Jelly Bean ! Android 4.1, first thoughts !

Owning a rooted Galaxy Nexus has its benefits.

After Google dished out some devices at I/O preloaded with Android 4.1, the developing community has went crazy and successfully extracted this OS for download.

A quick look at RootzWiki or XDA Developers and you will find endless posts filled with download links for Jelly Bean.  This is the link i used.

Jelly Bean still has the potential to be altered slightly prior to release but this leaked version will probably encompass most of what the new software has to offer.

Below are a couple of the subtle differences in the software. As you can see the Notification Bar is different with a lot more neat approach, also including a settings toggle. The icon on the right also acts as a “dismiss all” sort of function, removing any notifications.

You can also see the lock screen is slightly different with an added shortcut for “Google Now” at the top position, and a new animation.

As well as a new search bar along the top the homescreens look very much the same, the image on the left shows what happens when you swipe up from the shortcut keys, this again gives a shortcut to “Google Now”.

A lot of the Google based apps have also had UI (user interface) overhauls. The most noticable for me was that of Youtube, this app looks completely different and has taken a step in the right direction as far as im concerned.

Google Now is one of the main differences for this new update. This would take a post in itself to give it the attention it deserves, its effectively the competitor for Siri. The video below gives a good starting idea to its capabilities

Putting aside the visual changes of the OS, the performance changes are what sets it apart. The “buttery smooth” like feel that google promised feels like it has been achieved with multi tasking, typing and even the stock launcher feeling far smoother and faster. Other articles have benchmarked the update to see what the numbers look like but dont look to have got much benefit from it, this is something that is incredibly easy to see on the every day use of the device.

To summarise, the quicker the full Jelly Bean OTA update is released the better.
The improvements that have been made have built on the solid foundations that were achieved on the release of Ice Cream Sandwich

31 thoughts on “Jelly Bean ! Android 4.1, first thoughts !

Add yours

  1. Very nice preview!
    One thing that I like the most from the official announcement of ‘Project Butter’ was the statement “Google has declared war on lags.” They have shown a lot of progress with Ice Cream Sandwich, and even more now with Jelly Bean here.
    There’s one thing I wonder, though: How would Nexus S users later access Google Now aside from the lockscreen? We don’t have a navigation bar here.
    Anyway, Google Now is just awesome!


    1. I found that another way to activate it was to hold down the middle Soft Key or the home key whatever you would like to call it ? Im not sure if this will be universal but this definately activates it on my Galaxy Nexus. They definately took on the war on lag and gave lag a beating !


      1. That’s exactly what I mean. I’m curious to know how Google would come up with another way of accessing Google Now for devices with capacitive buttons and no soft keys, like the Nexus S here. Perhaps it’s just the time for me to make the jump and upgrade to the Galaxy Nexus 🙂


      2. its always an excuse to upgrade but i reckon there will be another way like using a button or something ?
        Cant wait till all of the ROM makers start getting involved with Jelly Bean, seen a few have started to but should make for some interesting stuff !


  2. I’ve always wondered what the benefit of rooting an Android device is. More importantly, what rooting actually is.

    I’m planning to get an Xperia Mini Pro soon because I can’t afford expensive smartphone just yet. I heard many people upgraded to ICS on that device. Some had problems, others did not. But I wonder if I really need to upgrade to ICS when I can be happy with Gingerbread. Especially because it’s a low-end smartphone, what do you think?


    1. One of the many reasons people choose a Nexus over other Android phones is the full support from Google in terms of software. You see, the Galaxy Nexus has Jelly Bean now, while some others have just got Ice Cream Sandwich. Could we imagine how long it will take for them to finally get Jelly Bean?

      Another reason is that the Nexus S, a legacy device of Google, will be getting Jelly Bean as well. And all these show that Google is doing their best to support Nexus devices.

