Google’s annual I/O developer conference began in full force today and as expected, they took the covers off their latest Android release, Android 4.1.
Developed under the code name “Jelly Bean,” this release brings several new features such as a revised launcher that will automatically adjusts widgets and icons to fit their respective home screens when moved and an improved notifications area with added functionalities. Users will now have a range of actions to choose from when dealing with notifications as opposed to the previous notifications system where users can only clear notifications or check the notification. The Voice Search tool has been expanded to allow for dictations offline, but to also answer general queries; a salvo fired at Apple’s Siri. The keyboard has also been improved to provide more accurate text prediction, and the Camera UI is revamped as well.
Perhaps more importantly, Android 4.1 also marks the introduction of a effort dubbed “Project Butter.” The goal? To smooth out an Android user experience, that many still say is stuttery and unrefined compared to Windows Phone and iOS, even on high end devices. This is accomplished by letting the CPU, GPU, and display work together in a system known as triple buffering, using VSync, and dynamically ramping up the CPU speed upon detection of screen touches.
Android 4.1 will be available on select “Google Experience” devices starting in July. This means the Motorola Xoom, Galaxy Nexus, and Nexus S. Unknown is whether the I/O edition Galaxy Tab 10.1 will get 4.1.
The SDK for developers to get hard at work on apps is out today here.