Our I/O Nexus 7s just received update notifications that a new software build is available for download - this is very likely the final retail build users will see when they receive their devices.
While a "changelog" of sorts pops up with the update notification, it's stock dialogue from a full-on Jelly Bean upgrade, not something specific to this particular update for the Nexus 7. More than likely, this OTA just irons out some bugs and turns off some unnecessary data logging and pre-release testing tweaks.
There are three things I have noticed so far on the updated software, though:
The unlock action from the lock screen was previously a little sluggish and presented a slight pause.
So, you heard about Google's new predictive text engine in the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean keyboard, right? Now you can download that keyboard courtesy of Beansoft (developer of Thumb Keyboard), from the Play Store, free of charge. It's ported straight from AOSP, though it's currently in "alpha" state. The only catch is that you need to be running Android 4.0.3 or higher (Ice Cream Sandwich).
I've noticed the Android 4.1 keyboard also seems to have improved accuracy and speed (it looks ever so slightly different, too), so this is definitely worth a try. There's one more caveat here: the user dictionary doesn't work yet, and attempting to add a word to it will force close the keyboard.
OK, OK, that's actually Linus Torvalds expressing his feelings about NVIDIA, but there's no better way to articulate the continued frustration with the complete lack of Sprint Galaxy Nexus support in AOSP. Verizon is [almost] there. Sprint, however, is not. Try finding it (hint: its codename is toroplus) - specifically, the CDMA/LTE binaries.
If you still have doubts about the above notion so eloquently conveyed by Linus' gesture, Jean-Baptiste Queru's comment confirms:
As far as toroplus, the situation is unchanged: there are no plans to support it as a target device for custom AOSP builds. JBQ
Sprint and Samsung, it's time to pony up those drivers.
It means that ROMs that are built from AOSP, like CyanogenMod, can now start integrating the Jelly Bean code and release the first true JB nightlies. Not broken ports from the Galaxy Nexus builds - real ROMs. They can also work out bugs because they can see the source code.
Manufacturers can now start working on updating their devices to the actual Jelly Bean release - remember, Google was still working on the final touches to JB when they released the preview, so even OEMs didn't have what rolled out today.
Jelly Bean was announced at Google I/O just recently, but a posting from Google's Android open source guru, Jean-Baptiste Queru has confirmed that Android 4.1 is hitting the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) repository right now. Time for the developers among you to update your clients to get all the official bits.
This release will be tagged as android-4.1.1_r1 in AOSP. While the source is going live now, the full proprietary binaries for Google-blessed devices won't be rolled out until later. Google plans to directly support the Nexus 7, Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, and Xoom through AOSP. Be aware that the addition of the Jelly Bean code to AOSP doesn't mean any OTA updates are on the way.
Android tablets, for the last year plus they've existed, haven't been anything to get excited over. At least that's my opinion on the matter. And even if you've wanted one (a good one), most of them have been sort of expensive. But now that Google has unveiled the first true Nexus tablet (XOOM who?), for a mere 200 of your dollars, you can get in on the computing revolution. At that price, Google isn't shooting for the premium market. It's targeting first-time tableteers, boldly going where only Amazon and various Chinese knock-offs have gone before - into the sub-$200 slate market.
Hello and welcome to round 2 of Getting To Know Android 4.1. If you missed the inaugural episode (about the lock screen, software buttons, and icons) you can catch a rerun right here. And if you did see it, I suggest you go look at it again, because I updated it with a crazy menu button bug. Seriously, go look. I'll wait.
Today we're getting into something a little more meaty: The revamped notifications system! And we aren't doing some wimpy overview, we're sticking everything I can find under the GTKA microscope. First up, the fresh, new design:
We non-Jelly Bean plebeians have been envious of those with access to Android 4.1 for some time now, and a recent video from JLishere provides yet another reason to be jealous. The video, a demo of the much-anticipated Google Now, shows off just how accurate JB's voice recognition can be - in fact, it was able to pick up on the subtle differences between words like 'Worcester' and 'Wooster.' It also exemplifies the impressive number of commands Now (in cooperation with the Knowledge Graph) can register - from "call the Drake Hotel" to "do a barrel roll."
Enough balderdash, though - watch the 47-question demo for yourself:
Update: 20 more questions:
One last note: as JLishere notes in the video description, the demo was performed on an early build of Jelly Bean - this, in other words, should be considered a beta feature that will only get better with time.
One of the most starred Android issues of all time, currently #20 of 21363 from the top with 1191 stars, is the absolutely awful quality of synced contact photos (issue #3870, opened in 2009). ICS attempted to resolve the issue by bumping the quality to 256x256 pixels, but Google sync would without mercy squash it right back down to blurry pixel dirt (96x96).
To recap, there are actually a couple of issues:
Contact photos set in Gmail.com are downsized to 96x96. That continues to be the case, and this isn't really even an Android problem - it's up to the Gmail team to fix it.
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). Probably the 2 biggest changes: massive optimizations and tweaks to make things very fast and smooth, and the addition of Google Now.