The most leaked version of Android yet – 4.3 Jellybean, was finally officially unveiled by Google yesterday. It’s a minor upgrade – one with small, incremental, but important features. Owing to this reason, it still remains ‘Jellybean’ – like its predecessor. Let’s take a closer look at what Google has brought to the table with 4.3:
#1 – Multiple Profiles
The Multiple Profiles feature was originally introduced in Android 4.2, but was restricted to tablets like the Nexus 7 only. Now, with Android 4.3, it will now be available to all devices. Multiple profiles will help users to restrict access for other people using their devices. An ‘administrator’ account will have full access, while guest accounts can be used to restrict age-inappropriate material and prevent accidental in-app purchases.
#2 – Better Graphics Support
Android 4.3 now includes OpenGL ES 3.0 support, which can render higher quality graphics and better textures without any hardware upgrade. Additionally, Google’s Project Butter, which was introduced with 4.1 Jellybean to provide a smoother experience, has been revamped. There is more efficient triple buffering and vsync timing, and a modification to the 2D rendering pipeline, all of which are supposed to enhance performance throughout the OS.
#3 – Better Bluetooth
Android 4.3 supports Bluetooth Low Energy – a new Bluetooth standard that consumes considerably less power on devices. Android 4.3 devices can now connect to pedometers, heart rate monitors, and other equipment without any noticeable battery issues.
#4 – Location Services even with Wi-Fi off
Now your Wi-Fi will be discreetly looking for nearby networks even if you turn it off. This feature has been brought in to improve location services and accuracy. Don’t worry though – Google says this isn’t going to be a battery hog.
#5 – Dial Pad Autocomplete
Although this feature has been available on Samsung and HTC devices for a long time, devices running stock Android missed out on its convenience. Dial pad autocomplete lets you dial your contacts by typing out their names using the dialer. Prior to this, you had to use the search button in contacts to look anyone up.
Android 4.3 availability:
4.3 Jellybean is already out for Nexus devices – namely the Nexus 4, Nexus 10, and the first gen Nexus 7. Google also announced the second generation Nexus 7 at the launch event.
Sony has confirmed it will roll out the Android 4.3 update for the Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR, Xperia Tablet Z, Xperia SP, and Xperia Z Ultra, but we have no information on the schedule. Other devices are slated to get the update as well, but given the frustratingly long update cycles for OEMs, you might have to wait rather long. However, if your Android device is rooted, it shouldn’t be long before a ROM is made available.