Earlier this week, Google cancelled an event scheduled to announce the latest phones and tablets in the Nexus line, and a new version of the Android operating system. Instead the company announced the devices and latest version of Android in a post on its official blog. The new version, still named Jelly Bean, will bump the operating system up to version number 4.2. Google has announced some of the new features of the operating system set to make its debut on November 13, along with the launch of the LG Nexus 4.
The camera app of Android v4.2 now features what Google calls Photo Sphere, which enables users to take high resolution, 360-degree photographs on all axes, giving the pictures a look much like Google Street View. You will instantly be able to share the photograph on whatever medium you desire, including Google Maps, if you want to make the picture public.
Android v4.2 is still called Jelly Bean
The developers at the XDA Developers forums have been able to get hold of the camera files and have ported the app over to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which is believed to be one of the first few devices to get the 4.2 update. Along with this, Android Police has managed to port over the new keyboard from Android 4.2, but the website complied with a request by Google to take down the download links.
The new keyboard, making its debut in Android v4.2, supports gesture-typing. This allows you to type out words without having to tap on the screen, and instead, sliding your finger across the keyboard over letters that are part of the word. This is a lot like the Swype keyboard by Nuance that is commonly found pre-installed on Samsung devices.
Another big feature in the new version is the ability to have multiple profiles for tablets. This allows users to share their tablets without the fear of having their privacy compromised due to another person using the same device. Users can have a separate profile with different accounts, settings, and apps, for different members of the family, for instance. Schools could use the same tablets for different children from different classes.
One more major feature of the latest version of Android is the update to Google Now, a service that Google introduced with the Jelly Bean version (v4.1). Google has added more features to Google Now. The service can now alert you of flight and hotel recommendations, as well as about nearby attractions, photo spots, movie times, and concert timings. All this comes thanks to the new Knowledge Graph by Google, which, according to Google, gives you more information on things you didn't even know you were looking for. While looking for websites, the new Knowledge Graph could lead you to more in-depth information on subjects that are closely related to your search.
The update is also going to add the Miracast functionality to the Android platform. It will allow users to display the content playing on their screens to a TV, DVD Player, or any other device that supports Miracast. A trade name for Wi-Fi Direct, Miracast is an 802.11n compatible network for display-sharing.
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