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

A leaked Jelly Bean screenshot

A leaked Jelly Bean screenshot

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

1. ilia1986 unregistered

Seems pretty solid. Unlike iOASS 6 - these are actually very significant because they will affect every device running 4.1.

3. davecann2

Posts: 460; Member since: Mar 15, 2011

Couldn't resist not posting without a cheap shot at Apple could you? hahaha

4. ilia1986 unregistered

Nope. :)

11. davecann2

Posts: 460; Member since: Mar 15, 2011

hahahaah..... thats actually funny

17. good2great

Posts: 1042; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

very funny when the guy doesn't even own an android device...lol

106. Otterbox

Posts: 71; Member since: Jun 27, 2012

How does this comment not get moderated? I see several comments below that got moderated even though they didn't break any rules. This one clearly is. OS favoritism at its finest.

2. cyborg009

Posts: 119; Member since: Sep 17, 2011

nothing interesting :/

47. maxican16

Posts: 364; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

Blame the author.. I think he must've spent all of five minutes coming up with this list. There are a LOT of possibilities which aren't even touched upon here. If you're interested, check this out: http://www.androidpolice.com/2012/05/29/the-ultimate-google-io-2012-preview/

58. b.positive

Posts: 12; Member since: Apr 23, 2012

true... what about better support for multicore processors?

6. wendygarett unregistered

No more flash?? That's sad :( If this is true im waiting for new iPhone...

22. Non_Sequitur

Posts: 1111; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

...why? Flash content is getting lower and lower. Soon, all Flash content will be replaced in HTML5. Don't get a f**king iPhone, flash isn't the only reason to have an Android phone. Far from it, actually.

24. Synack

Posts: 688; Member since: Jul 05, 2011

Flash content may be getting replaced by HTML5, but neither your nor I know how soon this will be. Flash is a big deal to me and I want to be able to have it. If it's not around when the IP5 comes out I will be getting it. Unless the IP5 is an ugly piece of garbage with a weak glass structure and no LTE capabilities.

27. Non_Sequitur

Posts: 1111; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

No other operating systems support Flash either. Just because one doesn't, you're going to switch to the other... that STILL doesn't? Seems legit. Your choice, I guess. Also, how big of a deal is it? I don't use it that often, actually.

30. axllebeer

Posts: 271; Member since: Apr 05, 2011

Since the BlackBerry PlayBook supports Flash, it's extreamly likely that BB10 will as well, if it ever gets here.

36. BuckeyeCadet86

Posts: 78; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

nope bb10 doesn't support flash they said that it will support html5 but not flash.

61. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

where did they say that?

23. Synack

Posts: 688; Member since: Jul 05, 2011

Yeah....... Flash is huge......

29. MEeee

Posts: 397; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

Without flash, iUsers won't be able to see how slow their 3G speed iPhone 4S compared Tmobile 4G phones. http://explore.t-mobile.com/verizon-att-sprint/

34. HTCFreak

Posts: 156; Member since: Jul 17, 2010

Haha, this is funny. Before, we were saying: lol iOS sucks ass because it doesn't have flash, and now we are saying: pff, who needs flash anyway... oh boy, we are trolls :p

55. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Exactly no flash sucks when it's the iPhone, but if android doesn't support it who needs flash. A website full of android trolls

68. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

No, lack of flash still hurts the iphone and ICS still supports flash - so nothing has changed until everything has switched to HTML5.

87. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

yes but 5% only have ICS..

57. Aaron_R96 unregistered

Oh yeah.. forgot iphones have ALWAYS had flash..

60. denied911

Posts: 361; Member since: May 31, 2012

I love flash too hang in there man

8. VJo003

Posts: 365; Member since: Mar 11, 2012

Still to get 4.1 on my veteran HTC Desire HD :-\

9. Mitchel

Posts: 228; Member since: May 25, 2012

Not big of improvement.. Much like Froyo to Gingerbread.. iOS6 > Justin Bieber

20. Evil_SaNz

Posts: 259; Member since: Oct 20, 2011

Yeah iOS6 is revolutionary: holographic projector, tricorder and...worse maps. Also fresh new UI if I'm correct

26. Synack

Posts: 688; Member since: Jul 05, 2011

iOS6 is......... m a g i c a l. Oh wait, it's another update playing catchup to Android. Not so awesome, just gives you some of the stuff we already have.

12. imran_khan0786

Posts: 61; Member since: Jun 21, 2012

Nothing different in this os. But I will go for wp8 only.

25. Non_Sequitur

Posts: 1111; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

Nah, if you've been following what Google normally does with their updates, there's a major update and then a minor stability update. 2.2 - major, 2.3 - minor. 4.0 - major, 4.1 - probably going to be another minor unless Google has something big in store.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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