earliest chance to get your hands on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean come their release on November 13.

As for other Android devices, more will be revealed in a no-doubt endless string of stories covering each manufacturer's announcements, contradictions, about-turns and prevarications over the coming months.

Read more about: Android

Add a comment

SpeedyG  Oct. 29, 2012 at 19:37

So is Key Lime Pie going to be 5.0?

Incremental update that still can't be flashed to majority of devices like iOS can.

Nice progress, Google.

Pondlife  Oct. 29, 2012 at 20:03

It's never going to work like that as manufacturers like to ruin it first

Pondlife  Oct. 29, 2012 at 20:06

Multi user accounts seems a good idea, hope it just keeps user data separate though, if you need to have multiple copies of Nova 3 for example larger storage sizes are even more important.

Improved Google Now always welcome, and definitely pleased to see miracast

SpeedyG  Oct. 29, 2012 at 20:06

I guess Microsoft's compromise was better, playing hardball to the manufacturers.

I always thought Google were too lax and soft on the whole issue.

Pondlife  Oct. 29, 2012 at 20:26

Or the manufacturers can't be bothered to spend much time on wp atm?

Daydream looks quite cute and the quick settings thing looks handy.

Google Music arriving in Europe is highlight for me rather than photosphere.

bilbob  Oct. 29, 2012 at 21:22

so a central point of 4.2 is the new photo feature, one that Microsoft brought to IOS and even WP7 yonks back... Photosynth?
Google really are the new Apple then, repackaging old features as brand new and innovative...

Pondlife  Oct. 29, 2012 at 22:45

Maybe this one works?
Besides they all copy
From the microsoft wp8 article on here...
kids corner - amazon did it
rooms - google + and no doubt lots of other things
skype - everyone?
drag and drop - symbian, android, numerous others
ota updates - everyone?
windows wallet - google wallet etc
nokia maps - symbian
data sense - opera etc

Stelph  Oct. 30, 2012 at 09:33

Whats wrong with photosynth Ponlife? It works great, and I agree with bilbob, that was the first thing I thought of when I read about it

Pondlife  Oct. 30, 2012 at 12:06

Well I went on microsofts website and the one shown on their own site doesn't line up properly didn't bode well to me. I'd never heard of it until then tbh


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