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Android 4.2 Jelly Bean gains Photo Sphere, gesture keyboard, multi-users, and new Google Now

News by Andrew Kameka on Monday October 29, 2012.

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Android 4.2 is still Android Jelly Bean, but the small update is still noteworthy because of new features announced today. Google has posted a page detailing the major revisions. Launching on the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10 devices beginning November 13, Android 4.2 introduces some interesting new features dealing with data entry, personalization, and communication between devices. Here is a quick rundown on some of the new features:

- Photo Sphere is a new feature that takes panoramic images to a new level. Rather than simply moving left to right along a straight line, users can take photos up and down to piece together larger panoramas that capture more angles and details.

- Gesture Typing follows third-party apps like Swype and SwiftKey by introducing the ability to glide over letters to form words. The keyboard updates in real-time to predict the next word and provide suggestions for faster typing. The Android dictionary has also been updated to improve text-to-speech and support more accurate texting.

- The camera has been updated to include a new interface that removes much of the on-screen buttons and works by accessing settings by holding down on the screen and then moving towards a selection. The camera interface on the LG Nexus 4 has HDR, panorama, and a revised group of filters. A demonstration of the new camera is available in this video filmed by The Verge.

- Android 4.2 now supports multiple users on a single tablet. The system creates profiles that have personal settings for home screens, backgrounds, widgets, apps, and games, including individual high scores and app settings. Users can easily switch between profiles by swiping down from the notification area.

- Android phones or tablets can now wirelessly share their mobile screen content to the larger display on an HDTV. A wireless display adapter on an HDMI-enabled device is necessary to use this feature.

- Daydream is a new method for displaying information and photos while the phone is idle. Users can display their photo albums, Google Currents news stories, weather information, or other things you may want to act as a screensaver of sorts.

- Google Now saw a sizable update that adds more cards and the ability to automatically ad relevant information to the Google Now screen. Google Now previously displayed flight information, but only when the user searched for a flight number. It can now create a card to display by grabbing details from flight confirmation emails, and the same concept applies to booking hotels or tracking packages. It also has more card data for nearby places people tend to take photos and upcoming movie information.

source: Android

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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