The Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update is finally being rolled out to the HTC One S handset and this puts an end to speculation if HTC would in fact release Android 4.1 to its mid-range handset before the end of the year.

Back in July, HTC had announced that the Jelly Bean update would be released for the HTC One X and the One S. However, only the former handset got the update in November and there was no word on when the update would be rolled out for the One S.

There had been rumours that HTC would release this version of Android to the One S in October, but that did not happen, and a post on XDA has posted a direct link to HTC where one can download the update.

The One S

The One S starts to recieve Android Jelly Bean

As a refresher, here is some info about the HTC One S. This handset S features a unibody design form. HTC also claims that the One S is scratch-resistant, so it should keep nasty smudges and scrape marks at bay. It ships with Android v4.0 (ICS) running on a 1.7GHz, dual-core processor or a Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset with HTC Sense UI version 4.0. The One S comes with HTC’s ImageSense technology to help enhance the 8 megapixel camera quality and overall functionality. It can capture video in 1080p (at 30fps) full HD and the camcorder also features a slow-motion setting. Other features include face and smile detection, and continuous shooting.

Here’s a quick look at the specifications of HTC One S:

  • 4.3-inch AMOLED touchscreen display with a 540 x 960 pixel resolution
  • 3G, EDGE/GPRS and Wi-Fi (hot spot) + DLNA
  • GPS with A-GPS support for Google Maps and Locations
  • Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP and USB 2.0 (Micro)
  • 8MP camera with LED flash and secondary camera up front
  • FM radio
  • 16GB internal memory
  • TV out via MHL

Android 4.1 builds on top of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). This operating system is designed to make everything smoother, faster, and more fluid. Notifications are more dynamic, allowing you to access and interact with the alert from the drop down menu itself without ever having to open the app. Another interesting feature is that voice typing is now faster, working even when one does not have a data connection. Google had also stated that it has re-designed search from the ground up in Jelly Bean with a new user interface and faster, more natural Voice Search. It went on to state that one can type one's query or simply ask Google a question. The voice search feature can speak back, delivering a precise answer powered by the Knowledge Graph, if it knows one, in addition to a list of search results.

Here are some of the key features that Android 4.1 Jelly Bean brings to the table:

  • With Jelly Bean, blind users can use 'Gesture Mode' to reliably navigate the UI using touch and swipe gestures in combination with speech output.
  • TalkBack, a screen reader for Android, now supports gestures to trigger actions, navigate applications, and traverse text.
  • Browser has improved performance, CPU, and memory efficiency. With better performance for animations and HTML 5 canvases and an updated JavaScript Engine (V8), pages load faster and feel smoother.
  • Browser now has better HTML 5 video support, and has a new user experience. Just touch the video to play and pause, and smoothly transition into and out of fullscreen mode.
  • Content in the Calendar fades in, animations are sprinkled throughout, and swiping/ paging between days is smoother.
  • You can now swipe from the camera viewfinder to quickly review photos you've taken without having to leave the camera app. You can swipe back to the camera viewfinder to start snapping photos again.
  • When taking a photo, a new animation sweeps your photo off the screen. There is now a new paging animation when swiping between photos.
  • You can now enter text in one of 18 new input languages, including Persian, Hindi and Thai. Additional Indic languages Kannada, Telugu, and Malayalam are now supported by the platform.
  • You can use custom keyboard input styles for more than 20 languages, with keymaps for Qwerty, Qwertz, Azerty, Dvorak, Colemak, and PC styles.
  • Notifications from the same application are grouped together, and the first item is automatically expanded. You can also pinch notifications to expand or collapse them.

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