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Android 4.2 Jelly Bean Review

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Android 4.2 Jelly Bean Review
6. Gesture Typing

The stock keyboard on Android is great, but to make it even better Google brings Gesture Typing, a Swipe-like experience, on 4.2. We still feel faster typing with our two hands, but if you want to type single-handed, Gesture Typing is definitely a good option to have. With your finger leaving a fading blue trace, all it takes it a slight pause on a letter to get Google’s intelligent word recognition software kick in.

7. Google Now

Google Now, the card-based system that was introduced in 4.1 is also updated. It taps into your Google search history and automatically assembles short cards with relevant information. It now integrates flight and hotel reservations, arriving just the day of your flight for example.

8. Improved security

Security is given a big boost in Android 4.2. Android is already a very secure platform if you shop on Google Play. If you experiment with third-party stores, though, problem is they don’t have any malware scanners, and this could be a problem. Google now solves the third-party app problem as well. Back in February the company introduced Bouncer, a Google play system that detects malware and basically does not allow malicious apps.

However Android has remained troubled by premium texting applications and spyware. As you’d guess, such apps do not come from the Play Store. With Bouncer now on Android 4.2, you can however easily and quickly have Android check even third-party apps for such misconduct. Kudos, Google.

Android is a massive platform - it is the world’s biggest mobile operating system. It beats iOS by a huge number. That is why accessibility for all kinds of users is very important. In Android 4.2, Google adds options like triple-tapping acting as a magnification gesture. Additionally, the system helps out blind users by voicing their every action.

9. Daydream mode

Daydream mode is another small improvement in the system, but this one is better suited to devices with larger displays. Imagine you could turn your tablet into a picture frame with a built-in application. That is daydream. You can customize your device to show most recent news and the time as well.

10. Miracast, multiuser support

Miracast is a very important feature, but it is one of the future rather than the present. For starters, out of all Android devices, it is only available on the Nexus 4. What’s more it requires a Miracast-enabled TV. What it does with this setup is wirelessly mirror the content of your device to the TV set. The implications could be great for gaming, watching movies and just about everything you do on the device. And with the constantly varying MHL/HDMI cable standards (for example the Galaxy S III uses a 5-pin MHL port that requires a new cable, different than the 11-pin one for say the Galaxy Nexus), this could answer many people’s prayers.

At the moment, though, it is a promise that is not yet fulfilled.

Android 4.2 introduces multiple user support for tablets. In quick settings, you’d notice your profile name along with a picture, and while that is not functional on smartphones, a simple tap on that icon switches users on tablets. If you have a tablet, chances are it has become the kids’ (wife, girlfriend, etc) favorite. Having multiple user support allows you to not only keep your data safe and out of their reach, but also gives the opportunity for everyone to customize their homescreens, and use the device happily in the family.

The bad

With all those new features, it would be fare mentioning, though, that the 4.2 update also Among seems a bit rushed. Along with the minor updates, come even tinier bugs, but in a noticeable quantity. Starting from the conspicuously missing month of December in the People app, going through issues with auto-brightness, slow charging and even random reboots, and ending with Bluetooth connectivity problems, this seems like the buggiest Android release since Honeycomb. Truth is, though, Google is already starting to roll out the 4.2.1 update to patch a lot of those, so hopefully it obliterates most of these problems.


Android 4.2 Jelly Bean is a new flavor of Jelly Bean, and it is the one that tastes best yet.

Moreover, it looks best, and that’s what has been on Google’s radar lately. While Android in the Gingerbread and pre 2.3 era was a pain for the design-conscious eye, starting with Ice Cream Sandwich Google has been improving the style and usability of Android in leaps and bounds.

It now seems that Google has taken a confident lead over iOS and Windows Phone who could earlier claim a more consistent and overall pleasing design. While Windows Phone can still claim the unique card, iOS is starting to show its age in comparison to the newest Android.

The improved camera and gallery apps seem of biggest importance in Jelly Bean. They show that Google is committed to improve its native applications, much like Apple is with its paid iPhoto app for example. We consider home-grown apps like iPhoto, iMovie and now the Google Gallery essential to a platform’s success.

The existential question we are left with thus is “when Google updates Android, does this make a sound in the Android ecosystem?”

We have been saying this for the past years, not months - what Google needs to do is not only update Android, but make sure everyone gets it. The celebrations cannot start when a fraction of Android users have the latest version of the operating system. Truth is carriers and OEMs are the first to blame for slow updates, but whatever the reason, this should stop.

Until then, 4.2 will be the best Android yet when everyone gets it. And if they get it.

  • Camera app gets a modern and very practical new UI
  • User experience improves in many ways
  • Tablet interface gets unified with phone interface

  • It will take months until carrier and OEMs deliver this
  • Some features like Miracast are not yet practical
  • A lot of small (and not so small) bugs have crippled in


  • Options

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 08:50 20

1. sheik (Posts: 249; Member since: 12 Sep 2012)

I love android. Hope Galaxy Note II get that very soon

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 09:55 4

11. Mxyzptlk (unregistered)

Very soon equates to about three to six months.

