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Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean review

Wed Jul 25 2012, 11:45
Android Jelly Bean Google

Odds and ends
Outside of the main features above, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is full of other small touches that work to improve the operating system's usability. One of our favourites is the ability to resize widgets, which can be done by holding down the widget and pulling out on the blue guidelines.

Another is the implementation of Project Butter, a mysterious new technology that runs in the background and is designed to make the OS run more smoothly, removing the lag issues that plagued previous Android versions.

The technology does this in a variety of subtle ways, like "vsync timing", which works to ensure there's a consistent frame rate across all screen drawing and animations, and triple buffering, which streamlines video playback.

Having compared the Nexus 7 to other tablets running Android 4.1 Ice Cream Sandwich we have to say we're impressed with how well Project Butter works, and would even go so far as to say it runs just as smoothly as Apple's IOS.

In Short
Having tested the water playing with the Nexus 7, we're pretty impressed with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. While it's not a massive update, with most of its new features being fairly subtle, it is the smoothest and most intuitive Android version out there.

The only problem we've had so far is that, because of the Nexus 7's lack of 3G connectivity, we haven't had a chance to make the most of its major new features, like Google Now. For us the real test is going to be when we get the OS on a smartphone and can really take advantage of the Transit and Sports card features of Google Now on the go, which really is what they're designed for. Click through to page five for our interactive guide to the Jelly Bean OS. µ

The Good
Google Now is great, Google Play intergration works a treat, Project Butter removes lag issues.

The Bad
Not a huge update over Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

The Ugly
Only available on one 3G-less tablet in the UK at present.

Bartender's Score



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