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!
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.
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).
One of the new features that ships with Jelly Bean is Google's Sound Search widget that helps identify songs after listening to short samples. If you've ever used SoundHound or Shazam, you know exactly what this does. The difference is this widget is pre-installed on Jelly Bean, comes directly from Google, and hooks right into Google Play.
As it turns out, the widget works on ICS as well. I looked into the package and saw that compatibility goes back as far as Honeycomb, so I'm guessing it will install there too (sorry, no Gingerbread or below).
After upgrading my Galaxy Nexus (GSM) to Jelly Bean last night (I know, I know, I'm a few days late), I unlocked its bootloader (the usual fastboot oem unlock) and commenced rooting, which I thought would only take a minute or two. However, after almost 2 hours of pushing, flashing, rebooting, and trying no less than 5 different root methods, I still didn't have root. Something must have changed under the hood, and no root method I was trying was working (even PaulOBrien's SuperBoot).
The title may not rhyme anymore, but it's still home to the most in-depth look at the next version of Android on the internet. That's right, the world's most OCD changelog is here to point out every polished pixel of Android 4.1: Jelly Bean.
Google just dropped the full OS image for the recently announced at Google I/O Nexus 7 tablet. The image allows you to restore the tablet back to full stock Android 4.1 (build JRN84D) in case something goes wrong. This way, developers can tweak its internals without fearing a brick and users can always go back to something stable if a flash goes awry.
There are no surprises here - the Nexus 7 is a true Nexus device after all.
Face Unlock, a security feature introduced with Ice Cream Sandwich, while a fun concept, proved vulnerable to trickery. Specifically, the unlock method would recognize photos of your face as if they were your real face. Another issue with Face Unlock was that it ostensibly never locked users out after numerous failed attempts.
Looking to address these issues, Google did a bit of tweaking to Jelly Bean's Face Unlock. Namely, FU now features a "Liveness check" option which, as the name suggests, makes sure you're a real, live person before unlocking your device.
In a post on their blog, the company has explained that devices which have been certified to run Flash will still continue to do so, and updates will be made available just for those devices. Any devices that have not been certified to run Flash will be unable to install or update it from the Play Store from August 15th.