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Android 4.1 Jelly Bean FAQ: What you need to know

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean release date, devices, price, features and apps

Google has announced the latest iteration of Android, version 4.1 Jelly Bean. See also: Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) review.

The search giant took the wraps of the mobile operating system for smartphones and tablets yesterday at its Google I/O conference. You probably want to know everything about Jelly Bean so that's what this article is for.

See also: Google Nexus 7 tablet vs Apple iPad comparison review.

Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean for smartphone and tablet

If you have any comment or questions be sure to post them below.

See also: Google announces Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

When will Android 4.1 Jelly Bean launch?

Google said that the OS will begin to roll out to devices from mid-July.

What devices will get upgraded to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean?

The first devices to get the upgrade will be the Google Nexus S, Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Motorola Xoom. This is as much information as we have on updates so far.

Jelly Bean will come pre-loaded on the Nexus 7, Google's own-brand tablet which will launch next month.

Google Nexus 7 tablet

How much will Android 4.1 Jelly Bean cost?

The software update will be free.

What new features does Android 4.1 Jelly Bean bring?

Improved performance

Google promises a faster, smoother and more responsive experience with Jelly Bean. This is done by extending vsync timing to all drawing and animation, triple graphics buffering and even anticipating where your finger is moving to on the display.

After periods of inactivity, a CPU input boost is applied at the next touch event to eliminate latency.

Expandable notifications

The notifications bar can show more detail such as text or photos. As well as showing more information users will also be able to respond to the notification via multiple action buttons without opening the associated app.

For example, you could respond to a missed call by calling that person back straight from the notifications bar. Notifications can be expanded or collapsed with a two finger gesture.

Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean notifications

Resizable app widgets

Widgets have been resizable for a while but now they will resize automatically based on where you drop one on a home screen. Existing app icons will automatically move around the widget as you move it.

Higher-resolution contact photos

With Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, you can store contact photos as large as 720 x 720, making the contact page look better.

Offline dictation

Up until now, the voice input feature of Android has required a data connection to function. Now, you can dictate and email or text message regardless of whether you have a mobile or Wi-Fi connection.

Camera app

The camera app has had a couple of changes. Swiping from the app will show you recently taken and swiping them off the top of the screen will delete them. If you delete one by mistake it can be undone.

Google search

Google is renowned for search and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean now shows search results with information cards. You can use voice to ask questions and to rival Apple's Siri and Samsung's S Voice, Google will speak answers back in an audible voice.

Google Now

A new part of Google search is Google Now. This feature aims to give you information you want without needing to search for it, in other words predictive search. For example, it will tell you what train is next if you're on a platform or plan an alternative route for your daily commute if there is bad traffic. It uses information from things like your calendar and location to know what information you are likely to need.

Here is a video explaining the feature.

Predictive keyboard

In a similar way to Swiftkey, Google has improved the Android keyboard with better predictive text. The keyboard will predict what word you will want to type next giving a few options to choose from.

Android Beam

In Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, Android Beam teams up with Bluetooth for sharing images, videos, or other files. When a transfer is initiated via NFC tapping devices together, Android Beam hands over from NFC to Bluetooth to move the data.

USB audio

The microUSB port found out almost every Android smartphone or tablet can now be used to send audio. This means hardware vendors can make things like speaker docks which use the physical port to play music.

Will I get all the features of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean?

This depends on your handset make and model as well as your mobile operator. In other words, we don't know.

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