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 11:03

17. MobileCaseReview (Posts: 242; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)

Probably near the end of the December with some fancing porting from alot of the devs. Plenty of roms are currently being worked on.

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 11:51 2

21. adelta90 (Posts: 63; Member since: 14 Sep 2012)

people who choose android very often dont wait for the manufacturer to release it, we just use AOSP till the manufacturer chooses to release the latest version

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 11:53 2

22. Mxyzptlk (unregistered)

I see a few commenters had to wait three to six months for the latest update.

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 14:30 6

25. AnTuTu (Posts: 1580; Member since: 14 Oct 2012)

Mxyzptlk:- Get a life brother.

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 16:14 4

27. tedkord (Posts: 13873; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)

"Google is doing tremendous work on its operating system and keeps pushing the pedal with quick updates, and it seems that it has taken a confident lead in terms of features over iOS and Windows Phone."

He reads that, and it bothers him, so he has a deep rooted need to say something negative about Android.

posted on 01 Dec 2012, 21:00

33. JasonJia11 (Posts: 6; Member since: 01 Dec 2012)

I see your name on just about every Android article trolling and hating on Android. You also said in one of your comments that you were an Apple fanboy. If you have so much time in your day to be hating on Android, why don't you go and read articles about how Apple is outdated, is getting old, and just plainly sucks? Get it into your head iSheep.

posted on 01 Dec 2012, 23:47

34. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)

Well he specialises in "Hit N Run" ... never comes back to reply or discuss :)

posted on 02 Dec 2012, 07:57

35. tedkord (Posts: 13873; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)

What else can you do when the facts ruin contrary to your argument?

posted on 02 Dec 2012, 16:17

36. Airforce (Posts: 69; Member since: 24 Jul 2012)

Apple has really inspired Android to go further and be the leading phone os

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 08:51 9

2. wendygarett (unregistered)

Wonderful review pa :) keep up the good work

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 08:56 1

3. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

The only 'bug' I have found is that even when my wifi is set to never turn on when device is asleep, the tablet will sometimes decide to 'wake up' and start using wifi....other than that is an excellent update.

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 09:02 5

4. Valdomero (Posts: 286; Member since: 13 Nov 2012)

Too bad my GS2 won't get any updates :(

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 09:11 4

6. thelegend6657 (unregistered)

Good things come to those who waited . Just be patient .
Thats what you get for not buying a nexus

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 09:32 2

9. SleepingOz (unregistered)

If you don't want to wait for the official updates, you can always flash it yourself..

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 09:32

10. sheik (Posts: 249; Member since: 12 Sep 2012)


posted on 28 Nov 2012, 10:22

14. nyamo (Posts: 274; Member since: 19 Mar 2011)

go over to xda and see whats cooking, i'm sure you'll get a port

posted on 04 Dec 2012, 04:13

37. eddo85 (Posts: 11; Member since: 03 Dec 2012)

i am using an aokp rom on my s2 and i am not missing touchwiz at all

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 09:04 5

5. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

=-O is that you Victor? You look nice :>

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 09:17

7. xfire99 (Posts: 934; Member since: 14 Mar 2012)

Like the new 4 native lockscreen, swiping right for camera and the new security features. Gmail updates are also welcome.
Bring it to Note 2 ASAP now pls.

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 09:19 2

8. plgladio (Posts: 314; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)

Victor: Is that you in IMG 17?

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 09:58

12. JunitoNH (Posts: 1934; Member since: 15 Feb 2012)

It may be a good review. However, just go surfing, and read about the pain on the a** this update has become. 1. The camera UI is hideous, annoying, and just plain ugly. 2. Widget screen just a total waste of time and energy. 3. Went from project butter to lags and slow as molasses, performance issues a sure bet. 4. Bluetooth disable, unable to use headphones and/or Bose speaker or Monster. My advise, just like iOS 5 users are on the sidelines until maps are repair, wait until Googles fixes all the bugs. Update will make you wish you were back using gingerbread.

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 11:26 2

18. Fallout09 (Posts: 421; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

I dont know what you are talking about with system lags. I updated my Nexus 7 and it performs better than ever.

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 10:06

13. yowanvista (Posts: 341; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)

4.2.1 is out, fixes all those small bugs

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 10:27

15. nyamo (Posts: 274; Member since: 19 Mar 2011)

4.2 is nice, but for those of us who have been using custom roms for years its not nearly as much of a gain. the toggles are semi useful but still not my cup of tea (perhaps they will grow on me).... as for the lock screen widgets, useless, especially since a lock screen still allows widgets to bypass and be used.

but i digress, for the average user, 4.2 will be a wonderful update

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 10:51 3

16. AmitMajumder (Posts: 178; Member since: 21 May 2012)

After John, Victor is the one who showed his face. Why doesn't everyone in PA show off their faces? Are they too shy??

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 11:29 2

19. ap1989 (Posts: 145; Member since: 12 Oct 2011)

Cant wait til my Gnex gets it. Android > iOASS

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 11:31

20. LOTR12 (Posts: 13; Member since: 04 Nov 2012)

Multi-user support is good for keeping "data" out of others reach. If you know what i mean!

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 11:56 1

23. squallz506 (banned) (Posts: 1075; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)

By data you mean porn?

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