Jelly Bean isn't a huge evolution of Android like previous updates have been, but that's understandable given just how polished the OS has become. Still, as the company showed us on day 1 of I/O, things certainly have moved forward in quite a few ways (Ron provided a deeper look at some of them in his first Getting To Know Android 4.1 post).
Google Drive just saw its first update since back in April when it shed the Docs nametag. The update is relatively minor, but still brings some worthwhile enhancements and tweaks:
- Quickly find files that have been recently opened, edited or shared with you
- Upload/Download all file types to/from your Google Drive
- Selecting contacts to share with is easier
- Faster navigation of folders when syncing in the background
- Choose text alignment in the documents editor
Frequent users of the Drive app will surely take pleasure in the faster navigation while sync is in progress, as the app could get quite sluggish at times; the ability to upload all file types is definitely a welcome improvement and one more step in Google's quest to take out cloud storage heavyweight Dropbox.
The latest version includes a new feature called Tour Guide, which highlights all of the places a city has to offer, both to tourists and locals. For example, if you're in Rome, the app will point out places such as the Colosseum and Trevi Fountain, two spots that are very popular with tourists.
Earlier today, Google announced a slew of new content for the Play Store, including magazines, TV shows, and the ability to purchase movies. New content is great, but there's a problem: the new Play Store isn't yet available on devices other than the Nexus 7 and I/O Galaxy Nexus (post-Jelly Bean update).
As always, though, those crafty devils over at XDA have yanked the newest version of the Play Store from one of the aforementioned devices and made it available to the world.
Earlier today, we looked at some new content added to the Play Store with TV shows, movie purchases, and magazines. Those aren't the only new additions to the Store, either; Google has also added some other useful features, like a revamped "My Apps" page, remote update, and remote uninstall features:
As you can see, the My Apps section now display images of your devices, as well as a way to see which apps are installed on specific devices, which is awesome for anyone with multiple devices.
Google just announced a new, completely revamped developer console that should replace the current app publishing system in the near future. The private beta sign-up link will show up in developers' consoles soon, followed by a global rollout sometime after that.
The new console is very clean and addresses numerous issues with the current generation interface. Some highlights include:
The Google+ app has received another fancy new update today. Avid Google+ followers will remember that just a month ago, the mobile Google+ got a facelift. Well, forget everything you knew about that app. Google's social network is getting another new facelift. And a sweet tablet interface to boot.
The new interface has a much lighter, brighter look, while still maintaining the large focus on pictures and videos of the previous update.
Coinciding with the announcement of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, Android developers can now pull down a new revision of Android's SDK tools – revision 20, along with a new version of the ADT Plugin, also r20 (which Eclipse users will need to use SDK r20).
The revised SDK tools bring several improvements. One of the notable additions to the SDK tools is System Trace (otherwise known as systrace), a tool (included in Project Butter) that helps monitor system activities, allowing developers to pinpoint graphical rendering or other issues.
I bet those of you who bought an LTE phone from Sprint had already forgotten about the high speed powers the nation's third-largest carrier promised you. No? You've actually been foaming at the mouth, eagerly waiting to sink your teeth into the new network? Ah, well, if you live in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, or San Antonio, then I've got some good news for you! Once July 15th hits, you can stop drooling!