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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.
Before we drill down into the specifics, I wanted to give you a brief overview of Jelly Bean in general, and the new features in particular. Jelly Bean, or Android 4.1, was announced at the Google I/O conference on June 27, 2012. The first device with Jelly Bean was the Nexus 7 tablet. As of this recording, there have been two dot releases, 4.1.1, released on July 9, and then 4.1.2, released on October 9.
Now there was a new version, version 4.2, which also has the same name, Jelly Bean, that was announced just before this recording. Unfortunately, there were no devices yet available with 4.2 installed, so it's not covered in this course. Generally, 4.1 was regarded as an incremental release and many new features built upon those previously released in version 4.0, including Project Butter, which is intended to provide a smoothness to user interaction, enhanced notifications, and an updated Android Beam for near field communication.
There are numerous enhancements aimed at developers of which the most pervasive is perhaps Project Butter, which is designed to make transitions and other user interface operations smooth as butter. In order to achieve the smoothness, efforts were made on multiple fronts, including the VSync, or vertical sync timing, triple the buffering, adding touch anticipation, boosting the CPU on input, and adding a new tool called Systrace. We'll go into much greater detail about all of this in Chapter 3.
There are also upgraded notifications, including enhancements to the notification builder, and the addition of templated styles with a custom style option and increased associated actions. There are also enhanced media capabilities, extended input controls, advanced text manipulations, increased accessibility, and the upgrading of security and network management. Again, all of these will be covered in much more detail in Chapter 3.
For the users, there is an updated UI interaction, enhanced search (including voice search) increased Google services with the introduction of Google Now, better camera and video applications, improvements to web browsing and email, and much better near field communication with Android Beam. Whether you're an Android developer or Android user, there is a lot to love with the Jelly Bean release.
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