New Feature: Playlist Center! Pick a topic and let our playlists guide the way—like a learning mixtape.

Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started

Android 4.1 SDK Jelly Bean New Features
Illustration by Don Barnett

Exploring a smoother UI with Project Butter


From:

Android 4.1 SDK Jelly Bean New Features

with Joseph Lowery

Video: Exploring a smoother UI with Project Butter

If you've worked with previous Android OS versions, one of the first things you'll notice with a Jelly Bean device is how you don't notice the user interface so much. That's because it's far smoother than ever before. There are no jerky stutter steps as you transition from one screen to the next, it just makes the move quickly and effortlessly. Although of course, there was a tremendous effort to make it like this, much of which Google engineers group under the heading of Project Butter. Before we drill down to the why, let's take a quick look at the overall effect.

Watch this entire course now—plus get access to every course in the library. Each course includes high-quality videos taught by expert instructors.

Become a member
please wait ...
Android 4.1 SDK Jelly Bean New Features
1h 21m Intermediate Dec 07, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This course introduces the new features offered to developers and consumers in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Author Joseph Lowery first explains how you can expect the update to roll out to devices, and then shows how to install the Android SDK on Windows and Mac, select a device emulator, create a sample app, and prep it for publication on Google Play. Along the way, the course explores the smoother interface (codenamed Project Butter), notifications, advanced text manipulation, and security improvements that will be of interest to Android developers, and describes how those features translate for consumers on the device side.

Topics include:
  • Tasting the flavors of Jelly Bean
  • Developing with the updated media capabilities
  • Integrating input device feedback
  • Increasing accessibility
  • Setting up a Jelly Bean project
  • Testing your app on a device
  • Working with the emulator
  • Utilizing improved voice search
  • Interacting with Google services
  • Enabling near field communication with Android Beam
Subjects:
Developer Mobile Apps
Software:
Android
Author:
Joseph Lowery

Exploring a smoother UI with Project Butter

If you've worked with previous Android OS versions, one of the first things you'll notice with a Jelly Bean device is how you don't notice the user interface so much. That's because it's far smoother than ever before. There are no jerky stutter steps as you transition from one screen to the next, it just makes the move quickly and effortlessly. Although of course, there was a tremendous effort to make it like this, much of which Google engineers group under the heading of Project Butter. Before we drill down to the why, let's take a quick look at the overall effect.

Here I have my Galaxy Nexus with Jelly Bean 4.1. Let's go to the App screen first. Now just the introduction of all the apps appears much smoother to me. Now I'll swipe to the second page. First, regular speed. If you watch closely, you can see how the app icons on the second page fade up and grow simultaneously into position as the first page of apps is moved off screen. Let me go back and forth a couple of times, so you can see this. Let's go back to the first page, second page, first page, second page.

Now let me do it really slowly so you can see just how smooth it is. I am on the second page now and I'm going to swipe back to the first page, and even moving really slowly, you can see how smoothly the fade and transitions are. For another demo, let's go back to Home, so I'll tap Home, and now I'm going to swipe to my third page, first one swipe and then another, where I've got some quick contacts set up of some folks here at lynda.com. Watch how smoothly and quickly Matt's picture and info come up when I tap his name.

I'll tap below to send it back. Now on earlier versions of the OS, this action was relatively slow and quite uneven, almost jerky. No more with Jelly Bean. You'll find this same smoothness everywhere you go in the Jelly Bean device now. Let's pop that hood and get a better idea of how this is all happening. The goal of Project Butter was to make device interactions as smooth as butter. To accomplish this, the team engineered a multilevel integrated approach that affected three key areas: the screen display, the touch interface, and the underlying CPU.

Let's take a look at the screen display first. The Frame Rate increased to 60 frames per second. This is largely due to the improved vSync, or vertical sync, screen display timing. vSync keeps everything marching to a very specific beat, every 16 milliseconds, including transitions, app rendering, and screen refresh, so everything is snappy in addition to being smooth. Reacting to a user's touch has been beefed up as well. Now a feature called Touch Responsiveness has been introduced that actually anticipates where the user will tap next, thereby preparing the action event to trigger more quickly.

The enhancement to vSync also impacts on touch and reduces latency. The CPU and related components have also been brought into Project Butter. Animations, including page transitions and scrolling, have all been polished through triple buffering, which combines CPU, GPU, and display for smoother actions. Jelly Bean also provides a CPU input boost for touch events to further reduce any latency. Developers can see for themselves how the system reacts to their app through a new tool introduced in Jelly Bean called systrace.

Systrace collects data regarding system activities from the Linux kernel, and displays that info as a group of vertical time-series graphs, which you can see an example of by going to the Systrace page in the Debugging section of developer.android.com. For more details, see the Systrace help page. Without a doubt, Jelly Bean, through the combined efforts of Project Butter, have made the Android interface the smoothest yet.

There are currently no FAQs about Android 4.1 SDK Jelly Bean New Features.

 
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.
Upgrade now


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

join now Upgrade now

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Android 4.1 SDK Jelly Bean New Features.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Notes cannot be added for locked videos.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.