Android 4.3 Jelly Bean Main Features and Key Changes

Google has just released its latest version of the Android mobile operating system. Tagged version 4.3, the new update - interestingly - is still called Jelly Bean, which means we'd still have to wait for the launch of the much talked about Key Lime Pie nomenclature in the months ahead. Even though Android 4.3 may not come with major revamps or ground-breaking changes, Google has added nifty features in this update, which I will discuss in this article.

android 4.3 jelly bean

The most important feature Google has released in Android 4.3 is the restrictions in their user profiles. User profiles were introduced in Android 4.2 and are now being improved on in 4.3. What this does is that it allows you to control how apps work and how content is being managed per user. I personally think this is Google’s own precaution to that incident where a kid spent more than $2000 ($2500 in under 10 minutes!) buying in-app purchases for her game on the iPad. That said, parents who will introduce their kids to the latest technology available, or groups of people who share the same device for work purposes will greatly benefit from this feature. That's be like having Windows Phone's Kid's Corner and making it work for more than one child, plus it comes with a lot more functionality.

Next up on the list is for those who use Bluetooth-enabled wearable tech especially smartwatches. It was nice of Google to put in Bluetooth Smart technology in Android 4.3 since iOS has already had it since last year. With this update, Android can now connect with devices that also feature Bluetooth Smart – making battery consumption more efficient (Note that Sony’s first generation LiveView - which runs on a similar innovation - appears to be a battery hog. So clearly, there's a big room improvement here that Google can work on in upcoming smartwatches.)

Now this one’s for the gamers. Android 4.3 features Open GL ES 3.0. With this, Android becomes more skilled in dealing with graphics displays, resulting into serious 3D eye candy. NVIDIA is the processor brand that is directly associated with mobile gaming due to their collection of Tegra–optimized games -- so imagine what they could do with this enhancement paired with Tegra 4? I’ve even read news about NVIDIA bringing their Kepler architecture into the mobile landscape. That literally means that you can finally enjoy the same graphic quality of your powerhouse PC (or gaming laptop) on your Android tablet!

I really think that Google has done a good job with its next version of Jellybean. However, consumers shouldn't expect a major overhaul because if an Android software update comes with the same dessert codename, it means that there will only be minor albeit beneficial improvements to the OS overall. This was how Android 2.3 was dealt with, even reaching as far as 2.3.7 on some devices.

I'm inclined to believe that Google didn’t release Key Lime Pie yet for the main reason that Jellybean is doing very well and the name itself has already become associated with buttery smooth performance, which have eluded early Android users for many years. Perhaps this can also lead to less fragmentation of Android due to the fact that most active devices would still be running on the same Jelly Bean framework -- something that developers would appreciate.

What’s your opinion about Android 4.3, TP Friends? Are you guys as convinced as I am with how Google presented and tweaked their latest Android OS? Remember, Apple hasn’t released the final version of iOS7 yet which means that Google may have something up their sleeves to compete with that. Let’s all wait and see. For now, let us know what you think about this in the comments below.

About the author: TP Writer Fellow, Nico Aguila, is a DLSU student taking up Engineering. Nico sees TechPinas as the best tech website in the Philippines and also as his safe haven where he can be informed of the hottest tech events and trends happening in the country.