Jelly Bean and the changes it's expected to bring

Jelly Bean and the changes it's expected to bring
Android's Jelly Bean update has been expected for quite some time, and as you're probably aware, it's almost certain that it will finally be officially introduced tomorrow at Google I/O. With that in mind, some of you may have lost the track of the changes and improvements that are rumored to be part of Jelly Bean. So, here's a quick refresher for you guys, although it'd be best to keep in mind that all of this info is based on rumors, and there might be other, even more intriguing features that may become part of JB (not to be confused with the other JB).

1. UI refinements

Ice Cream Sandwich was a pretty radical update for Android phones, bringing tons of new stuff and vastly improved visuals. That's why Google is expected to keep most of the UI in tact for Jelly Bean, limiting itself to only subtle refinements, like a new search bar on the home screen, for example.

2. Chrome as a default browser

Some sources as well as a leaked screenshot suggest that Chrome — currently found in the Google Play Store — will replace the stock Android browser. That may be a good or a bad thing, depending on your position regarding surfing the web on a mobile. On one hand, Chrome for Android is visibly faster, but on the other, it doesn't feature Flash Player support, which the stock browser has. However, this seems to fit with another change that's rumored to be coming with Jelly Bean...

3. No more Flash

You haven't forgotten that Adobe announced it'll no longer support Flash for Android after Ice Cream Sandwich, have you? Well, if this is the case with Jelly Bean, then it means Google really doesn't have a reason to keep the stock browser around, as it can just put Chrome. Still, some claim that the current Flash plug-in will continue to work with Jelly Bean, but this is all pretty vague right now, so it'll be wiser to just wait until tomorrow and see what happens.

4. Built-in file manager

Sure, the file system in Android has always been opened to those who wanted to access it, but stock Android itself doesn't come with a file manager. Instead, users have to download one from Google Play (in case the manufacturer of the phone hasn't pre-installed one itself). With Jelly Bean, some sources indicate that this will no longer be an "issue", as a Google-made file manager is expected to be bundled with the OS.

5. Tablet-centric

Some rumors indicate that most of the changes that will come with Jelly Bean will be geared towards tablets, not phones. This actually shouldn't be such a surprise, considering that Google is also about to announce the first Nexus tablet at I/O, and Google usually launches new Android versions along with the Nexus devices. Here for hoping that Jelly Bean won't be exclusively available for tablets, but will come to update our phones as well.

6. Voice assistant

This one makes more sense than your average rumor. As Apple launched Siri with the iPhone 4S, and Microsoft unveiled some new voice-command/recognition tech for its Windows Phone 8, we can imagine that Google doesn't want to stay too far behind and is hard at work adding the final touches to its own smart assistant solution. Exactly how it's going to be called is still unclear, with earlier rumors pointing at the name 'Majel', and more recent ones gravitating towards 'Google Assistant'.


7. Updated virtual keyboard

It's not yet certain exactly how Google is going to improve its on-screen keyboard, but it's said that an easier way to switch between languages and integration with the new voice assistant will be part of the upgrade.

OK, fellas, now it's your turn - will these updates be enough for you, or there's something else that you'd like to see in Jelly Bean?

Stay tuned for our coverage of Google I/O tomorrow!

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106 Comments

96. lubba

Posts: 1313; Member since: Jan 17, 2011

Only problem is, which devices will get it and how long. Just a sad situation.

92. osanilevich

Posts: 287; Member since: Sep 29, 2009

Anyone else worried about the lack of flash? Sounds like a downgrade to me unless there was something I missed. A new keyboard would prove helpful though, given that it has the proper tweaks

101. tedkord

Posts: 17544; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

An unfortunate situation, but not much Android can do about it if Adobe is abandoning it. I assume they can't just build their own flash plugin due to copyright issues, but I don't know that for sure.

90. xoutrageousx

Posts: 70; Member since: Dec 22, 2011

I predit 3% of Android devices will have jelly bean by summer of 2013! I predict 27% of Android devices will have ics by summer of 2013! I predict 70% of Android devices will have gingerbread by summer of 2013! Long live Android, I love it. Android4lyfe

100. tedkord

Posts: 17544; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I predict that 60% of smartphone owners will choose Android by...oh, wait. That's already happened.

83. marcus_lhz

Posts: 2; Member since: Jun 26, 2012

I really don'tt know where android can be better...

78. OSUTIN

Posts: 23; Member since: May 28, 2012

What people don't seem to understand is that whether or not flash support is gone really shouldn't matter. HTML5 is taking the scene slowly but surely, and it is definitely the near future. And if it is in fact true that Jelly Bean will not have flash support, that's not Androids fault, it is Adobe Flash's fault. And besides, I would sooner have them take on HTML5 sooner rather than later so they don't get entirely left in the dust of iOS6 and Windows 8.

69. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

I laugh at the silly comments on how only 7% of Android users have 4.0.3/4. You do know that 2.3.x is still better than iOS, right? So, the lack of ICS argument is pointless....move along kiddos.

80. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

and I love how fandroids brag about ICS or Jelly Bean and the new version when most phones will never see that version.. if iOS 6 is the same as Gingerbread than what advantage does Android have over Apple... if the majority of Android still runs Gingy, please don't brag what you don't have..

86. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

gingerbread is still lightyears ahead of iOS6, gallito. your just now catching up to android 1.6-2.0

89. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

really lightyears.. how is Google voice doing on Android 2.3?.. they almost nailed in ICS.. other than NFC there is nothing worthy of Gingerbread that could be light years ahead of iOS 6 you cant be funny and be knowledgeable at the same time,.. you are a geek remember that ps. and NFC is stil a feature that has not catch on yet

105. CRICKETownz

Posts: 980; Member since: Oct 24, 2009

if we're talking gingerbread to say it is better than iOS6 which hasn't even come out yet is just a matter of opinion. to me, gingerbread isn't even better than iOS 4 or 5...gingerbread is nothing spectacular, at all. ICS definitely gives iOS a run for their money, but gingerbread...I find that hilarious that you all get on board w/that idea. I have gingerbread now...it's nothing to brag about, but typical fandroids are oblivious to the gimmicks that android offer (i.e. yes customization is a gimmick, yes quad-core processors are gimmicks)...products sell by getting an audience to think what they offer is not a gimmick but a necessity. if you think only one OS is king (or queen) then you my friend have been taken...or as the young kids say nowadays "face down, ass up". denial is a part of the android way as I am seeing more & more as each of you post. android lovers share the same biased, blind adoration for their OS of choice as Apple lovers do but deny that its the same one-sided affection. you have a company who has been a software/hardware giant since the 80's who still hasn't waivered in profits & products almost 30 years later...I think people forget this about Apple.

64. iamcc

Posts: 1319; Member since: Oct 07, 2011

As a Galaxy Nexus owner I don't see any need for Jelly Bean but I am excited to see what it has to offer... and as far as improving the stock keyboard I don't know how that would be possible short of adding theming options.

70. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

It is a minor upgrade, so really not a big deal if you never get it - but, I just like to have the latest upgrade in case there is a feature that I could really use. Look for the JB keyboard to be on the Play store soon enough.

54. Kengkoy

Posts: 5; Member since: Jun 03, 2012

All I want for now is stock screenshot app.

65. iamcc

Posts: 1319; Member since: Oct 07, 2011

That is built into ICS.

53. Kengkoy

Posts: 5; Member since: Jun 03, 2012

All I want for now is stock screenshot app.

71. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

ICS 4.0.3/4 has it already.

45. megaSUNNY

Posts: 96; Member since: Jun 26, 2012

win ph8 looks pretty decent on its way to futre.But android is much senior 2 it nd has better positon nd features.apple iz far behind to android in customizing nd some features

44. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

There is actually precedent for this. After 2.0 was released the 2.1 update came in very short order, and in fact wasn't present on most phones when it did. It's okay for Google to refine their OS on their timetable.

49. maxican16

Posts: 364; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

< imagining a world where google had to wait until all phones were at the latest version before upgrading > * SHUDDER * I love how google pushes the envelop. I'm really excited to see the refinement JB brings, and news on the army of nexi landing by Thanksgiving. I'm also interested to see how much better Majel (aka google assistant) will be than Siri - if for no other reason other than so we can stop hearing about Siri!

51. maxican16

Posts: 364; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

Also hoping they up the ante in their tablet space.. the Fire being the #1 android tablet is inexcusable.

38. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

minor updates??? why not Android users have the 1st update ( ICS) before sending a minor updates....

39. ilia1986 unregistered

What makes you think they can't? They can just root the phone and install a custom Rom - something iPhone users will never be able to do.

43. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

ohh yes please have the millions of users root their phones.. rooted phones is lower than people running the official version .. so dont really see where are you going with this

46. ilia1986 unregistered

Yes, I'd rather have this. The smart people are doing that. Then again - not everyone is smart..

50. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

is not about being smart. I can assure you smart people don't upgrade their phones nonetheless root their phones.. you cant deny that even Android is going too fast on the upgrading thing..

56. ilia1986 unregistered

Nope. If ANYONE is slow, it's the carriers and the manufacturers. Not Google. So, should Google cater to carriers who want to make sure their bloatware is compatible with the latest version, or to manufacturers who think that their "unique" skin interfaces are the best ever? NO. Instead - every Android phone user whose phone can be rooted is given a choice - wait for the official carrier\manufacturer update. OR Root the phone and install a custom Rom. Very simple, very fair. IMO best solution to everyone.

73. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

true because internationally they get the timely updates. but Google needs to man up here in the States..

75. ilia1986 unregistered

Again - Google has nothing to do with shelling out different Android versions for different phones in different parts of the world. Why is that Sprint Samsung phone still stuck on Gingerbread? Ask Sprint, or Samsung. Not Google. Besides - US carriers are known in their love for bloatware and crapware - and since they are the ones who decide which phones get which official updates - the situation can get a bit messy.

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