      Sure, the Galaxy S III and the HTC One X have way better specs than the Galaxy Nexus. But we should consider that the experience comes from the software also. And by software, the Galaxy Nexus is still the champ at the moment with Jelly Bean. It is the way Google wants Android to be.


      1. Yeah, but the problem with Galaxy Nexus is that it’s just a high-end smartphone. Google doesn’t seem to have considered anything for the low to mid-range smartphone users. Nexus 7 tab is very low priced compared to its specifications, but it doesn’t come with a 2G network which is a downside for consumers from other countries.


      2. If you’re thinking of a low-end smartphone like the Xperia Mini Pro, I think you should also consider a second-hand Nexus S. It’s a great phone. I’m still using it until today. And I’m excited that it will get Jelly Bean soon.


      3. Thanks. But I’m always a little concerned of second hand products. The product itself maybe good enough but the user might have bricked something that I’ll discover months later. 😐


    2. If your happy with gingerbread you don’t need to change it but ICS is a far superior OS. When devices first receive completely new operating softwares there is bound to be some errors and hiccups so no doubt an update will probably be released for the device as the errors are ironed out slowly but surely.

      Rooting effectively makes you the administrator of the phone, it gives you higher privileges and allows you to make changes you previously wouldn’t have been allowed to or have access to, for example, changing the speed of the processor and the over look of the user interface.
      Rooting is a personal choice, one in which the positives outweighs the negatives in my view but everybody has their own opinion !
      Rooting can also be reversed if it is not what you hoped to be, or if you want to go back to a completely factory set up.


  3. Bricking is a worry for everybody but with the resources of XDA forums it’s rare that bricking happens as much now, and also if it does it’s sometimes recoverable depending on the type of brick. For me it was an easy option as there is a tool that was developed and made with a 1-click to root function for the galaxy nexus, some other devices have similar tools


  4. I have had a Galaxy Nexus for about 1 1/2 months, just never rooted it yet. Depending on time to get Jellybean to the CDMA devices will tell whether I go ahead and root or not. We’ll see. Thanks for the link, it will come in handy if I root.


  5. Just got a pop up on my GSM nexus for an OTA official jelly bean update, this obviously didn’t work because I’m rooted and running a deodexed version of jelly bean, but atleast shows the speed it’s being rolled out


      1. I’m still not sure about Android on Tablets, I’m not saying its not worth looking at, i love it on my phone have been using it since the first G1 was released. It just seems, well i can’t put my fingeron it, maybe just too much space or something… don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to 4.1.. and Google Now seems amazing the future of mobile maybe i just need to put my iPad down and pick up the Android tablet some more?


  6. It’s hard to look past such a well oiled OS as the IOS on tablets. The iPad is fast efficient and does it’s job incredibly well, I haven’t really enjoyed any pre-ICS androidntablets but here’s hoping with Jelly Bean we get a bit more competition and better innovation from all manufacturers because of it !


  7. Really like all the new features in Jelly Bean. It’s making me want to switch to Android. Been by the Verizon a couple times to check out the Samsung Galaxy S III, very nice, just needs an update to Jelly Bean.


  8. The GS3 vzw is so close to getting the rooted jelly bean and the official. I can’t wait to be rockn JB on my GS3. Hoping that they will unlock the boot loader in the next update.


    1. Excellent preview on Jelly Bean. It looks like they’ve streamlined this app well. I can’t wait to get Google Now to see how well it really works.


  9. Hi again! I’m about a year away from my current phone contract expiring (October 2013) . As fast as technology has been moving these days, it almost doesn’t make sense to ask, but what phone would you recommend in terms of user friendliness as well as affordability? Hope you don’t mind if I connect with you as my GO TO guy for issues like this. Thanks for following my Politically Incorrect Blog. Glad I’m not the only one who feels that way.


  10. I wouldn’t give advice for a month in advance never mind a year so I’d definitely check back nearer the time especially with the market changing as rapidly as it is at the minute as very expensive upto date phones now will cost a fraction of the price in a year


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